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Siskiyou Mountain Range

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PROGRESS: BLM Drops Units in the Nedsbar Timber Sale!

Unit 28-22B was originally proposed for heavy regeneration logging. The Nedsbar Community Monitoring Project and KFA identified the unit as one of the most intact, fire-adapted stands in the Little Applegate foothills. As the community learned about this egregious timber sale unit, they responded with dismay and many attended a public hike led in January. The good news is that the BLM recently dropped commercial logging proposals in the unit. Having this unit dropped from the sale is a major victory towards protecting the Little Applegate Valley from the Nedsbar Timber Sale, however, more still needs to be done. Many more units need to be canceled to protect old, late-seral forests, wildlife habitat, and roadless areas.

The BLM recently released a new Nedsbar Timber Sale map depicting the BLM’s “preferred alternative” for their Environmental Analysis (EA), Alternative 4. Alternative 4 is the most timber heavy alternative that will be reviewed in EA. It represents the worst case scenario for the Applegate region, if it is is chosen for implementation. The alternative was developed to maximize timber output to appease (and possibly exceed) the mandates of the Swanson-Superior lawsuit that is currently under appeal. Implementation of Alternative 4 would mean numerous miles of new roads would be built, some in roadless habitats. It would also mean that large areas of the Little and Upper Applegate Valleys would be logged with no upper diameter limit and to canopy closure levels that would impact habitat values, viewsheds, with a result of increased fuel hazards.

The new map released by the BLM shows that we have been making progress. Numerous units containing large, old trees, high quality, late-seral forest habitat, and minimal fuel loads were either removed from commercial entry, or changed to fuel reduction units where no large trees will be felled. The dropping of these units also means miles of new road construction and heavy road renovation would also be canceled. The dropping of these units constitutes a victory, but there is more still to do, roadless units that must be dropped, new roads that must not be built, and prescriptions that must be amended to make them more ecologically appropriate and benign. The Community Alternative for the Nedsbar Timber Sale would achieve these conservation goals while reducing fuels and producing a sustainable and appropriate level of timber harvest in the dry, marginal forests of the Applegate foothills.

Below I have highlighted Nedsbar Timber Sale units that have been recently canceled or significantly altered due to public input, the efforts of the Community Monitoring Program, and the efforts of many others in the Applegate and Rogue Valley communities.

Unit 28-22 A, B, & C

Unit 28-22 has been dropped and will not be commercially logged. The unit supports healthy, fire-adapted forests that underburned in 1987.

Unit 28-22 is found on the long, dry ridgeline dividing Yale Creek from the Little Applegate River. The unit is found within the Wildland Urban Interface of Little Applegate Road, adjacent to private residential homes on lower Yale Creek Road.

Unit 28-22 B was one of three units proposed for structural retention regeneration harvest, meaning only 30% canopy closure and 16-25 large trees per acres would be retained after implementation of logging treatments. The stand underburned in 1987 and supports highly fire-resilient characteristics. The stand also supports all the characteristics of old-growth forest with large, old trees, snags, large downed wood, complex stand structure, diverse branching structure, high canopies, and a multi-layered canopy of hardwoods and conifer species. The stand is a model for resilient, healthy stand conditions in the low elevation foothills of the Applegate Valley.

The Siskiyou Crest Blog and KFA recently led a public hike into this unit and the feeling was unanimous that the unit should not be logged.

According to the new map provided by the BLM, the unit prescription has been changed in Alternative 4 to fuel reduction and no commercial logging will take place in unit 28-22 A, B, & C. In Alternative 3 the unit has been entirely canceled. The new road proposed to access the units for logging will also be canceled in both Alternatives 3 and 4.

To view my original blog post on unit 28-22 click on the following link: original post
To view a post on the recent public hike to 28-22, click on the following link: public hike post

Unit 33-20

Unit 33-20 has been dropped and will not be commercially logged. The stand supports a diverse forest of late-seral pine and fir with small oak openings. This unit also underburned in 1987, creating a healthy, fire-adapted habitat. The BLM is now proposing this unit to be a fuel reduction unit.

Unit 33-20 lies due east of unit 28-22 on the same long, dry ridgeline dividing Yale Creek from the Little Applegate River. Found on the north face of the ridge, the unit supports a diverse late-seral forest with old ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, and oak openings. The unit underburned in 1987, maintaining highly fire-resilient stand conditions.

According to the new map provided by the BLM, unit prescription has been changed from commercial thinning to fuel reduction in both alternative 3 and 4, meaning that no commercial logging would take place in this relatively intact stand. Significant road renovation would have been necessary to log this unit. This road renovation will not be necessary under fuel reduction prescriptions, reducing impacts to the area’s primitive character.

To view my original blog post on unit 33-20 click on the following link: original post

Unit 36-25

Unit 36-25 is found at the headwaters of Lick Gulch and supports nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for the northern spotted owl. The unit has been canceled.

Unit 36-25 is found at the headwaters of Lick Gulch and supports groves of large, old Douglas fir. The unit has been selectively logged, but many dominant, old trees remain. The unit contains nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for the northern spotted owl. It is also adjacent to an owl nesting core. The area provides important connectivity habitat to and from these important habitats for the northern spotted owl. The unit was originally proposed for commercial logging and has recently been canceled.

Unit 25-24

Unit 25-24 has been canceled and the diverse, variable stand supporting large old trees will not be commercially logged. The unit was identified by the Nedsbar Community Monitoring Program as a unit of concern and was highlighted on The Siskiyou Crest blog. Information gathered by the monitoring program was also used in an official memo submitted to the BLM by KS Wild, Oregon Wild, Klamath Forest Alliance and others.  The unit has been canceled!

Unit 25-24 is found in the Little Applegate River Canyon and is located within the Dakubetede Roadless Area. The stand supports old-growth trees and extremely variable, diverse stand conditions. The unit is adjacent to some of the most intact old-growth in the Little Applegate Canyon and provides important connectivity and dispersal habitat. The stand was originally proposed for commercial logging, but was recently dropped in the new reiterations of both Alternative 3 and 4.

To view the original photo essay follow this link: Nedsbar photo essay

Still more to do…
Although we have made significant progress many questionable units remain. These include units in roadless areas, units supporting high quality northern spotted owl habitat, units with large, old-growth trees and late-seral stands, units with minimal fuel loads, and units that require extensive road construction. KFA and the Siskiyou Crest Blog are committed to continuing the campaign to Stop Nedsbar as currently proposed and to promoting the Community Alternative to the Nedsbar Timber Sale. We intend to now focus our energy on these remaining units of concern.

If our work is to continue we will need the support of the community. To support this work consider helping to organize around the Nedsbar Timber Sale, or fund our work with a tax-deductible donation. To make a donation visit the KFA website and specify “Nedsbar.” For those of you who have recently donated to KFA, please check to see if your donation was received. We had a technical problem on our website and some recent donations within the past two months may have been returned. We now have this problem fixed. We are sorry for any inconvenience; please consider continuing to fund our important work.

Klamath Forest Alliance

PO Box 21
Orleans, CA 95556