Stop Salvage Logging on the Siskiyou Crest
Timber planners in the Klamath National Forest are proposing a large clearcutting and road building project near Condrey Mountain in the heart of the Siskiyou Crest. Some of the logging in the Gap Fire Project Area would be right over the Pacific Crest Trail, near botanical hotspots, and above salmon streams.
The deadline to comment is December 21st.
The Fire: The 2016 Gap Fire burned in the Klamath River tributary of Horse Creek. The human caused forest fire burned very hot for the first two days, and tragically destroyed several rural homes in the watershed. Then the fire behavior calmed down for several weeks, and burned sporadically in a mix of vegetation types. Some experts have remarked that the later fire and even the intentionally set Forest Service "backburns" performed an ecological service, by burning understory vegetation and restoring fire dependent forests.
Unfortunately, as happens after nearly every fire, the Klamath National Forest has proposed a large scale clearcutting project. Our primary concerns with this project include:
- The Klamath National Forest should stop converting more of our native forests to industrial timber plantations. Scattered between the public lands and rural residential lands are forests owned by industrial timber owners. Many of these forests had already been clearcut and replanted as plantations. We don't need to add more clearcuts on a landscape that is recovering from fire and industrial timber practices.
- Clearcutting the steep slopes above salmon streams would likely flood the streams with salmon killing sediment. Salmon are the cultural icons of our region and remain a vital food source for the Klamath River’s indigenous people. The Klamath National Forest should protect the salmon that spawn in these streams near the proposed logging sites.
- Punching in more clearcuts and logging roads will only help to sever this key connectivity corridor. The Siskiyou Crest Backcountry is a treasure - an east-west oriented mountain range that helps connect wildlife from the Cascades to the Coastal Mountains. The Klamath National Forest should protect this ecologically key area and drop the proposed road building and clearcut logging on the Crest near Condrey Mountain.