Thursday, December 29, 2011

More on the Logging at Farragut

I received another email concerning the logging that is occurring in Farragut State Park. I am not a reporter not am I an editor. I volunteered to post this information because we should be upset by the methods that are being used for "thinning" of Farragut. Paul Chesney gave me permission to post his letter: Norma Jean
"Last Monday afternoon, 12/26/11, when driving in the Park just before Whitetail Campground along the South Rd. planning to take my usual hike from the docks east along the upper trail above the lake, I saw a pile of about 14 or 15 feet wide and 6 feet high of recently felled smaller logs, along the south edge of South Rd. in front of some heavy logging equipment, and I stopped to take a closer look.

It may have been that the smaller logs piled in front of the equipment clearly visible to traffic was intended to suggest to the public the thinning of the smaller overcrowded bull pine as has been done along much of South Rd.

However, behind the logging equipment, in an area just now being logged, were numerous large felled Douglas fir logs ready for hauling out of the Park measuring in the range of 19", 22", 17", 21" etc.

Hiking further back from there towards the path that leads to a clearing into the west side of Whitetail Campground about 300 yards in and starting at a point where the Linx trail leaves the trail into Whitetail, are numerous large Douglas fir that have just been felled and limbed. This is in an area off to the left of the trail. The area (so far) covers roughly 6 to 8 acres. Random diameter measurements for these show: 17", 11", 17", 12", 10", 15", 14", 20", 15", 10", 18", 13", 14".

Only a small number of the big standing trees in this area remain. The area here still had fresh limbs covering much of the ground. Numerous piles of these larger logs are scattered throughout the area and were also ready to be hauled back to South Rd. where the heavy equipment was parked.

Park and Rec. or Fish and Game will tell us they are just thinning this area of Farragut and will undoubtedly downplay the aesthetic damage we see and the harm to the existing wildlife and will say that the “thinning” is necessary to lessen the possibility of the spread of forest fires or wildfires within the park

There are two kinds of thinning, however; one which is, I believe, legitimate: that is, thinning out the smaller, stunted, dry, overcrowded growth that occurs when years ago, virtually all the trees germinated at essentially the same time. They are far more vulnerable to the initiation or spread of fire. In Farragut, this kind of thinning has been accomplished in various areas of the park and is especially noticeable along some of the main roads.

The second kind of thinning, I believe, is not legitimate; it is a process where the underlying motive in most cases is ultimately for profit. It involves (1) removing most or all of the brush and smaller trees within a stand of large, mature trees, as well as (2) "thinning" the large, mature trees and leaving only a smattering of them within the logged area.

Park management, will justify this kind of “thinning” by using the well worn argument that the danger of wildfires is reduced when enough of these trees are logged so that the tops or crowns of the trees has sufficient space between them. This is a bogus explanation and simply not true for a variety of reasons.

Significantly more sunlight is allowed in these logged, “thinned”, areas. As a consequence, drier conditions soon result, and within a relatively short period of time the loss in the ground cover and habitat for both plant and animal is quite dramatic. Moss and lichen that were present before, rotted logs that had served as shelter and habitat for smaller animals and birds, and much of the ground cover will dry up in what once was a shadier, cooler, environment.

Those areas in the Park with the larger, mature trees clearly should be left alone."

Paul Chesney

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Odds and Ends

I noticed an article in the Coeur d’ Alene Press dated December 24, 2011.  Seems there is a thief or thieves taking items out of mail boxes.  While visiting my friends on Parks Road for a fantastic Christmas dinner, a tradition we have enjoyed for several years, the same subject came up.  Seems there is the same thing occurring in the rural area of Athol.  Opened mail has been found opened and  lying on the ground.  The authorities were called but no report was taken.  Guess the folks living in the country are not as important as those living in the city!  Hmm. Watch your mail boxes.  Times are tough.

Well the election occurred without incident for the Chamber of Commerce.  After last year’s staggering attendees, the 8 that showed up for the meeting decided to vote for the slate of officers’.  So, Norma jean was elected as the Member at Large, Vic Woolever as Vice President, and Ken Saunders will continue as the Treasurer.  The ensuing months will be interesting and Norma Jean obviously ignored the threat to stay out of the local politics.

Dean greeted me with the statement “since you are the one who does all of the baking …” On Saturday I made the traditional cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning, as well as a small apple pie and two pumpkin swirl cheesecakes.  Dean’s job was to make the family Christmas Eve dish of Duppa.  My family was Swedish and my memories were having a cup of coffee (with lots of milk) and fresh out of the oven cinnamon rolls after we arrived at Grandmother’s house in Buhl Minnesota.  Duppa was a soup made from the drippings of the various roasts that were made in preparation for Christmas Day, a day by the way that was considered holy.  The broth has various sausages as well, crusty fresh bread was served, rice pudding, and for dessert we always had apple pie.  While we were eating Santa would bring our presents, Christmas Eve dinner was always served in the kitchen.  Santa needed the privacy of the living room.  After dinner we opened our presents.

This is a tradition that has been carried on with our family and our children.

We did not travel to see our children this year but I keep getting messages from my daughter about how she really misses not having us around for Christmas, actually I think they all miss the baking I do for the holiday.

We hope that everyone had a blessed Christmas with your family.

Next is the tradition we picked up while in Georgia – black-eyed peas, collard greens, southern corn bread and ham hocks!

Chipmunk escaped again this evening, she runs around in a 5 acre radius. She eventually decided to walk back home with me. She is not dangerous just likes to take herself for a run upon occasion. We cannot seem to break her of this bad habit. So if you should happen to see a white Siberian Husky someday just tell her to go home. She is a wonderful dog, just likes her freedom upon occasion!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Farragut Logging

After several conversation and permission from Harvey Brannigan I am posting this letter that has been sent out via email. I felt the subject warranted a closer view:

"Farragut State Park
There are many wonderful ways to spend a day in northern Idaho and a trip to Farragut State Park is certainly among them. We don’t need Frederick Olmstead to design a Central Park for us. Mother Nature did all the heavy lifting. Farragut is truly a unique place. It is both beautiful and historic.
I was troubled recently when my wife and I were hiking near Blackwell Point, one of our favorite vantage points for viewing Lake Pend’Oreille. A large “swat” had been clear cut below the lookout and continued toward the cabins just beyond the Willow day use area.
I had been told that the area might be thinned in a manner similar to that which recently happened in other parts of the park. I expect to see the area “thinned” with the larger trees left standing. This was not the case. Every tree had been cut and removed.
I am not averse to logging. I am concerned, however, when the Park’s beauty is degraded and the ecosystem currently home to dozens of seasonal eagles is disturbed so that Idaho Fish and Game can generate revenue from their property.
I am aware that IF&G is funded solely by the licenses they sell with no moneys coming from the Idaho State general funds. They are desperate to generate revenues but there are prescriptions and directives regarding logging practices within the park. Wouldn’t it have been “nice” if IF&G followed these prescriptions?
Wouldn’t it be “nice” if there were a citizens committee composed of people interested in park related issue? The committee needn’t have any binding capacity but could exist strictly to discuss the publically owned park openly so that we can eliminate the need for any further litigation which only harm all parties and certainly make future events more dubious?
If you are concerned about Farragut State Park please go and see the sight that is currently being logged by IF&G near Blackwell Point and/or contact the following people list below with your opinion(s).
Harvey Brannigan
Call or email:
Terry McDermott – Panhandle Regional Commissioner
Sharon Kiefer – Boise Deputy Director (programs and policies)
Chip Corsi – Supervisor IF&G
David Leptich – Regional Wildlife Habitat Biologist
Randall Butt – Farragut State Park Manager

Norma Jean

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thoughts and Ramblings

December 17, 2011
This is the time of year when we all reflect on the previous year’s happenings.  This is also the time of year when we can help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.  Typically Dean and I write a short note to include with our Christmas cards letting all of our friends know what we have or have not been up to the past year.

I have been spending time while driving listening to CD’s produced by a well-known pastor from Texas.  This is unusual for me.  The CD’s were shared with me by a friend that I have known since coming to Bayview.  This morning occupation sets the tone for my day.

I got to thinking about Bayview and the beautiful small town where I live and wondered if everyone who lives here were first passionate about the place they lived?  I know I am passionate about my surroundings.  I enjoy this small mountain community and relish the surrounding beauty.  Where did your passion wander off to?  We all came here believing that this has to be the best place on earth to live.  What happened to us?

Last year around this same time the community came together to provide support for a family that experienced, some have said a tragic blow, I feel that a better word is horrifying, the incident has had far reaching ramifications for Yvonne and her family as well as the Bayview community.   While we were in Virginia visiting family, locals gathered together to support the Wallis/Heath family, one member of that family died because of the violence of that momentous day.  Throughout this past year members of the community have continued to pour out support and concern for Yvonne.  I believe each one of us should be proud of what was accomplished.  Bayview has the ability as a community to be great.

One member of the community has provided transportation for Yvonne back and forth from Bayview to Seattle.  Others have donated tires, time, and money to help alleviate some of the pain that the family is trying to re-cover from.

My husband and I helped gather canned goods for the Athol Food bank; others have donated to other causes and concerns.  We are a generous and giving community.

A luncheon has been started to help those in the community who need a hot meal.  LOU has recently been censured. I find no valid reason to harass or censure the folks doing LOU.

Why is it necessary to attack those who are trying to bring back a sense of community?  Who cares about who eats these meals?  Why is it necessary to foster ill will and negativity?
I have loved Bayview and still do.  To all of those who have so generously given time or money, may God bless you for your generosity.  You deserve His blessings