July 1 implementation of the Catherine Creek Stewardship Contract will begin.
Implementation of the project will include mechanical thinning, roadwork, and the use of helicopters in the upper Catherine and Major Creek area.
This project is part of a larger landscape restoration strategy that includes several approaches to restore the ecosystem.
The goal is to restore the ecosystem by releasing oak trees that have been overtopped by Douglas fir trees and allow them to grow. The forest service wants to reduce the immediate risk of high intensity wildfires in the area.
Other benefits include reducing the risk of bark beetle tree mortality and improving the growing conditions for large legacy ponderosa pine trees. Past treatments have included different types of tree thinning and pile burning. We will also use prescribed burning in the future.
Access to the area will not be affected by the implementation of the project. However, visitors to the area should expect to see helicopters, logging equipment, and trucks in the area.
Activities are expected to last through August and continue over the next several years.
For more information on this project visit www.fs.fed.us/r6/columbia.