Collaborating for Restoration
KS Wild embraces the adage, “protect the best, restore the rest.” While a fair bit of our region is comprised of wildlands that don’t need assistance, there are large expanses of degraded forests and entire watersheds that are over-cut, over-grazed and over-roaded. They need our help. KS Wild partners with diverse stakeholders, including federal land managers, community development organizations and timber companies to get to work on the ground to restore these degraded landscapes.
From the 1950s until the 1990s, several million acres of forestland in southern Oregon and northern California were clearcut and replanted with a mono-crop of densely packed trees. Where these tree farms occur on federal land in the Klamath-Siskiyou, KS Wild encourages federal timber managers to focus on thinning in these plantations to set them on a course to provide better habitat for wildlife in the future.
The forests in the Klamath-Siskiyou depend on fire. Since early in the 19th century, however, well-meaning policies such as Smokey the Bear were put in place to stamp out every forest fire. The lack of fire has led to the in-growth of a dense understory of small trees. These trees can threaten adjacent centuries-old trees through competition for water and other resources. KS Wild encourages the restoration of these fire-starved forests through careful thinning and the re-initiation of fire, often under prescribed conditions.
The aquatic strongholds in the Klamath-Siskiyou require restoration in order to fully function. Roads built primarily for timber and mining crisscross our public forests and too often bleed sediment into our streams. Undersized bridges and culverts can block the migration of salmon and other species and the loss of large wood in streams can simplify these once complex salmon spawning beds. Through administrative pressure and with our partners, KS Wild lobbies for resources to be used on a robust aquatic restoration program for the Klamath-Siskiyous’ aquatic strongholds.
Comprehensive restoration is more than thinning trees and fixing roads. It deals with removing invasive species, repairing mining damage, fixing up vandalized meadows from renegade off road vehicles and cleaning up trash dumps that are all too common on our public lands. There is more restoration work than resources, so KS Wild also helps prioritize where we can get the biggest bang for our restoration buck through science-based and analytical approaches.