Letter to the Editor: Kopachuck Park - Logging Action Phase 1

The Kopachuck Water Association updates on the tree removal project at the Kopachuck State Park. Local residents aren't happy with how the project has been handled so far.

Hello Everyone,

We are writing this note in a semi official capacity as the Vice President and Secretary, respectively, of The Kopachuck Water Association (KWA) as well as concerned citizens.  The KWA is an HOA of 8 parcels and homes bordering the Park on the south side along Henderson Bay.  The Park also effectively surrounds us to the east as well however, that easterly portion is buffered somewhat by a second development.  There is one additional parcel and home in our development which is not part of our HOA. 

We have been involved in all of the public hearings/discussions of the and we have attached a series of photos that seems to fly in the face of what all of the before mention meetings as well as what the “timber notice of sale”, that was initiated by the State DNR.   

More info on timber sale: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/BusinessPermits/TimberSales/Pages/Home.aspx

The entrance to has been completely decimated.  It has been veritably clear cut and all of the understory has either been bull dozed, trampled or smothered with stacks of timber; it looks as if the contractor has used this area as a staging as well as a sorting and a storage area.   It was our understanding that the  landing area would not be at the entrance of the park, the before mentioned proposals map reflect this, and it was also our understanding that no non infected timbers would be removed; Big leaf Maples, Cedars and understory was supposed to remain.  This clearly has not happened. 

Further, we spoke with a neighbor on Saturday (Feb. 25) and as we were expressing our surprise over the clear cutting that had happened at the entrance, he stated that he had spoken about this with one of tree cutting team members.  He was informed that any tree that was in that area that could possibly hit the Park Rangers house had to be removed.

We are very disturbed that what is occurring is not in alignment with what has been discussed thus far with the community and the larger question for us is where is the oversight at this point?  I do believe that we need to see the final contracts that were signed with the contractor, any modifications that have been requested to date and a designated contact person for the contractor as well as a State representative that will provide the oversight.  There is a large amount of mistrust around this project and though it feels as if the State has tried to be transparent in the process, there seem to be sweeping changes that are occurring without public notification or input.  We are also very fearful of what the continuation of this project will look like, it is not like what has been done thus far can be undone but, we can pay closer attention to what happens in the future. 


Dr. Ulf Hanebutte - Vice President

Shema Hanebutte - Secretary

Kopachuck Water Association

Wildsky February 28, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Get over it. Its a logging operation that has to be done. It will grow back. How do you expect them to get the logs cut and removed?
Kelly Day February 28, 2012 at 08:29 PM
That's right wildsky! I went to several of these meetings and it seems that these people would complain about anything unless they were compensated for their "pain and suffering" for some reason. Didn't they listen when they said that the trees will be cut down and replanted? or when they said there will be some inconvienence during the logging operation? Or when they said some minor damage will occur to the other growth not being cut? Damage that will naturally repair itself? Did these people expect for the trees to magically disappear once cut? At the last meeting held at Kopachuck Middle school they told everyone that the logs would be put in a certain staging area. I drove out there yesterday and the logging operation is being done exactly as they told us it would. The park officials didn't make you live where you do, that was your choice, now live with it! It's not like they are cutting trees down on your property. It's on the State Park property.......I consider myself lucky that they told anybody what was going to happen and how. The project managers have had to put up with a lot of "poo" from people that really have no right to the property anyway. Let them finish and leave them alone.
linda griffith March 16, 2012 at 09:41 AM
The Olympic Peninsula has a RAINFOREST and a wide range of climate conditions. About twelve feet of rain falls each year on the west-facing valleys, sustaining the temperate rain forest. THAT IS TWELVE FEET OF RAIN. We qualify to be saved with signatures as the Amazon Rain Forest ! The Beauty of Kopachuk State Park is it is more like a naturalist perserve. Many people can not take mile long hikes to have a wilderness experience. Not every State Park is suitable for SWING SETS and MONKEY BARS.
Mark Spikes April 01, 2012 at 04:36 AM
If you cut all the Doug Firs down what kind of camping experience will be had? Is Laminated Root Rot just confined to Kopachuck State Park? I think probably not. So, if not, why aren't a plethora of trees falling on homes? Why aren't insurance companies raising insurance rates due to the gross topple over factor of Doug Firs? Why are't Doug Firs being cut down that line our highways and school yards? How come even in the very high winds we have here I have yet seen a Doug Fir topple over? Was it only government scientists that determined the need for logging? Were any outside environmentalist arborist scientist types hired with outside money? Odd, the state is in all kind of debt and they need to (sell) log? I read that only a, "select", amount of trees would be logged. The evident clear cut that they have done so far is, "select"? Any amateur geomorphologist can see the entire park is one big slide. Walk through and you will see numerous lobes that are evidence of past slides. The trees fall over and are crooked because Kopachuck is one big conveyor belt moving down slope to the Sound. Odd, yet how slumped over the diseased Doug Firs can tip, due to landsliding, and yet not topple? I suspect this Root Rot is natural and chronic with every generation of Doug Firs. Take the trees out and the slow conveyor slide will become a treadmill. Leave the trees be. I am sorry I am such a sceptic but I usually am when the government is involved.


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