BAKER CITY — In late June, the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest successfully auctioned two timber sales totaling 18.2 million board-feet, supporting communities, livelihoods and forest restoration in Eastern Oregon.

The two sales will involve more 3,000 acres of selective harvest as part of two larger projects covering a total of 64,582 acres. By reducing fuels and unhealthy forest stand density, these sales will improve forest resilience to uncharacteristic fires, insects and disease. All projects on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest must be consistent with the 1990 Forest Plan. Without an amendment to the Plan, timber harvest is limited to trees less than 21 inches in diameter, among other standards and guidelines.

Boise Cascade Wood Products is the apparent high bidder for the Dean Timber Sale, located near Phillips Reservoir on the Whitman Ranger District in Baker County. Iron Triangle is the apparent high bidder for the Dutch Timber Sale, located along Forest Service Road 4330 on the La Grande Ranger District in Union County. Official award of the timber sale contracts is expected this summer.

“The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest is committed to supporting a sustainable timber industry, which plays a valuable role in restoring the health and resilience of these forests,” said Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya. “These two sales are supporting jobs and incomes in Eastern Oregon communities while supplying renewable resources to the American people.”

The Dean and Dutch sales represent 70% of the Wallowa-Whitman’s planned timber sale program for fiscal year 2019. Harvest activities from previous timber sales are already active in the Little Dean and East Face project areas. Once contracts are awarded, the purchasers will have five years to complete timber harvest and related activities. This includes 73 miles of forest road reconstruction and maintenance in the project areas, along with culvert replacements where necessary. 

“With the average 2,000-square-foot house containing about 16,000 board-feet of timber products, these sales represent enough timber to frame more than 1,000 homes,” Silviculture and Timber Program Manager Matthew Bailey said. 

Stumpage proceeds of $602,000 will fund restoration activities in the project areas, including non-commercial fuels reduction, noxious weed removal, and replanting fire-resilient native trees.

For more information, contact the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest supervisor’s office at 541-523-6391.

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