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Recovery Act grant funds forest health project in Tillamook State Forest
Photo of an uprooted tree suffering from laminated root rot
Laminated root rot-affected uprooted tree
For immediate release
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November 20, 2009
Contact: Mitch Taylor, 503-357-2191
 
 
A $68,000 forest health improvement project began Nov. 17 on the Tillamook State Forest in northwestern Oregon. The funding came through a grant provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The thinning work aims to improve forest health by increasing tree vigor and treating a root disease. It will take place on nine different units in Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Forest Grove District totaling 800 acres.
 
Three Brothers Reforestation, Inc. of Independence, Oregon has been selected through a competitive bidding process to carry out the thinning project. A 10- to 12-person crew will be engaged throughout much of the two-month endeavor.
 
"We selected the treatment units by tree age and stand density. Trees lose vigor and natural mortality occurs when there is too much competition for limited light, nutrients and moisture," ODF forester Mitch Taylor said. "We have the added benefit of being able to treat laminated root rot in the thinning process and manipulate the mix of tree species, increasing structural and tree species diversity for wildlife habitat."
 
A naturally occurring fungal infection, laminated root rot retards tree growth and in some instances causes tree death.
 
Douglas-fir is the primary tree species in the treatment sites, but several other conifer and hardwood species are also found there. In units infected with root rot, workers will favor leaving resistant and immune species, such as cedar and red alder, to prevent further spread.
 
The small diameter of the wood to be harvested precludes commercial sale. And the rugged terrain of the work sites, coupled with the long distances to biomass facilities, makes transportation of the material for conversion to electricity economically unfeasible. Instead, the woody waste will be left on the ground, where it will provide habitat for wildlife and eventually decay, returning nutrients to the soil.
 
If heavy snowfall shuts down the operation this winter, the contract allows for Three Brothers to complete it as late as May 2010.

Photo of a stand of trees showing mortality in the foliage of one due to laminated root rot
Laminated root rot-affected tree foliage
The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region awarded the Recovery Act grant to ODF. The $1 million grant is for forest health thinning on five western Oregon districts, with $68,000 drawn from it for this project on the Forest Grove District. In total, 5,420 acres will be treated on the Astoria, Tillamook, Forest Grove, West Oregon, and Coos districts.
 
More information on Oregon Department of Forestry Recovery Act projects can be found at: www.oregon.gov/odf. For information on all Recovery Act projects being administered by Oregon State Government agencies, go to the Oregon Way website, www.oregon.gov/recovery/index.page.
 
Contractors desiring to bid on other Recovery Act-funded ODF projects are encouraged to go to the Oregon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN) Internet site, http://orpin.oregon.gov/open.dll/welcome.
 
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Editor/News Director: High-resolution photos of trees with laminated root rot disease are available. Contact Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425, rnichols@odf.state.or.us.