When the 7,400-acre Headwaters Forest Reserve was acquired in 1999, approximately 60% of the Reserve had been timber harvested. Once Headwaters was established, the BLM was tasked with restoring these harvested lands back to the natural conditions found in adjacent unharvested lands. This restoration work has included forest thinning, as well as decommissioning and re-planting of old logging roads. Active monitoring and science projects have been used to assess the effectiveness of these restoration efforts in restoring the second-growth forests of Headwaters.
Since 2004, the BLM has thinned approximately 1,800 acres of previously logged forests throughout Headwaters, with another 100 acres planned for Summer/Fall 2013. The objective of these thinings is to accelerate the development of regrowing forests towards mature forest stands. Once mature, the BLM hopes to reduce habitat fragmentation within Headwaters and create additional habitat for wildlife speceis that are dependent on mature forests, such as the marbled murrelet and the northern spotted owl.