[4/12/22] Mission Restoration Project Starting

Posted in Environment

Work on the Mission Restoration Project, which encompasses approximately 50,200 acres within the Twisp River and Lower Methow River watersheds, will start this spring.

Our friends at the Methow Valley News reported that the Methow Valley Ranger District scheduled a virtual open house on Tuesday (April 5) to share information and a timeline for implementation for work planned for this season and beyond. Details will be available in next week’s Methow Valley News.

Hampton Lumber placed a successful bid for the timber sale last year. A Hampton Lumber representative was slated to participate in the open house to provide information about their schedule for logging operations, related road work, and what to expect during operations.

The Mission project design was based on a new restoration strategy developed in 2012 for the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This is the first project to implement the strategy, which calls for treating large landscapes with the goal of returning dry forests to conditions that make them better able to survive wildfire, insects, disease and climate change.

The Mission project has attracted considerable public interest since it was proposed in 2016. Implementation was delayed by litigation over its potential impact on endangered species. A judge agreed that the agency had fulfilled its obligation to protect wildlife and the environment and dismissed the suit last year. The agency put the timber sale out for bids in 2018 and 2019, but it drew no responses until last year.

To develop the project, the ranger district partnered with the North Central Washington Forest Health Collaborative, which represents diverse groups with interests in forests, including tribes, environmental organizations and timber companies.