Archive for January, 2014


Site exploration in SE corner around Sunset Point

MONITOR: 1.5 hours: 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Scoped out SE corner of the property, assessing stand quality and treatment options.

Walked throughout the SE corner of the property, up through the horizontal hemlock thicket, out to the spectacular Sunset Point, then on up the southern property line to the monument marker at the SE corner. This was the first time exploring this area, and I wanted to get a good sense what’s involved with restoring the southern end of Eastern Wedge unit. It is so thick with small downed trees, that it is pointless to walk through without a chainsaw blazing in front of you. However, once this stuff is slashed to the ground, there appear to be plenty of robust, upright specimens to create a fine stand. The hemlocks in the extreme upper SE corner appear to have suffered less top-damage as the ones below. Some easy cleanup in the partially-harvested Sunset View promontory will make this a “go-to” destination, with a commanding view to the NW across lower Willapa Bay and Long Island. All the property lines in this area are essentially roughed-out trails following abundantly and brightly blazed trees, so there is no question as to where the boundary lies. There is also a monument marker in the SE corner (rather loose in the ground).








Sunset Point in the SE corner, looking NW over Clearwater Creek drainage, Willapa Bay and Long Island.

A remnant stand of hemlock and cedar provide the backdrop to this expansive promontory. A 6 year-old clearcut falls off down the slope in front, and a 16 year-old regenerated forest (native hemlock overtaking the planted Doug Fir) rises up the hill to the right (not pictured).


Trail carving in Eastern Wedge unit

TRAILS: 1 hour: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Started carving Eastern Hill trail (southern section) in Eastern Wedge unit #5.

Carved about 35 feet of East Hill Trail in Eastern Wedge unit #5, starting from the south end near the clearcut. More difficult cutting here with lots of hemlock and alder roots – sometimes the best tool is the hand saw to carve through the duffy soil and the roots all at once. Even though it produced a respectable trail grade, I may de-prioritize carving this section of trail because it is a good candidate for an official road extension from the High Landing. This extension would continue at a roughly level grade across a naturally established bench to provide the only viable access to the roadless Eastern Wedge unit. A small excavator would make the task much easier, and with a more enduring result.


Trail carving on West Ridge

TRAILS: 4.75 hours: 1:00 PM to 5:45 PM

Started carving West Ridge trail (middle section) in North Side unit #2.

Trail carving on West Ridge – north side of the creek: completed 240 feet in the middle section, starting from just below the steep upward bend (which I may re-route), down to the indentation from the side-stream to the east, where it levels out. Created a smooth “ribbon” throughout this length of trail, with just one steep section having old stump roots acting as steps. Cut the humps and filled the dips, aiming for a level cross-section. Also dug up several hemlock seedlings, evergreen huckleberry and false azalea that were in the trail route, hauled them back for transplanting at the farm.








Before and After: West Ridge trail looking east towards the lone cedar.

Only some slight carving here, some ferns and tree seedlings removed.









Before and After: West Ridge trail looking SW along ravine indent.

Some serious cut and fill here, big stump removal, lots of brush and seedlings to pull. Salvaged some Evergreen Huckleberry, False Azalea and some nice hemlock starts for transplanting back at Wild Thyme Farm.