Victory! Siskiyou Crest Old-Growth Protected!
The Siskiyou Crest is one of the most biologically, botanically, and geologically special places in the world. As a rare east/west oriented mountain range it connects the plants and animals of the Klamath, Coast Range, Cascade, and Sierra Mountains. It is also a climate change refuge for plants and animals and a recreational wonderland. It is no place for clearcut logging.
Following a 2016 fire, Klamath National Forest timber planners targeted old-growth Shasta red fir forests near Condrey Mountain for clearcutting and new logging roads. KS Wild responded by teaming up with our tribal and conservation allies to promote the “Karuk Alternative” which would protect the Crest while focusing fuels and restoration activities at lower elevations around key roads, homes, and communities.
We are pleased to announce that our hard work paid off! Hundreds of acres of recovering post-fire Siskiyou Crest old-growth stands are now saved and real fuels reduction and restoration work will help protect homes and ranches from fire. Important elements of the Karuk Plan have also been adopted by the Forest Service, such as the use of prescribed fire to reduce forest fuels, timely treatment of logging slash, and the protection of large wildlife trees.
Numerous fires burning now will likely lead to logging proposals next year. The Horse Creek victory is a significant and important step forward. That’s true for Klamath River communities who have struggled with fire effects and for the unique wildlife and watershed values of the Siskiyou Crest, but also for the long process of convincing decision-makers that creating yet more tree plantations from newly burned forests will only increase next season’s wildfires.