A thinning project with group selection was completed for approximately 66 acres of the Bear Creek Watershed during the summer of 2022. The harvest was located on Spur 12, between patch cuts that were conducted approximately 15 years ago. This project has been designed for long-term water quality, forest health, and resilience goals.
The thinning treatments took place in stands with a high proportion of Douglas Fir and Hemlock. The Douglas Fir is impacted by Swiss Needlecast, and both species show signs of being overstocked.
The thinning treatment reallocated resources to vigorous trees, improving forest health. In addition, small areas of group selection, between one-quarter to one-acre in size, will create increased structural complexity at a stand level and provide pockets of early seral habitat (patches of younger forest). The removal volume was 25-35% of the total stand volume.
The spacing of retention trees mimics the spacing of historic (pre. 1900) forests in the Bear Creek Watershed, allowing for the development of healthy understory and shrub strata with widely spaced large overstory trees. The harvest unit is bisected by numerous spur roads. Approximately 2,500 feet of road repairs, including the placement of two new culverts, have been completed.
On March 21, 2022, City Council authorized staff to solicit bids for the project. The call for bids was advertised in the Astorian, bid packets were sent to sixteen prospective purchasers and two bids were received. Sierra Pacific Industries was the highest of the two bids at $311,350.95. On May 2, 2022, Council authorized staff to award this project to Sierra Pacific Industries.
The net proceeds to the Capital Improvement Fund from these forest treatments were estimated to be $ 236,350.98 once an approximate credit of $75,000.00 for roadwork was subtracted. The harvest project was completed on October 31, 2022, and the final net proceeds totaled $297,724.73 once a roadwork credit of $69,784.36 was deducted.