Activities and accomplishments
Protecting Old-Growth Across The Map
While there is a growing consensus that the future of public-lands forestry should be in small-diameter thinning, there are still a few hold-outs in the Forest Service and BLM that can’t keep their paws off the last, best places. Thats where KS Wild comes in. And we’ve been on a bit of a roll lately. So far in 2010, we have:
1) Persuaded the Klamath National Forest to drop late-successional forests from the Thom-Seider timber sale; 2) Worked with the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest to prevent a logging road from being punched into the wild North Fork Pistol Unroaded Area in the Pyramid timber sale; 3) Convinced the Medford BLM to back-off from plans to fell large, old habitat trees as part of their timber cruise economic evaluations; And 4) Reached an agreement with the BLM to spare an ancient forest stand in the Swampwood timber sale from both road construction and chainsaws.
Thanks To You, Applegate Salmon Habitat To Be Restored!
Ever wonder if clicking “send” on KS Wild action alters actually influences anything? Rest assured your voice matters. We only ask for your e-letters when we truly think they will make a difference for the Earth. Case in point, the recent Applegate Legacy Roads Decision.
For decades, poorly built logging and mining roads have been dumping sediment into the Applegate River tributaries below the Applegate Dam. Due to the steep slopes, poor road construction, and erosive soils, wild salmon reproduction has been severely limited. Your e-letters helped convince the Forest Service that now is the time to restore prime salmon habitat by putting these old, un-needed logging roads to bed.
Thanks to you the wild Coho of the Applegate River have a brighter future.
KS Wild Helps Stop the WOPR, Protects Forests
After four years of tenacious work, KS Wild is thrilled that the Obama Administration pulled the Records of Decision in July 2009 on the BLM’s WOPR! These forests will again be managed under the Northwest Forest Plan.
The administration’s decision comes after reviewing KS Wild’s lawsuit and determining that they could not legally defend the Bush-era plan in court. This is a huge victory for the forests, critters and salmon of western Oregon.
Rogue Riverkeeper Program
In January 2009, KS Wild began its new water program, Rogue Riverkeeper, as a member of the international network Waterkeeper Alliance. This fledgling program keeps an eagle eye on river polluters, helps enforce the Clean Water Act, and works to protect and restore water quality and native fish populations in the Rogue Basin.
Reviewing Abandoned Mines
KS Wild’s Rogue Riverkeeper program is reviewing abandoned mines on federal land in order to identify and help mitigate the effects of toxic pollution on salmon and other river-users.
Saving Special Places: Wild Rogue, Oregon Caves
In 2010, KS Wild is working hard to pass legislation to designate nearly 60,000 acres of Wilderness and add 143 miles of tributary streams to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act on the lower Rogue River (www.savethewildrogue.org).
KS Wild is also working to expand the Oregon Caves National Monument and retire a grazing allotment, which threatens the drinking water supply of the Monument and rare plants in the Kangaroo Roadless Area.
Siskiyou Crest Protections
In 2009, KS Wild unveiled a bold new proposal to protect the Siskiyou Crest, which would stretch from the existing Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in the east, to the Siskiyou Wilderness to the west, and cover the territory roughly between the Klamath and Applegate Rivers. Very few places can claim so many exceptional ecological values as this world-class epicenter of biodiversity.
Upper East Kelsey old-growth, roadless area timber sale canceled!
Originally proposed in 2002, the Kelsey-Whisky timber sale was the worst KS Wild had ever seen. The sale was a page out of a 1950’s forestry handbook: build roads into a roadless area, liquidate ancient forests, convert them into flammable tree farms, and endanger native species already struggling to survive. For years, KS Wild opposed this proposal through administrative, political and grassroots advocacy. We were overjoyed to finish the job in September, when the Bureau of Land Management agreed to cancel the timber sale as part of a court settlement that demonstrated KS Wild’s savvy legal strategy. Our public forests are scarred with thousands of miles of old logging roads and user-created routes that are poorly maintained, if at all. These roads are a primary source of sediment - harming salmon and steelhead habitat and acting as vectors for invasive species. KS Wild is working on “travel management plans” for four National Forests whereby the Forest Service will determine which roads should stay open and which should be closed to motorized use. We are working to close roads in valuable roadless areas, in sensitive salmon-bearing watersheds
Making waves for the Wild Rogue and Oregon Caves
KS Wild and our business and conservation partners made great strides in 2009 to protect special places in southwest Oregon. In 2009, Representative DeFazio and Senator Wyden re-introduced companion legislation that would expand Wild and Scenic protections for 143 miles of tributary streams in the lower Rogue watershed and strengthen protections for the Oregon Caves National Monument. Our coalition is energized and excited to work with Congress to finally get this landmark legislation across the finish line.
Redirecting the Klamath National Forest
After decades of voracious logging, the Klamath National Forest has not logged any old-growth for the past three years, thanks to some vigilant oversight and encouraging re-direction from KS Wild. After we stopped the proposed 1,026-acre old-growth Westpoint timber sale in court, the Klamath decided to morph it into a more benign and widely supported project. In contrast with the planning process for the illegal Westpoint sale in which public concerns were ignored, the Forest Service worked collaboratively in the new Point sale to develop a project that will exclusively thin young small-diameter trees.
As part of the project, the Forest Service proposes to use prescribed fire to lightly burn 1,800 acres in the Scott River watershed and help return these forests to a more sustainable and natural condition. Combined with our prior success in turning around the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest’s management focus, this emerging shift represents a significant change in regional National Forest Management.
Watchdog of the Medford BLM
We continue to closely monitor all projects coming out of this outdated agency, challenging its destructive forest management proposals and setting important case law in the process. On the heels of court victories in the Mr. Wilson, Cow Catcher and Cotton Snake old-growth timber sales, we are closely tracking the BLM’s Western Oregon Plan Revisions in order to derail this blatant effort to ramp up old-growth logging, return to clearcutting, and legitimize unfettered motorized recreation in ecologically and socially inappropriate areas.
Weighing in on Roads and Routes
KS Wild is participating in the motorized travel management planning and route designation process undertaken by the Klamath, Six Rivers and Rogue River/Siskiyou National Forests in order to protect rare plant species, sensitive wildlands and streamside areas while allowing reasonable off-road vehicle use on many existing logging roads and motorized trails. This is an historic opportunity to close harmful logging roads and finally designate appropriate places for motorized recreation. An early success in this nationwide process was our advocacy to close routes in roadless and rare botanical areas in the Smith River National Recreation Area.
Collaboration and a Restorative Vision
KS Wild works to advance collaborative models by working with disparate interests to steer federal lands management away from destructive proposals and toward sustainable and restorative natural resource decisions. We continue to work with diverse interests, such as the Southern Oregon Small Diameter Collaborative and the Trinity Forest Restoration Collaborative, to find common ground in the woods, develop restoration-based jobs and help build sustainable communities. We successfully worked with agency personnel to improve, and ultimately endorse, projects such as Big Butte Springs and Coastal Healthy Forests that both produced millions of board feet of wood from previously logged areas while improving forest habitat.
KS Wild Strikes a Blow to Salvage Logging
In July 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision that the BLM acted illegally in approving the 960-acre Timbered Rock salvage sale in the Elk Creek watershed near Trail, Oregon. Both courts found that the BLM violated its own management plan, the Northwest Forest Plan’s mandate to protect old-growth forests, and NEPA’s requirement to adequately evaluate cumulative impacts. In 2008, we are closely monitoring a massive post-fire logging proposal on the Klamath National Forest with potentially significant physical and policy impacts.
Logging in Violation of Endangered Species Act
In February 2007, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of KS Wild, finding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act when it approved old-growth logging projects in spotted owl habitat on public land in southwest Oregon. The appeals court found that the “incidental take permit” in the “biological opinion” covering tens of thousands of acres of timber sales in southwest Oregon had no scientific foundation, lacked a specific estimate of how many owls would be killed by the logging, and had no “trigger” for keeping track of whether too many owls were being killed. Weeks later, three additional “biological opinions” were withdrawn due to similar insufficiencies, in effect shutting down the Medford BLM’s active logging program for the year.
Saving Special Places
KS Wild works to enact lasting protection for special places in the Klamath-Siskiyou region. Our “Save the Wild Rogue” campaign is bringing together local and regional businesses, anglers, rafters and conservationists to support Wilderness and Wild and Scenic designations on the lower Rogue River (www.savethewildrogue.org). KS Wild is working with the Oregon Caves National Monument staff and community development organizations to expand the Oregon Caves National Monument. We are working with Rancher Phil Krouse to retire his public lands grazing allotment, which threatens the drinking water supply of the Oregon Caves Monument. We are also working to remove harmful grazing allotments from the Marble Mountain Wilderness.
Expanding Oversight in California
KS Wild is monitoring private timber harvest and commenting on Timber Harvest Plans in northern California, with a focus on the biologically significant wildlife corridors of the Siskiyou Crest. In 2007, we successfully stopped California’s efforts to delist the protected Siskiyou Mountain and Scott Bar salamanders in order to pave the way for increased private lands logging in their rare habitat.
Protecting Threatened Species
We are working to protect rare and endangered species such as the Pacific fisher, Gentner’s fritillary, cougar, Siskiyou Mountain and Scott Bar salamanders.
Keeping an Eye on Energy Development
KS Wild is analyzing the effects of energy development proposals in the region, including a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) port and pipeline in southwest Oregon and the Westwide Energy Corridor throughout the entire west, including the Klamath-Siskiyou region. We are working in coalition with rural landowners threatened with the land seizure via eminent domain and determining site-specific impacts in our region.
In 2007, we conducted more than 25 presentations on the BLM's WOPR, lead hundreds of people on hikes and helped generate more than 30,000 citizen comments to federal agencies. In 2008 and 2009, we continued to mobilize rural residents and community members affected by the BLM’s proposal to remove environmental protections from Oregon’s heritage forests. We are building on our work with outdoor industry businesses to strengthen protections for the Rogue River. We have expanded the Ashland-based canvass to Arcata, Grants Pass, Medford, and Mt. Shasta, bringing today’s KS Wild membership to more than 1,600.