Wildlife, Watersheds and Wildlands: What KS Wild is working on in 2018
Our 2018 Forest Defense Priorities
Sometimes it can feel like there is no end to the continual threats to our beloved Klamath-Siskiyou mountains, rivers and forests...
Defending over 8-million acres of public lands in the Rogue River and Klamath watersheds is a joyous privilege and a great responsibility.
When there are dozens of major federal land management proposals occurring at any one time, how does KS Wild’s small core of public lands protection staff determine which Forest Service and BLM proposals to focus on? We try to put the most energy and time into projects that have the greatest potential impact in key watersheds and wildlands, encouraging actions that improve ecosystem health while opposing plans to harm public lands.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the campaigns that are at the very top of our to-do list along with a description of the natural values that we are seeking to protect
Cook and Green Salvage Clearcut Logging: Klamath National Forest
Cook and Green is the heart of the Siskiyou Crest Mountain Range. Its botanical values are off the charts. It is a key wildlife connectivity corridor and an essential climate refuge as species range and elevational needs are influenced by climate change.
The forests here are supposedly protected as Late Successional Reserves, but Klamath National Forest timber planners want to clearcut post-fire stands and turn them into timber plantations that will be more susceptible to stand-replacing fires. With your help we will protect this special places.
Siskiyou Crest Grazing: Rogue River-Siskiyou and Klamath National Forest
We love the high elevation meadows and botanical hotspots of the Siskiyou Crest Mountain Range! The illegal trespass public lands grazing that trashes springs and wildflower meadows on a yearly basis needs to stop.
We are committed to protection of the wildflowers and wildlands of the Siskiyou Crest. We will be working with volunteers to document the impacts of cattle grazing on the Siskiyou Crest and ensure that the U.S. Forest Service takes measures to protect rare plants, wet meadows, and springs that are often important to recreation users.
Pacific Fisher and Siskiyou Mountains Salamanders
These rare species are on the very edge,of the point of no return. If we do nothing, it is likely that we will be the last generation to share the planet with these iconic creatures. KS Wild is committed to working night and day to ensure that rare old-growth species populations recover than plummet. We intend to provide the Pacific Fisher and Siskiyou Mountain Salamanders with every possible legal protection.
BLM Returns to Clearcut Public Lands
Among most forestry professionals there is a desire to find ways to work together for more ecologically resilient forest conditions. In the face of climate change and fire suppression, many communities and stakeholders are trying to find ways to improve, rather than harm, forest health and biodiversity. The BLM is horribly out step with the times and under its new Resource Management plan is starting to roll out large scale “regeneration” (clearcutting) timber sales that target key wildlife habitat. We say no! The Griffin Half Moon timber sale on the Medford BLM District and the North Landscape timber sale on the Klamath Falls BLM Resource Area call for turning native forests into stump-fields and timber plantations, even when the forest stands are known to contain rare old-growth associated species. This is not a vision for public lands that most American’s support.
Pre and Post-Fire Management
Throughout the region we are encouraging forest managers to prepare for fire before it comes and to avoid exploiting fire events as an excuse to conduct clearcut logging activities. The Klamath-Siskiyou forests are forests of fire, and a key to terrestrial and watershed health is figuring out ways to live sustainably in fire country.
The Wild Rogue, Riparian Reserves and Coho
To land managers we say “show us your Coho!” When the Forest Service and BLM propose projects that will improve fish habitat and water quality, we stand with them. When the agencies propose mining activities, road construction, or riparian logging that will harm fish habitat and water quality we do all we can to get those plans changed. KS Wild defends the wild rivers of the Klamath-Siskiyou through legislation, project-specific advocacy and field work.
We are Stronger Together
The priority list above is by no means comprehensive: our staff members are engaged in educational, collaborative, and difficult public lands defense in every forum and every corner of the KS. But we can’t be everywhere at once, that’s why we appreciate our volunteers, clerks, and interns so deeply. We also proud to stand with our sister conservation organizations to protect our public lands.
While everyone’s priority list may look a little different, we think that diversity is a good thing. The conservation movement, and more importantly the wildlife, watersheds and wild lands of the region, deserve a variety of approaches in a variety of locations. We appreciate all those who love where they live and defend what they love. Let’s stand together!