Logging on the Virginia Ridge timber sale starts this week. Between now and July 4, Will Logging & Construction will do road maintenance and construction, fall and process logs on 15 to 20 acres each day, and ship logs to customers.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sale calls for logging 671 acres in all, on Wolf Creek, Virginia Ridge below Sun Mountain Lodge, and a small unit near Mazama.
Work will begin in the Wolf Creek area. Logging along the recreational trail adjacent to the Methow River could start in the week of July 8. Ultimately, between 10 and 15 truckloads of logs will be hauled daily.
Will Logging was the winning bidder in the auction conducted by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Plans for the forest-thinning and logging project include a commitment not to do any logging that can be seen or heard from Sun Mountain Lodge until after Sept. 15. Terms of the sale require all merchantable timber to be removed by mid-November.
Other than the commercial timber, there is no deadline for completing all phases of the sale. It could be four years before the entire project, including slash treatment, is complete. Loggers will treat slash with prescribed fire and chipping.
When first proposed two years ago, the Virginia Ridge Timber Sale generated considerable concern about potential economic impacts on the valley’s tourism industry. DNR revised the design to retain more trees per acre, and to leave the trees in naturally spaced clumps. There will be 40 trees per acre after logging is complete, as opposed to the current 150 trees per acre. Contractors will monitor the visual impacts of the logged areas.
Will Logging is required to comply with all industrial fire precautions, and to have fire tools and a water-pump truck on hand.
People should be aware of construction and logging equipment on Wolf Creek Road and U.S. Forest Service Road 1131800. The contractors ask people to avoid these roads between 5 a.m. and 3 p.m.
DNR is issuing periodic updates on the logging project. To receive these updates, subscribe at bit.ly/VirginiaRidge.