2016 updates from the field season

Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project– Updates From the 2016 Field Seasonfoc_bmbp2 foc_bmbp-training1 foc-bmbp-9 foc-bmbp-8 foc-bmbp-7 foc-bmbp-6 foc-bmbp-5 foc-bmbp-4 foc-bmbp-3

Thank you everyone who helped support this year’s field season! We are wrapping up our field checking work, and so want to send out a few of the highlights from our busy summer.

With the help of over 30 volunteers, we’ve been hard at work gathering on-the-ground information in numerous timber sales proposed on National Forests in eastern Oregon.

  • We field checked four timber sales (with a fifth currently being surveyed). The sales we surveyed range in size from 1,200 acres to over 9,000 acres.
    • We are particularly concerned about proposed logging along streams and of large trees in the Camp Lick timber sale on the Malheur National Forest. You can see our short video about the sale and about threats to the ecological integrity and biodiversity of these forests due to logging and climate change by clicking here.
    • We field checked the Kew sale (Deschutes National Forest), the Camp Lick, Flat, and Canyon Creek sales (Malheur National Forest), and we are currently checking the Ragged Ruby sale (also on the Malheur).
  • We submitted public comments on 20 federal projects (timber sales, grazing allotments, and herbicide use plans) and objections or appeals challenging 12 projects.

We filed litigation to stop a unique and ecologically important old growth fir forest from being logged in the Walton Lake timber sale in the Ochoco National Forest. The area proposed for commercial logging encompasses a magnificent old growth forest with Ponderosa pines up to 61” diameter at breast height (dbh), Douglas firs up to 60” dbh, and Grand firs up to 57” dbh. This proposed 200-acre timber sale is an effort to get away with logging large old trees in a popular recreation area. Read our fact sheet here, and link to the article in the Bend Bulletin here.

We’ve also been busy getting the word out about threats to the forest from climate change, logging, livestock grazing, and roads. We’ve engaged in a host of interviews, activist trainings, and outreach events. A couple of examples include:

  • Our Director, Karen Coulter, gave field survey trainings to Friends of the Clearwater in Idaho, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, and forest watch groups in Wisconsin and the Willamette Valley.
  • Our Co-Director, Paula Hood, gave a workshop on stream ecology and climate change during Bark’s Base Camp in Mt. Hood National Forest.

To see more pictures and learn more about these events click here.

In other big news, we’ve started the process of becoming our own independent 501c3 non-profit! We are very grateful to the League of Wilderness Defenders for providing support and allowing us to be a part of this amazing non-profit organization for many years. However, we will be stepping out on our own in the coming months. We are very excited to have a brand new dedicated and amazing Board of Directors. Stay tuned for more updates.

These are just a few highlights from the last few months—look for our Annual Work Report later this fall for a more detailed report of what we’ve been up to. For now, please check out information on the Camp Lick sale, and pictures and information from some of our trainings and outreach events.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, or supporting us through your donations, please contact Karen Coulter at 541-385-9167 or Paula Hood at 510-715-6238 or by email at paula.e.hood@gmail.com. You can donate online through our website or by clicking here.