Monday, May 6, 2019

Klamath Forest Alliance Field Season

The snow pack is beginning to melt in the high country of the Siskiyou Crest.

With the snow beginning to melt in the high country, Klamath Forest Alliance (KFA) is preparing for our upcoming field season. Each season activists with KFA travel across the region monitoring federal land timber sales, grazing allotments, and illegal OHV trails. We roam the backcountry from the Pacific Coast to the interior mountains of the Klamath-Siskiyou. We drive bumpy backroads and hike hundreds of miles both on and off trail, through steep and rugged terrain. We climb mountains and traverse canyons to document proposed project activities and identify potential impacts associated with federal land management projects. 

Bolander's lily
We pack our supplies on our backs, often deep into the wilderness. We sleep on the ground and in the cold. We endure extreme heat, smoke-filled skies, electrical storms, and gully washing downpours. We trip, we fall, we sweat, we bleed; we are drilled by ticks, stung by ground nesting yellow jackets and eaten alive by mosquitoes. Yet, ultimately, we are also privileged to serve and defend the Klamath-Siskiyou! We are grateful for the time we spend in the field, defending the Klamath-Siskiyou and enjoying the region's spectacular beauty and diversity. The hardships endured build bonds with the land and the information gathered strengthens our advocacy. 
Recent post-fire monitoring in the Soda Mountain Wilderness revealed beautiful fire effects and spectacular vegetative recovery in the Scotch Creek Watershed. 

Our comprehensive monitoring programs give us intimate knowledge of proposed land management projects. The information gathered during on-the-ground monitoring activities informs our campaigns, outreach efforts, public comments, administrative appeals, and if necessary litigation. Our approach is science-based, site specific, comprehensive and effective. 

If you appreciate the work we do and the effort it takes, please consider making a generous donation to support our field monitoring season. We will crash through the poison oak and brave swarms of mosquitoes—all you have to do is click on this donation link and contribute a few bucks to be a part of the effort. 

Deep in the heart of the Marble Mountains Wilderness, the first snow fell on us while conducting fire monitoring for the 2014 Happy Camp Fire Report. Rain, snow or shine, KFA will be out defending our public lands!

At KFA, we think on-the-ground monitoring is one of the most important things we do. 


The Siskiyou Field Office of Klamath Forest Alliance will be conducting on-the-ground monitoring for the following federal land management activities in 2019:

Proposed Timber Sales:

  •  The Middle Applegate Timber Sale: The Middle Applegate Timber Sale is located in the Applegate Valley of southwestern Oregon on Medford District BLM land. The Wellington Butte Roadless Area (also known as Wellington Wildlands) is located within the planning area and KFA is concerned that the BLM may propose logging within the roadless area. The project is in pre-scoping and no formal proposal has currently been produced. KFA will be monitoring the proposed units as soon as they are identified.
  • The Briggs Creek Timber Sale: The Upper Briggs Project is located in Briggs Creek, a major tributary of the Illinois River and west of Grants Pass, Oregon. The entire timber sale burned in the 2018 Klondike-Taylor Fire, sustaining mostly low to moderate severity fire effects. Many timber sale units underburned at low severity, yet the agency tells us they are still at risk of "catastrophic fire." The agency has released a decision on this project and KFA is currently working on an Administrative Objection. We will also be conducting field monitoring to document fire effects and vegetative regeneration following the 2018 fires. 


Post-Implementation Monitoring:
  • The Seiad Horse Post-Fire Logging Project: This large post-fire logging project is located on the Klamath River above Seiad Valley, California on the Siskiyou Crest. The project proposes to clearcut forests affected by the 2017 Abney Fire. KFA and other conservation allies currently have portions of the project under an injunction and are litigating to stop the project from moving forward. Unfortunately, portions of the project were logged before an injunction could be secured and KFA will be monitoring those units to document the ecological impacts.
  •  Horse Creek Post-Fire Logging: The Horse Creek Project is located on the Klamath River above Horse Creek, California, also on the Siskiyou Creset. The project was implemented by the Klamath National Forest in 2017 and 2018, after the 2016 Gap Fire. KFA will be conducting post-implementation monitoring to document the ecological impacts.


OHV Monitoring:
  • OHV monitoring on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Klamath National Forest: KFA will be working with conservation partners at Applegate Neighborhood Network to monitor OHV activity on the Siskiyou Crest and in designated Botanical Areas. Our monitoring activities will occur on the Klamath National Forest in northwestern California and on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwestern Oregon, and are used to advocate for closure of illegal and ecologically damaging OHV trails.
  •  OHV monitoring on the Medford District BLM: KFA will be working with conservation partners at Applegate Neigborhood Network to monitor OHV activity on the Medford District BLM, including within roadless areas, Lands with Wilderness Characteristics (LWC) and in biodiversity hotspots. Our mointoring is used to advocate for closure of damaging OHV trails.


Grazing Allotment Monitoring:
  • Siskiyou Crest Grazing Allotments: Along with our partners at the Grazing Reform Project, KFA will be conducting ongoing monitoring of grazing allotments on both the Klamath National Forest in northern California and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southern Oregon. Our ongoing monitoring activities document environmental impacts associated with public land grazing. We use this information to advocate for reform of public land grazing practices and prepare for future updates to grazing plans on the Siskiyou Crest. 

Wildfire Monitoring

  • Klamath-Siskiyou Wildfire Monitoring: Each summer KFA monitors the wildfires burning in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains of northern California and southern Oregon. We monitor fire suppression activities, especially in roadless areas, wilderness areas, botanical areas and other important habitats. After the fires have been extinguished we explore the fires and their ecological effects. The information is used to advocate for the reform of fire suppression policy and strategy, as well as to publish detailed fire reports.


Help us put our best foot forward, donate to KFA! Even when sore, dirty and covered in soot from post-fire monitoring, we are happy to work for the Klamath-Siskiyou.



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