Applegate Neighborhood Network: Uniting to impact public lands policies
For those who call the Applegate Valley “home,” it’s difficult to characterize the region without mentioning the public lands that weave throughout and around homes and neighborhoods. These backyard forests are an intricate part of life in the Applegate and many residents consider them essential to sustain their rural livelihoods and quality of life.
Like most forest communities, the many generations of rural residents and indigenous communities of the Applegate have be inextricably tied to the forested landscape through traditional ecological knowledge, cultural values and land management practices.
Today, the backyard forests of the Applegate are primarily managed by the BLM. The guiding document for the future of these public lands is the Resource Management Plan (RMP), which includes all aspects of land management ranging from restoration objectives, to fire prevention measures and logging plans.
While the former RMP encouraged community involvement and engagement through the Applegate Adaptive Management Area, the newly proposed RMP removes this element and takes away the threads connecting land management agencies with local knowledge.
A successful land management plan generates a wide range of benefits–not only forest quantity and quality, but enhanced food security, improved air and water quality, climate change resilience, job creation, and more. As land management practices evolve, the conservation community is increasingly looking toward forest restoration strategies benefit both forest health and the future of local communities.
Residents of the Applegate are coming together to ensure their values are included in the BLM’s land management plans and beyond. Whether working with the BLM or private timber companies, the Applegate Neighborhood Network is committed to engaging in the issues that affect the environment and community in the Applegate Valley. The network is comprised of local residents, representatives from several non-profit conservation, community and recreation-based organizations, and representatives of subwatersheds in the Applegate Valley. Visit: www.applegateneighborhood.net