Watershed Tour A Feast For Tree Lovers

Excerpt from  JAMES DAY Corvallis Gazette-Times

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Stop 1 included a new wrinkle for the tour, now in its ninth year. A short trail was carved off to the side of a rutted forest road to get participants closer to some of the forest’s older trees. The ground was crunchy and mulchy, with a fat slug perched on dead wood and black-and-yellow millipedes moseying about among the moss.

As the tour moved down the ridge Charlie Bruce of the watershed board spotted a bald eagle flying overhead. Mark Miller of Trout Mountain Forestry, which manages the watershed for the city, pointed in the direction of the bird’s nest … then talked some more about the forest.

“Our stewardship plan calls for three types of forests: middle-aged, plantation and old growth and older,” Miller said, while pointing toward a 180-year-old Douglas fir, the oldest tree in this stand.

“We have some trees that are 300 to 500 years old, but you only get one or two of those per acre.”

The city has been receiving drinking water from the area since 1906, but it wasn’t until after the start of the 21st century that the city put a plan in place to manage the forest. Miller notes that the first harvesting of trees took place in the 1920s and 1930s, “with the practices of the time: clear-cutting.”

“Our goal is forest health and resiliency from fire, wind, insects and disease,” Miller said. “Without a forest we don’t have good water quality. And a healthy forest needs timber harvests.”

Read the entire article at the Corvallis Gazette-Times

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