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The Nedsbar Community Alternative

Nedsbar Community Monitoring Program volunteers in unit 28-10A on the western face of Bald Mountain. This unit, and numerous other proposed logging units in the Nedsbar Timber Sale that support old, fire-resilient forests, would be dropped in the Community Alternative.
Throughout the last few months, the Siskiyou Crest Blog, Klamath Forest Alliance, and local Applegate Valley non-profits and community organizations have organized the Nedsbar Community Monitoring Program (NCMP). The goal of this effort was to walk and evaluate all 93 units in the proposed Nedsbar Timber Sale, to not only educate the public, but also to inform the proposed Community Alternative to the Nedsbar Timber Sale. The Community Alternative has been developed by a committed group of local Applegate Valley residents —known as the Community Alternative Working Group—to address what many in the community see as the timber sale’s numerous design flaws and unbalanced prescriptions. The Community Alternative is now being circulated throughout the local area for community members to sign on in support.


The Community Alternative has been created to address the critical fire protection needs of local residents, forest health concerns, and the habitat needs of local wildlife species, as well as generate positive results for the region’s rural economy, including organic farms, vineyards, tourism, visitor amenities, real estate, and outdoor recreation. The local economy is driven by scenic values and the region’s high quality of life.


The Community Alternative proposes to log and conduct fuel reduction treatments in strategic locations throughout the BLM’s Nedsbar Planning Area. Treatments are proposed in forest habitats the have been degraded by logging, road development and fire suppression, rather than in roadless or intact forest ecosystems. The Community Alternative would maximize social and ecological needs, while producing a reasonable and sustainable supply of timber. 


The Community Alternative Working Group has released the document for public review. Please read the Community Alternative here.


If you would like to “sign” the Community
Alternative please send an email to nedsbarca@gmail.com (as in Nedsbar Community Alternative)
authorizing us to add your name. Be sure to include your full name
and the town or area you live in. You may include your full address, or at
least the road you live on, if you like. Or you can sign on here using Google Forms.
 
 Stay tuned for monthly public hikes planned into Nedsbar Timber Sale units and a public presentation sponsored by the Klamath Forest Alliance and the Siskiyou Crest Blog, sharing the findings of the Nedsbar Community Monitoring Program. See you there!


Below is a letter sent out yesterday by the Nedsbar Community Alternative Working Group.


_______________________________________________________________


February 4, 2015


Dear neighbors and friends in the Applegate
and Rogue Valleys,

As
many of you know, in 2014, the Medford BLM proposed a large timber sale for the
Applegate Valley.  It covers much of the BLM
lands south of the Little Applegate Road, up onto the ridgeline between Wagner
and Anderson Butte, and on BLM land east of Upper Applegate Road.  At BLM’s request, a small group of concerned landowners
have been working for several months to craft a Community Alternative (CA). The
results of our efforts are in the attached “Community Alternative for the
Proposed Nedsbar Timber Sale.”

The CA reflects the drafting group’s
best efforts to fashion a timber management model that addresses the conditions
and needs of our area while allowing for responsible timber harvest. Not
surprisingly, advocating for forest management practices that improve forest
health and reduce (or at least do not exacerbate) fire hazards in our
dangerously dry forests is a very high priority that is reflected throughout
the Community Alternative.

Now it’s your turn to help us demonstrate broad support for this
community-based proposal. We hope everyone receiving this email will want to
“sign” the Community Alternative by granting us permission to list
your name as a signatory. Our plan is to submit the CA with the list of signers
early next week (Monday, February 9), so please let us know as soon as you can
whether you will sign on.

As the BLM provides the requested
documentation (i.e. critical habitat information) necessary to complete our finalized
prescriptions and unit selection, we will be making our recommendations
available to the community. We are currently under a BLM deadline to submit the
body of our proposal containing the principles and guidelines that will inform
our unit selection and prescription development.

If you would like to “sign” the Community
Alternative please send an email to nedsbarca@gmail.com (as in Nedsbar Community Alternative)
authorizing us to add your name. Be sure to include your full name
and the town or area you live in. You may include your full address, or at
least the road you live on, if you like.


Thanks so much for taking the time
to read the Community Alternative. We hope you will join us in presenting a
better alternative for the Nedsbar timber sale. 
We apologize for duplicate postings; we want to reach as many people as
possible. 

The Community Alternative Working Group:

Marion Hadden
Hope Robertson
Luke Ruediger
Peter Salant
Chant Thomas
Priscilla Weaver


Unit R-27 is a riparian thinning unit proposed to be logged and tractor yarded by the BLM within the Riparian Reserve of Ned’s Gulch, a small stream feeding into the mainstem of the Applegate River in the Upper Applegate Valley. The Community Alternative would not propose any logging within Riparian Reserves and would reduce heavy logging in areas such as the Little Applegate River Canyon, to ensure sedimentation from logging operations does not impact our rivers, streams or fisheries. 
What we don’t want! A photographic example of what the Community Alternative is trying to prevent. This is unit 70-1 in the BLM’s recent O’Lickety Timber Sale located on the slopes above the Little Applegate River.

What we don’t want! Another photographic example of what the Community Alternative is trying to prevent. This is also unit 70-1 in the BLM’s recent O’Lickety Timber Sale located on the slopes above the Little Applegate River.


Summary of the Community Alternative

The driving force for the proposed Nedsbar Timber sale is
the Swanson decision (“Court Order”)
issued in 2013 by a federal judge in Washington D.C.  It requires the BLM to “sell or offer to
sell” a specific number of board feet of timber within the BLM’s Medford and
Roseburg districts. The Nedsbar Sale is one of a series of timber sales that
must be offered if the Court Order is upheld on appeal. 

  

Our community supports a timber sale that will help meet a
portion of the volume required by the Court Order.  However, the specific areas proposed for
management at this time and the prescriptions must be appropriate for this project
area. Primary considerations in the Little and Upper Applegate Valleys are: 1)
a robust and growing agricultural and recreational economy, 2) the dry
forestlands with their high fire hazards, 3) the steep topography, and 4) the special
environmental characteristics of the Nedsbar area.

Goals of the Community Alternative:

a.  A level of combined economic, legal,
environmental, social and scientific/technical viability that is equal to or
greater than either BLM Alternative 3 (BLM A3) or BLM Alternative 4 (BLM A4).

b. Reduction of fire hazards and fuel
loads and building long-term forest resilience.

c.  Production of a sustainable level of
commercial forest products.

d. Protection and enhancement of the
economic values of the affected geographic area, including burgeoning
commercial agricultural activities, regional property values, tourism, and recreation.

e.  Enhancement of watershed health and
of forest vigor.

f.  Preservation of the unique habitat
connectivity corridor extending from the Rogue Valley into the Nedsbar Planning
Area, up the Applegate River, the surrounding ridges to the Siskiyou Crest and well
into California.

g. Collaboration among the BLM, local
residents and other agencies to achieve a successful timber sale offering
without legal challenges.

h. Achieving the goals of the Applegate
AMA described in the Northwest Forest Plan and Medford BLM Resource Management
Plan.

Stands like this one in unit 27-33 would be thinned in the Community Alternative. If implemented correctly, the Community Alternative would create positive ecological impacts, reduce fuel loads and facilitate timber production.
The Community Alternative would create a 20″ upper diameter limit for tree removal. The tree in this photo is 20″ in diameter, providing a visual of what size tree would be the largest removed under general prescription guidelines in the Community Alternative. 

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