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The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
October 19, 1983     The Issaquah Press
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October 19, 1983

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i mill ilrl ill illl ii i,iinl i ii iirlllll II ii i 1 i 0 to/'f.ZCO"  CC/"c, r.io.n % \\; \\; I \\; I Tiger Mtn. State Forest Planning Boundary ...... Management Roads Recreation Roads RV Area To develop Tiger Mountain State Forest as a sustained-yield forest which produces prudent timber harvest revenues for the trusts. Such harvest should be economically profitable, environmentally sound, and maintain and/or enhance the yield of other forest resources such as clean water, wildlife and recreation for future as well as present beneficiaries. Timber Management The current forest on Tiger Mountain is, for the most part, a naturally-seeded mixture of predominantly Douglas fir and hemlock with some western red cedar and true fir. Alder is a significant component in some drainages. The slopes of Tiger Mountain were extensively logged by railroad during the 1920's. The remnants of these past operations are now used as hiking trails and roadbeds throughout the forest. Tiger Mountain is presently covered with a forest containing many stands of alder in areas capable of growing Douglas fir and other conifer species in a productive manner. One of the management problems is that the great majority of the forest on Tiger Mountain is currently between 50 and 60 years old. Because of this age-class distribution the Committee has proposed a long-term management strategy which will harvest most of the current 50 to 60 year old timber over an extended period so that in approximately 60 or 70 years there will be a succession of age classes of trees on the mountain which will allow perpetual harvest of approximately 100-200 acres per year. It is the intent of the Committee's guidelines to maintain as great a diversity of forest types on Tiger Mountain as possible. The Committee has reviewed the resources of Tiger Mountain by dividing the mountain into its five major drainage basins or watersheds. Watersheds form natural planning units, because they are topographically defined and function as an ecological entity. Using watersheds as operational units gives the resource manager the ability to monitor the effects of forest management activities on water quality and quantity. In addition, watersheds are usually defined by prominent ridges which, in turn, define visual horizons when considering aesthetic impacts of harvesting. Looking at the mountain by drainage basins also allows the particulars of that area to be addressed in a more integrated fashion. Four of the watersheds on Tiger Mountain drain into Issaquah Creek. They are the east and main forks of Issaquah Creek, 15 Mile Creek and Holder Creek. The watershed on the east side of the mountain drains into the Raging River. HARVESTING MODEL Under the watershed management concept, the acreage available for harvesting is restricted in each drainage basin on the basis of the proportion of the 0- 10 year age class. That is, during any given ten year period, a certain percentage of the forest in a drainage basin will contain areas that have been recently clearcut, or vary in age up to ten years, or are fairly young forest stands. A sustainable harvest base will be determined by taking the total acres in a drainage and subtracting out any acres withdrawn because of ecological, geological or historical interest. For example, of the approximately 4,000 acres in the Raging River drainage, if 400 acres were withdrawn because of powerline rights-of-way and the Beaver Valley ecological system and riparian areas, then approximately 3,600 acres would be available for harvest. A rotation age, or a cutting cycle would then be chosen. ROTATION AGE The rotation age is determined by a combination of economic and biological analysis. The average harvest age for DNR second growth timber is approximately 60 years. Because of the large amount of 50-60 year old timber on Tiger Mountain and the suggested watershed management harvesting schedule, the aver- age harvesting age will be older than 60 years for the next 30-40 years. Depending on the ability of the site to grow conifer timber crops, the Committee recommends site-specific rotations of approximately 60 years as appropriate for Tiger Mountain. If the rotation age for the Raging River drainage is 60 years, then in any one ten-year period, 600 acres or 16 percent of the harvestable areas could be in the 0- 10 year age class. The rotation age chosen is 26 7