Siskiyou Mountain Range

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January 2015 Nedsbar Photo Essay

The good folks from Speak for the Trees and Birch Creek Arts & Ecology Center, Little Applegate Valley based non-profits, teamed up with the Klamath Forest Alliance and the Siskiyou Crest Blog to survey units last weekend. Speak for the Trees board members are pictured here in Nedsbar Timber Sale unit 17-12 near Chelsea Spring up Rush Creek, a tributary of the Little Applegate River. The unit is proposed by the BLM as “group selection 40%,” meaning the stand will be thinned to 40% canopy coverage by removing groupings of trees. The prescription calls for creating half-acre clearings that should not exceed 25% of the stand. The large Douglas fir tree in the photo was marked for removal in the BLM’s previous Bald Lick Timber Sale, which did not sell and has now been reworked into the current Nedsbar Timber Sale.

 

 Pictured here is Chelsea Spring in the Rush Creek watershed. Chelsea Spring is surrounded by the proposed Nedsbar Timber Sale unit 17-12. The site is a historic stopping point along an old pack trail that traverses the unit. The trail is proposed as a spur of the Jack-Ash Trail and would be impacted by commercial logging. 

Unit 25-24 above the Little Applegate River. The unit is structurally and compositionally diverse and includes a variety of age classes, including old-growth trees, mature trees, and young pole stands. The unit is proposed as a group selection unit that will be logged utilizing helicopters to yard commercial material. According to BLM prescriptions the “principal purpose of a group selection treatment is to create structural diversity among stands that are homogenous in appearance or have a one layer overstory.” Unit 25-24 is already structurally diverse, supports a multi-layered overstory and a patchy canopy of old-growth trees and large, old snags. Small gulches run through the unit supporting shrubby growth of ocean spray, hazel, and Oregon grape. Located on a north slope, the unit is more productive and moist than much of the dry forest targeted for logging in the Nedsbar Timber Sale.

A grouping of large, old-growth trees in unit 25-24. Many of the large overstory trees show the signs of historic fire and most large, old trees grow in fire adapted “clump formation,” meaning the remnant old-growth trees exist in groupings of trees that survived the last wildfire. The fire adapted trees often support “cat faces,” such as the deep hollow or cavity shown in this picture. These cavities create high quality wildlife habitat, including denning habitat for the Pacific fisher, currently a candidate for protection as an threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Northern California and Southern Oregon support the largest and most stable populations of Pacific fisher left in western North America. 

Our youngest Community Monitoring Project volunteer in unit 36-23. The unit is at the headwaters of Lick Gulch and is nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for the northern spotted owl. It is also adjacent to an “owl core” designated to protect a spotted owl nesting site. Roughly one-half mile of new road construction is proposed to provide access to the unit for logging. The unit is proposed to be treated utilizing a Selective Thinning Ponderosa pine 40% prescription. 

Dense pole stands in unit 19-20B. The unit is proposed to be treated utilizing a Selective Thinning/ Douglas Fir 40% prescription, meaning the stand will be thinned to 40% canopy closure. There is concern that reducing such stands to 40% canopy closure will increase fuel loads adjacent to rural homes on Little Applegate Road.

 Community Monitoring Project volunteers found an undesignated hiking trail in unit 19-20B. The unit consists of dense, closed canopy stands of Douglas fir mixed with stands of Pacific madrone.

Community Monitoring volunteers in unit 23-31 on “Cinnabar Ridge.” The unit is proposed for Selective Thinning to 40%-50% canopy closure.
A dense stand of Douglas fir with remnant old-growth pine in unit 23-30 on “Cinnabar Ridge.” BLM prescriptions in this unit call for a thinning to 40%-50% canopy closure.
Unit 34-30 in the Boaz Mountain Roadless Area, a small unroaded area providing connectivity between the Buncom and Little Greyback Roadless Areas. This large unit is proposed to be treated with a group selection prescription, which would reduce canopy closure to 40%.

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