Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by rustybee, Mar 18, 2014.
That video reminds me of two things: one, the mild nausea I felt when I moved out here and saw my first clear cut and two, the answer I got when I ask Gary LaFontaine what he'd like for a legacy.
I had a chance to spend an afternoon with him in the Spring of his last year; just he and I, two guys in a car, and our conversation covered a lot of ground - including his illness. When the time came for me to drop him off, I felt like we'd gotten to know one another well enough for me to ask him the question about what he'd like for a legacy.
Gary thought for a moment and then talked for a bit about the need for all of us to do what we could to try to make our culture aware of, and understand, the critical importance of stream buffers............
Like a prayer. I used to fish the Farmington River in Connecticut, and Gary was Old Man River there, even as a young man.
Looks like the Siletz River above the gorge. Anybody know for sure?
Also reminds me of The Siletz but they don't open the gorge while they are logging so chances are, it must be a different coastal river in Oregon.
True, it's buttoned up during the week--but I have seen them logging occasionally on the weekends. I'm trying to contact Shane Anderson at northforkstudios to confirm. I've been taking my own pics but the impact of this video is so much greater. Assuming it's the same location--like Shane's dad, mine also refuses to go back. Really sad.
Over the decades I've fished the Siletz system, I've seen much in the way of damage the logging practices have done to the river. Clear cutting is responsible. I'm not anti-logging but I'm certainly anti-clear cutting.
The reason they clear cut is for the max $$$ possible. And the folks at the top could care less about the forest or the rivers... chances are they live close to Wall Street and nowhere near the NW. Plus, because the gorge area and the North and South forks are privately owned by timber companies, there really isn't much anyone can do to change how they cut the timber.
There are some regulations the companies are supposed to comply to but I've seen cases where they have not. The buffer between the clear cutting and the river is absurdly narrow.
If we as anglers bitch about the effects of the logging practices on the Siletz, the timber companies solution is simple: close down the property so no one can fish it at any time.
So, I live with the poor logging practices and hope for the best. The alternative is the loss of the gorge area for fishing and the ability to see if horrendous violations of the timber regulations are made.
If we complain and they close the road, then we may miss something they do to the river that is much, much worse than what we see today.
Point taken, but a private corporation's retaliatory response to an informed public demand for responsible forestry and land management (since I see minimal or no trash, nor have I heard of any vandalism) in the drainages of this great river will indeed be "problematic".
I spent a weekend measuring stumps and counting rings on some of the recent clear cuts along the Siletz Gorge: 100% side slopes, minimal buffers (some alder or maple which will decay and blow down in a few years) along the river, no buffers on the tributaries, full bench road building, lots of straw and slash piles on landings maybe for appearances, etc.--five separate units were all around 30 years at stump height, which is an unsustainable rotation for forestry or fish. The amount of contiguous acres being harvested is staggering.
PS. FYI. Confirmed--this was filmed in the Siletz Gorge.
Bob... it sure looked like the Siletz so that makes sense. And I do agree with you about the violations... Boise Cascade was the worse for violations on the North Fork... many times they completely ignored the "buffer" zone and cut right up next to the river. Boise Cascade sold all their timber holdings so I don't know who owns the upper river at this point.
I haven't been up the Siletz gorge in a couple of years and it sounds like Plum is now going crazy. Perhaps it is time to start screaming bloody murder but they'll just close down the road so we won't be able to see what damage they are continuing to do to the system.
I guess if they're killing steelhead, it doesn't make any difference if they close down their property to fishing or not. I have no idea who we notify of the regulation violations. The USFS is in the tree selling business on public lands so I doubt if they are the ones to contact. Did you take photos? Your post reads like you have some pretty good proof of violations so someone should be notified.
I am trying to upload the pics I took in February onto the Westfly--Siletz Clearcuts thread, but I'm struggling with iPhoto at the moment. Once I get that figured out, I'll post a link to the video and my own pics. In the meantime, the video is just so much better than what I came up with on my own.
In my ten years applying for and receiving forest harvest permits from the ODF, I was never turned down and rarely questioned. I believe I had buffer strips or road building checked maybe twice in ten years, so I'm pessimistic that any of the operations I'm observing now will get the state to stand up to the corporation. But I have a connection to this river and its fish that gets stronger as I watch the damage continue and increase--not trying to piss anyone off, just to do the right thing, forestry-wise. I just hope there are some articulate folks in the Salem-Corvallis area who might be inclined to speak truth to power in a reasonable way.
That isn't me! I say pretty much what I want so "a reasonable way" is not how I deal with the establishment. I was once called "counter productive" in my dealings with landowners and the right rights wars in Oregon.
I'm not really sure why the creator of the video doesn't make it overtly obvious what the devil river he is talking about and the name of the timber company.
??? what's up with that?
A few years ago, I was fishing on Soapstone Lake, whose creek drains into the North Fork Nehalem. I'd been visiting the lake since I was 14, and this time, the landscape all around had recently been clear-cut. Of course it looked terrible, but what are you going to do after the fact? Anyway, as I was fishing, a man and his young son arrived at the lake and also began to fish. We started talking, and he said he'd been a logger all his life, but after seeing what's been done the Soapstone Lake watershed, well, his voice trailed off, before he said he was ashamed to tell his son he was a logger after seeing what had been done.
Yes, this is an emotional reaction to a financial and ecological issue, but it appeared that, at least on that day, a logger had begun to ponder the ramifications of his and his fellow loggers' actions.
Gene, your point that clear-cutting makes the most money is in my opinion not why logging companies do it, but that it's the most efficient. Responsible woodlot practices would mean they'd cut this tree and not that tree, so they'd have to thread the fallen trees through live stands, which is difficult and time consuming. It's easier to drag it across a parking lot, which is more or less what a clear-cut is.
There will come a day when clear-cutting is no longer allowed, but I am sure I'll be able to buy weed at my local 7-11 before that happens. Priorities seem to be askew.
In the interest of full disclosure, I did, myself, log and build roads in the Siletz for several years in the '70's and I feel like there's a debt I need to acknowledge and pay back. I just don't have much experience as an activist or know what the best approach would be. I'm like Gene in that I get unreasonable about the abuse of rivers and about bad forestry.
My biggest beef with what's going on in the Siletz is rotation age (currently 30 years, which is not sustainable) and the amount of contiguous recent clear cut acres. We do know Plum Creek owns the gate and access up the gorge. But some ownership has changed in the last several years and I hesitate to name names at the risk of getting it wrong, which would be unfair. I wish the Great and Mighty Oz would speak about their plans and justifications.
Clear cutting does make the most money because it is the most efficient... as far as the timber companies are concerned. That's why they do it. It is easier and therefore more profitable. Hell with the forest and rivers. Whatever makes the most money is the key.
And the quicker they cut the trees, the least amount of time do they need loggers on the payroll. It would take much longer for selective cutting so they'd need to pay loggers longer.
This is why I say that profits is the reason for clear cutting. The quicker they can wipe out a forest, the more money they make.
Neat video. One would certainly hope that we are mending our ways... I think were are but perhaps not fast enough. We were fishing Georgetown Lake last July and watched a clear cut going on that was part of planned cultivation for the pine beetle (or some other pest). I was amazed just how fast those trees were coming down. If you ever feel the need to add some depression to your day, find some of the deforestation videos of the Amazon... well, that or a visit to our steelhead forum .