McLellan Forest Management

Please note: Phase 2 commercial thinning (see detail below) will commence late-April 2022 and last for 4-6 weeks (weather dependent). To protect visitor safety, McLellan Conservation Area will be closed to the public Monday-Friday. The conservation area will be open for public use Saturday and Sunday. Thank you for your cooperation. 

McLellan Conservation Area was acquired in 1996 with Conservation Futures funding. A significant portion of the property was impacted and burned in Firestorm '91. As a result of that fire, Ponderosa pine successfully re-colonized the burn areas - too successfully. The extreme density of trees creates competition for limited resources. As a result, 30 year old trees are less than 1/4 of the height they should be and are much more vulnerable to disease and insects such a pine bark beetle. A forest management plan was developed to help guide Spokane County's efforts to improve the forest's health while also enhancing wildlife habitat and reducing the risk of catastrophic fire. 

While Phase 1 was a pre-commercial project (non-revenue generating), Phase 2 is a "commercial" thinning project, meaning that some revenue will be generated because some of the harvested trees have some commercial value. As of May 1, 2019, all trees in Phase 2 that are to be retained (not cut) are marked with orange paint. The project should generate enough revenue to make this forest health enhancement effort cost-neutral. This Phase 2 project will set McLellan Conservation Area up for a future prescribed burn - a controlled, managed low intensity burn that will bring this forest back to looking like it might have when David Thompson explored the Inland Northwest.

Project Timeline: Phase 1 (63 acres) November 2018 - mid-February 2019 - Completed. Phase 2 (240 acres) - 2021-2022. Phase 2 has been bid out and awarded to Boise Cascade. Boise Cascade. Boise Cascade's operator should begin work late-April 2022. Work will continue for 4-6 weeks, weather dependent. See Documents below for a copy of a letter mailed out to neighbors on April 15th, 2022. 

Funding: Phase 1 - McLellan Endowment Fund, Conservation Futures M&O, Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Phase 2 - McLellan Endowment, Conservation Futures M&O and revenue generated by the thinning project.

Documents

McLellan Forest Management Plan
McLellan Phase 1 - Treatment Area Map
McLellan Phase 2 - Treatment Area Map
Letter to Neighbors 4/15/22
Forest Practices Application Amended 4/15/22

Project Contact
Paul Knowles, Special Projects Manager. (509) 477-2188 or pknowles@spokanecounty.org