Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Beatty Creek, an imperiled legacy forest in the Capitol Hills
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NacMacFeegle
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NacMacFeegle
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PostSun Feb 06, 2022 3:03 pm 

I recently visited the big trees at the headwaters of Beatty Creek in the Capitol Hills. This valley represents one of the last pockets of older legacy forests left in the Capitol Hills, and includes some spectacular remnant old growth trees. It's possible to hike for miles around the basin and feel like you're deep in the wilderness.

Sadly the DNR has placed the majority of this irreplaceable forest on the chopping block as part of the Oracle and Smuggler timber sales. Smuggler was famous in the Seattle Times article a year ago, and part of that sale has been called off for the moment, yet that is only a very small part of the Beatty Creek legacy forest, and the rest of this place remains in danger of being clearcut.

There are only roughly 80,000 acres of legacy forests that naturally regenerated prior to 1945 remaining on our state lands - that's only 5% of our state forests, and DNR is targeting these forests in an attempt to wipe them out completely before the public realizes what's at stake. These older forests store more carbon, provide better wildlife habitat, are more resilient to fire, and better regulate regional temperatures and drought than do young, monocultural plantation forests. Furthermore, with our more well-known public lands becoming every more popular and crowded, our obscure and little visited state lands offer an opportunity to relieve some of the burden of visitation from national parks and wilderness areas.

Beatty Creek and our other legacy forests should be set aside and permanently protected. Please take a moment send comments supporting the preservation of Beatty Creek and our legacy forests to the WA DNR and our elected representatives.


Sculpin, dave allyn, RichP
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Pyrites
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PostWed Feb 09, 2022 6:57 pm 
What road number did you access from?

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NacMacFeegle
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PostThu Feb 10, 2022 4:38 pm 
Pyrites wrote:
What road number did you access from?

I accessed it via adjacent private property with the landowners permission. I haven't been in via DNR roads, but I think it's the C-9200 that'll get you there, or the B-8700 from the other side.

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NacMacFeegle
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PostThu Feb 10, 2022 8:16 pm 
I just got word that logging crews are setting up at Smuggler unit 2 (the north side of the valley). We probably won't be able to stop that unit from being logged, but we can at least send letters to Franz and the DNR asking them to halt the logging.

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Joey
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PostThu Feb 10, 2022 8:26 pm 
Map is centered on Beatty Creek.
Click on any black dash road and its attribute data will display.
The green overlay does not reflect the latest logging.

View larger size in new window

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treeswarper
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treeswarper
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PostSat Feb 12, 2022 9:04 am 
Verify the paint color.

I think, from seeing sales in this area, that the DNR uses blue paint to mark leave trees.  Have had timber fallers tell me that, because federal sales have cut trees marked with blue paint, and the fallers have to remember the difference.  Those big trees marked with blue paint are marked to leave--stay put.  Also, how about explaining about buffers that are required along creeks?  You video does none of this and implies that there will be no creek buffering.

Our state has the strictest forest practices laws in the nation.  The DNR has books explaining the rules.  I've got one.  You can get one too.

Do some more research please and be subjective.  Take some non-biased photos of the units after logging also.

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NacMacFeegle
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PostMon Feb 14, 2022 10:50 am 
treeswarper wrote:
I think, from seeing sales in this area, that the DNR uses blue paint to mark leave trees.  Have had timber fallers tell me that, because federal sales have cut trees marked with blue paint, and the fallers have to remember the difference.  Those big trees marked with blue paint are marked to leave--stay put.  Also, how about explaining about buffers that are required along creeks?  You video does none of this and implies that there will be no creek buffering. 

Most of the largest trees were not marked for exclusion or in leave tree areas. Also, those that are left after the surrounding forest is mowed down often die or are blown over. Stream buffers are also vulnerable to post-logging tree loss, and increased heat and altered hydrology that results from clearing older forests affects the watershed for decades afterward.

treeswarper wrote:
Our state has the strictest forest practices laws in the nation. 

Washington's forest practices laws only look good in comparison. Given that our forest practices laws are woefully inadequate and antiquated, it's disingenuous to praise them the "strictest in the nation", as if that somehow puts them beyond reproach.

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treeswarper
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PostMon Feb 14, 2022 6:01 pm 
You are making generalized statements.  What do the documents say?  And is it leave tree marked?  How many trees per acre are left?   And so forth.

Read up on stream buffering.  To me, your video is trying to leave the watcher thinking that the riparian areas will be cut.  That's not so.

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NacMacFeegle
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PostMon Feb 14, 2022 7:44 pm 
treeswarper wrote:
To me, your video is trying to leave the watcher thinking that the riparian areas will be cut.  That's not so.

The riparian areas will be damaged even though they won't be cut. Buffering reduces, but does not eliminate damage to streams. Buffers might be effective if DNR utilized selective harvest techniques rather than clearcutting, but as it is they prioritize short term profit over forest health, long term profit, and economic diversity. Beyond the obvious damages to riparian areas caused by blowdowns and runoff, you must also consider the reduction in moisture retention caused by logging, as well as the increase in local and regional temperatures, and of course the significant CO2 emissions resulting from logging older forests in particular and the indirect consequences this entails for streams and riparian areas.

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