Friday, March 2, 2018

Victory for the Savage Murph Timber Sale!

This beautiful, old, fire-adapted forest at the headwaters of Rocky Gulch above North Applegate Road was proposed for logging in the Savage Murph Timber Sale. The unit has been canceled, along with the over one mile of new road construction proposed to provide logging access.
For the last year, Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) has been working with local conservation partners to oppose the Pickett West Timber Sale, a massive timber project proposed by the Grants Pass BLM. The original Pickett West Timber Sale proposed to log thousands of acres of old forest on the Wild & Scenic Rogue River, in the mountains above Selma, Oregon and in the Applegate Valley around Wilderville, Murphy and North Applegate.

KFA has been opposing this sale, by conducting extensive field monitoring of proposed timber sale units and submitting extensive public comments, appeals and administrative protests. We worked very closely with local, grassroots, conservation partners, Applegate Neighborhood Network (ANN) and the Deer Creek Valley Natural Resource Conservation Association. The results have been largely positive. Hundreds of acres of units were canceled on the Rogue River, and the entire Selma portion of the timber sale was withdrawn, including 1,500 acres of old forest.

This old-growth forest on Cheney Creek was proposed for logging in the Savage Murph Timber Sale. The unit has now been canceled.
Despite our best efforts and previous successes, the Applegate Valley portion of the timber sale, known as the Savage Murph Timber Sale, was scheduled to move forward. The proposal included heavy industrial logging in hundreds of acres of old forest, numerous new roads, and significant impacts to the proposed Applegate Ridge Trail.

This unit above North Applegate Road on "Snail Gulch" was proposed for logging in the Savage Murph Timber Sale. The unit includes open, healthy forest surrounded by chaparral. Over one mile of new road construction was proposed to access this unit for logging.

KFA continued monitoring units, publicizing our findings and opposing the Savage Murph Timber Sale. Recently, the BLM met with our partners at ANN regarding the Savage Murph Timber Sale, and we are pleased to report that the vast majority of the sale has been canceled! We consider this a major victory for the Applegate Valley.

All logging units between Murphy and Wilderville have been withdrawn. These units included old-growth forests and damaging new road construction. Logging was proposed in the Slate Creek, Cheney Creek, Panther Gulch and Bull Creek watersheds.

This beautiful ridgeline was proposed for new road construction in the Savage Murph Timber Sale and the forested knob in the background was proposed for heavy commercial logging. Both the road construction and the logging unit have been canceled!
In the North Applegate area, the BLM is now proposing a drastically reduced timber sale. Numerous units of old-growth or late successional habitat and significant road construction have also been canceled, including portions of road construction and old-growth logging units on the proposed trail corridor for the Applegate Ridge Trail. The current proposal includes roughly seven units and 192 acres above North Applegate Road, but nearly all of the most damaging units have been canceled from the sale.

Although we have successfully advocated for the cancellation of many damaging units in the Savage Murph Timber Sale and throughout the Pickett West Planning Area, KFA needs your support to continue protecting the forests of the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains. 

The BLM originally proposed new road construction through these beautiful oak woodlands and moist meadows west of Murphy, Oregon near Southside Road. The road construction and the logging unit the road was proposed to access have been canceled!
Going forward the BLM will be planning timber sales under the new 2016 Resource Management Plan (RMP). The 2016 RMP proposes to increase industrial logging on federal lands and institute heavy logging in many important habitats throughout the state. Here in southern Oregon we must defend our last old forests from the upcoming onslaught by BLM. KFA will be immediately focusing our attention on the Clean Slate Timber Sale in the mountains surrounding Selma, Oregon and the Middle Applegate Timber Sale in the Applegate Valley. 

The intact forests at the headwaters of Rocky Gulch were proposed for logging in the Savage Murph Timber Sale. The units have been canceled and the area's wild beauty will be retained.

Please consider supporting our work with a tax-deductible donation to KFA! With your help we can continue our on-the-ground monitoring programs and passionate public land advocacy in the spectacular Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains. 

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