- What kind of permits are available for Starker Forests property and how do I get one?
- When are the different hunting seasons and what should I do to be able to hunt on Starker Forests Inc. property?
- Where can I go to hike or bike?
- Can I ride my motorcycle or four-wheeler on Starker Forests land?
- What are the pros and cons of fire?
- Does Starker Forests manage its forestlands sustainably?
- What kinds of wildlife live in Starker Forests and what habitats do they like best?
- What is Starker Forests doing to ensure clean water? What is being done to protect salmon?
- What makes the soil so important to Starker Forests and what is being done to keep it productive?
- What are the guidelines for harvesting and how does Starker Forests decide when and what to harvest?
- Why do you thin the forest by removing some of the trees?
- What position does Starker Forests Inc. take on issues regarding clearcutting, burning, and spraying herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.?
- What kinds of trees are planted and grown in Starker Forests and why?
- What makes wood a better resource than other materials?
- How can I learn more?
What kind of permits are available for Starker Forests property and how do I get one?
To be on Starker Forests, Inc. land you need an Entry and Land Use Permit. (See the Access our Lands section for more information.) The majority of our permits are free and are issued for hiking, mountain biking, hunting, and horseback riding. We also offer permits for activities such as fishing, firewood cutting, bird watching, moss picking, digging plants for home landscaping, Boy or Girl Scout camping, berry picking, beekeeping, Christmas tree hunting, and wildlife and plant research. Permits are not issued for mushroom picking.
Permits can be obtained by stopping by our office, located at 7240 SW Philomath Blvd., Corvallis, during our office hours of 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. If it is not possible for you to stop by our office then call us (541-929-2477) and we can take the information over the phone and mail or fax a permit to you.
To obtain an Entry and Land Use Permit, we will collect the following information:
- Phone Number
- Vehicle License
- Email Address
- Reason for permit (hiking, hunting, etc.)
- Which tree farms you plan to visit (you may select up to four)
When are the different hunting seasons and what should I do to be able to hunt on Starker Forests Inc. property?
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) regulates hunting and fishing in Oregon. You are responsible for following Oregon’s hunting and fishing regulations. The regulations can be obtained online and at local sporting good retailers.
Permits to hunt or fish on Starker Forests property are required when on our lands. Contact our office to obtain a permit. Fire danger levels can affect the level of access we will provide at any time during the year.
Where can I go to hike or bike?
You can hike or bike on any of our tree farms with a free permit from our office. There are no designated hiking or biking trails. However, the narrow logging roads provide a nice surface for biking or hiking. Our forestlands extend from the Lebanon area, west to Newport, north into Polk County and south to the Junction City area. We can recommend places for you to go and give you maps when you get your permit.
Can I ride my motorcycle or four-wheeler on Starker Forests land?
No. No ATV’s or motorcycles are permitted, unless riding as a member of the Flat Mountain Riders in specific locations and at specific times. Contact the Flat Mountain Riders at Fred’s Honda in Corvallis for motorcycling riding in the Flat Mountain vicinity.
What are the pros and cons of fire?
Not all forest fires are bad. We use controlled fire to manage for forest health. Fire in forests can have renewing and very positive effects on a decadent overly dense forest or it can have disastrous damaging effects if the weather is hot, dry, and windy and soil moisture is low when the fire occurs. Fire can also be a management tool to help in clearing out brush in order to facilitate reforestation of harvested areas. Unplanned fires threaten our well cared for timberlands, wildlife and neighboring landowners.
More resources about fire from OregonForests.org (as PDFs):
Does Starker Forests manage its forestlands sustainably?
Yes, we grow more than we harvest. Our almost 80,000 acres of forestlands are managed with the vision that the land will grow forests forever. Our forests include a wide variety of ages. However, we do not manage our forests/timberlands to become old growth. It is our objective to harvest as much as we grow in the future.
What kinds of wildlife live in Starker Forests and what habitats do they like best?
Starker Forests is home to a wide variety of wildlife species, from common animals like deer and elk, to less common species such as Pileated Woodpeckers and Spotted Owls. By managing for a variety of forest types, from clearcuts (early seral stage) to mature timber, we provide a variety of habitats suitable for many species. Starker Forests works to protect sensitive habitat areas, and where possible we take steps to enhance them for the species that are present.
More resources about wildlife from OregonForests.org (as PDFs):
- Forestry & Wildlife
- Wildlife in Managed Forests: Elk
- Wildlife in Managed Forests: Spotted Owl
- Wildlife in Managed Forests: Stream-associated Amphibians
- Wildlife and Ecosystem Dynamics
What is Starker Forests doing to ensure clean water? What is being done to protect salmon?
The Oregon Department of Forestry has administered the comprehensive Oregon Forest Practices Act (OFPA) since 1971. The OFPA devotes a large portion of its rules to protecting water quality. Starker Forests continually meets or exceeds the standards of the OFPA.
Starker Forests participates in the Oregon Plan, which is designed to enhance and restore Oregon’s native fish populations and improve wildlife habitat and water quality. As members of Oregon Forest Industries Council, Starker Forests has voluntarily committed to comprehensive improvements for fish passage. Starker Forests has replaced over 80 stream crossing culverts to allow for adult and juvenile fish passage and fifty year flood flows. Starker Forests has spent over $700,000 voluntarily for fish passage and habitat improvement projects. New culverts installed in fish bearing streams simulate natural streambed conditions by allowing gravels to collect in the bottom of the culvert. This allows even the smallest of fish to swim through the culvert.
While erosion is a natural and normal event, runoff from forest roads is not a beneficial kind of erosion. Properly installed culverts and water bars divert runoff to stable roadside areas. This prevents the water from flowing directly into a stream. Starker Forests also spreads grass seed and hay on exposed soils after new road construction. Frequently traveled roads have stable rock surfaces and dirt roads are only used when they are dry and during the summer months.
In terms of water quality and timber harvest, today’s methods are different than those of the past. Today, the most common way to harvest timber is by using cable logging systems. Cables lift the logs and move them to the landing (usually at the top of a ridge) without having to drive heavy equipment over the ground. Advancements in logging systems and road construction and maintenance have greatly helped to minimize erosion and keep water in our watersheds clean.
More resources on water quality from OregonForests.org (as PDFs):
- Drinking Water & Forestry
- Watershed Science at Work in Oregon’s Forests
- Watersheds Research Cooperative: Hinkle Creek Paired Watershed Study
- Watersheds Research Cooperative: Summary
- Fact Sheet: Drinking Water
What makes the soil so important to Starker Forests and what is being done to keep it productive?
Soil is our basic resource. Without soil, water, and sunshine, the plants in our forest wouldn’t grow. Soil is one of the factors that determine how well the trees grow. The soil our trees grow in comes from two different types of rock, sandstone and basalt. In general, the sandstone soils occur closer to the coast and the basaltic soils are found on the Willamette Valley side of the Coast Range. Different soil types support different plant communities. Soils in Western Oregon are very absorptive and can easily handle our high amounts of yearly precipitation. Even in clearcuts, you are unlikely to ever see overland flow.
Soil is full of microbes, insects, bacteria, and several fungi called mycorrhiza. Both bacteria and mycorrhiza convert nutrients that are deposited from the atmosphere especially during winter storms when nutrients are churned from the ocean and into the atmosphere and are carried in during rainfall events. Bacteria help break down needles and branches, also known as organic matter, into useable nutrients for plants. Mycorrhiza attach themselves to tree roots and help facilitate the uptake and extraction of nutrients from bedrock.
By preventing soil compaction during logging, the soil has more porosity which then enables rainfall infiltration into the soil to making it a good environment for both healthy bacteria and mycorrhizal communities.
Small clay particles called colloids are also a site in the soil where nutrients are held. Unfortunately clay colloids are also the first soil particles to leave if soil erosion occurs. With proper ditch construction and maintenance on our roads and by maintaining a healthy amount of organic matter in our soil we are able to minimize soil erosion.
What are the guidelines for harvesting and how does Starker Forests decide when and what to harvest?
Prior to any harvest, the following elements are considered (along with many more):
1. Starker Forests, Inc. goals
- What is best for the forest
2. Silvicultural priorities (The care and cultivation of forest trees)
- Stand density
3. Access to prospective harvest sites
- condition of roads
- landing location
4. Distance from other harvest units
5. Markets for various products
6. Operator/Contractor availability
Harvest unit selection is ultimately made by the management team at Starker Forests. We strive to be able to change harvest schedules quickly if necessary to respond to changing market conditions.
Why do you thin the forest by removing some of the trees?
Commercial thinning is usually defined as “removing and selling selected trees from a forest stand”. The remaining trees are more or less regularly and widely spaced and still appear to be a nearly fully stocked stand of trees. Starker Forests, Inc. thins for several reasons:
- Low quality trees can be removed which allows sunlight in and promotes the growth of the remaining better trees.
- Products removed by thinning can generate revenue earlier than if we waited for the trees to get old enough to clearcut.
- Removal of low dead and dying material (ladder fuel) reduces the potential for catastrophic fire.
- Removal of diseased and/or insect infested trees helps keep the forest healthy.
- Thinning gives us the income to maintain our transportation system while we are waiting for a regeneration harvest. Well maintained roads are available for a variety of uses including fire protection and recreation.
What position does Starker Forests Inc. take on issues regarding clearcutting, burning, and spraying herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.?
Starker Forests, Inc. uses each one of these activities and several other management activities to enhance the productivity of our forests and land on which the forests grow. Each activity or combination of activities is selected on a site by site basis. Foresters using common sense, many years of experience, and the best available science at that time to prescribe each activity. Our experienced foresters are trained to follow the law – EPA rules, DEQ rules, and Forest Practices rules – when it comes to pesticide use.
Science and experience have shown that we are able to enhance the productivity of the trees, soil, water, air, soil organisms, wildlife, and aquatic populations when our forest activities are accomplished with care and vigilant post operation monitoring.
More resources on clearcutting and pesticides from OregonForests.org and Forestry.org (as PDFs):
- Fact Sheet: Clearcutting
- Clearcutting: A Position of the Oregon Society of American Foresters
- Using Pesticides on Forest Lands: A Position of the Oregon Society of American Foresters
What kinds of trees are planted and grown in Starker Forests and why?
Approximately 500,000 to 600,000 seedlings are planted each year on our newly harvested ground. Seedlings are usually planted within one year of harvest. While the most common native tree species harvested and planted on our ownership is Douglas-fir, we currently plant a mixture of three to five species into all of our harvest units. The mixture changes as we move inland from the coast and as we go up in elevation. This gives us a variety of options to meet our reforestation goals and match seedlings to our specific site needs. We use a total of ten different species, seven are conifers and three are hardwoods.
The following is a list of the tree species we use:
- Douglas fir Psuedotsuga menziesii
- Grand fir Abies grandis
- Western red cedar Thuja plicata
- Western hemlock Tsuga heterophylla
- Sitka spruce Picea sitchensis
- Noble fir Abies procera
- Ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa – Willamette valley variety
- Oregon ash Fraxinus latifolia
- Bigleaf maple Acer macrophyllum
- Red alder Alnus rubra
- Cottonwood Populus balsamifera ssp. trichocarpa
- Golden chinquapin Castanopsis chrysophylla
Starker Forests chooses to utilize multi-species planting for several reasons:
- It gives us more product options in the future.
- We can reduce the risk of disease or insects destroying all of our forests. If one tree species is affected, we would have others to take its place.
- Some tree species grow better in a given area than others. Oregon ash and the Willamette Valley variety of ponderosa pine grow well in heavy clay soils. These soils are typically very wet in the winter and very dry in the summer. Douglas-fir and grand fir do not do well on these sites.
Seedlings are occasionally planted during the fall, but most of our seedlings head from the nurseries to our productive soils between December and March. Our expectations are high and seedling survival is typically greater than 95%. We use experienced tree planters and stay observant of the weather to avoid seedling mortality during the planting season. We check our seedling survival in the fall after the first growing season, the second growing season, and after the fourth growing season. Areas where tree establishment has not been successful are replanted.
More resources on reforestation from OregonForests.org (as PDFs):
What makes wood a better resource than other materials?
- Wood is renewable.
- Wood requires less energy than other raw or synthetic materials to process for a variety of beneficial uses.
- Wood is reusable. It can be reused, recycled, or allowed to decay back to its original elements.
- Wood is more beautiful than other building materials.
- Wood has insulating qualities that are superior to most other building materials.
- Any handyman can build a doghouse out of wood using a hammer, saw, and nails. Try that with brick, concrete, or steel! Which would your dog prefer to live in?
How can I learn more?
The Oregon Forest Resources Institute is our “go-to” organization for information about forests and forestry facts in Oregon. The Oregon Legislature created the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) in 1991 to improve public understanding of the state’s forest resources and to encourage environmentally sound forest management through training and other educational programs for forest landowners. OFRI is funded by a dedicated harvest tax on forest products producers. (www.oregonforests.org)
The Oregon Department of Forestry administers the Oregon Forests Practices Act. Landowners work closely with ODF to in matters related to forest management, harvesting, water quality and wildfire. (www.oregon.gov/ODF/)
The Oregon Forest Industries Council is a trade association representing more than 50 Oregon forestland owners and forest products manufacturing-related firms. Its members own more than 90% of Oregon’s private large-owner forestland base. (www.ofic.com)
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative is a voluntary third-party forest certification system that began in the 1990s in response to market concerns about forest management and illegal logging, primarily in developing countries.
The Oregon Natural Resources Education Program has been a leader in providing professional development programs for K – 16 educators since its inception in the mid-1980s. (www.cof.orst.edu/cof/extended/onrep)
The Society of American Foresters is the professional organization of foresters in Oregon and around the nation. All of the foresters at Starker Forests are members of the Society of American Foresters. (www.safnet.org and www.forestry.org)
The World Forestry Center in Portland, Oregon has a mission to educate and inform people about the world’s forests and trees, and their importance to all life, in order to promote a balanced and sustainable future. (www.worldforestry.org)
The National Alliance of Forest Owners protects and enhances the economic and environmental values of privately-owned forests through targeted policy advocacy at the national level. (www.nafoalliance.org)
The Forest Landowner Association, Inc., has provided its members, who own and operate more than 40 million acres of forestland in 48 states, with education, information, and national grassroots advocacy, which enables them to sustain their forestlands across generations. (www.forestlandowers.com)