BLM

BLM Cancels 88 Acres of Logging along the Molalla River

The Salem office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has dropped 88 acres of logging from a timber sale surrounding the Upper Molalla River called “Hole in the Road Timber Management Project”

Open House for the BLM's Western Oregon Plan Revision

How should 2.5 million acres of Oregon's public lands be managed?  Should we increase logging when the northerns spotted owl is still in decline, o

DeFazio’s ‘timber trust’ removes protections

Guest Viewpoint on “The O&C Trust, Conservation, and Jobs Act.” If enacted, DeFazio’s bill would turn over 1.5 million acres of Western Oregon BLM lands — lands that belong to all Americans — to a “timber trust.”

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Six years later, in a story that has all the ups, downs, twists, and turns of a good roller coaster, Bark is claiming victory for this special place!
Read the full story here:http://bark-out.org/content/how-bark-won-airstrip-timber-sale-victory

A federal district court sided with the BLM in spring of 2014 regarding our lawsuit on the Airstrip Timber Sale. Bark has appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court heard oral arguments Friday, November 22nd 2013, on Bark’s lawsuit challenging the Airstrip Timber Sale. Bark originally filed suit on September 13th, 2012, in response to the Salem District Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision to approve the proposed Airstrip Timber Sale. Bark’s Staff Attorney Brenna Bell articulately argued our case before a Federal District Court judge. She contended that the BLM is violating its own Resource Management Plan (RMP) by constructing a mile of logging road that would result in the felling of two ancient snags in addition to a number of other snags throughout the project area. The timber sale proposes to cut these snags, or standing dead trees, (vital components of forest habitat) despite the fact that the BLM’s own documents state the area is snag-deficient and does not meet the minimum density of snags as mandated in its RMP. In other words, cutting snags will further compromise habitat for cavity nesting birds, bats, and other critters in an area that already suffers from a lack of this very habitat. The judge himself put our argument well when he said of the BLM’s failure to meet its snag requirement “…when you are already under, you can’t go any lower.”

Why has Bark taken an argument over dead trees all the way to court? Some context for the area will help. The Airstrip Timber Sale is the BLM’s proposal to log 207 acres of naturally regenerated forest just north of the Clackamas River in the popular recreation area of LaDee Flats. Anyone who visits the area can witness the toll years of use and abuse has taken on this piece of the Clackamas Watershed. Airstrip is surrounded by a checkerboard of recently clearcut private lands on one end, as well as 2,000 acres of recently logged Forest Service land on the other. Finally, LaDee Flats has been heavily used by off road vehicles for decades. When Bark groundtruthers walked the proposed timber sale, they found a small pocket of forest acting as an island of habitat in an area scarred by industrial logging. Decomposing trees and woody debris, including snags, are what distinguish a thriving forest ecosystem from a tree farm. Airstrip’s downed logs and snags, including two ancestral snags many hundred of years old, are unique remnants of what once blanketed the landscape, and cannot afford to be lost.

From the beginning, Bark has maintained that our primary concern with the project is the construction of one mile of road and its impact on snags throughout the area. Furthermore, the road in question would access a mere 20 acres – only 10 percent of the entire timber sale! Bark has made it very clear that we would not challenge the timber sale and would drop our lawsuit if the BLM would re-route the location of this proposed road in a way that retains snags. So far, the BLM has refused to do so. We’ll provide updates on the judge’s ruling as soon as it is available able.

Project Status: 
In Progress
General Information
District: 
BLM Salem District
Total Acres: 
290.0
Watershed: 

North Fork Clackamas

Driving Directions: 

From Hwy 224, just out of Estacada towards Mt. Hood National Forest, turn left on Rd 4610 across from Promontory Park. The BLM unit begins about a mile down that road.

New Road Miles: 
2.40

The Annie's Cabin Timber Sale was logged in 2012. It is the site of our 'heartbreak hike' due to the terrible condition of the forest left by Freres Lumber. During logging and in preparation for logging activities, the BLM closed popular hiking trails in the Molalla River Recreation Corridor. During a groundtruthing visit to the sale in anticipation of logging, Bark volunteers discovered incorrect closure markings at the site and notified the BLM which then corrected the error making it possible for recreationists to access areas in the corridor that were safe for human and equestrian presence. Post-logging monitoring of the sale has identified major road and skid trail impacts to waterways, poorly mitigated erosion, and trees cut that were marked to be left in the forest. Check out our flickr page to see photos from post-logging monitoring of Annie's Cabin Timber Sale.

The Salem District of the Bureau of Land Management released the Decision Rationale for the Annie 's Cabin thinning project and Bark submitted a lawsuit in September 2007. The project has been decreased due to red tree vole presence. On recent groundtruthing trips, Barkers have discovered Oregon Slender Salamander. The Environmental Assessment claimed they were not present, however this species has special management requirements.

The project falls partially within the Molalla River Recreation Corridor. The following four project areas will affect 6 watersheds (in parentheses) Annie 's Cabin (Upper Molalla River watershed), Missouri Ridge (Rock Creek and Pudding River watersheds), Snakehouse (Little and Middle North Santiam), and Round Mountain (Crabtree Creek and Hamilton Creek). A total of 566 acres will be thinned, including 85 acres of Riparian Reserves. Road construction would include the following a mile of new road construction up to 20 miles of road would be renovated and 0.6 miles of road would be improved. Upper Willamette River (UWR) Chinook salmon, UWR steelhead trout (both threatened species) inhabit areas just downstream, but the BLM has found that the logging May affect is Not Likely to Adversely Affect ' the populations. 246 acres of dispersal habitat for the Northern spotted owl (threatened) will also be logged. '

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
BLM Salem District
Total Acres: 
1,882.0
Watershed: 

Upper Molalla River,Rock Creek, Pudding River, Little and Middle North Santiam, Crabtree Creek, Hamilton Creek

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

S&M Species: Tall bugbane T&E Species: Upper Willamette River (UWR) Chinook salmonUWR steelhead trout Additional Species Info: 246 acres of dispersal habitat for Northern spotted owl will be affected. Also, some marginal habitat for the Oregon slender salamander will be affected.

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
1,882.0
Total Riparian Acres: 
85.00
"Purpose & Need": 

The BLM 's Stated Purpose of the project These areas are overstocked with trees which slows tree growth increases tree mortality and reduces overall forest health and diversity. ' The BLM has also stated a concern about a potential for wildfire in the area. All the available science says that logging can increase the risk of fire and that the more roads there are the more human caused fire starts there are!'

Bark Comments: 

Just when we thought the project was all done and over the Salem BLM is about to release a Decision Notice for Missouri Ridge. This was originally part of the Annie 's Cabin EA but was removed when Decision Notice was released in 2007.

Timber Sale Names: 

Annie 's Cabin (566 Acres) Status: Post Appeal/Lawsuit Missouri Ridge (287 Acres) Snakehouse (834 Acres) Round Mountain (195 Acres)

Restrictions
Restrictions: 

None

Driving Directions: 

Directions To get to Molalla, take 205 South to 213 South, take 211 East (take a left at Safeway). This puts you on Main Street in Molalla. From the east side of Molalla, follow signs to Feyrer Park. Cross the river and turn right, following signs to Dickey Prairie. Continue south on Dickey Prairie Road about 4 miles past Dickey Prairie Store. Turn right onto the Molalla Forest Road and cross Glen Avon Bridge. Continue until you see signs for trailheads. You can park and enter the area by foot or bike at Hardy Creek Trail head. You 'll find units marked with flagging throughout the area.

New Road Miles: 
1.00
Road Comments: 

Reconstruction miles: 20

The Beeline Timber Sale is proposed in public forests administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). According to the maps (see below) it will log forests up to 95 years old. NOTE In timber sales as recent as 2006 (see Butte Creek TS), the BLM has logged forests that are 80 years old in general but cut individual trees 200 years old in that forest.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
BLM Salem District
Total Acres: 
930.0
Watershed: 

Lower Molalla, Upper Molalla

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
930.0
"Purpose & Need": 

From the scoping letter Our timber management planning process has identified approximately 2,800 including McDowell Ck Timber Sale and Beeline Timber Sale acres of BLM-administered lands in the four watersheds (see project maps) for which thinning would maintain or enhance healthy growth.

The BLM 's Environmental Assessment concluded a Finding of No Significant Impact despite the fact that the entire project comprises dispersal habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl and alters habitat for two threatened fish species. The BLM issued a Decision Notice finalizing the project on 11/2/2005. Bark 's appeal of the decision was rejected on 1/19/2006. This project encompasses late seral stands and fragmented old growth and is not suitable for thinning. Additionally, the Butte Creek Timber Sale may be illegally moving forward without providing protections for rare animal and plant species required by the ruling of Judge Pechman of the U.S. District Court (see the feature story at www.bark-out.org). Stay tuned as Bark is trying to determine how Butte Creek will be impacted.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
BLM Salem District
Total Acres: 
700.0
Watershed: 

Butte Creek, Pudding River, Molalla River

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

S&M Species: Red tree vole
T&E Species: Spotted OwlgoshawkUpper Willamette River chinook salmonUpper Willamette River steelhead trout
Other Species: common nighthawkred-legged frogbald eagleOregon slender salamander
Additional Species Info: The entire project area is dispersal habitat for the Northern spotted owl

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
700.0
Total Riparian Acres: 
20.00
"Purpose & Need": 

The BLM states that the purpose of the project is to provide a marketable timber sale to maintain and develop a road system that provides access for timber harvest...maintain a healthy forest ecosystem with habitat to support plant and animal populations and protect riparian areas and water resources. ' However the BLM also states that the streams are currently in 'proper functioning condition, well shaded stable beds, and banks adequate quantities of wood sediment and a diversity of riparian species. ' Apparently logging will somehow improve these riparian areas. '

Bark Comments: 

In the southern portion of Unit B there are 5 feet DBH Doug Firs that are marked to be logged despite their claim that they are not logging old growth! As these units are amongst a sea of clearcuts it is vital that these trees be retained for the birds and wildlife who come down from the mountain to winter here.

Restrictions
Restrictions: 

Spring growing season (May 01-June 30) : No falling or yarding operations that could damage residual trees allowed
High soil moisture (Nov-May) : No ground based operations

Driving Directions: 

As a tool, use 3 part Middle Cascades RA map (for $9). This project is in the middle part (there is a north and south part too). Or use a Salem BLM Recreation map. It is really easy to get to Maple Grove Road and Butte Creek Road and then you are on the timber sale maps. Go through Scots Mills and take Maple Grove Road after you cross Butte Creek. The Butte Creek forks to your right in a short while. Note that the Butte Creek Road and the road system to hop up into the C, E, F and Q units is very difficult to find.

New Road Miles: 
1.20
Temporary Road Miles: 
0.4
Road Comments: 

An additional 6.8 miles of existing road would be renovated and improved. We encourage visiting the site to see exactly what this entails.
Reconstruction Miles: 1.4

The original proposal for this sale was reviewed in the context of the elimination of survey and manage requirements (ie not having to survey for wildlife gave them a chance to make the proposal much bigger and badder...thanks Bush!) which were later determined illegal by Judge Pechman of the U.S. District Court (see the feature story at www.bark-out.org). Bark successfully appealed this initial proposal to eliminate old-growth stands. However, the BLM came out with a new and slightly improved Clear Dodger Timber Sale targeting native forests, which happen to be very rare in this area near Estacada -- Clear Dodger is surrounded by farms on private land and clear cuts, including other logging projects nearby that Bark was not successful in stopping (the Unguard, Guard , Artful Dodger and Clear Timber Sales).

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
BLM Salem District
Total Acres: 
143.0
Watershed: 

Lower Clackamas, Mill Creek

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

S&M Species: Great Gray Owl T&E Species: Northern Spotted Owl Other Species: Northern GoshawkOregon Slender Salamander Additional Species Info: An employee for a subcontractor hired to conduct fungi surveys for the sale has made official complaints to the BLM. He contends that some of his paperwork and samples were intentionally destroyed. This raises serious concerns about the accuracy of rare and sensitive species surveys conducted for the sale.

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
143.0
"Purpose & Need": 

Contribute toward District timber management goals and local economic diversity. Manage these timber stands for a sustainable supply of timber and other forest commodities for future harvest and other management options. Manage the roads in the area to meet transportation needs and ACS objectives. Increase stand diversity in portions of the Riparian Reserve.

Bark Comments: 

Potential Activites Harvest of mature timber (65 to 90 years old) Road decomissioning, rebuilding Stream and riparian area restoration.Cumulative Impacts There has been extensive private land and other public lands logging. For example, the following timber sales have been recently logged in the area immediately around Clear Dodger * Guard 3.5 mmbf Forest Service sale over 134 acres* Unguard a .5 mmbf Forest Service sale over 22 acres* Artful Dodger a 1.8 mmbf BLM sale in Section 30 logged in late 1990s* Clear, a 2.6 mmbf Forest Service sale over 490 acres logged in the last few years.The harvest of Clear Dodger, along with these adjacent clear cuts, may severely degrade habitat on a watershed scale.

Timber Sale Names: 

Clear Dodger (143 Acres, 1.7 MBF MMBF) Status: Sold, but not logged Bee Canyon

Driving Directions: 

Head to Estacada on 224, take a right where 211 splits off main road, it turns into road 45, heading toward town of Dodge. Go for aprox. 5 miles. It will climb, then level out and go down hill. At this point, keep eye out on left for Hillock Burn Road, take a left. Look for sign that says Mt. Hood National Forest, and there will be road to the right, yellow gate, gravel road, follow it, take another road to the right.

New Road Miles: 
0.00
Road Comments: 

Closed roads will be reopened to facilitate logging this forest. Reconstruction Miles: 4.7

The Gordon Creek Timber Sale is proposed in public forests administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This project proposes to log over the intake for the Corbett Water District. The Corbett Water District, as well as the Portland Water District has come out against this project.According to the maps (see below) it will log a mix of young and old-growth forest. As well, there are eight miles of new roads proposed. In March 2009, the BLM released a revised Environmental Assessment (EA) dropping some acres of the old-growth and expanding the no-cut buffers on the streams, thanks to the many comments that were sent in response to the first EA. They continue to plan logging on steep slopes along the Gordon Creek and have lifted some of the seasonal restrictions. We encourage people, if you have been to this timber sale and have not submitted comments, to do so before April 6th to the contact listed below. You can review the updated EA, posted below as well.

Project Status: 
In Progress
General Information
District: 
BLM Salem District
Total Acres: 
1,805.0
Watershed: 

Sandy River

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
1,805.0
Total Riparian Acres: 
500.00
Bark Comments: 

There appears to be a hiking trail that the BLM uses for educational purposes for area students within one of the units. Along this trail are a few Doug firs with 4 to 5 feet DBHs.

Driving Directions: 

Take the Corbet exit off I-84 and head east on the Scenic Highway. In approx. 5 miles veer to the left on Larch Mountain Road. BLM units begin just before the 5 mile marker, and are on the right side of the road.

New Road Miles: 
6.00
Temporary Road Miles: 
2.0
Road Comments: 

Bark does not support the building of new roads in the Mt. Hood watershed system. Of particular concern for this project is the new road construction over the North Fork of Gordon Creek. Currently, this section of the creek is free-flowing and putting a culvert into the stream-way would drastically change the characteristics of the stream, not to mention causing huge damage to the banks.
Reconstruction Miles: 17

The Hide and Seek Timber Sale has been canceled!

Project Status: 
Canceled
General Information
District: 
BLM Salem District
Total Acres: 
30.0
Watershed: 

Middle Sandy

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
30.0
Bark Comments: 

Stands generally 121-200 years old, some really big old trees -Multi-layered canopy-vital ground cover-mix of tree agesForest past the age where red alder provide nitrogen fixing. Soil now receives nitrogen fixing via lichen (lobaria oregana, common name lettuce lung) which only grows in canopy of forests over 100 years, though vigorous growth takes perhaps another hundred years (The Hidden Forest, Jon R. Luoma, page 56).Wide variety of plant and animal speciesForests in which pileated woodpeckers exist (old-growth indicator species).Forests that support spotted owl and their prey species.Surrounded by recent clear-cutsWhile this area is not protected, both the land higher in the watershed (Mt. Hood Scenic Corridor) and the land lower in the water shed (proposed Wyden/Smith protection area) are protected. How does it make sense to protect the area above and below while ignoring the middle?On the way to examine the slide area, we encountered the first of many Pacific yews, one of which had a diameter of 10.4 inches (33 inches measured circumference).Units E and F are late-successional forests where the oldest and largest trees (Douglas firs) are being overtaken by hemlocks and other (taller) firs.Trees are at the age of being *Cloud forest* in which the large square footage of old-growth trees gather moisture from clouds and locally rain (droplets of condensed cloud mist), adding water to soil and streams.Fallen old-growth logs act as giant sponges, soaking up water in the wet season and releasing in the dry season, making old forests far more fire-resistant.Measurements of riparian buffer of Wildcat stream demonstrated potentially shortened riparian buffer. Measurements to the northwest of Wildcat Creek were 237 feet and 285 feet, measurement of riparian buffer on south east side of stream was 238 feet. NW Forest Plan calls for a width of 300 feet or 2 site potential trees, which ever is LARGEST, on each side of a fish bearing stream or 150 feet or one site potential tree on each side of the non-fish bearing stream, which ever is LARGEST, (Standards and Guidelines for Management of Habitat for Late-Successional and Old-Growth Forest Related Species Within the Range of the Northern Spotted Owl, page C-30). Site potential trees in this western Cascadian lower elevation environment are clearly larger than 150 feet, therefore the riparian buffer needs to be greater than 300 on each side of a fish bearing stream and greater than 150 on each side of a non-fish bearing stream. Need to obtain the Sandy River Watershed Analysis to check proposed riparian buffer widths in that document.Fungi Ramaria araiospora inventoried and marked 11/4/00. View of the damage a cable-stay, wrapped around the base of a 200 year-old Douglas fir. The stay supported a tower that was used to clear-cut the bordering forest. The manner in which the base of the Douglas fir was cut to wrap the stay means that a 200 year-old tree (100 yards from previous timber sale and not part of the previous timber sale) will die. Why is it an accepted practice to kill large and old trees that border or are outside the boundaries of a timber sale?We saw pileated woodpecker holes.Use of public lands as shooting range, targets included pumpkins, metal drums and the lower half of a mannequin.Low stability of soil near Wildcat Creek aggravated by steep riverbanks and poor soil.Steep slopes in both units.Numerous seeps throughout the hillside of Unit F needs close ground-truthing to determine whether there are all outside of the boundaries and that they are all adequately buffered.

Timber Sale Names: 

Hide and Seek (30 Acres) Status: Cancelled!

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