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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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drastic effect on salmon" production:: supports Coho, Chinook, Sockeye, and Pink salmon, as well as steelhead, cutthroat trout, and native kokanee. The Raging River supports Coho, Pink and a few Chum salmon, as well as stcclhcad and trout. Although most of the streams on Tiger Mountain have impassable barriers or cascades near the edge of the State Forest boundary, nonetheless these streams are critical as food and high quality water sources for the downstream fisheries. Many streams have large populations of resident cutthroat trout. The State Salmon Hatchery at Issaquah has been particularly susceptible to sedimentation and turbidity caused by careless forest practices. There arc a number of permits for domestic water use and fish propagation on 15 Mile Creek. In addition many of the streams in the Raging River drainage have permits for domestic use for residents of Preston. For this reason, water quality concerns are very high in terms of any future management practices on Tiger Mountain. An additional concern, especially for Preston residents, is flooding, since the Raging River, as its name implies, is naturally prone to extraordinary flood events with little warning. Therefore, care in logging with its consequences for increasing flows by reducing interception of water by the forest is a major concern. SEDIMENTATION AND EROSION CONTROL Erosion, the washing away of the forest soil, reduces long-term productivity, bares tree roots and can lead to larger scale soil movements such as land slides or slope failures. The eroded materials often enter running water in the forest, where some become floating sediments. Suspended particles cause turbidity or cloudiness in the water. Among major causes of erosion and sedimentation are forest management activities such as road building. When slopes are Cut for roads, potentially destabilizing forces in the hillside can be unleashed. Construction bares previously vegetated soil surfaces as well as creating large amounts of dirt which must be moved. Harvesting activities, if not properly planned and executed, also have the potential for increasing erosion and sedimentation. Particular care must be taken where soils have high erosion damage potential and on steep slopes. The most potentially serious areas for negative impacts on fish populations are stream banks, particularly along canyons or in highly erosive or unstable soil. The Committee's concern is to minimize the impacts of forest management on water quality for domestic use and fish propagation and to maintain stream bank integrity (vegetation and soil stability) with special attention to stream canyon walls. To road system designex with state of the art harvesting technology in mind. The total road miles should be minimized, and care should be taken to prevent erosion and sedimentation when building and maintaining roads. Stream corridor management plans should be developed to protect water quality and riparian habi- tats. WATER QUANTITY GUIDELINES The proposed timber harvesting schedule calls for 1-2 percent of each watershed to be logged per year on the average; approximately 15 percent of any watershed in one decade would have trees 0-10 years of age. These units should be scattered within the drainages and designed to minimize impacts on water quality and soils. Water quantity is a function of natural peak flows and seasonal and yearly variations. Storms, siaow melt, and rain-on-snow events have far greater impact on water quantity than controlled and careful removal of the forest cover followed by rapid replanting with healthy seedlings (see Timber Management Section). Effects of logging with the above restrictions as well as the maintenance of streamside management zones will mean a minimal impact on water quantity. There may be a slight increase in secondary peak flows which should not be noticeable downstream with rapid replanting. The Committee feels that all forest planning and operations should take into account potential impacts on increasing run-off, particularly in the Raging River drainage. Wetlands The wetlands of Tiger Mountain constitute a limited but very important resource for wildlife habitat, education and recreation. Wetlands are highly productive biological systems, providing essential habi- tats for juvenile fish and wildlife. They constitute a major part of the riparian habitat for many of the mammal, bird and amphibian species on Tiger Mountain. Because of the complex vegetation in and around wetlands, they offer unique scenic and ecological values as well. In addition, wetlands perform an important function in maintaining water quality for downstream sources by filtering sediments and pollutants. They also regulate stream flow by buffering high and low levels, and they help recharge ground water supplies. By controlling runoff and storing peak flows, wetlands reduce potential damage from downstream flooding and erosion. Five major wetlands have been identified on Tiger Mountain: Tradition Lake and Round Lake in the Otter Lake, a critical part of the Holder Creek system. The Committee has identified Silent Swamp on Trout Hatchery Creek and the headwaters of 15 Mile Creek as other areas which merit concern as wetland habi- tats. The objectives of the Committee are to maintain and enhance the diversity and integrity of the wetlands of Tiger Mountain as biological and educational resources, and to limit recreational uses of wetlands in order to minimize adverse impacts on wildlife, soils and water quality. The Committee guidelines recommend that wet- lands be protected by buffer zones, and be carefully managed for ecological, recreational and educational purposes. Further guidelines indicate ways in which the sensitive habitats and preserve nature of these wetlands should be considered. Wildlife Management Wildlife is an important resource in the Tiger Mountain State Forest. One of the goals is to manage the forest in a way that maintains or increases the diversity and numbers of wildlife. The guidelines for fisheries, water protection, and the stipulations about old growth management have important and harmonious consequences for wildlife. A number of critical habitat areas have been identified on Tiger Mountain. These include the five wetland areas; the canyon of 15 Mile Creek and the Preston Creek drainage (a major cross mountain corridor for wildlife activity); and the-Beaver Valley/Silent Swamp complex, another major riparian corridor. Other important habitats include the Talus Caves, the cliffs at the Yah-er Wall, the origin of Summit Creek, a stand of virgin hemlock in the Holder Creek drainage, and High Point Creek where it passes through a stand of mature hemlock and Douglas fir. A managed forest provides several habitats for wildlife. The greatest diversity of wildlife is found in stands older than 100 years, in the riparian corridors, in the early stages of the forest at theO-10 year age, and in the ecotones, where vegetation types meet. Of the 50 species of mammals found on Tiger Mountain, 80 percent are found in the riparian zones. These animals include opossums, shrews, bats, squirrels, beaver, mice, coyote, black bear, raccoon, skunk, cougar, bobcats, and black-tailed deer. There are also approximately 100 species of birds on Tiger Mountain, 70 percent of which can be found in the riparian area. Approximately 50-percent of these species are permanent residents. Piliated woodpeckers have been observed, as well as blue herons, mallards, wood ducks, various species of hawks, quail, mourning thrushes, warblers, orioles, goldfinches, and others. Another important habitat feature of Tiger Mountain is the great number of snags left from the previous fires and logging operations. These snags and the large organic debris (LOD) or large logs found on the forest floor and in the streamside management zone provide a very important habitat for mammals and cavity-nesting birds which in turn feed on insects of the forest. Streamside LOD is alSo a'critical component for fisheries enhancement, providing mate- rial for riffles, streambank stability and food source for insects. Important objectives for managing wildlife are to provide opportunities for students of elementary school to university age to observe the effects of forest management on wildlife production, as well as to study the results of conservation and preservation in a well- managed forest; to design forest practices and recreation development that enhance the wildlife of Tiger Mountain; and to maintain the riparian corridors on Tiger Mountain as necessary for wildlife migration and habitat. Air Quality The two conditions affecting air quality are smoke and dust. Because many soils on Tiger Mountain can suffer severe, long-term loss of productivity as a result of slash burning, and because of concerns about air quality, burning will not be a preferred treatment in the State Forest except under extraordinary circum- stances. Provisions contained in the water quality section regarding road construction, such as planting of exposed soils and surfacing with basalt rock, should reduce windborne dust. To reduce the need for burning, the Committee recommends yarding unmerchantable material to landings for sale as firewood. Aesthetic Management The slopes of Tiger Mountain present a complex mosaic of mature hardwoods, patches of mature Douglas firs, large expanses of 50-60 year old mixed conifers and recent clearcuts now greening up. In the fall, the maple and alder display colorful swaths of reds and yellows. Tiger Mountain's north side is visible from Issaquah and from the 1-90 corridor coming either from Snoqualmie Pass or Seattle. Much of the criticism about previous forestry activities on the mountain have arisen because of the shape and size of clearcut units. While clearcutting will likely continue along with other types of harvesting, the visual impacts 16 17