Sunday, July 15, 2007

The World from Mary's Peak

Nancy and I took a ride up the Mary's Peak road looking for good spots to take people on a field tour to discuss climate change and land use change and the impacts on forests, water and fish. Mary's Peak is a great place to look out over the Coast Range and the Willamette Valley. It's the highest point in the Coast Range and on a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean and 9 volcanoes. You can also see the landscape pattern of forestry past and present and people moving to the margins of the forests. These days the "startling forestry" is done by private landowners and industry, not on federally-managed lands. There are few, if any, "regeneration harvests"--clearcuts--on Forest Service or BLM managed lands. The wildland-urban interface--Wooie, as in WUI, we call it in the biz--is changing the nature of the west. People live close to the woods and, around here, there are infrequent, but very large fires, the sort that go out when it snows. It sure should make people who live there think about fire and what it might be like in a future climate.

1 comment:

Ronna said...

I love Mary's Peak! Great pix.