March 29

DNR Plans 7 New Timber Sales in Reiter Foothills

Timber Sales

7 New Logging Operations Planned for Reiter Foothills Forest

the good news first: middle may timber sale is temporarily on hold

You may have heard about the Department of Natural Resources' (DNR's) controversial proposed Middle May timber sale in Reiter Foothills Forest that was scheduled for April 2020.

(Many people familiar with the blocked Singletary logging plan said that Middle May is basically a re-brand of Singletary, with minor changes.)

Middle May timber sale map

The good news is that the Board of Natural Resources has decided to postpone the Middle May sale until at least May 2020, in part because more than 600 community members used our website form to voice their concerns to decision makers about its harmful effect on Wallace Falls State Park and the Gold Bar economy.

6 more logging operations now planned by 2025

What most Gold Bar and Skykomish Valley residents aren't aware of is that 6 more logging operations are planned between in Reiter Foothills Forest between Gold Bar and Index.

The total acreage logged amounts to over 1,000 acres, much of it as a Variable Retention Harvest.  (Variable Retention Harvest basically looks like a clearcut because it leaves only 8 trees per acre.)

Here's the map from Department of Natural Resources, with our blue arrows showing the sites.

Map of timber sales planned for Reiter Foothills Forest
here's the list of upcoming logging operations

(You can check for currently listed sales at https://www.dnr.wa.gov/northwest.)

  1. 1
    Middle May - 193 acres.  Sale postponed until May 2020. Variable Retention Harvest and Right of Way harvest.
  2. 2
    Brushcrasher - 209.3 acres. Scheduled for auction 3/25/20. Variable Retention Harvest and Variable Density Thinning.  
  3. 3
    Extravehicular - 84.2 acres.  Variable Retention Harvest and Variable Density Thinning.
  4. 4
    Madera.
  5. 5
    Timber Toe.
  6. 6
    Blue Dune Buggy.
  7. 7
    Sky Rider - 221 acres.  Variable Density Thinning. Will be logged by 3/31/22.
are the clearcuts of today the hiking trails of tomorrow?

That's what Department of Natural Resources says, but you be the judge. For our part, we think this view (showing trees that will be logged if the Middle May sale is approved) has more value and appeal for a tourism economy...

Viewpoint from 429 Hike in Reiter Foothills

...than this.

Example of variable retention harvest method 8 trees per acre

(Even though this type of logging was recently described by a spokesperson for Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce as only looking rough "for a few years".)

we are not against all logging

That would be unrealistic. But we think Department of Natural Resources' plan to log vast areas of the Reiter Foothills and obliterate Gold Bar's chance to build a viable tourism economy that would sustain it in the decades to come is extremely shortsighted and harmful to Gold Bar.

And it's especially problematic when the community hasn't had a say.

Please sign up for updates below so you can add your voice the next time public input is needed.

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How to Comment on Timber Sales at a BNR Meeting (WA)

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