Saturday, September 23, 2017

Victory for the Siskiyou Crest! Old-growth Logging near Condrey Mountain Canceled.

These vibrant post-fire landscapes will no longer be subjected to clear-cut, post-fire logging as proposed in the Horse Creek Project.
Following the Gap Fire on the Klamath River, the Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA), Applegate Neighborhood Network (ANN), Siskiyou Crest Blog and other conservation partners joined together in opposition to post-fire logging on the Siskiyou Crest. The Klamath National Forest (KNF) had proposed post-fire logging on the slopes of the Siskiyou Crest near Condrey Mountain and Dry Lake Mountain.  The proposed logging units were located in upper Buckhorn and Middle Creek adjacent to the Condrey Mountain Blue Schist Geologic Area, the Condrey Mountain Roadless Area and the Pacific Crest Trail.

KFA and EPIC responded by publishing the Gap Fire Report, documenting the cumulative impact of fire suppression activities in the Gap Fire. KFA and ANN also played a vital role by monitoring the proposed post-fire logging units. We were the only conservation organizations to conduct detailed, unit by unit monitoring of post-fire logging units on the Siskiyou Crest. We hiked the units, documented the quality of habitat and natural burn mosaic, identified the likely ecological impacts of post-fire logging, and incorporated these observations into our administrative objections. We also publicized our findings on the Siskiyou Crest Blog.

The work of KFA has helped to protect the wild forests of the Siskiyou Crest.
In response to our advocacy and that of our conservation allies, the Klamath National Forest has canceled 450 acres of the most controversial and damaging units in the timber sale including all 14 units proposed on the Siskiyou Crest. The Klamath National Forest has also agreed to amend their decision and will now drop two miles of new road construction, retain all snags over 45" diameter, commit to prescribed fire and timely fuel treatments adjacent to the community of Horse Creek and work with the Karuk Tribe to manage post fire re-vegetation projects and eliminate plantation development.

We all have reason to celebrate a victory for the Siskiyou Crest because the wild forests near Condrey Mountain will remain unaltered by clear-cut, post-fire logging; however we must also prepare to defend more fire affected forest from being converted to tree plantations. Many wildfires burned throughout our region this summer and this fall, the Forest Service will no doubt be planning more post-fire logging projects. Please consider making a donation to KFA and support our work as we assess the seasons wildfires and oppose the nearly inevitable post-fire logging proposals. Our field work can again contribute to the protection of wildplaces in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains.

Complex, snag forest habitat will develop into complex early seral habitat supporting an abundance of flowering plants, woody shrubs and young trees. The post-fire landscape, if left undisturbed, can support incredible biodiversity and highly productive wildlife habitat. The snag habitat in this photographs was proposed for road construction and clear-cut logging, it will instead remain unlogged.

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