TIMBER LAND ACCESS...to the best of our knowledge
With the recent changes to Weyerhaeuser timber land recreational access policy, we wanted to provide the most up-to-date information available regarding private timber land access. The information below generously provided by Nathan Frechen.
Weyerhauser is charging permit fees for their holdings with one notable exception near Castle Rock, due to a house being within the property so they can’t legally gate off access. If that house wasn’t there...much higher chance of that land having similar permit fees. At least in the Longview holding near Stella road, the permit access was on the order of $50/year, and allowed access during the week as well as the weekend. Some of the permits actually include a key for driving in, camping, firewood collection, etc.
Here is a link to the latest permit pricing, and what specific permits allow (it can vary significantly from section to section) - https://www.wyrecreation.com/permits
Stimson owns a lot of land in the Tillamook State Forest, and the majority of those properties allow non-motorized access during the weekend from sunup to sundown. There are some areas with special restrictions, or no access allowed. They don’t charge a permit fee, but the policies don’t allow camping, firewood collection, etc.
Details from Stimson here - http://stimson_lumber.s3.amazonaws.com/community/files/Stimson_Public_Access_2016_1.pdf
So while there is a permit fee structure in place with Weyerhauser, it appears that there are additional “services” associated with those properties vs. Stimson allowing access during the weekend daylight hour only.
While we typically push on through gates, we have a few notes specific to properties used for logging and active logging zones:
1) Regardless of whether you have a permit or if it’s a weekend – It is highly advised to stay out of an area marked as an active logging zone*. The truck drivers aren’t looking for cyclists. Most of the time, they have communicated via radio and aren’t expecting ANYONE on the road that they’ll need to take into account when going around a corner. Log trucks don’t exactly stop or turn on a dime.
2) Also regarding an active logging zone – the fallers running saw or harvesters aren’t making provisions for cyclists when putting trees down on the ground. They’re worrying about themselves and the people that they know are on the site.
3) In the summer, pay attention to red flag areas. Stimson has personnel patrolling properties during fire season and will remove non-authorized people from their property. They’re doing this to remove the potential of someone causing a fire or becoming injured or worse in the case of needing to fight a fire on their property. Just something else to check up on if you’re planning on riding in those timber areas during the hot, dry months of summer.
* While we acknowledge that many of these areas are continuously signed as 'active logging zones' even in the absence of activity. We will, for our purposes here define 'active logging zones' as that point when you hear saws, trucks, harvesting equipments...with visual confirmation that this is happening. In that case, no go. Turn around. Legit bummer, but you don't want to argue with a big scary mechanical logging thingy with steel jaws.
That said – it’s up to everyone to decide how closely they will follow the landowner’s policy. We just wanted to give the lay of the land as officially as it could be given.