Comments Due on Proposed Logging in Upper Sandy and Salmon River Watersheds

Over 500 comments submitted so far, help us get to 1000!

Over the past two months, I've spoken with hundreds of people who are shocked that the Forest Service is proposing to revive the industrial logging program on the Zigzag Ranger District. They want to know: Why? Well, while for 21 years the Zigzag District leadership had turned away from commercial logging and focused on restoring habitat for threatened fish and tending to the amazing recreation opportunities, their priorities have changed with rising timber quotas and top-down political pressure to 'get out the cut'. Now, the proposed Zigzag Timber Sale and proposes to log mature forests in the upper reaches of the Sandy and Salmon River watersheds. Logging is proposed not only in areas designated as Timber Emphasis but also in Wild and Scenic River corridors, Scenic Viewsheds, Special Emphasis Watersheds, Riparian Reserves, and Roaded Recreation and Special Interest areas.

Draft unit map of numbered, proposed logging units around Lolo Pass road and the 1825 Rd.

Like all recent Forest Service projects, the agency’s public documents claim “[a] primary purpose of this project is to improve the health and increase the diversity of forested stands.” But in earlier conversations, which garnered accolades from the timber industry, Forest Service employees candidly stated that this sale is planned to meet increasing timber volume quotas. They can’t have it both ways: managing west side forest for timber production directly conflicts with managing it for watershed health and climate resiliency.

Right now, the Forest Service is in the first round of public comments for the Zigzag Project. Please follow the link below to see some example Talking Points and submit your own comments, concerns, recommendations, and questions to the Forest Service in the early stages of the project development.

Submit your comments today! 

Courtney Rae, Associate Director

P.S. The Sandy & Salmon Rivers aren’t the only beloved places at risk of being adversely affected by this project – the sale area includes, and could impact, areas like Trillium Lake, Ramona Falls, Burnt Lake, Old Maid Flat, Top Spur Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail. Write your comments today or join us next Wednesday (February 5) to write comments together at the Bark Office from 6-8 pm.