Special Alert: Timber program out of control

Dear Barker,

We've just learned that the Forest Service is planning a timber sale in the Zigzag Ranger District, a district that has not had an active timber program since 1998. Read on and take action to help us stop logging from destroying this recreation destination!

For more than a decade, the Forest Service's "timber shop" has targeted the Clackamas River Watershed for logging its 32 million board feet per year, but apparently one watershed is not enough to satisfy the agency's timber addiction. So it's turning to a recreation hub and restoration hot-spot that is home to ten popular hiking trails and critical habitat for threatened salmon. Enter the Horseshoe Timber Sale...

In 1998 a moratorium on logging in the Zigzag District was sparked by public opposition to the Enola Hill Timber Sale. The Forest Service instead focused on providing quiet recreation and restoring salmon habitat in the district. Meanwhile, in other parts of the forest the timber program continued to reign supreme, leading to tens of thousands of acres of logging, thousands of miles of crumbling roads, and the continued decimation of wildlife habitat and water quality.

The Forest Service could manage all of Mt. Hood National Forest for quiet recreation, wildlife habitat, and clean water like the Zigzag Ranger District. Instead the agency is turning a blind eye to the benefits of Zigzag's moratorium on logging and is bringing the timber program back.

The timber program in Mt. Hood National Forest is out of control -- Contact Zigzag District Ranger Bill Westbrook today and ask him to continue managing his district for recreation and restoration, and not give in to the "timber shop" that is decimating our forests!

Read on for more details about the Horseshoe Timber Sale and keep an eye out for additional alerts coming soon…

Horseshoe Timber Sale Details
Location: 2,000 acres of scenic forest in the Zigzag Ranger District. Logging is planned along the Wild & Scenic Sandy River in an important wildlife connectivity corridor nestled between the protected Bull Run Watershed Management Unit and the Mt. Hood Wilderness Area. Logging would occur along Forest Service Road 1828 and 1825 adjacent to the Clear Fork of the Sandy River.

Hiking Trails impacted by logging: Top Spur Trail, Ramona Falls Trail, Burnt Lake Trail, Frenches Dome Trail, Cast Creek Trail, Horseshoe Creek Trail, Sandy River Trail, Upper Horseshoe Trail, Lolo Pass Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail

Campgrounds impacted by logging: Lost Creek Campground, McNeil Campground, and Riley Horseshoe Campground

Forest Characteristics in the sale: Old-growth forests, recovering forest healing from decaces of logging prior to the 1998 moratorium, and critical habitat for steelhead, coho, and Chinook salmon. See images from inside the project area at our Flickr page.

Policy Implications: The Zigzag Ranger District has enjoyed a nearly 20-year absence of a timber program in the district. The Horseshoe Timber Sale threatens to undo the work of hundreds of activists who opposed the logging practices in the area, culminating with protests against the Enola Hill Timber Sale in 1996 which the Oregonian reported as the largest anti-logging protest in years and which spurred the logging moratorium in Zigzag. This district should be the model for how to manage for recreation, restoration, water quality, and wildlife habitat. We should be bringing this kind of management into districts hit hard by timber planners for decades and not the other way around!

Project Status: Pre-scoping. The Forest Service is in the earliest stages of planning this proposal. The pre-scoping phase is when the agency develops initial plans for public notice of the sale. Next in the process will be the Scoping Period when the Forest Service will invite the first round of public comments.

Bark will continue to monitor, organize opposition to, and communicate with Barkers about the Horseshoe Timber Sale. Contact Meredith@bark-out.org if you have questions or want to get involved!