Starker Forest & Mary’s Peak
July 11, 2000
Departing VRC at 8:00 a.m., we traveled to the office of TJ. Starker in Philomath, where Forester Dick Powell joined us. Dick took us to the company’s timber holdings near Blodgett, where we walked the half-mile loop trail, positioned to observe different tracts in various growth stages. Our guide’s presentation was informative, enlightening and educational. Seedling preparation, soil studies, thinning and replanting were among several modern techniques utilized in maintaining a healthy second growth forest. Forest practices and silviculture have come a long way from the old cut and run concept. We lunched at the site and reboarded the big bus for an adventure over narrow, winding, twisting old logging roads including a section over an old railroad grade. We gave our plaudits to our very competent driver, Darryl Whitaker of Oregon Coachways, who met the challenge of traversing these very difficult roads.
Founder T.J. Starker was a 1910 forestry graduate from Oregon Agricultural College and was a professor and Dean of Forestry there from 1922-42, when he retired to devote full time to his new business. An experimental field forester, he had the vision that logged off cut-over land would one day be of value. He gave up his love of teaching to put that vision into a risky venture. The family continues to operate this private company in a most responsible way. We were impressed with their progressive concepts and understanding of the needs of protecting the environment in a for-profit enterprise. The book “The Legacy of T.J. Starker” by Jim Fisher will be placed in our library at the Lodge.
We returned Dick to his Philomath office with our deep appreciation for a great outing. Then on to Mary’s Peak where the wildflowers were abundant but the view not so good because of haze in the Valley. Several of us hiked to the summit. We concluded a wonderful day in the temperate rain forest of the Coast Range, returning via Decker Road and Hwy. 99-W to Eugene by 5:30.
Riders were: Ethel Allen, Ewart Baldwin, Mary Lee Cheadle, Bette Hack, Dora Hams, Evelyn Hile, Mary Ann Holzer, Rosella Jones, Ben Kirk, Gloria Layden, Dodie Leppmann, Joyce MIxer, Rosemary Mason, Edna Robertson, Dick & Janet Speelman, Kathleen Schlenker, Rebecca Schneider, Millard Thomas and Jean & Ray Jensen (leader).