Sound View Camp, owned and operated by the Presbytery of Olympia, plans to log a number of trees on 60 of its 92 acres.
“We have been contracted by the Presbytery of Olympia to administer a variable-retention thinning. We are also working with the Nisqually Land Trust on this property. The result will not be noticeable to the neighbors,” said Dick Hopkins of Hopkins Forestry, who submitted the permit application in November.
Although there will be some income generated by the harvest, the driving force is forest health, safety and a plan to improve the fields and facilities at the camp, according to Hopkins and Sound View Camp Director Kurt Sample.
“Last winter two trees fell and did considerable damage,” Sample said. “We have many hemlocks and maples that are not doing well and are leaning over buildings and trails. There is no safe place in high winds.” In addition, the playing field has become smaller as the forest has intruded over time. “We want to redefine the perimeter so we can play a game of soccer.”
Sample said that the camp board chose to go through the county process because they hope to make improvements before the six-year moratorium that is required if logging is done under a state permit. In addition to logging, the camp will extend a road around the cabins to create a circular emergency access for the fire department. Currently the road dead-ends.
There will be no logging near the beach. The plan includes reclaiming a formerly logged area that is overgrown with invasive blackberries. Laminated root rot has been an issue, so replanting will include white pine and cedar, which are resistant to root rot, as well as Douglas fir.
“We are mostly fixing what wasn’t done right,” Sample said.
The boundaries of the harvest are from the Key Peninsula Highway on the west toward the dining hall on the east, then within the north and south property lines. Hopkins thinks that logging could begin by mid-February at the earliest.
The trees marked for harvest are all tagged with orange paint and Sample said once the permit is approved, they will have an open house to review the plan for any who can attend. He will announce the open house via the camp website and Facebook page, on the Key Peninsula Facebook page and in the KP News if scheduling allows.