Siskiyou Mountain Range

The Blog

Author: Luke Ruediger

BLM Proposes to Eliminate Public Comment Periods in New Logging and Road Building Proposal

A view down Powell Creek in the Late Mungers Project. The Late Mungers Project is “tiered” to the analysis in the IVM Project and would be the first timber sale approved if the IVM Project is authorized. As part of their continuing assault on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Medford District BLM has proposed the Integrated Vegetation Management for Resilient Lands Project (IVM). Although it sounds benign, in many cases, terms like “Integrated Vegetation Management” are a euphemism for commercial logging and serve only to mask the impacts and objectives of timber management with misleading language. Under the IVM Project the BLM has proposed to allow up to 4,000 acres of commercial logging and 10 miles of new road construction per year without public comment, public involvement or environmental review. This would include up to 25,000 acres of logging and 90 miles of new road construction in a ten year period. According to the BLM,...

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Dismantling NEPA Part 2: Local BLM Efforts to Undermine the Public Input Process

A BLM field trip into a portion of the Nedsbar Timber Sale as part of NEPA planning in 2014. If the Integrated Vegetation Management for Resilient Lands Environmental Assessment is approved, community meetings, field trips and public comment periods would be a thing of the past.  On a national level the Trump Administration is pushing hard to eliminate or drastically reduce public involvement in federal land management planning, but it is not just a national issue. Local land managers in southwestern Oregon are also working to find ways to cut the public out of the process. This includes our local BLM, who is proposing an extremely large Programmatic Environmental Assessment of Integrated Vegetation Management for Resilient Lands (IVM-RL EA).  Although the name intentionally sounds rather benign, the goal of this project is to increase timber production without conducting environmental review or soliciting public input. “Integrated Vegetation Management”...

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Dismantling NEPA Part 1: A National Push for NEPA Rule Changes

Community members and the Forest Service conducting a public field tour during a NEPA process in the Applegate. If proposed NEPA rule changes are approved, public involvement could be a thing of the past. This summer the Forest Service proposed dramatic nationwide changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. These revisions to NEPA would allow widespread logging, mining and road building throughout Forest Service lands. To achieve these goals the agency has proposed sweeping changes that would drastically limit public input and eliminate environmental review for the vast majority of Forest Service projects. These changes would essentially shut the public out of public land management planning. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the foundation of public involvement on our public lands. It is also intended to facilitate a thorough environmental analysis for federal land management projects. The public process required under NEPA has consistently...

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The Upper Briggs Restoration Project: The Wrong Treatments, in the Wrong Place, at the Wrong Time!

A view across the Briggs Creek watershed in the spring of 2019 following the 2018 Taylor/Klondike Fire. Recently the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest approved over 4,000 acres of commercial logging in the Upper Briggs Restoration Project. The Upper Briggs Restoration Project is located in the Briggs Creek watershed west of Grants Pass, Oregon on the Wild Rivers Ranger District. The project is yet another damaging federal timber sale disingenuously cloaked in restoration language.  Briggs Creek is a major tributary of the Illinois River with significant anadromous fisheries and a botanical hotspot with high recreational values including hiking trails, mountain biking trails, Botanical Areas, Designated Wildlife Areas and popular campgrounds.  The area also burned in the 2018 Taylor/Klondike Fire and according to the Decision Notice for the Upper Briggs Project, “the fire effects were generally very low intensity mostly burning ground fuels with occasional...

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The Klamath National Forest is Clearcutting the Siskiyou Crest near Cook and Green Pass

A view southeast from near Copper Butte on the Siskiyou Crest. The Copper Timber Sale proposes to clearcut almost the entire burnt ridgeline in the foreground. The sale extends nearly to the Siskiyou Crest and down the east facing slopes into the headwaters of Horse Creek. As soon as the smoke cleared from the 2017 Abney Fire, the Klamath National Forest began working to clearcut the region’s fire affected forests. As usual, the Klamath National Forest took a very unscientific and opportunistic approach, proposing clearcut, post-fire logging throughout important conservation areas. Klamath National Forest land managers decided to locate much of the proposed timber sale near the spine of the Siskiyou Crest, in and around the Condrey Mountain and Kangaroo Roadless Areas, near the Cook and Green Pass Botanical Area, the Pacific Crest Trail and in a large Late Successional Reserve designated to protect complex, old forest habitat. The region around Cook and Green Pass has...

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