April 18, 2016
A recent timber sale between the United States Forest Service and Freres Lumber Company has closed a portion of Tumble Creek Trail for a three-week operation that will safeguard recreationalists and ensure the health of the forest.
Freres Lumber has worked closely with the USFS to establish a logging plan for the Power Thin timber sale that would minimize disturbances to the general public and recreationalists. Operations began in December 2015 directly adjacent to the campground so the fewest number of campers would be impacted by the helicopter operations that occurred during January and February. The requested April closure of the Tumble Creek Trail was required to ensure the safety of hikers around the timber harvest operations. The requested closure time frame was a very defined period from March 23 to May 1; however, operations were postponed until April 1 so people could enjoy the area during spring break. It is our intent to complete operations prior to the May 1 date.
Timber sale contracts awarded by the USFS not only contain time period restrictions to minimize impacts to recreationalists, but also include seasonal restrictions to minimize damage to soil resources and residual trees, to protect fish and other aquatic species and their habitat, and to ensure water quality protection. These are all worthy and necessary goals that the USFS balances when administering timber sales and Freres Lumber readily adheres to during harvest operations.
The Power Thin timber sale was structured as a helicopter sale with the goal of allowing safe, minimal-impact harvest while thinning a densely forested stand of trees. The average size of the harvested trees on the stand is 14.4” diameter at breast height. The resulting stand will be free-to-grow and much more vigorous going forward, providing a safe and beautiful forest for decades to come.
For more information about the trail closure and the Power Thin timber sale follow this link to the Statesman Journal’s article from April 12, 2016 for comment from the Forest Service.
Ron Borisch, Timber Sale Administrator
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