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Hwy 542 proposed logging, Heliotrope access

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Copying from Facebook TAY group, posted by Andrew McDavid:
"The MB-Snoqualmie NF just posted an update to a logging project along 542 that seems like it will impact access to Heliotrope ridge. I wasn't able to get a clear idea about road/trail closures from the draft impact statement, but they will be logging around the Heliotrope trailhead right up to the Wilderness boundary. Comments on it are accepted until April 3."

Here's the main project page:

Here's the pdf about recreation impacts (note highlighting on Heliotrope ridge):

Here's the link for comments:

Please let the FS know your concerns. They should be hearing from backcountry skiers, hikers, and climbers.

What the North Cascades Conservation Council thinks: http://www.northcascades.org/wordpress/north-fork-nooksack-threatened

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Posted (edited)

"They will be logging around the Heliotrope trailhead right up to the Wilderness boundary" is somewhat inaccurate. If you drill down on the map on Pg.5 of Appendix D, you will see that the project area does not extend south of the Grouse Creek tributary bisecting the road turn where the trailhead is located. Grouse Creek, the wilderness boundary, is almost certainly a fish bearing stream downstream of this trib's junction and will get a no-cut 100' buffer.

The language on the NCCC's webpage is so over-the-top emotional that I strongly urge diving into the USFS documents before commenting. Makes a person long for the smell of the GP tissue mill to give the crack "pulp farm for Trump's business cronies" a veneer of respectability.

Just a sample after a quick perusal of the documents:

NCCC's cited acreages bear no resemblance to either Alt.1 or Alt.2 acreages shown on Fig.14 of the DEA.

Road runoff & fill/cut slope failures are a legit concern among others. However, if you look at Pg.26 of the Draft EA this proposal will ultimately reduce road mileage & density of roads. 

This project is expected to take 10-15 years. Recreationalists of all stripes are bound to be inconvenienced for some period of time near these units. I believe most don't lack imagination.

Have at it.

Edited by rat
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Thanks @rat for bringing in a little bit of detail on the proposed alternatives.

Maybe it's because I grew up around here (and often work with timber companies), but I don't mind some logging. Especially since a lot of the overstocked, monocultural USFS units could benefit from some timber management, post NW Forest Plan.

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Posted (edited)

I read just a portion of the FS documents (which are many, many pages) and commented that I'm not necessarily against it, but would appreciate the road access being maintained throughout the process. So I let them know that and told them what months I most enjoy being up there.

Also, I'm not sure what "selective harvesting" means. I haven't seen much logging around here that isn't full on clear cuts.

Edited by Kameron

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7 hours ago, Kameron said:

I'm not sure what "selective harvesting" means.

It is most certainly not a clear cut.  There are some good examples in the Stillaguamish where I have worked with the USFS on veg mgmt.  After a year or so, it is often hard to tell that any timber mgmt occurred.  Most timber harvesting around here is on state and private lands, which are managed quite differently than under the NW Forest Plan.

That's great that you let them know about when access is most valued.  That is exactly the specific type of info that they need!

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Yeah I think NCCC’s hyperbolic style is a bit dumb but their comments and others like Sierra Club’s are worth reading 


I’m certainly no expert in these matters but it’s hard to picture how cutting big trees and constructing new “temporary” roads could be good for forest health. Seems like there’s a lot to take issue with, even with the less shitty alternative 2.

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