Seneca Jones Timber Company discusses logging plans

The company and the Bureau of Land Management have recently come under fire from activist groups who have said they plan to clear cut an area of land in the Thurston Hills.

Posted: Apr 19, 2019 11:54 PM
Updated: Apr 22, 2019 10:49 AM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- Environmental activist groups and Thurston area residents have voiced their concerns about a timber sale in Springfield, and the company that bought that timber is speaking out.

"I do know that we're going to adhere to the plan that the BLM gave us," said Casey Roscoe with Seneca Jones Timber Company. "So, we're harvesting per their instructions."

Roscoe said that plan consists of what is called a regeneration harvest of about 100 of the nearly 400 acres that Seneca purchased from the Bureau of Land Management through their winning bid of just over $1 million.

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She said that harvest will be in patches of the area with hundreds of trees untouched in the harvest areas.

"That means those trees left behind are specifically left behind to re-seed the area," Roscoe said. "To regenerate."

She said because of the Douglas Firs that are in the area, a simple thinning wouldn't have been possible.

"So, they're leaving enough space for those trees to be able to thrive, and for those older trees to re-seed the area," Roscoe said.

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This property is adjacent to the Willamalane Thurston Hills Natural Area, and Willamalane's Superintendent Michael Wargo said this harvest will benefit recreation as well.

"The plan all along was to continue our trails and the fact that on the BLM property, as soon as this regeneration harvest is complete, that we will be working with them to develop another eight and a half miles of trails," Wargo said. "I think that's pretty awesome for our community and everything that that's going to be able to bring to the region."

Thurston Hills resident Kebrhea Cuellar said she and other residents are against this harvest.

"Go far away from a community where people are not going to be impacted, wildlife is not going to be impacted, the stability of a very unstable hill, very unstable, is not going to be impacted," Cuellar said.

Roscoe said crews will be in the project area improving forest roads relatively soon and their harvest won't start for at least another year.

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