11/11/11 - 9:37am
When the spruce bark beetle outbreak hit Homer in the mid-1990s, I spent my weekends felling trees, cutting firewood and burning slash. My wife and I lived in a thick old-growth Sitka spruce forest, with no view of Kachemak Bay and hidden from the road. As the trees came down, our land became what realtors gleefully called an "emerging view" property. When a 160-acre clearcut appeared below us, our view of the Bay improved dramatically but cold day breezes meant the end of shorts on sunny summer days, and we found ourselves in full view from a noisy road.