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News / Sports / Outdoors

Volunteers endure heat, rough conditions to protect Gifford Pinchot’s ponderosa pines

By Scott Hewitt, Columbian staff writer
Published: July 25, 2021, 6:05am
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9 Photos
Cascade Forest Conservancy science and stewardship manager Amanda Keasberry demonstrates tagging smaller trees that sit beneath the canopies of old-growth ponderosa pines. Professional crews with the U.S. Forest Service will look for these tags when they come through later, thinning out smaller trees that can spur destructive wildfires.
Cascade Forest Conservancy science and stewardship manager Amanda Keasberry demonstrates tagging smaller trees that sit beneath the canopies of old-growth ponderosa pines. Professional crews with the U.S. Forest Service will look for these tags when they come through later, thinning out smaller trees that can spur destructive wildfires. (Joshau Hart/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

GIFFORD PINCHOT NATIONAL FOREST — To find the tallest trees, you’ve got to look up.

Eyeballs are the only way to identify rare, towering ponderosa pines amid the profusion of neighboring trees in these crowded woods. In mid-July, a group of hardy volunteers kept peering up at the skyline and then down at their boots while plunging off trails and into the thickest depths of the forest.

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