Updates on threats to the Klamath-Siskyou region, and what you can do to help.
The southside Mt. Ashland Late-Successional Reserve (LSR) project was first proposed in 2005. While much of the project was thinning dense second-growth fir stands that were the result of previous logging and fire suppression, it also included nine (9) miles of new road construction along Beaver Creek. A tributary of the ailing Klamath River, Beaver Creek already has far too many logging roads that fragment wildlife habitat while bleeding sediment into the creeks and streams.
In response to this proposal, KS Wild and many of our supporters wrote the Klamath National Forest to applaud the proposed understory thinning of trees in fire-suppressed second-growth forests as a good first step towards restoring old-growth conditions on these logged over lands. However, we also heavily discouraged any new road construction. Over the next year, KS Wild staff spent many hours in the field with the Forest Service and we are pleased to see that the public process contributed to a better proposal.
The amended project was released last month and will thin nearly 4,000 acres of dense forests. The new temporary road construction was reduced from 9 miles to 1.7 miles (less than a 1/3 of their draft proposal), while they close 9.3 miles of road and decommission an additional 9 miles of existing road. The project also proposes to reintroduce fire to 3,747 acres in the planning area (more than a two-fold increase from their original proposal), which is an extremely valuable effort in restoring these forests to a more natural condition.
Thanks to those of you who submitted comments on this project. Your voice made a difference! We are pleased with the process and look forward to future collaborative efforts that result in restorative activities on public lands in the Klamath-Siskiyou.