A variable retention harvest project is proposed for 43 acres of the Bear Creek Watershed during the summer of 2021. The harvest is located on the northwestern corner of the property, and on a flat ridge to the West of Bear Creek. This project has been designed for long-term water quality, forest health, and resilience goals.
Three variable retention units are proposed (15 acres, 15 acres, 13 acres). A variable retention harvest is designed to mimic natural disturbances such as windthrow, while increasing species diversity and structural complexity. In the case of these projects, there are three separate objectives:
- Introduce species diversity and complexity to even-age western hemlock monocultures stands.
- Decrease density in order to create a multi-strata stand, capturing competition induced mortality.
- “Feather” the edges of units adjacent to historic (2007) blowdown area and adjacent clear-cut.
Variable retention harvests remove overstory trees while retaining 30-50% of the existing stand in clumped and dispersed retention areas. The spacing of retention trees mimics the spacing of historic (pre. 1900) forests on the Bear Creek Watershed, allowing for the development of healthy understory and shrub strata with widely spaced large overstory trees. The harvest unit is bisected by two separate spur roads. Approximately 1,500 feet of the road will require repairs including the placement of one new culvert and the construction of approximately 500 feet of temporary dirt spur road.
The net proceeds to the Capital Improvement Fund from these forest treatments are estimated to be $250,000 after harvest, road, and reforestation costs. This estimate is based on a statistical sample with plus / minus 10% estimated accuracy. This estimate is also subject to market fluctuations. Once bids are received, staff will return to City Council for a request for authorization to award a timber harvest contract. The work is currently anticipated to start in June and will take place through the summer and early fall.
2021 Timber Harvest Exhibit Map
Stay tuned for updates!