Watershed helicopter logging might get noisier

ASHLAND — A helicopter being used on a logging project in the Ashland watershed will be used closer to town and should finish its share of the job this week, if weather permits.

Chris Chambers, a forest resource specialist for the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project, sent out a project update Monday explaining that people might notice more noise from the helicopter as its crew works near the city limits.

After this phase of helicopter logging finishes, log-truck traffic will continue to be heavy on Granite Street this week. The trucks will carry logs through town and ultimately to Murphy Veneer in White City. As many as 20 to 25 truckloads will come through town per day.

For public safety, Granite Street remains closed weekdays at Glenview Drive near the Lithia Swim Reservoir, as does the Hitt Road trail at the city water tank above Strawberry Lane. Loop Road is still closed from Horn Gap down to Granite Street above the swim reservoir. All trails west of Ashland Creek up to Horn Gap, including the Hitt Road trail, are closed, too.

The project's purpose is to thin trees from the area to decrease wildfire hazards to houses around Ashland. Project officials said they plan to work on 7,600 acres over 10 years.

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