Washington state owls, trees at a glance

McClatchy NewspapersSeptember 5, 2010 

WASHINGTON — Here are some facts about the forests and species of Washington state:

TALL TREE — The tallest Douglas fir is the 327-foot-tall Doerner Fir in Coos County, Ore., but there have been reports of even taller ones. In 1897, a 465-foot-tall Douglas fir with a circumference of 33 feet 11 inches was reported in Whatcom County, Wash.

SPOTTED OWLS — They are considered a medium-sized owl, 16 to 19 inches long, one to two pounds in weight, with a wingspan of 3.5 feet. Interestingly, while most owls have eyes ranging in color from yellow to orange-red, the spotted owl has dark eyes.

ENDANGERED SPECIES — There are 43 species protected under the Endangered Species Act. In addition to the spotted owl, they include killer whales, the gray wolf, Canada lynx, Selkirk Mountain caribou, short-tailed albatross, green sea turtle, golden paintbrush, Kincaids lupine, Oregon silverspot butterfly and numerous species of salmon and steelhead.

AND IT'S NOT SKID ROW — The state has long been one of the nation's top timber producers. The first logs were shipped out of Puget Sound in 1788 to China to be milled into ship spars. In 1855 a mill was built on Camano Island to cut ship spars for the French and Spanish navies. Henry Yessler built the first steam-driven mill on Puget Sound in 1853, and logs for his and others mills were skidded down roads, hence the name Skid Road. In 1938, Oregon passed Washington state as the nation's top timber producer.

TALKING THE TALK

Crummy (a loggers' bus or crew vehicle)

Nosebag (a logger's lunch bucket)

Pecker polls (small, skinny trees)

Slash (debris left over from a logging operation)

Caulks (high-topped, steel-spiked boots)

Jake brake (a compression brake often found on log trucks)

Wigwam burner (a teepee-shaped structure where logging debris was burned)

(Sources: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Washington Department of Ecology; Washington Contract Loggers Association; Oregonlive.com; history.com)

McClatchy Newspapers 2010

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