Protecting Our BLM Backyard Forests

Western Oregon’s BLM lands support salmon, steelhead, and wildlife while delivering clean water and recreational values to the public. These forests are source-drinking watersheds for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians, they sequester large amounts of carbon, and they provide crucial ecological functions. The natural amenities found on these public lands are highly valued and sought after, from local residents to tourists from around the world.

Right now, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in the process of updating their plan for public forests found throughout southern Oregon including special places like the Wild Rogue River, Applegate Valley, and Illinois Valley.

The Good News: In the plan, the BLM recognizes that recreation is the means by which most Americans experience these lands, and that recreation provides the greatest economic benefits to local communities. Also, one alternative discussed in the draft plan would protect some roadless landscapes, special recreation areas, and habitat for threatened wildlife.

The Bad News: Unfortunately, most alternatives in the plan would resume clearcut logging, reduce streamside buffers, increase road construction, and reward damaging motorized off-road recreation on BLM forests. We’re especially concerned that the BLM is proposing to disengage from the Northwest Forest Plan—the landmark coordinated federal management plan that has governed western Washington, Oregon and northwestern California for the past twenty years.

The stakes are high. The BLM’s new Resource Management Plan will decide the ultimate fate of our public forests. KS Wild is committed to elevating the voices of southern Oregon residents. Together, we will continue to protect our BLM Backyard Forests.