Photo by David Christian

Photo by David Christian

The Pickett West / Clean Slate project by the Grants Pass Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was developed through a complicated and convoluted process hinging on the shift to the BLM’s new Resource  Management Plan (RMP). This RMP is important because the new plan removed key protections that protected special plants and critters under “Survey and Management Protocol”. This intentional step away from the requirement to look (survey) before you log (manage) for these at-risk plants and critters increased the controversy of this project and increased the environmental impacts that could occur if the project moves forward.

KS Wild and our allies have tracked, participated, and engaged the community through the process of Pickett West/Clean Slate Project. We want to keep you updated on how your action helped  protect this special backyard forest. Thank you!

Spoiler Alert: Clean Slate Timber sale didn’t sell the first time!

Now it’s being repackaged at a lesser monetary value per board foot with the same real environmental consequences.


“Hello, I am a public lands user, I value and recreate in the Clean Slate project area. Our Public Lands must conserve low elevation old growth forests. I believe the BLM should focus on restoration around homes and communities rather than big tree resource extraction on our public lands. Please involve the local engaged community in your planning efforts to reflect the community voice.”

The following is a timeline of the entire project:

  • June 16, 2016. Pickett West Planning Area Map posted online with tentative units including those eventually identified for Clean Slate Timber Sale planned under the 1995 Land Management Plan.

  • August 6, 2016.  BLM changes their Land Management Plan and removes the Survey and Management Protocol and the Aquatic Conservation Strategy practices which contribute to building environmental mitigation sideboards in agency proposals.

  • October 30, 2016.  Pickett West Project Scoping Letter (initial notice triggering the first time for public comments) says the BLM will use the 1995 Land Management Plan in planning this project.

  • November 4, 2016.  Pickett West Project Draft Chapter 1 of the Environmental Assessment posted on line for comment.

  • November 19, 2016.   BLM hosts a Pickett West Open House at their Grants Pass Office,  86 people attended.

  • November 22, 2016.  KS Wild, Oregon Wild, and Cascadia Wildlands submit 26 pages of comments in response to the scoping letter, asking the BLM to retain low elevation old growth forests.

  • April 25, 2016.  The map showing the age of trees for treatment indicates many natural stands over 150 years are being selected.

  • May 30, 2017.   The Environmental Assessment for the Pickett West Project Environmental is posted online.

  • June 17, 2016.  BLM hosts a field trip to two units with mature trees. One unit was marked for Pickett Hog timber sale. KS Wild staff attends.

  • June 29, 2017. KS Wild, Oregon Wild, and Cascadia Wildlands submit 36 pages of substantive comments with 47 photos in response to the Environmental Assessment for Pickett West.

  • August 18, 2017.  Deer Creek Valley Association hosts a community organizational meeting/potluck to stop Pickett West old growth logging. Applegate Neighborhood Network gives power point presentation emphasizing proposed logging in mature/old growth stands of exceptional quality.

  • September 1, 2017. KS Wild, Oregon Wild, and Cascadia Wildlands submit a timely legal protest of the Decision Record #1 (DR) for the Pickett West  Project and the Pickett Hog Timber Sale.

  • September 13, 2017. The BLM reports they received 29 protests submitted for Decision Record #1 (DR) for the Pickett West Project and the Pickett Hog Timber Sale.

  • September 14, 2017. The local community gathers at the Grants Pass Interagency BLM Office on the date of the Pickett Hog Timber Sale to protest the sale and showcase the collective voice that this project is wrongly targeting big old growth trees. There is TV and Daily Courier newspaper coverage.

  • October 31, 2017.  Grants Pass Field Manager, Allen Bollschweiler, meets with approximately 20 citizens at the request of KS Wild to discuss forest policy. He announces that the in progress Pickett West Timber Sale is not moving forward due to Red Tree Vole (a survey and manage protocol trigger species) detections in the project area.

    BLM further relays that a new planning process will be announced using the new Land Management Plan (that removes protections for Red Tree Voles). This means the Pickett West units will be repackaged under the new Resource  Management Plan. Pickett West will be given a new name, “Clean Slate”. There will be an entirely separate Environmental Analysis and decision process for the Clean Slate Project.

  • November 8, 2017.  Clean Slate Forest Management Project scoping letter (the first opportunity for public comment on this new project) and detailed draft proposed action posted online. A legal notice published in the Daily Courier states there will be a November 15th public meeting to go over Clean Slate community concerns.  

  • November 11, 2017. Deer Creek Valley Association and KS Wild sponsor a public field trip to an old growth unit 3-11 and previously logged unit 7-11. The BLM was invited to field trip but chose to not attend.

  • November 14, 2017.  The day before the November 15th BLM hosted public meeting regarding the Clean Slate project, the agency cancels the meeting. This created quite a bit of  confusion and anger in environmental community as the efforts for organizing attendance to this meeting had been underway for a week.

  • November 22, 2017. Grants Pass Daily Courier publishes front page article: BLM Dealing With Protests in Pickett West Project

  • December 19, 2017.  KS Wild, Oregon Wild, and Cascadia Wildlands submit 37 pages of substantive comments in response to the “new” Clean Slate Project Scoping letter. Comments  include numerous photos of mature/old growth stands in units proposed for logging. KS Wild et al. formally request for a collaborative meeting with BLM. BLM ignores the request.    

  • June 17, 2018.  Grants Pass Courier  news article: One year later, controversial Pickett West BLM logging project noticeably smaller. BLM implies they are not cutting old growth.

  • July 19, 2018.  KS Wild and Deer Creek Association sponsor another hike to the Clean Slate Project’s old growth unit 3-11.  

  • July 25, 2018.  KS Wild, Oregon Wild, and Cascadia Wildlands incorporate photos depicting 240 year old trees to be harvested from public hikes and substantive comments to submit 25 pages in response to the Clean Slate Environmental Assessment.

  • August 15, 2018.  BLM issues the Decision for the Clean Slate Project including the old growth units.

  • August 30, 2018. KS Wild, Oregon Wild, and Cascadia Wildlands submit a timely legal protest the Clean Slate Decision.

  • September 14, 2018.  The Daily Courier reports that Clean Slate Timber Sale received no bids.

  • November 29, 2018. The Grants Pass BLM reoffers the Clean Slate Timber Sale at a reduced price with the same environmental impacts.

Michael Dotson