The Oregonian, Portland, OR., December 12, 1965, page 46
Includes three photographs.
One was titled: FROM THIS forested hillside on the 100,000-acre St. Regis Tree Farm, nestled on the rim on the Glenwood Basin, Mt. Adams is seen rising an imposing 10,000 feet above the valley. The forest scene is as spectacular today as it was when selective logging began. Trees were cultivated as a crop beginning in 1939.
One was titled: RESIDENT MANAGER Ward Smith and Forest Manager George Herion study this Ponderosa pine before making decision to mark for harvesting or leave standing for the next time around. This tree will remain in the stand to provide seed for regeneration and will continue its growth and be merchantable at the next harvest. This is one of the fastest growing Ponderosa stands in the country.
One was titled: ALL SIGN'S of the selective logging operation have disappeared as undergrowth covers stumps and the grove takes on a park-like appearance. Initial harvest improved wildlife habitat and recreational uses. Soil and water protection is assured by the remaining stand. Area produces 60 million board feet of timber a year.
SELECTIVE CUTTING PLAN SPURS TIMBER GROWTH
KLICKITAT, Wash. (Special) - A milestone in forest land
management is taking place here in the western pine timber country of Klickitat,
A selective logging program that began in 1939 came full cycle when St. Regis logging crews made the second largest of merchantable timber on part of their 100,000-acre tract.
The second time around was a long time coming. In between, there were 26 years of changes and innovations in forest management. A different kind of success story was in the making during this era when the steam locomotive and the crosscut gave way to diesel trucks and the powersaw.
This transition was more than a physical change. It was the dawning of a new concept in total land management.
In 1938, the Klickitat operation of the J. Neils Lumber Company was at the crossroads of decision. The four sons of founder Julius Neils -- Paul, Gerhard, George and Walter -- were faced with charting the future course of the business.
For two years they had been researching, with the aid of state and federal agencies, the economic feasibility of sustained forest production on the lands within the Klickitat River drainage.
When they had reviewed all the research data, the decision was announced. "The trees of Klickitat will no longer be mined but, instead, will be cultivated as a crop."
A lot of water has roared down the Klickitat since that decision was made. Today, Elmer Lofgren, chief forester for the J. Neils Klickitat operations of the St. Regis Co., walks through the forests where he marked the trees for the first harvesting 26 years ago.
"This is the fastest growing Ponderosa pine stand in the country," Lofgren said, "and it still as beautiful as when we first started selective logging."
Ward Smith, resident manager, steps out of the St. Regis office, and heads down the main street which makes a wide bend by the old depot and leads past a row of trim white houses. By the bridge at the street's end, Smith turns and looks back toward the mill. It is a small town, mostly a company-owned town, and most definitely a proud town, Smith said.
"The J. Neils management objective in 1938 was to provide a sustained supply of wood from its private holdings, supplementing the allowable cut from the Yakima Indian Reservation, the State of Washington Department of Natural Resources and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, to maintain the mill at a stable production level and support the economy of the area," Smith said.
"When St. Regis took over the ownership in 1957, it continued that policy. A record of practically uninterrupted employment of over 300 persons in Klickitat and Glenwood is about the same work force employed when selective cutting was started," Smith said.
Production has increased from 40 to 60 million board feet during that time and the company's timber land holdings have doubled to 100,000 acres. Greater utilization of the resources and improved access to previously inoperable areas contributed to the increased production.
George Herion, Klickitat forest manager for St. Regis, roams the 100,000-acre tree farm coordinating all the activities from tree election to snaking the harvested trees to the loading area and log delivery to the mill pond. "Selective logging in Ponderosa pine requires intensive forest management," Harry and said. "Actually it goes beyond standard management. The forester must manage each tree."
When the Klickitat program started in 1939, much of the stand in the original 50,000 acres was in 300 year-old trees. In the first harvesting, 20 percent of the trees in the stand -- half of the wood volume -- was cut. On the second time around, an average of 3 trees per acre will be harvested -- representing 60 percent of the standing volume of the residual old growth.
While the original stand averaged 12,500 board feet per acre, its growth rate was at standstill or even declining due to the high mortality rate of mature trees. On the second time around, the volume per acre will be around 8,000 and 9,000 board feet.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer