Coastal Forest Thriving in Idaho

Story and Photos by Dennis Pence

Bob, a forester for one of what I call the alphabet agencies, sat in the passenger seat of the pickup as we drove to the Grandad area on Dworshak Reservoir. I had accepted a summer job operating a road grader, blading logging roads in Grandad, and he was the forester in charge.

“Is that red alder?” I asked, somewhat incredulous.

Bob glanced at me wonderingly. “Yeah. Why is that strange?”

“I haven’t seen red alder since I left the coast of Washington a few years ago.”

“This is the coastal disjunct,” he intoned, as if it were common knowledge.

“Coastal what?” I vaguely recalled the usage of “disjunct” as an adjective, meaning disjoined or separated. It’s not a word used in everyday conversation, and I’d never heard the term “coastal disjunct” before. Bob used it as if “disjunct” were a noun.

“Plants that are native west of the Cascade Mountains grow here also,” he explained. “That’s why it’s the coastal disjunct.”

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Published by Dennis Pence

Dennis Pence knew he would be a writer by age ten, and he’s been writing ever since. He admits that he hasn’t made much money at being a writer, but he’s the author of two novels in print, and three more on his computer. Dennis lives with his wife Teri and dogs Rose Bud and Sadie in the hills above Kooskia. He can be reached at penstone@msn.com.