History Before Bob

Bob Keefer’s article about Ponderosa pine (“Pining Away,” 12/26) caused me to reflect. Ponderosa is nothing new to the Willamette Valley — just look at the centuries-old Ponderosa pine on Spencer Butte.

I am fortunate that some of my work takes me on private timberlands in our area. Some are small tree farms and others are large industrial properties. Some Ponderosa plantings by private enterprise are more than 40 years old. If you know what you are looking for you can see some of them on the south and west-facing slopes of the Coburg Hills and on hills overlooking the Row River. Many more are behind locked gates.

I can’t say if foresters who planted these stands of Ponderosa were concerned with climate change or if science dictated certain soil types or particular exposures, but the trees are all doing well. And they were planted long before Keefer made his recent discoveries.

David Walp