AHSAHKA, Idaho – As the Corps of Engineers Ahsahka Timber Sale progresses west toward the town of Ahsahka, Idaho, several recreation areas and roads will need to be temporarily closed to facilitate the harvest.
Starting as early as Feb. 18th the Bruce’s Eddy Recreation Area, the Ahsahka Ridge Trail, and the A-road will be closed said Lead Ranger Gus Garbe, “though we fully expect these facilities to re-open well before the spring recreation season gets rolling.”
Signs will be posted at along Hwy 7 and the A-road. There will be logging trucks and equipment in and around the area near the Ahsahka bridge and the Dworshak National Hatchery. Corps officials urge drivers to slow down and use extra caution in this area during this time.
Dworshak Dam and Reservoir is surrounded by more than 29,000 acres of federally managed land. Maintaining a healthy forest is important for wildlife recreation and forest health. The timber for sale will be located near Dworshak Dam. The sale is designed to thin the dense forest stands creating openings for wildlife, reduce forest fuels and return the forest to a more natural condition.
Big Eddy Boat ramp will remain open for lake users to access Dworshak Reservoir during the sales.
“The primary objective of this sale is to restore the forest to an expected condition had wildfire not been removed from the landscape over the past 100 years. Typically the forests surrounding Dworshak Dam and Reservoir would have experienced cool underburns approximately every seven to 25 years,” Garbe said. “Without fire on the landscape, less fire-tolerant trees survived, creating an unbalanced, overstocked, unnatural forest condition. Trees in an overstocked forest can become stressed for space, nutrients and water, creating conditions in which diseases and insects can thrive.”
“The logging contractors will thin the dense forest stands creating openings and reducing forest fuels. This is very important for public safety and the adjacent communities of Orofino and Ahsahka, because this forest is overstocked,” Garbe said.
Detailed information about the timber sale, including maps, is available on the Walla Walla District website at http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Locations/District-Locks-and-Dams/Dworshak-Dam-and-Reservoir/Dworshak-Forest-Management/.