Report back from the Pickett Hog Timber Sale Auction Protest
KS Wild invests significantly in forest and landscape restoration. We are technical advisers on the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project that has helped restore forests and protect communities in southern Oregon. We promote restoration projects in dozens of locations, have helped write technical prescriptions for restoration projects, and seek funding for projects that would restore forests throughout the region. We have done this across tens of thousands of acres and we support active management. Yet, the science shows us that more old-growth logging and clearcutting will make matters worse. Industry and their political champions that propose more to log the remaining big trees and to replace them with high production forests are not investing in solutions to restore forests.
Last week we worked together with Illinois, Applegate and Rogue Valley residents oppose the Pickett West Project and Pickett Hog Timber Sale.
The 287-acre Pickett Hog Timber Sale, above the Wild and Scenic Rogue River, is the first BLM timber sale in the massive Pickett West Project. Other timber sales are being developed from the Pickett West Project in the Applegate Valley and in the mountains above Selma, Oregon.
“It’s time that we start thinking outside the box of conventional industrial forestry models and implement innovative approaches to meeting the needs of current and future generations of Americans. My home is surrounded by Pickett West units of healthy old growth that provide beauty, clean water, and quality of life for my family. I want my daughter and future grandkids to enjoy these precious places,” said Serena Barry, Vice President of the Deer Creek Association and lifelong resident of the Illinois Valley.
"Scientists and even other BLM offices agree that old and mature forests are the most resilient to fire. Younger, uniform forests are twice as likely to burn as older forests,” said Tim Ream, program director with KS Wild. “It is unbelievable, that the BLM Medford District is ignoring what scientists are telling them and increasing future fire risk near communities by auctioning off hundreds of acres of old-growth on our public land for heavy-handed logging."
Following the submission of 29 formal protests sent to the BLM earlier in the month, and a sizeable public demonstration sent a clear message to the BLM; the people will stand up for their forests, and their future. Over 100 people gathered at the Grants Pass Interagency (BLM) Office, to oppose the project's proposal to log fire-resistant, old forest adjacent to communities. Coming out of an intense fire season, residents want to guard again bad timber practices that will increase fire risks and degrade important forest habitat.
Want to join in the effort? Your voice is needed:
Stay tuned with us for upcoming forest hikes to the Pickett West units.
Write Senators Merkley and Wyden, send them a quick email to tell them to stand up for southwest Oregon forests and the communities that depend on them. We demand better forest practices, and logging old trees is not the answer.
Spread the word in a letter to the editor:
Medford Mail Tribune: 200 word limit, submit to email@example.com, after submitting follow up 541 631-1313
Grants Pass Daily Courier: submit letters to firstname.lastname@example.org, after submitting follow up at 541-474-3717
Illinois Valley News: submit letters to email@example.com, after submitting follow up at (541) 592-2541
The Applegater: submit letters to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit applegater.org for more information.