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Tree thinning and harvest for forest health at two King County sites on Vashon-Maury Island

Summary

To help grow healthier forests, King County will selectively thin 38 acres of young, over-crowded Douglas fir trees, and also to harvest 20 acres of mature and dying alder trees from the 409-acre Island Center Forest on Vashon Island. In addition, 55 acres of overcrowded Douglas fir trees will be thinned at Dockton Forest on Maury Island.

Story

To help grow healthier forests, King County will selectively thin 38 acres of young, over-crowdedicf_equestrians_rsz Douglas fir trees, and also harvest 20 acres of mature and dying alder trees from the 409-acre Island Center Forest on Vashon Island. In addition, 55 acres of overcrowded Douglas fir trees will be thinned at Dockton Forest on Maury Island.

The work is scheduled to get under way at Island Center Forest in early July and will continue at Dockton Forest through most of August. King County awarded the logging contract for both sites to Erickson Logging, Inc. of Gig Harbor.

The sale of the trees will generate an estimated $100,000 that King County will use for ongoing forestland management.

In order to protect public safety, trails in or leading to active harvest and thinning areas will be closed to public access. The location and duration of these trail closures will be posted at trailheads and appropriate trail intersections. All other trails in the two forests will remain open to the public.

The main goal of the tree-removal work is to improve forest health and increase future biodiversity. Thinning trees increases the growth rate of the most desirable, large trees, and it increases the forest’s value as fish and wildlife habitat.

Replacing the harvested trees with cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir seedlings, which King County will do early next year, further enhances the forest’s biodiversity.

Island Center Forest is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as a sustainably managed forest – the nation’s most demanding forest-certification program. The certification means trees harvested from the forest can carry the FSC label, a voluntary, market-based system similar to organic certification for farmers or food processors.

For more information about the thinning and harvest work, contact Bill Loeber, at 206-423-4565, or bill.loeber@kingcounty.gov. For general information about trails on Vashon-Maury Island, contact Scott Snyder at 206-618-4036, or scott.snyder@kingcounty.gov.