AHSAHKA, Idaho – Logging activities throughout the month of May will mark the completion of a three-year active timber harvest effort at the Elk Creek Meadows Stewardship Project on Dworshak Reservoir, officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today.
This multi-year effort is designed to enhance wildlife habitat, reduce wildfire fuel loading, and create a seedbed for the regeneration of Ponderosa Pine and Western Larch.
Loggers began felling and sawing timber May 4 and are expected to complete the remaining one-million feet by May 27. Timberline Helicopters of Sandpoint, Idaho, will be yarding logs May 16 through June 17, weather permitting.
Logs from the Three Meadows area will be yarded across Dicks Creek to a landing on the north side of the drainage. For their safety, visitors to Dworshak are advised to maintain a minimum of a half-mile distance from the helicopter logging operation. All timber produced by the helicopter operation will be hauled out by truck on the Mason Butte Road.
An additional 150,000 board feet of timber will be yarded and hauled by Steve Henderson Logging of Lewiston, Idaho. Henderson’s logs will be hauled by truck out of Dworshak State Park. Visitors are cautioned to be aware of heavy logging traffic. Hauling will be restricted to Monday through Thursday, and signs will be posted when hauling begins.
This project began in early 2008 with the timber sale awarded to Idaho Forest Group (IFG) of Grangeville, Idaho. The project encompasses the area from Three Meadows Group Camp at Dworshak State Park to the mouth of Elk Creek with logging occurring on 800 of the 1,300 acre site.
Once completed, IFG will have delivered approximately five million board feet of timber to various mills throughout the region. Timber sale proceeds will be used to complete the stewardship mission of the project, which encompasses the ecological restoration of Ponderosa Pine ecosystems, including prescribed burning and pre-burning vegetation slashing.
"One really neat aspect of this project is the financial benefit it brings to Idaho's economy -- the sale purchaser is a sawmill in Grangeville, the primary logging contractor is from Lewiston, the helicopter contractor is from Sandpoint, and the contractor that will work with us after the logging is done to complete the prescribed burning is from right here in Orofino," said Bob Tardif, Dworshak Dam and Reservoir's forester. "So, the forest, the wildlife and the people will all see some direct benefits from this project."
This stewardship sale has been administered by the Bureau of Land Management’s Cottonwood Field Office with the cooperation of Potlatch Corporation, Idaho Department of State Lands, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho Parks and Recreation and private landowners.