Bioremediation, forests and fungi

Mike H. mhagen at
Tue Oct 24 11:02:07 EST 2000

The woods in question is a community forest, mostly located within the
100 year floodplain of a major northwest river. The property is mixed
hardwood/douglas fir/redcedar with some old homesteads that have gone to
serious brush. Quite a few side channels run through the area, lending a
special charm but severely limiting access and usability. This isn't
seen as a problem. Even before the regs required it this was reserved
simply for salmon habitat and production of large woody debris. This
buffer benefits the property holders via flood protection and avoidance
of the hidden costs of levee maintenance and flood relief. It's also a
functioning wildlife corridor.

Another portion of the woods could be devoted to extractive wood
production, but the 'owners' feel less need to follow the industrial
model. Among the major long term goals are canoe log production -
western red cedar, of course. A management mandate is landuse planning
for "seven generations". No kidding. I've advised them that canoe logs
may require seven times seven generations but my impression is that if
that's what it takes, they'll do it. 

Much of the forest could benefit from a careful sanitation - selection
cut or a good understory burn. With present air quality law its unlikely
that they'll ever get clearance for a burn but they remember their great
grandfathers lighting the woods. Back then they had bear grass, more
berries, camas and it was easy walking under the trees.  The mushroom
production was a means to use the culled hardwood logs which had no
commercial value above firewood. It may still be a viable idea when the
time comes.

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