Santiam Pass (Ecology Tour)

June 13, 1992

As a US Forest Service employee, I am frequently asked questions about timber management practices as well as reforestation efforts on our National Forests. I thought an Obsidian hike with F.S. people who participate in land management decisions would provide a good opportunity for discussion and information sharing. Bob Obedzinski and Gene Skrine (both silviculturists at McKenzie Ranger District) and I planned a tour just a few miles west of the Santiam Pass in an area where some harvest activities have taken place in the last 25 years. The area contains a variety of timber stands ranging from Douglas fir to lodgepole pine, but unfortunately are very heavily infested with spruce budworm and several other diseases. Bob explained to us the growth cycle of the various forest diseases and the conditions necessary to spur outbreaks. He also explained the role of fungi in breaking down dead trees and recycling nutrient into the soil. We took about six miles to cover a five-mile loop. Rain fell earlier in the morning, but we had pleasant weather during our walk. My thanks to Bob and Gene for organizing the tour. Obsidian participants were Ray Jensen, Ed Lichtenstein, Glenn Mears, Virginia Prouty, Andy Thompson and leader Dave Predeek.

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