McLellan Forest Management

7/19/22 Update - Thank you for your cooperation during the Phase 2 project. The conservation area has been reopened following completion of thinning work. In September, Boise Cascade will be back onsite to chip and haul off slash piles, restore temporary roads that were built to facilitate the harvest, and seed over subsurface ground disturbance with native grasses. 

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.


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