What makes for a more pleasant drive: forest or clearcut?
Clearcuts along Oregon’s popular scenic highways have never been popular with the public, tourists or those who cater to tourists. That’s why private forestlands adjacent to one of Oregon’s 30 designated scenic highways face additional rules to help preserve a forested view from the road. Essentially, the general public spoke up and said, “We don’t want to see clearcuts right down to the road,” and Oregon’s forest practice rules honor that sentiment.
A two-stage approach.
Buffer the highway. A harvest along a scenic highway must include a buffer of trees 150 feet wide along the roadside. When new trees behind the buffer have grown to at least 10 feet tall, trees in the original buffer may be harvested. Alternatively, a landowner can choose to do the reverse. Either way, the harvest has to happen in two parts.
Debris: Logging residuals from a harvest along a scenic highway must be removed quickly.
Reforestation: In a scenic corridor, replanting of a harvest site must happen within one year of harvest, rather than the usual two years.
"I know these roadside buffers are working – and they are very much appreciated. Those trees that are standing are providing an economic impact for those of us in the business of promoting travel and tourism."Tourism development coordinator, Clackamas County
Two extension foresters explain visual management in Oregon’s working forests