Five timber areas sold; four face protests

Five U.S. Bureau of Land Management timber sales totalling 20.3 million board feet were sold Thursday in the agency's Medford District.

However, all but one has been administratively protested by environmental groups to the Interior Board of Land Appeals in Arlington, Va.

It takes about 90 days for an administrative protest to be resolved by the appeals board, according to BLM spokeswoman Patty Burel.

Two others sales containing nearly 4 million board feet also offered Thursday were not sold.

The district's targeted annual allowable harvest is 57.1 million board feet, although the actual amount fluctuates each year. Only 28.5 million board feet were offered this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, Burel said.

The timber auctions are usually spread out during the year but several of the sales offered Thursday had been legally challenged earlier, prompting the agency to hold off on selling them until now, she said. Thursday's timber auction was the last one of the fiscal year.

The only unit not protested was the Rum Creek timber sale which includes 373,000 board feet on 41 acres in the Grants Pass Resource Area. It was purchased for $30,734 by Williamson Timber Falling of Grants Pass, selling at $87 per thousand board feet. The appraised price was $30,325.

Because that sale was not protested, it is expected to be awarded quickly, Burel said.

The two units that didn't receive bids were the 2.4-million-board-foot Caboose sale and the 1.5-million-board-foot Healthy Murph LSR, both in the Glendale Resource Area. Caboose was appraised at $201,807; Healthy Murph at $205,108.

A restriction on Healthy Murph mandated trees larger than 20 inches in diameter at chest height could not be cut while Caboose required high harvest costs because of helicopter logging, Burel said.

"We'll be taking a look at the two that didn't sell," Burel said, noting they may be offered in the next fiscal year.

The largest sale sold was the Chew Choo in the Glendale Resource Area which includes 13.4 million board feet on 421 acres. Rough and Ready Lumber Co. of Cave Junction purchased it for $1.98 million, or about $156 per thousand board feet. It had been appraised at $1.7 million.

Other sales which sold Thursday include:

  • The 3.2-million-board-foot Flounce Around in the Butte Falls Resource Area, which went to Murphy Co. of White City for the appraised price of $230,064, or $74.50 per thousand board feet.
  • The 2.9-million-board-foot Mari Kelsey in the Glendale Resource Area, which went to Boise Building solutions of White City for $356,922 or $126 per thousand board feet. It had been appraised at $275,846.
  • The 461,000 board-foot August Knob in the Glendale Resource Area, which sold to the Silver Creek Timber Co. of Merlin for $156,502 or $340.10 per thousand board feet. The appraised price was $101,651.

George Sexton, conservation director of the Ashland-based Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, said last week that the sales likely would be appealed. Burel said she did not know who had filed the administrative protests.

ForestsKlamath Siskiyou