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Environment | Land

Feds Issue Plan To Cut National Forest Grand Firs

The Willowa-Whitman National Forest.

The Willowa-Whitman National Forest.

U.S. Forest Service

A tree-thinning project that intends to encourage the reintroduction of pine and conifers to an area of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest would involve the removal of grand firs.

The project is noteworthy because of an 18-year U.S. Forest Service plan which forbids the removal of live trees larger than 21 inches in diameter, something environmental groups support.

Baker City Herald reports the Snow Basin project would create 80 jobs: 46 in harvesting and 34 in noncommercial forest thinning.

Forest supervisor Monica Schwalbach says removing the grand firs would promote the forest’s characteristic species: ponderosa pines, tamaracks and aspens.

Schwalbach says Wallowa-Whitman intends to offer five timber sales in as many years. Combined, the sales would generate an estimated 48 million board-feet of material.

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