ACTION ALERT: Support Local Voices on Zigzag Logging Proposal

Like you, we love Mt. Hood.

We are Laura, Penny, Russell, Mitch and Georgenne. Like you, we love Mt. Hood and consider it our responsibility to be informed and take action for the protection of the forests, waters, and wildlife with whom we share the landscape. We all submitted comments on the Forest Service’s Environmental Assessment on their proposal for logging in the Zigzag District of Mt. Hood, an area of the forest that is near and dear to us, which has not seen any logging planned in the past 20 years. Zigzag District staff had been unique compared to other parts of Mt. Hood in their focus on restoration and recreation that has benefitted millions of people from our local communities to visitors from around the world and strengthened salmon and wildlife populations. Read on to support our letter.

Penny at Lost Creek near Horseshoe Ridge Penny expresses her concerns: 

"As a mountain resident of 47 years, I am dismayed by the Zigzag Integrated Forest Project. Mountain residents plus large numbers of people from Portland and all over the US and the world recreate in the areas that are proposed to be logged. The Horseshoe area of the Upper Sandy River watershed is adjacent to Old Maid Flat, which hikers and cross-country skiers frequent daily. The Mud Creek area is near Trillium Lake in the Salmon River Watershed. This area is even more popular for people from Portland. Also, they are logging riparian areas, which I thought was not legal. Some of the slopes are steep and erosion could affect the fish habitat and threaten the Coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead, which have seen a large recovery in the last few years."

 

 

[Photo of Penny at Lost Creek near Horseshoe Ridge]

 

Mountain resident Mitch Williams holding a wild mushroom in the forest

As Mitch comments:

"Within the last 5 years visits (use) has increased by near 30 %. Mt. Hood is and has been one of the most popular forests in the United States. The amount of time, money and a variety of human efforts and resources focused on the watershed and specifically, riparian improvements for endangered fish has been unparalleled. This proposal runs counter to these aforementioned investments."

 

[Photo of Mitch Williams]

You may have been notified recently by the Forest Service, as we were, of the Draft Decision for the Zigzag project that now seems to have been fast-tracked. A quick review of the Draft Decision shows that the Forest Service believes “No Significant Impact” will result from the logging of 294 acres in sensitive Riparian Reserves and 457 total acres over 90 years old. These are the very same areas we raised significant concerns about in our comments. As Russell and Laura point out:

"We have some specific concerns regarding thinning to be done in riparian areas and along streams, specifically in the area of the Clear Fork units 12, 13, 38, 55 and others, and Mud Creek units 168, 170, 144, 180 and others. According to the Fisheries Specialist Report alternatives comparison, the short-term effect of logging these areas will be unsubstantial, while the longer-term result is basically the same whether or not the project moves forward. In this case, it seems we are pursuing a goal through logging, which will be achieved in the long term by not logging, and in doing so ignoring the damage that may be done in the short term."

They also provided substantial scientific research that echo those concerns.

two images side by side of Laura and Russel each holding a dog on a leash by the Sandy River

[Photos of Laura & Russell at Sandy River near Old Maid Flat]

 

selfie of Georgenne in Mt. Hood National Forest

Georgenne says it well: 

“We are disappointed. Even given the financial and political constraints that the Forest Service operates under, there were opportunities to make small changes that would have been less damaging and more beneficial for the long-term health of the forest. The Forest Supervisor Richard Periman has approved the project without making any further changes to reduce the negative impact to the Clear Fork of the Sandy River, Mud Creek, habitat connectivity around Lolo Pass, and the invaluable carbon stored in these maturing forests.” 

[Photo of Georgenne Ferdun]

 

 

Will you take a moment to sign this letter we’ve written to Richard Periman letting him know that we expect better attention to public input from our public lands managers?

 

 

Sincerely,

Mitch Williams, Brightwood 
Georgenne Ferdun, Portland 
Russell and Laura Strudwick, Rhododendron 
Penny Mock, Brightwood

 

campaign banner of Free Mt Hood Campaign, with an artistic illustration of Mt Hood towering above Portland surrounded by coniferous forest