WOLF CREEK, Ore. — The Douglas Complex aftermath is beginning to surface, and private land owners, animals, and communities are feeling the effects.
“We have all taken a hit somewhere, somehow,” said private land owner John West.
He has yet determine how much of his land got burnt during the wildfire, but knows it did not go untouched. He plans on retrieving the dead trees and sending them to the mill, while he replants new ones in their place. He said he hopes the state government steps in and assists land owners effected by the wildfire, but if they do not, he has to pay for the repairs out of his own pocket.
While he is allowed to clean-up and clear out his land, the surrounding land is government owned. The Bureau of Land Management is already having meeting, where they are discussing the timber salvage process.
“I would estimate 100,000 board feet potentially available, and I haven’t looked in depth what we have for salvage and how it would cost out financially, but I imagine it would be a pretty sizable chunk of change,” said Grants Pass Forest Manager Vince Randall.
According to Randall, most of the land burnt by the wildfire is O&C or Matrix land. If the timber is salvaged on this land, the money earned goes to the counties where the fire burned.
“It will help the libraries. It will help the senior programs. It will help obviously the law enforcement, the jail. There are a lot of places where timber receipts have benefited in the past,” said Randall.
According to BLM, if plans go accordingly, they will start salvaging trees cut for fire line construction within the next 30 days. From there they plan to start salvaging from the Dad’s Creek fire. The Rabbit Mountain fire sits on Federal Reserve land, and according to Randall will be more difficult to salvage due to environmental restraints.
“The environmental community I’m sure will weigh in heavily on the salvage opportunities, and it’s going to take a collaborative effort from the timber industry, the federal government, and the environmental communities to try to do the best job we can to satisfy the needs of many,” said Randall.