Logging vernacular is rife with euphemisms. Under adaptive management, clearcuts masquerade as thinning. My favorite term is applied ecology, wherein a run-of-the-mill clearcut mimics a cataclysmic event, such as the eruption of Mount St. Helens.
To this skeptic, the removal of non-native and disease-prone trees would imply Douglas fir are not endemic to the Bear Creek drainage. Poppycock. I would submit that the harvest targeted Douglas fir for removal because this specie had been infested, and its annual growth stunted by Swiss needle cast. Also, by pure coincidence, the Douglas fir are the highest value tree in any watershed.
Of course, all this is unadorned conjecture on my part, because I will never learn all the facts by reading The Daily Astorian, where it was reported with unblinking guile that the “thinning” really wasn’t about the money (“Astoria keeps close eye on timber in Bear Creek watershed,” The Daily Astorian, Aug. 29).
Also, many thanks to Bud Henderson for his letter, “Watershed thinning” (The Daily Astorian, Sept. 15). In a few paragraphs, I learned more about the Astoria watershed and growth and volumes as these measures apply to commercial harvests than I did in the entire article of Aug. 29. I have been called by many names, but never a casual observer.