Fire danger to limit deer hunters land access

first_imgApproximately 20,000 hunters will head afield beginning Saturday for the start of deer season in Southwest Washington and they will find widespread closures of private forest lands due to fire danger.Ironically, the weather forecast is for a chance of rain on Friday and rain likely on Saturday.Among the private timber holdings closed to all public access include Weyerhaeuser’s 422,000-acre St. Helens Tree Farm; 260,000 acres in eastern Skamania, Klickitat and southern Yakima counties; 321,000 acres of Longview Timber Corp. (formerly Longview Fibre) land, and the 85,000-acre Ryderwood Tree Farm in Cowlitz and Lewis counties.Weyerhaeuser 1-866-636-6531Ryderwood Tree Farm 1-360-623-1299Longview Timber Corp. 1-360-442-7619Closed lands in Skamania and Klickitat counties include those of Hancock Forest Management, Broughton Lumber Co., Western Pacific Timber LLC and Stevenson Land Co.Hancock will allow walk-in hunting on its Wahkiakum County lands, according to David Boyd of the company’s lower Columbia region.The access closures began in mid-August.“We never dreamed this would drag on to effect our hunting seasons,” said Wayne Vinyard, area manager for Hancock Forest Management in Glenwood. “We hate to do this. We know people plan their whole year to go hunting.”He said he has only seen it this dry a couple of other times in the past 40 years.“Despite the shorter days and cooler temperatures, the fire danger is still as high as it was in August,” he said.Vinyard and Patrick Allen of Sierra Pacific Industries, operator of Ryderwood Tree Farm, both said about an inch of rain needs to fall to wet the forests adequately.last_img

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