|A view across the Pickett West Planning Area and the town of Murphy, Oregon. The BLM has proposed a large timber sale in the mountains around Murphy and many other rural communities including Galice, Merlin, Selma, Applegate and Wilderville.|
Progress!The Grants Pass BLM originally proposed "regeneration" logging in the Pickett West Timber Sale. Regeneration logging is a euphemism for clearcut logging, and although it sounds better, the end result is very similar. Stands 150-years and older are targeted for "regeneration" by removing the majority of the overstory canopy, substituting mature, fire-resistant trees, for young, dense regeneration triggered by canopy removal and ground disturbance associated with timber yarding practices. Regeneration logging would retain only 16-25 trees per acre, and less than 30% canopy cover. Due to pressure from ANN, KFA and others in the conservation community, all regeneration logging has been cancelled in the Pickett West Timber Sale.
The BLM also originally proposed over 3,000 acres of logging in forest designated as a Late Successional Reserve (LSR). LSR forest is set aside to protect and maintain old-growth habitat and characteristics for species such as the Pacific fisher and the Northern spotted owl. ANN, KFA and others opposed commercial logging in LSR forest. Recently, the BLM has dropped all units located in LSR forest in the Pickett West planning area.
The BLM has also announced they will fully analyze the Community Alternative submitted by ANN as Alternative 3 in the Pickett West Environmental Assessment. The Community Alternative protects wildlands, old-growth and late-seral forest, water quality, and large, old trees over 21" in diameter. The Community Alternative would build no new roads and it maintains all northern spotted owl habitat designations. It also protects the proposed corridor of the Applegate Ridge Trail by deferring or amending units that would impact the experience of recreational trail users. The Community Alternative also serves to promote community and ecological values while encouraging forest health and resilience. In the Community Alternative, timber production is truly a by-product of restorative land management, rather than the driving force behind proposed prescriptions. We encourage folks to publicly support the Community Alternative. If implemented with integrity, Alternative 3 is a win-win alternative that will ensure the quality of life and habitat in southern Oregon is maintained.
|Old-growth forest in the Cheney Creek watershed has been proposed for logging in the BLM's Alternative 2. The unit would be canceled in the Community Alternative to protect the ecological value of this ancient mixed-conifer forest.|
The Threat Continues...
Although the BLM will consider the Community Alternative for implementation in the upcoming Environmental Assessment (EA), the agency is also considering the BLM's Alternative 2. Many in the environmental community are actively opposing Alternative 2, while embracing the Community Alternative, Alternative 3. The BLM's Alternative 2 proposes to log late-seral and old-growth stands dominated by large, old trees. It will also impact the proposed Applegate Ridge Trail and build many, many miles of "temporary" road.
|Many swales, seasonal wetlands and streams will be impacted by the proposed new road construction.|
|Old-growth forest adjacent to the Applegate Ridge Trail is proposed for logging at the headwaters of Rocky Gulch.|
ANN and KFA will be working to not only support the Pickett West Community Alternative (Alternative 3), but we will also be working to oppose those portions of the BLM's proposal (Alternative 2) that will degrade our environment, recreational opportunities, fisheries and quality of life. Please stay tuned for more information on the Pickett West Timber Sale, opportunities to influence the process and comment on the upcoming Environmental Assessment.
For now, please contact Grants Pass District Manager Allen Bollschweiler with the following requests.
Contact for District Manager Allen Bollschweiler:
- Do not build new roads, temporary or permanent in the Pickett West Planning Area, especially within Riparian Reserves. Road density is already very high in numerous watersheds in the Pickett West Area.
- Do not build temporary roads on or near the proposed corridor of the Applegate Ridge Trail.
- Maintain all Northern spotted owl habitat designations in the Pickett West Planning Area.
- Institute a 21" diameter limit for tree removal.
- Defer units in fire resilient, late-seral or old-growth forest stands.
|Incredible botanical resources and pollinator habitat on unique low-elevation serpentine soils will be impacted by new road construction on Southside Road.|