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Read the arch cape forest newsletter here!


Updated: Jan 30

Following the Arch Cape Water District Board Meeting on January 19, the Arch Cape Forest has been approved to be "managed".

Springboard Forestry and the Arch Cape Forest Management Committee requested that the Arch Cape Water District Board approve multiple contracts to be sent for bids, meaning that the process of restoring the Arch Cape Forest to health has begun!

Three tasks were approved by the ACWD Board:

  1. Hand Thinning, or the thinning of trees from overgrown forest plots. An estimated 640 acres of Arch Cape Forest requires hand thinning. Hand thinning involves cutting and leaving younger trees in overstocked forests. It helps to ensure more diverse, healthy, and resilient forests in the long term. The identified acreage which will undergo the most intense thinning is made up of young trees, between 10 and 25 years old. By thinning these areas, the remaining trees will be able to grow into healthy, old(er) growth trees, more easily able to store water late into the summer months, and provide a more sustainable water supply for the Arch Cape Community.

  2. Road Maintenance, or the upkeep or roads required for accessibility in the Arch Cape Forest. The required road maintenance needed for the Arch Cape Forest includes brushing of approximated 13 miles of mainline and secondary roads into the forest. Additional work includes culvert and ditch cleaning throughout the property, Springboard Forestry has identified 137 culverts and cross drains that need repair. Maintaining culverts is important in ensuring that effective drainage takes place following rainfall within the forest. Other smaller items which were approved include water bar repairs, cross drain replacements, and road surfacing.

  3. Forest Planning, or the development of long-term budgeting for the forest. Springboard Forestry is working to develop 5-year and 50-year budgets for the Arch Cape Forest, which include approaches around varying harvest levels. Some of the work that is necessary for this type of budgeting extends beyond the capacity of Springboard, and requires additional support. Future contracts around forest inventory tracking will require additional approvals, but were not deemed important for the immediate health of the Arch Cape Forest.

In total, the contracts that were approved by the Arch Cape Water District Board totaled $260,585. These contracts are all within the scope of the American Rescue Plan Act funding, which there is over $1 million dollars still remaining in the budget. This work will effectively establish a baseline of forest health that has been missing from the Arch Cape Forest over the past decade. The prior land owners of the 1,500 acre property that makes up the Arch Cape Forest harvested and replanted a highly dense forest, and it is the goal of the Arch Cape Forest Management Committee to return the forest to health.

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Updated: Dec 21, 2022

The Arch Cape Forest Multi-Resource Management Plan (which you can read here) has been developed over multiple years of collaboration between Ben Hayes with Springboard Forestry and the Arch Cape Forest Advisory committee to satisfy the goals of the Arch Cape Forest, as recommended by the Arch Cape Water District Board of Directors. The plan focuses on forest management around five identified goals of the Forest Advisory Committee. These goals include:

- Water Quality and Quantity

- Affordability

- Community Connection

- Forest Ecology

- Habitat

The Arch Cape Forest Multi-Resource Management Plan is separated into five distinct sections to satisfy the goals identified by the Forest Advisory Committee. The sections of the management plan include:

- Background on the current status and condition of the Arch Cape Forest.

- Objective for achieving or maintaining the forest in relation to identified goals.

- Strategies, actions and tools relating to identified goals.

- Performance measures relating that will indicate accomplishment of objectives.

- Stakeholder input from Forest Advisory Committee.

Section 1: The Plan Purpose section summarizes the purpose of the plan, as well as different types of Multi-Resource Management Plans. This section also outlines the five goals of the Arch Cape Forest, and the four objectives. In the end, the section summarizes the eight policies relating to forest management decisions in the Arch Cape Forest.

Section 2: The Governance section of the plan describes the roles and responsibilities of the District Board of Directors, the three-member Arch Cape Forest Management Committee, and consultants or other land managers. In addition, this section identifies a budgeting and management schedule to achieve forest management goals. The governance section also includes options of property management and responsibilities of a property manager.

Section 3: The Goals and Objectives section describes goals and associated policies for the Arch Cape Forest. This section provides a framework for how the forest and watershed will be managed, and are listed in order of importance to reflect the motivations for acquisition of the Arch Cape Forest. These goals were developed during the initial 2021-2022 management planning process with the Forest Advisory Committee. This section notes that this plan is not a recreational use plan. A separate public access plan will be developed through the National Park Service Planning Framework process – these meetings occur via Zoom and are open to the public. You can find meeting information on the Arch Cape Water District Website here.

Section 4: The Forest Management Activities section outlines proposed management and stewardship activities for the Arch Cape Forest. The activities comply with policies and practices included in Sections 3 and 5 of the Multi-Resource Management Plan. All activities are intended to accomplish the underlying goals of improving or retaining reliable quantities of high-quality source water. Activities discussed in this section include:

- Timber Harvest

- Road Maintenance

- Timber Stand Improvement

- Planting

- Access/ Fire Management.

Section 5: The Management Policies section includes a set of management policies meant to support and ensure the goals and objectives described in prior sections. These policies are intended as a minimum level of watershed protection, and all efforts to provide greater protection for source water and other goals will be considered. Each section discusses the policy at hand and includes the Arch Cape Forest policy recommendation for the specified resource issue.

Timeline for Public Comment: The Arch Cape Forest Multi-Resource Management plan has been presented to the Arch Cape Water District Board of Directors. Between December 19 and January 11, the plan is available for public comment, which can be found here.

A special thank you goes out to Ben Hayes, our contracting forester and the Arch Cape Forest Advisory Committee. The committee, led by Pat Noonan, was comprised of Charlotte Blakesley, Bob Cerelli, Larry Crashaw, David Dougherty, Dale Mosby, and Melissa Reich, worked closely to develop all recommendations made in this Management Plan.

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This past November the Arch Cape Forest, and neighboring forest land experienced small-scale fires, an uncommon occurrence during the “wet” season on the Coast. The fire which took place in the Arch Cape Forest stemmed from an assumed campfire, started by people in the Arch Cape Forest property.

On Sunday, November 12, 2022, Arch Cape residents noticed a plume of smoke coming from within the Arch Cape Forest. Due to a quick response from Bob Cerelli (president of the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District), and David Dougherty (local resident and forester for Lewis and Clark Timber) the fire was able to be located and reported to the fire district and Oregon Department of Forestry. Unfortunately, when accessing the Forest, emergency personnel did not have keys to the gate, slowing the access of the fire department to the property. Luckily, David was able to use a backpack pump to reduce most of the fire and minimize the spread until the Fire District arrived. Once in the forest, the Fire District fully extinguished the fire.

Thank you for the quick and capable response from David and Bob, and the staff and volunteers of the Fire District!

Photo Provided by North Coast Land Conservancy Staff

Effective Fire Response in the Arch Cape Forest Going Forward: A clear result from this small fire in the Arch Cape Forest is that a better system for managing gate access is required to ensure a rapid response to fires in the future. Conversation between Arch Cape Water District, North Coast Land Conservancy, Lewis and Clark Timberlands, and Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District determined that all emergency responders and community partners will have a full understanding of the protocol to ensure the gates remain fully accessible.

Limiting Access to the Arch Cape Forest During High Fires Risk: Following multiple fires in the vicinity, the Forest was closed for a weekend in Mid-November. Closing the Forest is a measure that was taken to reduce the risk of additional fires being started when the area’s Fire District is at capacity. Reducing access during periods of high risk is the best approach to minimize threat to our community members, visitors, and the forest itself.

Fires in the Fall: Starting in October or November, it is common for forest managers to implement slash burning to manage wood debris on their property. This reduces the fuel loads and excess wood waste. By doing so in the fall and into the winter, the potential for the fires to spread is lower, due to the cool and damp conditions. This fall, while there was significant rainfall along the coast through October, the month of November brought drier conditions than years past. These drier conditions, paired with surprise winds, led to multiple slash and brush fires escaping the initial boundaries set by the fire managers.

Photo Provided by North Coast Land Conservancy

Where We Go From Here: The Arch Cape Forest Management Committee, and Ben Hayes, our forester, will work with the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District, neighboring land owners and other partners, to ensure that a proper fire management plan is in place going forward.

An effective system to communicate, isolate, and reduce the spread of fire in the forest will continue to be a priority of the management going forward.

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