As the fall rains finally began, Janet Millard hoped it would calm fear of the fire burning miles away in north central Washington during last year’s historic fire season. But Millard, a spotted owl specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, was mistaken.
Managers on the Wolverine fire still opted to cut one of the largest firelines ever in Washington, logging 114 acres of critical spotted owl habitat and felling big trees — including a giant that had stood for centuries, so large, it was a one-log load on a semi truck. Steel-tracked heavy equipment tore up fragile ground along streams. Erosive soils unique to the area were bulldozed.