Siskiyou Mountain Range

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Protect Fire-Affected Forests on the Siskiyou Crest!

East Fork Illinois River canyon and the snowy peaks of the Siskiyou Wilderness after the 2020 Slater Fire. Photo credit: Deer Creek Photography As described in my previous blog post, the Slater Fire began east of Happy Camp, California on the evening of September 7, 2020. Pushed by unusually strong easterly winds and historically low humidity levels, the fire burned quickly to the west, tragically burning through the community of Happy Camp and up Indian Creek to the Siskiyou Crest. For the first 24-36 hours the fire burned over 100,000 acres and ripped over the Siskiyou Crest near Bolan Lake. Large swaths of forest on Indian Creek in the Klamath National Forest burned at high severity during this extreme weather event. Relatively large swaths also burned in the headwaters of Althouse Creek and Sucker Creek, near Bolan Lake and Bolan Mountain, as well as in upper Dunn Creek above Takilma, Oregon on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Since the Slater Fire, the Rogue River-Siskiyou...

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Sucker Creek, the infamous China Left Timber Sale and the Slater Fire

Looking north from near the summit of Bolan Mountain and Bolan Lake following the 2020 Slater Fire. Photo credit: USFS A view from near the summit of Bolan Mountain north to Bolan Lake and into the Sucker Creek watershed in 1934. This photograph is part of the Osborne Lookout Photo series taken by the Forest Service in the 1930s. It shows historic fire effects that are similar to those of the 2020 Slater Fire. The Slater Fire started on the evening of September 7, 2020 as a human or accidental ignition near the Slater Butte Lookout, just three miles east of Happy Camp, California and above the rugged Klamath River canyon. Although it is believed that the fire was started by high voltage power lines owned by Pacific Power, the ignition source has not yet been confirmed by Forest Service fire investigators; however,  lawsuits have already been filed against Pacific Power. Regardless of how the fire started, the ignition coincided with unusually strong easterly winds and historically low...

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Klamath Forest Alliance: 2020 A Year in Review

KFA field monitoring on the Shasta Agness Timber Sale above the Wild & Scenic Rogue River discovered a previously unknown Northern spotted owl within commercial units in the Shasta Agness Timber Sale. The discovery of this owl is forcing the Forest Service to remove significant acreage from the timber sale’s Decision Record. Klamath Forest Alliance has been busy in 2020 fighting for the wildlands of the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains and building a movement to protect, defend and restore the natural world. Despite the hardships of 2020, we remain focused on the needs of the land and our commitment to protect the wild watersheds that surround us, and the forests that are critical for carbon sequestration and climate defense. During these difficult times, more than ever, wildlands provide us solace. They provide a sense of humility and awe, a place of quiet reflection, and a place of inspiration. They are an escape from the increasingly stressful and unhealthy modern world,...

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A new administration and new opportunities to reform the BLM

The Wild and Scenic Rogue River flows through BLM lands west of Grants Pass, Oregon. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages more public land than any other federal land management agency, including nearly 248 million acres, representing an incredible 10.5% of all land in the United States. These public lands contain important wildlife habitat, highly scenic landscapes and many spectacular wildlands.  In the Siskiyou Mountains, BLM lands include the Medford District BLM, which manages the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, the foothills of the Applegate Valley, diverse forests in the Illinois River watershed, and portions the spectacular Wild and Scenic Rogue River. Unfortunately, during the Trump Administration, the BLM has declared an all-out assault on both public involvement and environmental regulations, implementing an undemocratic, unscientific and industrial approach to public land management. This has facilitated an increase in damaging projects across...

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Shasta Agness Timber Sale: Industrial Logging Dressed Up in Restoration Language

The Rogue River between Agness and Illahe in the Shasta Agness Planning Area. At the confluence of the Illinois River and the mighty Rogue River, below some of the wildest river canyons on the West Coast, lies beautiful Agness, Oregon. Just downstream of the Wild Rogue Wilderness Area, Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area, North Kalmiopsis Roadless Area, and the Shasta Costa Roadless Area, the mountains, rivers and streams of the region are important for connectivity between the Western Siskiyou Mountains and the Coast Range. The forests surrounding Agness have also been designated as a large Late Successional Reserve (LSR) to protect, maintain and encourage the development of habitat for the Northern spotted owl and other species requiring late successional or old-growth forests. A view across Foster Creek and the large LSR forest proposed for logging in the Shasta Agness Project. The area contains an unusual mosaic of coastal mixed conifer forest, including large stands of old-growth Douglas...

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