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Forest In Focus

Jayson Jacoby/Baker City Herald file photo This view from the Lakes Lookout takes in Anthony Lake, right middle, and in the background much of the publicly owned forest included in the East Face project.

East Face Project In The Elkhorn Mountains: Forest Service proposes major timber sale, forest restoration work

By Jayson Jacoby

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The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is proposing one of its bigger timber sales in the past 25 years.

The East Face project is on the east slopes of the northern Elkhorn Mountains, mainly from the Anthony Lakes Highway north toward Ladd Canyon and the Grande Ronde Valley.

It includes about 48,000 acres of public land, mostly national forest, with about 1,200 acres of BLM ground.

County transfers land to Sumpter Valley Railroad

By Joshua Dillen

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Baker County commissioners on Wednesday approved the transfer of 54 acres of land to Sumpter Valley Railroad Restoration Inc. (SVRR). 

The company, which operates the steam-powered historic railroad in Sumpter Valley, requested the transfer of land at its McEwen Depot, about five miles southeast of Sumpter, in March.

At that time, public comments indicated positive support for the request, Baker County Parks Director Karen Spencer said.

Salvage logging possible

S. John Collins/Baker City Herald

Forest Service officials are asking the public for ideas about salvaging trees burned in this summer’s unprecedented wildfires in Baker County, as well as removing roadside trees that pose a danger.

The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is looking at options following the Cornet/Windy Ridge, Eldorado, Eagle Complex and Dry Gulch fires.

Combined those blazes burned more than 150,000 acres in Baker County, including about 48,725 acres on the Wallowa-Whitman. 


Class Cleans Up

S. John Collins / Baker City Herald Baker High School students Caistyn Brooks, right, and Tucker Foersterling remove the wood-plank siding from one of the buildings Monday.

BTI Students Tear Down Buildings On Contaminated Property

The weathered, wooden buildings that have occupied the east Baker City lot at 2430 Balm St. for more than 90 years have come down this week as part of an educational effort to clean up the contaminated site.

The work began Friday when two students from the Baker Technical Institute at Baker High School used pry bars and hammers to begin ripping nails and boards from two of the buildings. They worked alongside and under the guidance of their teacher, Megan Alameda, and volunteer Mike Aguirre.

Alameda is the instructor for the class titled “Environmental Science: Brownfield in Baker.” Aguirre, owner of My Little Woodshop in Baker City, has helped train the students and lead them in the first phase of the tear-down work in exchange for the usable salvaged weathered wood.

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