This past winter sure did quite a bit of damage in our forests around the area. The months of heavy rain caused landslides and softened the footings for the trees. An extremely heavy snow fall broke tops off of some trees and laid some trees right over from the weight, the root-ball lifted right out of the ground because of the amount of rain. Then the quick and dangerous windstorm we had trees toppling and tops broken out and strewn across the woods.
Recently, we went to a seminar about cleaning up the woods after a winter such as we experienced. Hearing from the Extension Service, Forest Service and other woodland partners we got a glimpse of some of the cleanup we needed to do here on our property not only for simple cleanup but to lessen fire danger and forest health.
After the seminar we were able to talk to our State Forester, Nate Agalzoff about getting a professional eye out into our woods to assess the direction we need to go with cleanup and re-forestation.
The top of our forest land is not accessible by jeeps or pickups, the roads that are built by the bulldozer are only wide enough for the blade of the caterpillar and hug the sides of the canyons. During the late summer, in 4 wheel drive AND Pos-i-track the John Deere Gator can get up some of the roads but most are too steep even for the Gator. Luckily for us, the back of our acreage butts up against Weyerhauser timber ground and the State Forester has access keys to the hundreds of miles of road on Weyerhauser property. From their property it is only a short walk (less than a half mile) to our timber line.
Nate picked us up and we headed up the Sunset Highway about 3 miles to the Main Weyerhauser gate at Wolf Creek. From there it was a twisty-turny, switchback, multi-spur, logging road that wound through areas that were heavily forested with many clear-cut sections. We had traveled about 8 miles of the logging roads when we had to stop because of large trees that had come down during the winter storms completely blocking travel in any vehicle.
Tomorrows post will highlight the rest of the State Forester visit to our woods.