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2024 Bear Creek Timber Harvest

A variable retention harvest project is proposed for approximately 58 acres of the Bear Creek Watershed during the summer of 2024. This project has been designed for long-term water quality, forest health, and resilience goals. The harvest project is planned for stands with a high proportion of Douglas Fir and Hemlock. The Douglas Fir is impacted by Swiss Needlecast and also shows signs of being overstocked. In addition, this stand is near the top of the ridge and adjacent to neighboring industrial forestland. The harvest of the neighboring property will expose this area to wind damage. 

A variable retention harvest, which breaks up the overstory canopy, increases forest complexity and diversity. 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 between two major existing roads and will require the construction of one short spur road.  To complete this sale, the City will solicit bids for logging services and separately solicit bids for log “sorts” garnering the highest possible value depending on the log species, diameter, and quality. In addition, the City will solicit bids for road maintenance and construction.

The net proceeds to the Capital Improvement Fund from these forest treatments are estimated to be $450,000 after harvest, road, and reforestation costs. This estimate is based on a statistical sample with plus / minus 10% estimated accuracy. This estimate is also subject to market fluctuations. Once bids are received, staff will return to City Council for a request for authorization to award a timber harvest contract. The work is currently anticipated to start in June and will take place through the summer and early fall.

2024 Timber Harvest Map (Tippy Top Sort Sale)