Bark Alert: A Clear Cut Motive

The BLM is having some unsettling daydreams about the future of our forests. They remind me of when I first started volunteering a few years back and Barkers had been trying to stop a logging project called Annie’s Cabin. Located in the Molalla River Recreation Corridor, Annie’s Cabin was cherished for its volunteer-maintained trails weaving through forests and over gorgeous streams. We found red tree vole nests, prime habitat for Oregon slender salamanders, and a lot of people connected to the area. 

When the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) made their disastrous decision to log Annie’s Cabin, they closed these treasured trails to the public and transformed them into logging roads. Bark came back to assess the damage. We found collapsed hiking trails, and muddied stumps which had once been wet cedar groves.

I bring this up now because the BLM is eyeing the Molalla river again – but this time as part of a regional management plan revision of over 2.5 million acres of public lands in Western Oregon.  For countless Oregonians these forests, like those at Annie's Cabin, are extensions of their backyards.

The draft plan includes several alternative ways to move forward, but an unnerving motive runs through them all: Instead of helping communities transition past the economic instability caused by a volatile timber market - the BLM wants to increase clearcutting. Instead of protecting more habitat for salmon - the BLM will weaken stream protections.

In the Molalla River area, the BLM is proposing to change the land’s management focus towards aggressive logging techiques - designed to leave as few as 5 percent of the trees standing.

This is why the BLM needs to hear from people who value these forests for more than the price of their timber. And they need to hear from us before August 21st, when the comment period for this planning process ends.  Submit your comments to the BLM today!

And with your help, we can we keep our backyard forests public and intact.

Michael Krochta, Forest Watch Coordinator

P.S. Summers are busy and hopefully, you're spending time out in the forest with your friends and family. Supporting Bark's work is a great way to help ensure your favorite trail won't be included in a future logging project. Donate today before heading out there this weekend!