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Update: Westside Salvage Logging

Clearcutting has started in the recovering post-fire "Westside Salvage" logging units. KS Wild is supporting the Karuk Tribe in emergency legal motions that will ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in early May to halt the logging while affected wildlands and wildlife get their day in court. Cross your fingers and stay tuned as we continue to do all we can to promote real restoration and protect forests and watersheds of the Marble Mountains from clearcutting.

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Restoration or Clearcuts?

Forest Service responses to the 2014 wildfires in the fire-evolved forests in Northern California were all over the map. On the Goosenest Ranger District forest planners focused on post-fire restoration while retaining snag habitat and protecting streamside and wildlife habitat. Planners on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest want to retain the ecological benefits of fire by creating fuel breaks along existing roads to allow for increasing use of prescribed fire. In contrast, Klamath National Forest timber planners went old-school and proposed thousands of acres of salvage logging clearcuts on steep slopes in the backcountry in the Westside Salvage timber sale.

 

A Strong Coalition Pushes Back

While the Klamath National Forest hopes to use wildfire as an excuse to turn the clock back to the bad old days of widespread clearcutting, just about everyone else hopes to see a more reasonable approach. Over 12,000 people sent in comments during the timber sale planning process asking for restoration and recovery rather than timber production. Conservation organizations including KS Wild, the Center for Biological Diversity, EPIC and the Klamath Riverkeeper provided technical information concerning the protection of watersheds and wildlife. The Karuk tribe offered a local alternative that would have protected homes and communities while utilizing prescribed fire to manage fuels and protect forest values. Scientists weighed-in urging protection of post-fire forests and pointing out the harmful effects of salvage logging clearcutting.

 

Heading to Court

The Klamath National Forest may have ignored the public, scientists, local tribal knowledge, and common sense, but they can’t ignore a court of law. So KS Wild has joined with our allies to challenge the illegal Westside salvage logging clearcutting timber sale. 

Unfortunately, clearcutting has already started in the recovering post-fire "Westside Salvage" logging units. KS Wild is supporting the Karuk Tribe in emergency legal motions that will ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in early May to halt the logging while affected wildlands and wildlife get their day in court. Cross your fingers and stay tuned as we continue to do all we can to promote real restoration and protect forests and watersheds of the Marble Mountains from clearcutting.

 

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