The merchantable timber species found in the timber
sale area located in the north coast region include Western hemlock,
Western red cedar, amabilis fir, Sitka spruce, yellow cedar and
cottonwood. These forests are very old with a large majority of
the stands being over 280 years (North Coast LRMP Current Conditions
All harvesting to date has been of old growth forest,
with there being no experience in the district of harvesting second
growth stands (North Coast LRMP Current Conditions Report 2001).
As noted in the LRMP report, most of the harvesting occurs in low
elevation forests in the Coastal Western Hemlock zone.
In the isolated valleys, harvesting operations are
most often accessed from the water, with licensees preferring to
harvest small drainages in a single pass, harvesting both sides
of the valleys to reduce the high costs of operating in these remote
areas (North Coast LRMP Current Conditions Report 2001).
The rugged terrain of this region further complicates
the use of conventional logging practices. Because of this rugged
terrain, most harvesting is done by hand felling trees and extracting
them with the use of conventional (non-aerial) systems such as cable
systems (83%) and helicopters (17%). However, by far the greatest
proportion of harvesting occurs using clearcutting regimes (North
Coast LRMP Current Conditions Report 2001).
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The History of Forest Use