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Update: Nedsbar Timber Sale

Open, fire-adapted mixed conifer forest in unit 15-30 of the Nedsbar Timber Sale. The unit is located within the Buncom Roadless Area, a portion of the proposed Dakubetede Primitive Area. Logging this unit would impact habitat and ecological values while increasing fuel risks. The unit should be canceled and eliminated from the sale. 

The Nedsbar Timber Sale is a large BLM timber sale located in the Upper and Little Applegate Valleys. The planning area includes some of the last roadless terrain in the foothills of the Applegate Valley. It is also located in an important connectivity corridor the leads from the Rogue Valley, near the towns of Talent and Ashland, Oregon, across the Applegate Valley to the Siskiyou Crest, and into the wilderness complex of the Marble, Salmon, and Trinity Alps of Northern California. Environmentalists and local citizens in the area have begun working to either stop or significantly alter the project as it is currently proposed.

Over 30 Applegate Valley residents attended the BLM field trip on Nov. 19, 2014.

 On November 19, 2014 the BLM led a field trip to a few of the more accessible units in the Nedsbar Timber Sale. Over thirty local citizens concerned about the timber sale attended the tour to inform themselves of what is truly at stake. The community provided a lively discussion of the issues and voiced strong opposition to the agency’s timber heavy prescriptions and proposal. To our surprise, the BLM did announce that they were dropping 31 units throughout the planning area, including older stands, quality nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for the Northern spotted owl, as well as numerous units located in small roadless areas. They also reduced, but did not eliminate, the acreage proposed for “regeneration harvest,” a sivicultural technique where only 16-25 trees per acre remain after the area is logged. There are now only three units proposed as “regeneration harvest.”

BLM field trip into 19-20A, a regeneration unit.

Additionally, the BLM’s initial proposal for Nedsbar included “disease management” prescriptions — that would have targeted mistletoe “infested” stands, leaving only 6-9 trees per acre — that have now been canceled. This is especially important because all known spotted owl nest sites on BLM land within the Little Applegate have been documented in mistletoe brooms.

Although the sale has been altered, numerous units remain that will impact the proposed Dakubetede Primitive Area, a number of small roadless areas, and many acres of previously uncut forest. Many more units need to be canceled and a new management approach promoted that will restore functional connectivity corridors, reduce fuel hazards in the wildland urban interface, retain wildlife habitat, and facilitate the production of high quality water throughout the watershed for threatened coho fisheries and thriving local farms.

The currently narrow and limiting “purpose and need” of the Nedsbar Timber Sale, as defined by the BLM, emphasizes timber management over all other social, economic and ecological values. In a watershed designated as a key watershed for the threatened coho salmon, that supports unusually high density populations of the Northern spotted owl, harbors exceptional levels of biodiversity, provides popular recreational opportunities, and is developing a thriving local economy based on scenic values, tourism, outdoor recreation, as well as organic farms, ranches, and vineyards, such a timber heavy approach is unacceptable.

Looking into Nedsbar unit 14-30 in the Buncom Roadless Area. A new road is proposed to be constructed on the ridge in the foreground, extending onto the knoll above unit 14-30, in the center of the photo. See map below.

Proposed road construction for three units of the Nedsbar Timber Sale. These roads will be constructed in currently unroaded areas.

The heavy and unsustainable extraction of timber in the Upper and Little Applegate areas has the potential to heavily impact the quality of life and the developing economy of the region. The Nedsbar Timber Sale would also have substantial impact to the region’s natural values such as fisheries, wildlife habitat, water quality, etc. There is currently a subgroup of the Applegate Neighborhood Network that is working on a “community alternative” for the Nedsbar Timber Sale. The BLM has promised to analyze the community alternative as part of it’s Environmental Analysis (EA) process. The BLM’s EA is due to be released to the public for comment in March, 2015.

Community monitoring in unit 30-20

The Siskiyou Crest blog is trying to organize a community monitoring program for the Nedsbar Timber Sale. If you have a unit in your backyard or are motivated to go visit one, please check it out and report back to us to help us identify where units of concern are located. Email: siskiyoucrest@gmail.com Pictures and unit descriptions are very helpful.

Unit 15-30

 

Please contribute to the campaign to protect the Applegate Valley from the Nedsbar Timber Sale with your time, energy, and perhaps a few dollars. The Klamath Forest Alliance will be working with the local community and environmental organizations to oppose the Nedsbar Timber Sale and promote a sustainable management strategy that will emphasize fuel reduction, habitat protection, and the restoration of forest and watershed values in the Siskiyou Mountains.

Send donation to:
Klamath Forest Alliance
P.O. Box 21
Orleans, CA 
95556
Klamath Forest Alliance
(Please specify your donation is for Nedsbar Timber Sale)

This map is hard to read here, but can be viewed easier on the BLM’s Nedsbar Web Page if you click on “Public Involvement,” and then “Field Trip Draft Map.”  BLM’s Nedsbar Web Page

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