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Quality Timber

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West Side Sierra conditions make for superior timber

Soper-Wheeler’s West-Side Sierra Tract has some of North America’s best conditions for producing timber. Deep fertile soil, a range of elevations, and rainfall averaging over 80 inches a year makes for a diverse and vigorous  working forest.

We use a variety of  forestry techniques and silvicultural practices to achieve quality and sustainability.

Where forest stands are producing poorly due to low stocking or regeneration is choked by brush or hardwoods, we often rehabilitate the area: struggling stands are clear cut, the brush or hardwoods removed, and new seedlings from carefully selected stock are planted in multi-species plots, insuring biodiversity. This process simulates wildfire except without the damage to watersheds and wildlife that catastrophic fire brings.

In better stocked stands, we use thinning or selection cuttings depending on the age of the stand. This maintains a healthy forest while utilizing trees which might otherwise be lost due to disease and insects. Finally, in areas where the rotation age has been met or growth has plateaued, we use seed-tree or limited-size clear cuts. These areas are  then immediately prepared and replanted with genetically diverse multi-species seedlings for future harvest. Close attention is given to protection of wildlife, soil, and watersheds throughout the process.

Our working forests are dedicated to perpetual productivity through superior management. On average, we harvest enough wood for to construct 2000 homes per year while growing enough for 3800.

If considered in terms of paper and other forest products, that production would be enough to meet the needs of 80,000 people per year; if converted to energy that would be enough to heat 15,000 homes per year every year forever.

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