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On a crisp, sunny morning, ten of us crossed Highway 101 and scrambled up the steep hillside to explore Unit 4 of the “Alley Cat” timber sale. There were some familiar faces and also new ones. Led by Nina, we pushed through branches, waist-high salal, crossed over running streams and climbed over/under downed trees, exploring the rich variety of habitats in this beautiful, legacy forest.

“Alley Cat” is in the Elwha River watershed and is part of the proposed Trust Land Transfer project by the City of Port Angeles. Some of the units are on the east side of Highway 101, along the Elwha River itself, and others are along the Little River, which is a major tributary of the Elwha and has already seen major logging from the “Aldwell” timber sale. We need to protect the mature forests in the Elwha River watershed, in order to protect the recovering salmon and  the water supply for the City of Port Angeles. Our mature and diverse forests also do more to mitigate climate change than almost any other forests in the world. They are worth more standing.

We observed the timber sale boundaries, the leave tree areas marked with blue paint, the tiny riparian buffers and the orange markings, where they plan to blast a road through the dense forest. Before turning around to head back out, we gathered around a giant cedar tree, large enough to fit a person inside, and took some group photos.


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