|The Buckskin Fire Report will explore wildfire, as well as fire suppression impacts, in one of the most unusual wilderness habitats on the west coast: serpentine woodland.|
Thanks to our many supporters, the Siskiyou Crest Blog and Klamath Forest Alliance have secured funding for the Buckskin Fire Report, an exploration of wildfire, as well as fire suppression impacts, in the South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area. The South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area is the largest unprotected wildland in the state of Oregon. Many large streams and wild rivers originate in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and surrounding roadless areas; these streams contain important salmon habitat, unusually high levels of water quality, and high concentrations of rare and/or endemic plants species.
The area was affected by the 2002 Biscuit Fire and is one of the region's most dramatic fire landscapes. Recent wildfire activity has affected nearly the entire wildland, creating vast fire-adapted habitats. Large swaths of serpentine woodland and forest were burned at high severity during the Biscuit Fire, including portions of Baldface Creek. The 2015 Buckskin Fire reburned through the Baldface Creek area, mostly at low and moderate severity, creating a mixed severity mosaic and maintaining a diverse, resilient forest community.
Unfortunately, the Forest Service responded to this slow moving fire with brute force, bulldozing many miles of wilderness hiking trail, creating fireline, large helipads, staging areas and denuded safety zones. The agency then backburned large swaths of forest from ridgetop fireline to the canyon of Baldface Creek.
The Buckskin Fire Report will explore the mosaic of this fire and the impact of its suppression. The Buckskin Fire Report will also identify policy reform recommendations and a more restorative approach to wildland fire. Stay tuned for more information on the Buckskin Fire Report.