Broad fields here are golden with flowering mustard, or emerald with new clover and luxuriant pasturage. Sleek dairy cattle graze near large barns and comfortable rural houses. In the stump lands a few miles further west, however, a less happy spectacle is presented—scattered farms standing in the midst of stumps, infant second-growth fir, cedar, alder, and maple, and thick underbrush. Signs tacked to some of the fence posts tell the story of failure in two concise words—For Sale. Conversion of the marginal stumplands into productive farms was a long, tedious, and expensive process, and many who undertook it were forced because of financial difficulties to abandon the enterprise, after months of toil, and sell their land. The valley’s boundaries are not well defined, as it narrows with several offshoots into the mountainous areas of both counties.
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