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Newspaper Archive of
The Issaquah Press
Issaquah, Washington
October 19, 1983     The Issaquah Press
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October 19, 1983
 

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i i ...... 1 i 11 ii i i i ii ii i 11 iii iiii iiiiii i ii i i rl rl i|11111 ut gr. and the incline r -- from l-t'-Obart. "Old =': " rnin lon8 b I k11'C k orridor. Tiger railroad camps, logging cranes, track, switches and other artifacts remain at locations on the mountain. These remnants of previous logging activity underlie the current generation of logging on Tiger Mountain. They are an accessible reminder of the history of logging in the region. The Menasha Company finally abandoned its coal mine on Tiger Mountain in 1948, leaving various mine shafts and equipment, including a massive crushing t Mountain contains a thumbnail history of the resource extraction which built the Puget Sound region. The Committee urges that the sites of historic interest on Tiger Mountain be maintained as part of the historical interpretive function of the forest; and that some of the less permanent artifacts, such as material from the old logging camps, be utilized in an interpretive display in order to keep these articles from being destroyed by curiosity seekers. Worksheet purposes and provides, besidcs the big old trees, gradett and milled products, such as finishing examples of vegetation common to moist sites. The objective of the Committee is to maintain the diversity of flora particular to Tiger Mountain and to minimize disturbance of unique sites by logging or recreational activities. All uses of unique flora areas, including education and recreation, should be consistent with maintenance of the resources. Access should be limited to reduce adverse impacts. Managed buffer zones should also be provided around all unique flora areas as part of timber sale plans, in order to conserve the natural qualities of these areas. Old Growth Management Old growth is a unique ecosystem used by various plants and animals at certain stages in their life cycles. The multi-storied structure of a mature forest provides habitat for cavity nesting birds, particularly woodpeckers. Fungi and lichens, growing in conjunction with old growth stands, provide important components for soil fertility and stand health in the forest. The old growth stands on Tiger Mountain contain only two percent of the total volume of timber and occupy four percent of the total forest acreage. However, these stands on Tiger Mountain are particularly important for educational opportunities because examples of lowland mature forest are so scarce in the Seattle area. There are a number of reasons presented for maintenance of older, mature forest complexes in the context of managed second and third growth forests. One view would create Old Growth Preserves, and the other Old Growth Management Rotations. The Committee recommends that in marginal areas rotations which create characteristics of "old growth" should be considered. These stands would be designated as "old growth management units," and managed on 160-year rotations. OLD GROWTH PRESERVES The Old Growth Preserves alternative proposes that stands older than 160 years should be reserved as irreplaceable biological, recreational, and aesthetic resources. Public concern about forest land conservation requires that some remnant stands of the original forest remain for genetic resource management and for public use and enjoyment. OLD GROWTH MANAGEMENT UNITS The proposal for old growth management units recognizes the ecological value of these stands, but also considers the unique market value of straight, tight- grained old growth Douglas fir products. Some Committee members believe that a portion of the lumber, for export as well as for domestic uses. They argue for an orderly harvesting of the timber resources of Tiger Mountain in conjunction with a program of old growth forest maintenance and management. The Committee consensus is that the old forest located on marginal sites, where regeneration and growth of a new forest crop of commercial value within 100 years is unlikely, should be maintained intact. However, the Committee has not been able to reach agreement on the desired intensity of management. ALTERNATIVES 1) Preserve marginal areas only (approximately 600 acres). These mature forests lie in a band along the northwest side of Tiger Mountain stretching from Yah-er Wall to High Point Creek. Included in this option would be the Big Tree area, located on low- productivity soils on the Tradition Lake plateau. 2) Alternative #1, plus long rotation (250+ years) management buffers around wetlands (approxi- mately 150 acres). 3) Alternatives #1 and #2 plus all existing 100+ age class (approximately 750 acres) for preservation and all areas of problem soils (approximately 1300 acres) to be managed for long rotation. 4) All 100+ age class timber to be preserved. This four percent of the total acreage of the forest would be included as part of the 10% (1,350 acres) to be managed as old growth preserves. An additional 1,350 acres would be managed for long rotations (250+ years). 5) All harvesting activities in the State Forest should be confined to the Raging River and Holder Creek drainages until the year 2000 in order to develop harvesting techniques better suited to the special needs of "an urban tree farm." Vegetation Management Control of vegetation, such as alder, salmonberry, vine maple and other competitive species, is an inherent part of management of commercial forest lands to encourage the growth of conifers, especially Douglas fir. Unfortunately, the best sites for growing commercial forest crops are also the areas where competition from brush and alder is likely to be most severe. In addition, problems associated with burning as a means of site preparation in an urban area after harvest activities limit approaches to brush control. On the other hand, careful planning and harvesting of the present forest may reduce future problems. However, because brush competition problems are not manifested until after harvest, some control techniques are often necessary. 22 11