What We Do: Native Wildlife Recovery / Timber Sales
About 1.09 million acres of a total 2.3 million acres on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest are considered suitable for logging. The 1990 Wallowa Whitman Forest Plan states that 183 million board feet (MMBF) per year is the potential yield. Actual timber offerings during the 1979-83 base period averaged 159 MMBF per year. For the past few years the timber offerings have averaged below 30 MMBF per year. This dramatic decline is partly due to HCPC’s conservation work to insist the Forest meets the standards and guides necessary to protect the natural resources on public lands.
The Bush Administration has tried to increase logging on National Forests but has had little effect on the overall timber output.
Historically, national forests have played a minor role in U.S. wood product markets. At its peak in 1986, the volume of wood products removed from national forest lands accounted for 14% of the U.S. total. Ten years later, that share had dropped to 5.9%. In recent years, that figure has hovered around 2%. It is unlikely that this share will ever get much higher. There are three primary reasons for this:
First, national forests represent just 19% of the timberland area in the United States, creating a natural limit on how large that share can ever be.
Second, national forest timberland is, on average, less productive, steeper, and less accessible than timberlands managed by industry, private landowners, or other public agencies. When national forests were established back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, almost all of the highly productive, flat, low elevation timberland was already in the private domain. In other words, in most cases, national forests represent the scraps of timberland left behind after settlers and the timber industry grabbed the best lands. And because national forests are relatively unproductive, steeper, and less accessible, national forest wood products are more expensive to bring to the market than wood products from other lands.
Third, national forest land is more valuable for other uses such as recreation, protecting biological diversity and providing habitat for fish and wildlife.
According to the book, Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares by Nancy Langston, in 1912 71% of the Wallowa-Whitman NF was full of old growth Ponderosa Pine. By 1991 only 10 % fit this description. Today the Wallowa-Whitman has even less old growth and there is a need to protect what is left and to plan for future old growth recruitment.
Proposed timber sales in the near future:
Wallowa Whitman National Forest
La Grande District
- Horse Fly – 12 miles SW of La Grande in the Fly Creek area
- Rooster – South of Vey Meadows in Upper Grande Ronde
- Little South – Catherine Creek watershed
- Sugar – 10 miles East of La Grande in Five Points Creek
Wallowa Mountains District
- Billyjo – 25 miles NNE of Enterprise in Billy Creek
- Muddy Sled – West of Highway3 in Sled Springs area.
- Puderbaugh – Puderbaugh Ridge in Imnaha drainage
- Tyee – Tyee Creek near Tyee Butte
- Greenhorn – Northwest of Unity
- Little Dean – South west of Baker City near Phillips Lake
- Sundry/Rooster Rock – South of Baker on Burnt River side of Dooley Mountain
- Woodtick – Near Unity Reservoir
Umatilla National Forest
North Fork John Day District
- Wildcat Fuels – 18 miles south of Heppner
- Farley – near Dale, Oregon
- Sugar Bowl – southwest of Ukiah
Walla Walla District
- Cobbler – between the Grande Ronde River and the Wenaha Tucannon Wilderness
- Loon – north of highway 204 near Looking-glass Creek