Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Year in Review at the Siskiyou Crest Blog

2015 was a big year for The Siskiyou Crest Blog. Together with Klamath Forest Alliance, we worked tirelessly on many issues all over the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion, from the fire sculpted landscapes of the Klamath River to the wild rivers of the Kalmiopsis Wildands and the dry forests of the Applegate Valley. We want to take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments and look forward to the many environmental struggles that lie ahead in the New Year. 

Timber Sale Monitoring:

Leading a public hike through unit 28-22 in the Nedsbar Timber Sale. The unit has been canceled due to public outrage over logging this fire adapted old-growth stand. Many more units must be canceled to make the sale acceptable to local residents and environmentalists in the Applegate Valley.

Nedsbar Timber Sale/Nedsbar Community Alternative
  • Coordinated the Nedsbar Community Monitoring Project, including unit monitoring, photographic monitoring, tree coring and numerous blog posts, informing the public and environmental movement of the BLM's timber sale proposal. 
  • Participated in numerous public hikes, field trips and meetings with BLM to positively influence the Nedsbar Timber Sale.
  • Organized and led community hikes into controversial Nedsbar Timber Sale units.
  • Participation in the drafting of the Nedsbar Community Alternative.
  • Wrote all forest restoration prescriptions for the Nedsbar Community Alternative.
  • Presented a detailed Powerpoint presentation on the Nedsbar Timber Sale and Community Alternative for community groups in the Applegate Valley.
  • Provided detailed public comment during the Scoping Period for the Nedsbar Timber Sale. 
  • Organized public support, leading to 7 units dropped from the Nedsbar Timber Sale.
  • Published 19 separate blog posts on the Nedsbar Timber Sale. 
  • UPDATE: The issue is ongoing with an Environmental Assessment due for publication in April 2016. Please support our continued efforts. 

 Westside Fire Recovery Project 
  • Provided an in-depth, detailed 26-page public comment for the Westside Fire Recovery Project Environmental Impact Statement. 
  • Conducted field monitoring of proposed post-fire logging units in sensitive watersheds.
  • Documented debris flows and severe water quality impacts in fire effected watersheds proposed for post-fire logging. Submitted this information to the Forest Service and North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board.
  • Participated in Klamath National Forest field trips into post-fire logging units.
  • Published 4 blog posts on the Westside Fire Recovery Project.
  • UPDATE: A final decision on the Westside Fire Recovery Project is pending. Please support our continued efforts to stop this massive timber sale.

Applegate Adaptive Management Area Projects (AMA)
  • Organized public discussion regarding timber sale related projects in the Applegate AMA on Forest Service and BLM land.
  • Attended public field trips and meetings about timber sale related projects in the AMA.  
  • Began to organize the conservation community's response to AMA proposals, advocating for protection of sensitive habitats, scientifically-based restoration treatments, and other conservation measures.
  • UPDATE: This project is ongoing, and the agencies are proposing AMA Projects for planning in 2016. 

 OHV Monitoring:

The Hinkle Lake Botanical Area is a major focus of OHV monitoring on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

Applegate Valley OHV Monitoring Project
  • Successfully funded the Applegate Valley OHV Monitoring Project through a Kickstarter Campaign supported by 39 local residents. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
  • Published and submitted detailed OHV Monitoring Reports to both the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and the Medford District BLM for lands in the Applegate Valley.
  • Submitted public petitions signed by hundreds of local residents supporting OHV closure in sensitive areas in the Applegate Valley. Thanks to all of you who signed on!
  • Attended meetings with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest regarding OHV impacts and proposed OHV closures.  
  • Published 6 blog posts on the Applegate Valley OHV Monitoring Project. 
  • UPDATE: It appears that some OHV closures will develop from this ongoing monitoring effort. Stay tuned for future updates! Please support our continued engagement in these issues.

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Travel Management Plan (TMP)
  • Years of public comment and engagement on this issue culminated in a 32-page Objection Letter submitted to the Forest Service opposing OHV use in Roadless Areas, Botanical Areas, Back-Country Non-Motorized Areas, and other important areas in the Siskiyou Mountains. 
  • Attended the Objection meeting in December, advocating for conservation measures and appropriate OHV closures. 
  • Published a large blog post exploring wild areas proposed for OHV use on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
  • UPDATE: A final decision on this project is scheduled for early 2016. The issue is ongoing and the Siskiyou Crest Blog will be organizing to influence the updated annual Motor Vehicle Use Map in the years to come. 

Fire Monitoring & Suppression Reform:

The Happy Camp Fire in the Marble Mountains Wilderness Area.

Klamath River Fire Reports 
  • Published the Beaver and Happy Camp Fire Reports through the Klamath Forest Alliance, documenting fire effects and fire suppression impacts sustained on the Klamath National Forest in 2014. The Beaver and Happy Camp Fire Reports were published together with the Whites Fire Report, written by Kimberly Baker of Klamath Forest Alliance. 
  • Held meetings with the Klamath National Forest regarding fire suppression impacts. 

 Buckskin Fire Report

  • Successfully funded a Kickstarter campaign to support the Buckskin Fire Report, an in-depth, on-the-ground monitoring report for the Buckskin Fire of 2015.  The Buckskin Fire burned in the South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area in the Siskiyou National Forest. Thanks to everyone who helped fund this project!
  • UPDATE: I had limited time for on-the-ground monitoring before winter weather set in, however, I was able to squeeze in enough time to capture some good photos of the fire and get a feel for the suppression impacts. Field monitoring will continue as soon as the snow melts. The project is ongoing with the publication of the Fire Report scheduled for spring-summer 2016.

TREX Prescribed Fire Learning Exchange
  • Participated in the Klamath River TREX Prescribed Fire Exchange, implementing prescribed fire treatments adjacent to homes on the Klamath and Salmon Rivers in Northern California.
  • Utilized blog posts to promote prescribed fire and wildland fire use. 

Public Land Grazing Reform

Annual monitoring efforts are focused on the high mountain meadows of the eastern Siskiyou Crest. 

Campaign to Reform Public Lands Grazing in Northern California 
  • Participated in a five-day backpacking trip across the Siskiyou Crest, monitoring cattle grazing allotments on both the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Klamath National Forest. Monitoring consists of documenting the overutilization of range resources, impacts to riparian areas, water quality and wildlife habitat.
  • Work was coordinated by the Campaign to Reform Public Lands Grazing in Northern California. 
  • Submitted Grazing Monitoring Reports to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Klamath National Forest. 
  • UPDATE: The project is ongoing. Please support our continued efforts. 

Public Land Mining Reform

Rough and Ready Creek is a stronghold for fisheries in the Illinois River basin, a botanical wonderland, a unique and spectacular wildland, one of the clearest streams you will ever see and the site of a proposed nickel strip mine. Long threatened with large scale strip mining, the area is now proposed for a "mineral withdrawal" which would put a moratorium on the development of new mining claims. The "mineral withdrawal" proposal is strongly supported by many local residents.

 Siskiyou Wild Rivers Campaign
  • Provided public comment to the BLM and US Forest Service regarding Mineral Withdrawal in the North Fork of the Smith River, Baldface Creek, the West Fork of the Illinois River, Rough and Ready Creek, Upper Pistol River, and Hunter Creek watersheds. An official mineral withdrawal would make these lands exempt from new mine claim development, protecting wildlands, wild fisheries, and water quality.
  • Attended public meetings and provided public testimony in support of mineral withdrawal.
  • UPDATE: The project is ongoing. Please support our continued efforts.
Collaborative Projects

A public hike with Applegate Neighborhood Network through roadless oak woodland proposed for new road construction in the Nedsbar Timber Sale.

Applegate Neighborhood Network (ANN)
  • Participated in the formation of a local, conservation-based collaborative advocating for environmental and ecological concerns in local collaborative forest management projects in the Applegate Valley. ANN will organize local conservation-based non-profits and residents to influence public land management planning and projects within the Applegate River watershed.   
  • UPDATE: This project is ongoing. Please support the work of ANN. 


Green Rush 
  • Highlighted the need for strong environmental oversight of the newly developing cannabis industry in southwestern Oregon.
  • Currently The Siskiyou Crest Blog is the only environmental voice publicly pushing for the protection of the southwestern Oregon’s fragile biodiversity as this budding industry grows.

Klamath-Siskiyou Native Seeds
  • Advocating for pollinator habitat restoration and protections. Increasing awareness of pollinator issues in the local area, including monarch butterfly advocacy and habitat restoration.

Happy New Year!
In 2016 the Siskiyou Crest Blog hopes to continue making a difference in the Klamath-Siskiyou. We intend to continue our activism, advocacy and public education in support of tangible conservation victories.  At the Siskiyou Crest Blog we will:
  • Address current and newly developing threats to the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion. 
  • Continue monitoring public land management planning and projects in the Klamath-Siskiyou.

  • Explore ways to provide permanent protection for the region's outstanding biodiversity, roadless wildlands, wild rivers, and scenic mountain habitats. 
  • Continue hiking, exploring, backpacking and intimately connecting with the place I've called home my entire life.  

Please consider donating to this mostly volunteer work. The Siskiyou Crest Blog, our investigative reporting and public lands activism, is entirely a community-supported effort. Keep it wild in 2016!

No comments:

Post a Comment