Vegetation management underway to help strengthen local forests | King County

The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks is conducting vegetation management control on more than 300 acres of county-owned forest sites to encourage the growth of young conifer trees.

  • Friday, March 31, 2017 10:00am
  • News

The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks is conducting vegetation management control on more than 300 acres of county-owned forest sites to encourage the growth of young conifer trees.

The work, known as conifer release, is a type of weeding that land managers perform in young forests where there is too much shade and competition from undesirable vegetation. Some of the work will be done in March through May, and crews will return to the forests to complete the work in late summer.

As part of its forest stewardship program, King County has hired a contractor to complete the work at Ring Hill Forest, Taylor Mountain Forest, McGarvey Park Open Space and Black Diamond Open Space. These sites were harvested between 2007 and 2013, and replanted with more than 100,000 conifer seedlings.

There will be limited trail closures which will be indicated with signs at trailhead kiosks and intersections that lead into project areas.

Work on Ring Hill and Taylor Mountain Forests involves manually cutting non-native and invasive plants such as scotch broom, butterfly bush and blackberry. Crews will also thin stands of native trees that have naturally regenerated, such as red alder, cottonwood and maple, and that are crowding out the young planted conifers.

Removing selected deciduous trees reduces competition for sunlight, nutrients and water, and allows the young conifers to thrive and grow vigorously. All cut trees will be left on-site to decompose and return nutrients to the soil.

The invasive control and thinning of McGarvey Park and Black Diamond Open Space will be done with directed, spot application of herbicides. Trails within the project area will be closed during spray operations, and “trail closed” signs will be posted at all trailheads and intersections of all trails entering the project area.

Parks employees will re-open the trails and remove the signs within 24 to 48 hours of herbicide applications.

“Treating competing vegetation ensures young trees will survive and become healthy forests for generations to come,” said Bill Loeber, a forester with the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks.

King County manages more than 28,000 acres of forests within 200 parks and open space sites across the county.

Through the county’s forest stewardship program, selected forest sites are harvested, thinned and replanted to promote forest health and biodiversity, protect wildlife habitat, and provide passive recreation on more than 200 miles of backcountry trails.

For more information, contact Loeber at 206-477-4755; or

More in News

Jeter returns to Bonney Lake as police chief

The city has grown since he left 13 years ago, but Bryan Jeter says he’s ready for the challenge.

Cross-country cyclists make first stop in Enumclaw

Pi Kappa Phi fraternity members from all around the country stopped at Ashley House on their first stop on the Journey of Hope tour.

Staying involved helped one man out of homelessness, and empower others | Public Health Insider

Having a cause and advocating for others helped Greg Francis leave homelessness behind.

Wyatt Hodder same in third in one of this year’s tree climbing competitions. Photo by Ashley Britschgi
Junior Show attracts 142 competitors, here are the winners

Make sure you don’t miss the big event next weekend.

City shifts approach on downtown property plans

The Enumclaw City Council decided to seek “letters of interest” from potential developers instead of a traditional Request for Proposals.

After Seattle’s controversial employee head tax was repealed, King County Executive Dow Constantine wants to bond against existing tax revenues to generate $100 million for affordable housing. Photo by Joe Mabel/Wikipedia Commons
County executive proposes $100 million affordable housing bond

The money was already coming, but Constantine wants to speed up the process.

Bonney Lake High School graduation 2018 | Slideshow

Check out the Panthers in their cap and gowns getting ready for life’s next challenges.

Programs come together for benefit of White River graduates

Check out which Hornets were honored during the 2018 graduation.

Enumclaw Health and Rehab offers free nursing training

The next round of classes starts Monday, June 26, and runs through July 24.

Most Read