Frequently Asked Questions
No, this is not about stopping all logging in the Sky Valley or in the state of Washington. This is about stopping poorly thought out, heavy logging on public lands that harms the economic future of Gold Bar and the Skykomish Valley.
It's also about not ruining the appeal of Wallace Falls State Park - Gold Bar's biggest tourist attraction, with over 225,000 visitors each year.
No. The City of Gold Bar passed a resolution opposing the Middle May timber sale and other heavy logging operations on December 18, 2019. The City of Gold Bar stated the following in Resolution No. 19-15:
"Timber sales, whether the Singletary Plan, the newly proposed plan called Middle May, or other such plans to harvest vast amounts of forest in the surrounding area will negatively and drastically impact both the beauty and functionality of the forests for many decades to come."
First, let's think about it. Aren't public schools supposed to be funded by ongoing support by their communities, not one-time windfalls from private corporations?
This is what the City of Gold Bar has to say about it:
"Any monetary benefit from the proposed sale of timber for logging provides a one-time limited benefit as opposed to ongoing maintainable sources of revenue for entities such as school, fire or hospital districts."
"The funding from such districts should be ongoing and come from the voters of those districts and not lump sum one time sales of land without voter input."
It's a huge deal for Wallace Falls State Park and Gold Bar, but a tiny deal for Department of Natural Resources. Here's why:
The proposed Middle May logging operation will be just under 1 million board feet of timber. In 2017 Washington approved over 2.7 billion board ft of timber harvest. That means in a typical year there are essentially 2,700 clear cuts the same size as Middle May.
The Middle May timber sale accounts for just .037% (that's 1/27th of one percent) of the typical yearly timber sales in Washington.
No. The City of Gold Bar has stated very clearly what most people who have watched vacation traffic skyrocket on Highway 2 over the past 8 years already know:
"Economic growth for Gold Bar and the Skykomish Valley is primarily going to come through tourism and services in the next fifty years and not through selling natural resources."
"The City of Gold Bar has a history of mining and logging that, while an important part of history and heritage, no longer serves as viable sources of employment or income for its residents."
We often refer to a Variable Rention Harvest as a clear cut because it leaves only 8 trees per acre.
(This is the method that will be used to log the Middle May timber sale, typically by removing 95% to 97% of the trees.)
While technically a Variable Rentention Harvest doesn't take 100% of the trees, when you see forest land that was logged down to 8 trees per acre you realize it looks and feels a heck of a lot like a clear cut.
Re-planted forests are designed to be just one primary species of tree. This makes re-planted forests vulnerable to disease and low quality habitat for many species of wildlife. They're a poor replacement for native or older second generation forests.
Re-planted forests are usually sprayed with herbicides after they're logged. Usually this is done by helicopter, aerially spraying chemicals that many people deem to be dangerous. Sprayers need to follow guidelines, but many residents have complained about aerial drift towards their homes and families.