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Forest Service Drops Old-Growth Habitat from Tripod Timber Sale

In a press statement, Conservation Northwest applauds agency decision

The Forest Service in its Tripod post-fire timber sale in the Okanogan decides to retain all older and larger diameter trees (21 inches and more) in the burn area: A win for local wildlife and habitat.

Bellingham Nov 19, 2007

A view into the burn at Tripod. Typical of many burns, many patches of green and partially burned trees were left behind. Photo by Jen WatkinsIn response to changing markets and conservation concerns, the Forest Service announced last Friday that they would not be logging old-growth habitat as part of the Tripod timber sale. Conservation Northwest applauds the agency’s decision. 

Jen Watkins, who reviews projects from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest for Conservation Northwest, spent several months working with a local collaborative group following the 2006 Tripod Fire to develop a proposal that would protect important wildlife habitat while allowing careful harvest of small trees in the burn area:

"We commend the Forest Service for finding a balance between economic objectives and wildlife and habitat conservation following the fire.  This decision most closely reflects the recommendation made last December by a wide variety of stakeholders."

"The Forest Service made a good decision to protect the old-growth habitat created by the burn. Their decision closely tracks the proposal developed after the fire by a local collaborative group to protect wildlife habitat and remove only smaller diameter trees."

“This decision shows that the government is responding to concerns raised by scientists and the public that we can’t afford to lose any more of our big, old trees, especially in this landscape where we’ve already lost nearly all of them.”

“We can protect wildlife habitat, our precious old-growth trees, and send logs to the local mill.  We should not have to pit one against another.  The Forest Service’s decision shows that there is a better way to do business that will serve us best in the long-haul.”

“We look forward to working with the agency to apply the lessons learned here to better manage our public lands by building on common ground to treat small diameter fuels before fires occur.”


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