Siskiyou Mountain Range

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2018 Klamathon Fire Report: Natural Fire Effects, Unauthorized Wilderness Bulldozing, & Violations of the Wilderness Act

Pilot Rock rises above upper Hutton Creek in the Soda Mountain Wilderness Area. The 2018 Klamathon Fire burned through this area at low to moderate severity, reinforcing a spectacular mosaic of mixed conifer forest, oak woodland, arid grassland, chaparral and basalt outcrops. Klamath Forest Alliance’s Klamath-Siskiyou Fire Report Program has recently released the 2018 Klamathon Fire Report exploring the fire effects and unfortunate fire suppression impacts sustained while crews from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) worked to suppress the Klamathon Fire.  Some time has elapsed since the fire, and during that time Klamath Forest Alliance submitted a detailed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in order to fully inform our investigation. We waited 10 months to receive the FOIA documents which delayed the release of the report. Unfortunately, the BLM did not provide all the documents we requested and many key documents were either omitted or redacted, including...

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Klamath Forest Alliance, Siskiyou Field Office: A Year in Review

Klamath Forest Alliance works to protect the wildlands of the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains. At the Siskiyou Field Office of Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) 2019 was busy and eventful. We advocated for conservation throughout the Siskiyou Mountains, opposing damaging federal land management projects and worked on policy issues surrounding fire and smoke in the state of Oregon.  This past year we have worked on projects as diverse as the Siskiyou Mountains themselves — from the fog drenched forests of the Wild Rivers Coast and into the serpentine barrens of the greater Kalmiopsis Wildlands. We also worked in the the chaparral, woodlands and forest habitats of the Applegate Valley; the rocky high country of the Siskiyou Crest; the rugged canyons of the Klamath River; and the transition between the Siskiyou Crest and the Cascade Mountains in the Soda Mountain Wilderness Area and Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. We officially submitted substantial comments for five Forest...

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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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