(LONG) Clinton pushes forest-protection plan

Mike Hagen mhagen at olympus.net
Sun Oct 10 18:14:45 EST 1999

The ratio comes out to about 1 acre of permanent road to 217 acres of NF
land.  This seems about right based on my area which is quite
> >
> This morning I went fungi finding at 3600 feet in Clackamas County. Off
> of a paved road in an older-growth area, I noticed side roads leading
> off every .1 to .3 miles. While some of these were little more than cat
> trails, many had gravel bases, even though the gravel was completely
> covered by duff. 

Covered by duff sounds good. It won't be long before the canopy closes
over the old roadway, if it hasn't already.  If the culverts had been
pulled and landings obliterated, then there's not too much to object to.

I could be wrong but I don't think this type of road is even covered by
federal stats. These aren't system roads in the usual sense and are
intended to become overgrown and disappear with the regrowth of the
harvested stand.  In my experience, unless ripped, these compacted
surfaces won't grow trees any time soon and tend to be the worst
culprits for erosion problems.  

My point is, a lot of these roads seems to be placed in
> close proximity to each other for little apparent reason. At least 5
> older Western hemlock adjoining these roads have fallen recently, that I
> scrambled over. The only _apparent_ reason I could see for this
> ?windfall? was damaged rootball caused by cat work or yarding equipment.

You're probably right.  The road location is due to any number of non
biological reasons.  Type of logging, type of substrate, expense,
ownership,  salvage sales adjacent to originals - who knows.
It's interesting that the really big old yarders allowed logging with
much less impact on the ground and less road construction.  Modern high
tech gadgets require that heavy equipment cover virtually every square
foot of a harvest and leave skid trails much closer together than
before. This isn't an improvement when looking at effects to the ground.
I seldom find chanterelles in recent commercially thinned areas.
Assuming the concept of sustainibility is in effect, is a clearcut done
via cable, with one or two access roads a half mile apart and a rotation
of, say, 100 years, worse than a high tech thinning, with repeated
entries and scores of skid trails?

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