The U.S. Forest service and the Yakama Tribe cooperate on a controlled burn of the Sawtooth Huckleberry Fields in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

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National forest branches out

With less timber to sell, the Gifford Pinchot uses innovative management, partnerships to generate new revenue sources and restore damage from decades of logging

Back before the spotted owl, the salmon and ecosystem management changed the rules of the game, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest was one of the biggest timber producers in the Northwest. The numbers tell the story.

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Huckleberry fields benefit from flames

Joint effort between Forest Service, Yakama Tribe aimed at restoring productivity in Gifford Pinchot through controlled burns

SAWTOOTH HUCKLEBERRY FIELDS — On a blue-sky late September afternoon high in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, firefighters from the Forest Service and the Yakama Tribe waited, drip torches in hand, for the state to give the go-ahead so they could set the woods on fire. When the green light came, they marched into a thinned mixed-conifer stand bordering the road, spaced themselves along the boundaries of a 20-acre plot, and began igniting huckleberry bushes and low-lying shrubs and grasses. Flames skipped across the forest floor and laddered into the crown of a tall subalpine fir. Smoke billowed into the clear sky. The hiss and pop of burning needles filled the air.

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