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Cottonwood Timber Sale

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2013 Cottonwood stump 17-6The Cottonwood timber sale is located adjacent to the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument near Little Hyatt Lake and the Pacific Crest Trail. A number of conservation organizations, including KS Wild and the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council, filed suit in federal court to try to protect these ancient forests from the BLM’s logging and road construction plans. While the court has stopped the new logging road construction and logging of two of the timber units, old-growth logging continues throughout the rest of the area, including Unit 17-6, while the court hears our case.

This photograph shows a 4ft diameter old-growth tree, estimated to be older than our nation, that was growing in unit 17-6 of the Cottonwood timber sale. This and many similar old-growth trees were logged over the last month, while KS Wild and our allies challenge the timber sale in court. If you haven't yet taken action, you can take action now.

TAKE ACTION: Tell the BLM to stop logging old-growth trees and to tell the truth about their old-growth logging program.
To the more than 1,000 dedicated old-growth defenders who have taken action to protect the trees threatened by the Cottonwood Timber Sale: Thank you! Our ancient forests need friends like you. 

However, it has come to our attention that John Gerritsma, the Ashland BLM Field Manager, is responding to your concerns regarding the ongoing old-growth logging at Cottonwood by contending that his decision to log trees older than our nation somehow doesn’t qualify as “old-growth logging.” In his view, 200 and 300-year-old trees up to 4 feet in diameter are just another crop to be harvested. He doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.

The BLM can’t protect old-growth if it won’t acknowledge that old-growth exists.

Mr. Gerritsma’s response to your emails makes it clear that the Ashland Resource Area won’t stop logging ancient forests at Cottonwood—heck they won’t even acknowledge that 200-year-old-trees are old-growth. 

KS Wild is working hard in the courts to stop the BLM from logging more old-growth. You can help by contacting your Senators to increase the political pressure. 

What You Can Do: Contact Your Senators


While controversial old-growth logging on public BLM lands is nothing new, Mr. Gerritsma’s misleading statements to the public (and federal courts!) represents a new low for the agency. Let's make sure this is the last ancient forest that he destroys.

Oregon’s Senators need to hear from you. Take a 10 minute coffee break today to send an email to Oregon's Senators and make a phone call to their offices. Let's make our voices heard.

1) Send an email to Oregon Senators Wyden and Merkley regarding the continuing old-growth logging at the Cottonwood timber sale. Here's a sample letter for you to use. Simply click on their names, and cut and paste the sample letter below into the comment form along with any message you care to add. 

Dear Senator,

The Ashland Resource Area of the Medford BLM Is currently logging ancient forests at the Cottonwood timber sale. When I contacted John Gerritsma, the Ashland Resource Area manager about this logging, he contended that the 240 to 310-year-old ancient trees being logged do not qualify as “old-growth” in his opinion. He has also filed declarations in federal court stating that he is protecting, rather than logging, old-growth trees. 

I expect better of federal employees. 

The ancient forests at Cottonwood deserve better from the BLM.

Forests older than our nation are most certainly “old-growth” and the BLM needs to come clean and admit it. The first step to protecting ancient forests is acknowledging that they exist. 

Sincerely, your name

2) Make a polite but firm phone call to Senator Wyden's office in Medford at (541) 858-5122 and Senator Merkeley's office in Medford at (541) 608-9102 letting their staff know how much you care about the old-growth trees that are being logged in the Cottonwood timber sale. 

3) Write a letter to the editor. Call Morgan at (541) 488-5789 or email morgan (at) kswild for a sample letter and instructions for how to send in to your local paper. 

Got questions? Want to learn more? Call Morgan at (541) 488-5789. 

Thank you for your help!