Toledo City Council authorizes timber harvest in the city’s Mill Creek watershed – hopes for $78,000 payday for the city
After making sure the time was right for the city to make a few bucks off of some harvestable timber on city owned land around the Mill Creek Reservoir, and assured that water quality in the reservoir would not be degraded, the Toledo City Council Tuesday gave boutique forestry management firm Trout Mountain Forestry the green light to start cutting trees. In this case, it’s 11 acres of forty year old Douglas Fir on the south side of the reservoir. Trout Mountain’s Mark Miller says prices for Douglas Fir are good and steady and should earn the city just under $80,000. Miller says the trees will be removed sometime in the first quarter of next year. Probably take just a few weeks, he said.
However, a proposal to harvest 33 acres of Alder due east of the reservoir was discouraged. Miller said that Alder prices remain low. He also predicted that Alder prices might rise to the point that the Alder could be harvested in three to five years. He said the Alder east of the reservoir are in their prime or just past prime and should be harvested as soon a financially feasible.
Meanwhile, after the Douglas Fir is cut this coming winter, rehabilitation of the slopes near the shoreline of the reservoir should begin soon after. Miller said the cost of that rehabbing might be picked up by the Alsea Stewardship Group, a non-profit that supports harvested timberland restoration in order to better protect Oregon’s rivers and streams for fish and wildlife habitat. Miller said he would be glad to submit a grant application to the group on behalf of the city. He said the chances are very good the city would be successful in winning the $17,000 grant but that the city may be expected to put up a few thousand of its own to shoulder some of the financial burden. The restoration involves cutting back shrubbery so that tree seedlings can get enough sunlight to grow – also to plant Hemlock and Cedar and to create snags for wildlife. Miller said he would expect the city to have the funds in hand by next spring.