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Please help us save the Salt and Pepper Legacy Forest

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Salt and Pepper DNR and Lake Sutherland
Salt and Pepper is a legacy forest, naturally grown and not a monoculture plantation forest. It contains large diameter trees, complex forest canopies & understories, and legacy forest characteristics, including snag and large wood on the forest floor.


It is currently scheduled for timber auction on December 14th, 2023. It’s not too late to save this beautiful forest!

Recreation and Impact on Small Businesses

The Salt and Pepper forest is in a recreation & vacation destination, with the bulk of it located along Highway 101 at Lake Sutherland.  Logging it will create a scar on the landscape for a decade or more that will affect local tourism businesses like Wandering Joy Campground, Shadow Mountain RV and Magic Forest Tours. Lake Sutherland is a popular recreation and vacation destination.

This stretch of Highway 101 is the gateway to Olympic National Park and the beautiful Lake Crescent. It will create a lasting impression on tourists of how we care for our precious natural resources. The scar would destroy the fantastical feeling of entering the remote, rugged wilderness.

Owners of Wandering Joy Campground

Wandering Joy Campground is a women owned, small business started in 2022. Their mission is providing a safe and inclusive outdoor space, while respecting and protecting the health and wellness of the land they are on.

Elwha River Watershed

Lake Sutherland, Indian Creek and the Elwha River

With the removal of the 2 dams on the Elwha River, there’s a $324.7 million dollar effort to restore the Elwha watershed. This includes work to restore salmon access to Indian Creek and Lake Sutherland. The Salt and Pepper forest is part of the watershed that feeds Lake Sutherland from the north side, which flows into Indian Creek and then the Elwha River.

Legacy forests play a crucial role in protecting water quality. Trees in these forests act as natural filters, removing pollutants and contaminants from the water before it reaches streams, rivers, and lakes. They also help to prevent soil erosion and sedimentation, which can clog water sources and decrease their quality. Additionally, the root systems of trees in legacy forests help to regulate water flow and reduce the risk of flooding. Cutting down this forest would impact the quality of water sources in the area.

Wildlife and Biodiversity

The Salt and Pepper Forest provides a habitat and travel corridor for a diverse species of plants and animals adjacent to Olympic National Park. Logging it will displace or kill all of these.

We are in the midst of a global extinction crisis, due to habitat loss, climate change, disease, and other impacts. We must protect mature and old-growth forests, which are vital refuges for many at-risk species and vulnerable wildlife.


  • Black-tailed deer
  • Black bear
  • Cougar / Mountain Lion
  • Bobcat
  • Coyote
  • Mountain Beaver
  • Raccoon
  • Barred owl
  • Bald Eagle
  • Raven
  • Pacific giant salamander
  • Pacific tree frog
  • Pacific chorus frog


  • Douglas fir
  • Western red cedar
  • Western hemlock
  • Pacific silver fir
  • Bigleaf maple
  • Red alder
  • Vine maple
  • Devil’s club
  • Salal
  • Sword fern
  • Fiddlehead fern
  • Rattlesnake-plantain orchid
  • Western Fairy Slipper orchid
  • Columbia Lily
  • Ghost Pipe
  • Many species of epiphytes
  • Many species of mushrooms and fungus

Climate Change

Conserving mature and old-growth forests is one of the most affordable and effective tools for fighting climate change. No human-made technology can match big trees for removing and storing climate pollution. If they are logged, most of that pollution is quickly released into the atmosphere and it takes many decades or centuries for younger trees to recapture it.
We have lost most of our mature and old-growth forests across the country due to past logging. This is a serious problem because healthy mature and old-growth forests provide drinking water to communities, protect fish and wildlife, and absorb and store vast amounts of climate pollution. To protect what we have left and recover what has been lost, it is critical that we protect both mature and old-growth forests from being cut down in the future.

The DNR Salt and Pepper legacy forest is magical!

What can we do?

Take Action!

1. Contact DNR
Make a public comment at the Next Board of Natural Resources Meeting –  details here.

and call/email the Commissioner of Public Lands:

Hilary Franz
Phone: (360) 902-1000

2. Visit the Center for Responsible Forestry’s (CFR) website

3. Spread the Word

  • Host a community event in this Elwha Legacy Forest
  • Host a presentation in the community.
  • Tell 5 friends/neighbors about the Salt and Pepper Timber Sale & pass on the actions info

4. Support the following Washington State Legislation

DNR Trust Land Transfer program:

5. Contact your Representatives

Use the sample language:
l oppose the State logging in the Elwha River watershed, in particular, the “Salt and Pepper” timber sale. It is a structurally complex forest with large diameter trees adjacent to Lake Sutherland, which is hoped to be a recovery area for salmon. These older forests store and remove carbon from the atmosphere and play a key role in fighting the climate crisis when they are intact. I have serious concerns about how logging will impact residents’ drinking water, salmon habitat restoration efforts, and endangered species. The “Salt and Pepper” timber sale should be included in the DNR Carbon program or otherwise protected. Please cancel the “Salt and Pepper” timber sale while we work to find solutions.

Email the 3 Clallam County Commissioners and ask for a response!

State legislative representatives:
Federal legislative representatives:


  • Ole Bekkevar says:

    Your sharing lies and apparently I’m your only audience. You mentioned on your home page that carbon is quickly released back to the atmosphere after harvest. That is completely far from true but sound’s instigating to attract ignorant folks. In fact all the carbon sequestered in a tree can be sequestered and stored in the products manufactured from the tree . These products from trees can store carbon for 1500 years. Is the small amount of 3-5% legacy forests all you care about? Because it sounds like you want to save every tree. We’ll all assume you use zero wood fibers. What do you use in your daily life to avoid hurting a tree?

    • Scott McGee says:

      Thank you for the comment, Mr. Bekkevar, I appreciate the opportunity for dialogue with the owner of a local logging company. Unfortunately, the science disagrees with your assertion that “all the carbon sequestered in a tree can be sequestered and stored in the products manufactured from the tree”. In fact, the evidence shows (see the end for literature cited and calculations) that roughly 15% of the total carbon of the tree is stored in wood products after 100 years. If you take into account the logging residue (roots, stumps, small limbs) that quickly decomposes in the clearcuts, the processing that doesn’t result in lumber (bark, fuelwood and pulp), loss in the mills, and finally waste in furniture manufacturing and construction, it’s obvious that not 100% of the carbon could be preserved in the wood products. And that’s also not including what happens to furniture and construction over the decades – how much of it ends up in landfills, where it is eventually converted into an even more potent greenhouse gas – methane? If you have credible sources of science-based information that contradicts this, I’m open to reading and learning!

      Our focus is on the older, mature forests that have greater biodiversity and greater carbon sequestration than plantation forests. As you will have seen in the video of the rally you were at, the speakers repeatedly said that we’re not against all logging and understand the value of the timber industry to our neighbors and friends here on the Olympic Peninsula. If the DNR is able to purchase replacement plantation forests for timber harvests and preserve these few old legacy forests, while still compensating trust beneficiaries, would you support that? There’s funding in the draft WA state senate budget (Page 320, Part 29) that would provide for just that. I think that’s something we can all support!

      “Amounts provided by this subsection for carbon sequestration on identified state trust lands must be used to compensate trust beneficiaries and purchase replacement forestland”

      The new 2023 UN IPCC synthesis report on climate change drives home how urgent action is for reducing our carbon emissions. We’re already at 1.1C degrees and there is little time to slow down the increasing greenhouse effect. Preserving our older forests is one of our greatest assets toward keeping a livable climate for humanity and our children!

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