Working In The Northwest Woods: A personal history of a decade spent working in the forests of the Northwest.

Working In The Northwest Woods: A personal history of a decade spent working in the forests of the Northwest.

Dennis Willard

Language: English

Pages: 234

ISBN: 1466388897

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In this first-hand account of a decade spent in the outdoors in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, we are taken on a journey revealing life inside the United States Forest Service. Starting as a first year seasonal, a young man who has spent his life in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri is transported to the Cascades.

Follow him as he learns his way around the rugged terrain of the big timber country. From the personal narrative of his initial experiences to gripping accounts of encounters with wild weather, wild fire and wildlife, the author takes you on a voyage into the backcountry of the Northwest Woods.

Read about going face to face with bears, experience the awesome beauty encountered while dodging lightning bolts on mountaintops and hear what it is like to be surrounded by wildfire. These are essays and stories telling of a life that is growing harder and harder to find in our mechanized and technological world. This book is a terrific summary of adventure and humor and the pure joy of what it is really like to live your life on the outside.

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then without pausing for breath he instructed my partner to get connectors and attach the hose that I would be bringing to the end of the inch and one-half that ended a short distance above where we stood. Things were beginning to get interesting. This being my very first experience with fire in the woods, I had no idea if this was routine, unusual or an impending disaster. I assumed in my enthusiasm that it was the latter. I raced away, moving as quickly up the incline as I could, trying to

the ground. By swinging with one hand and reaching into the bag for a tree with the other, we were able to make rapid progress across the clear-cut areas. When the ground was covered with brush or litter or the organic layer found in forests, called duff, the hoedad could be reversed or turned sideways and a short, sharpened blade could be used to scrape and cut, or the long, flat side could be used to help clear away debris. This enabled us to reach mineral soil - a necessity for the tree to

foot or so off the ground and sends out additional lateral branches at about one foot intervals. This usually presents little problem because the trees are not typically found in more than ones or twos. This stand was decidedly different. This was a veritable cascara plantation. Unable to move forward through the tangle of branches, I moved to one side and attempted to work my way through. Again, I was stopped against a wall of interwoven branches. With the base of the trees only a few feet

too many people and too many cars on too few roads. If we had either fewer people or fewer cars or a few more and larger roads then things would be not so bad, or so goes the argument. In fact it seems that road capacity, like personal financial budgets, will always expand to utilize completely whatever resource is available. By the time I reached the approaches to Grangeville, however, the memories of multi-lane freeways and traffic were fading fast. There were certainly no crowds here, but

gravely beach - in sight on the other side. At mid-trunk I stopped to admire the water upstream and downstream. It was while looking down the river that I noticed a movement along the stream bank not far from where I had started out a few moments before. It was a dog. Sort of an indistinguishable, mixed breed mutt and I watched him for probably several minutes before it occurred to me to wonder “why is a dog out here?” such a long way from anywhere. While trying to understand how this small dog

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