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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/ _1 I ] I I I x I I Hobart Mill Mill % \\; I I .t Tiger Mtn. State Forest Planning Boundary I I I Old Railroad Grade Old Railroad Grade now used as Road rTTW r Railroad Trestle Railroad Camp ) Old Sawmill O Operating Sawmill Mine 1 Old Homestead ! control have bccn the use of hcrbicidcs. WhiTe some 7" g s'rt'cwatcr zntakcs or one-quarter mzlc of wells. these chemicals have been applied for many years by In addition, a baseline water quality monitoring forestry, agricultural and household users, in recent) years public concerns have been expressed about the health impacts of such chemicals. Particular concerns have been raised about the contamination of water supplies, inadvertent spraying of recreationists, accept- able levels of risk to exposure, potential liability to the trusts for offsite impacts of chemicals and the risk of cumulative impacts of exposure. Costs for various vegetation control treatments and their implications for investment in the growing forest crop are primarily a function of labor costs. For instance, at union wage scales paid by the City of Seattle Water Department in the Cedar River Watershed, manual brush control may cost up to $400/acre. On the other hand, using labor from military brig crews or honor camp workers results in the cost being quite low. Alternatively, volunteer labor may cost only the necessary liability insurance. Chemical brush control may range from $25 to $65/ acre for a single treatment. While the committee was able to agree on the objectives of vegetation management, they were not able to come to agreement on the methods to be employed. As a result, two alternatives have been identified. No herbicides, and Strictly Controlled Herbicide Use. The no herbicide alternative recommends that no herbicides or pesticides be used in the Tiger Mountain State Forest because of health concerns and the nature of the unknown risks from their continued use. Manual or mechanical brush treatment should be the only methods used, and the DNR should develop a coordinated approach to utilize volunteer and low cost labor in the State Forest for brush control and other forest work. The alternative that allows strictly controlled herbicide use supports all the measures intended to minimize the need for chemical controls but allows herbicide use under the following conditions: Aerial application of herbicides should be retained as the last option and used only when there is no other practical alternative. However, ground application of herbicides with back-pack sprayers should be the preferred method. Applicators should be fully trained in the safe application of said chemicals and knowledgeable of potential health risks to themselves and others. The choice of chemicals used should be based on the following criteria: Human health safety as determined by manufacturers, EPA and independent test results reviewed by independent toxicologists; low transportability in soil and water; low volatility and vaporization. In order to protect domestic water supplies, there program should be instituted before the application of any chemical. All forest users should be notified of pending herbicide application in a particular area by posting of notices on trail corridors, roads and at the entry to the State Forest. Notices should also be published in local newspapers, with a map of the treatment area. Notices should contain the name of the chemical, how it will be applied, the amount to be applied and where to call for further information. Posting should remain for 3-4 weeks after application to reduce any potential health risks to an acceptable level. Soils Management Tiger Mountain contains a number of different soils. If forest practices are designed to maintain soil productivity and fertility, then, as a consequence, water quality problems associated with sedimentation and erosion are also minimized. The problem soils identified by" the Committee are those which are easily compacted or unstable when disturbed; erosive soils with low productivity and sensitivity to disturbance; and any soil located on ridge crests or any exposed area such as the summits of the mountain. Some of these soils may be unstable after harvest and are prone to mass movement or landslides downslope. Areas where these problem soils occur near streams should be considered the most critical areas on the mountain in terms of soils management. Management objectives should be to protect problem soils from man-induced degradation or deterioration; to minimize erosion by maintaining a forest cover on highly erosive and ridge crest soils; and to maintain the productivity of forest soils. The Committee feels that investment in timber production should be made on soils capable of high productivity and that marginal soils should be maintained primarily for their non-timber resource value. Logging systems that protect the soils should be used on Tiger Mountain. Water Resource Management There are approximately 84 miles of streams on Tiger Mountain. Most of these streams do not legally require a streamside management zone or buffer. However, they all are tributaries of either the Raging River or Issaquah Creek, major fish spawning areas and sources of domestic water supplies. Water quality in terms of sedimentation caused by erosion, chemical contamination, or bacteriological contamination is a major concern. 20 13