Jennings Lodge Trees still Threatened!

Some of the oldest and tallest trees in Jennings Lodge may soon come down in a rather extensive logging operation if the latest 62 Lot development proposal by Lennar Corp succeeds. Jennings Lodge, Happy Valley citizens lose development appeals

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I just re-read the tree inventory from the preliminary plans. 77% of the 423 trees, or 326 total, are to be axed. 52% of the trees on the 16.7 acre site are Douglas fir (222 in total), and over 180 are slated to be removed for “improvements”- basically, 85% of the Douglas fir overstory, and all of the very largest mature and old growth ones, with the 45 to 62 inch diameters will be cut! Interestingly, of the total tree census, only 3 out of the 423 trees were deemed a real hazard, another 36 considered “unhealthy” making a grand total of about 9% of the forest arguably unsafe. The height of these massive firs hasn’t been discussed much, but most of them  range from 100 to 150 feet, with some really tall ones in the 160 to 180 ft range. I checked my measurements in 2 different survey methods on google earth:

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eastmoreland sequoia

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Most of the 222 Doug fir are from about 20 to 40 inches in diameter, but about 40 of them are very large mature and potentially Old Growth trees that range from 45 to 62 inches (3.8 to 5.2 feet) Diameter at DBH, making them probably between 125 and 200 years old by my estimates.  Also included in the list is a 61 inch Diameter Redwood. The realization that these are mostly healthy trees has already been computed by timber cruisers, suggesting 860,000 board feet and $500,000 in timber value– for the Douglas fir trees alone:

189 standing Douglas firs that could conservatively yield over 860,000 board feet of lumber or enough to frame 54 2,400-square-foot houses, with the logs delivered to mill having a current market value of around $500,000.Lennar proposal disappoints Jennings Lodge

The loss of so many large trees was even seen as a “misguided request” by one tree removal company reportedly asked to bid on cutting down the trees at the propety:

“At least one large, well respected, tree-removal company asked to bid on cutting down all the trees from the campground property refused the job and walked away saying they wouldn’t have anything to do with what was clearly a misguided request.History should inform Jennings Lodge development

Some of the larger examples of trees are listed below by DBH (diameter) and species:

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Jennings Lodge Estate – Prelminary Plans.

The Jennings Lodge Evangelical center had been a campsite for church groups for 105 years. Local neighbors have reported seeing all manner of birds and animals;  Pileated woodpeckers, Bald Eagles have been seen in the trees,  and deer have even been known to occasionally frequent the area. Being part of the Willamette river watershed, I believe a substantial number of birds and wildlife depend on the site, being so close to the river. The site would make an ideal park, given the large size of nearly 17 acres, grass meadows, and tree groves.

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Stands of Tall Douglas fir – Oct. 2014 Photo by Friends of Jennings Lodge

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Nov. 2015 Photo by Friends of Jennings Lodge

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Large Douglas fir. Nov. 2015 Photo by Friends of Jennings Lodge

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Large mossy Deciduous tree. Nov. 2015 Photo by Friends of Jennings Lodge

Last year the Portland Audubon Society was even looking at the site as a potential wild life care center, “The Audubon folks were excited about all the trees, the idea of repurposing the current buildings rather than tearing them down, and sharing the site with a park.Jennings Lodge neighbors prepare for hearing on proposed 72-lot subdivision

For More info, and how to help please visit: Friends of Jennings Lodge

Important 5 hour audio of public testimony from the Oct. 1, 2015 Clackamas County Land Use hearing regarding the Jennings Lodge proposed development: Audio 1 & Audio 3

 

 

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2 Responses to Jennings Lodge Trees still Threatened!

  1. Darvel T Lloyd says:

    Thanks, Micah, for the very saddening update. What a sickening proposal. It’s all about BIG BUCKS for the developers and big, expensive homes for the well-healed.

    Talking about big Douglas firs, we found another giant in Gifford Pinchot National Forest yesterday — 10-ft, 215-ft. in a marvelous remnant grove on Pin Creek near the upper Lewis River close to the western slopes of Mt. Adams!

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