Helicopter Logging Will Rid Ashland Forest of Dying and Dead Douglas Fir Trees

ASHLAND, Ore. — The Ashland City Council has approved a helicopter logging project to remove dying and dead Douglas firs to safeguard recreational areas and protect the city from wildfires. On Tuesday night,

Ashland Fire and Rescue Wildlife Division Chief Chris Chambers presented the city council with a helicopter logging project valued at $1.5 million for the city-owned forest.


Lomakatsi Nonprofit Has Offered Financial and Labor Assistance

Although the project will exceed the funding for the project by $450,000, the shortfall will be made up from a donation of at least $100,000 in federal funding from the nonprofit Lomakatsi, and from surplus funds in council accounts. Apart from removing the dying and dead Douglas firs, the budget will cover the cost of replanting new trees and restoration work. The sale of the logged trees will also help to offset the cost of the project.

In an earlier report, Chambers said the project was time sensitive as it needed to address the escalating danger of summer wildfires.

Related: Earn Cash For Property Wildfire Safety Measures


Hiking Trails Close on April 1

Helicopter work, controlled burns, and selective thinning will begin on March 26. Before the trees are cut and removed by helicopter, the city council has additionally chosen to shut down several hiking trails starting from April 1st. Timberline Logging Enterprises has been awarded the project and the completion date is set as April 15.

Chambers told councilors on Tuesday that Timberline is currently working in the Applegate Valley on a Lomakatsi Restoration Project and had a four-week window of downtime it could allocate to the Ashland helicopter tree logging project.

The Ashland Fire and Rescue Wildlife Division Chief said global warming would worsen, placing forests under threat. Chambers pointed out that forests were already dead or dying in the southwest and southern Sierra Nevada in California. Chambers said extreme heat and wildfires presented a double knockout punch to forests in the region, some of which would permanently disappear.

Mooting for the helicopter logging project, Chambers told the city council that the Lomakatski nonprofit had pledged between $100,000 to $150,000 in federal funding plus labor provision. The Fire and Rescue Wildlife Division chief said after the logging project was completed, Lomakatski would help to restore the forest by planting vegetation and trees better suited to hot and dry conditions. Chambers said if people wanted to enjoy forests in future decades, it was important to plant vegetation and trees to prepare forests for the effects of global warming.

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