Logging is promoted by agencies and the timber industry as necessary for public safety and restoration. However, most logging on National Forests takes place in the backcountry, far from human communities. Logging in remote wildlands does not keep people safe from fires. Home hardening, working around homes and communities, and emergency preparedness are far more effective strategies for protecting people and communities.
Our planet is at a critical juncture in the fight against climate change and the loss of biodiversity. National Forests in Eastern Oregon are crucially important to protect in order to prevent an even greater level of ecological destruction.
We need to protect biodiversity, clean water, and the climate. Instead, we are losing too much of the remaining ‘last-best’ habitat in our region to logging, and exacerbating the climate and biodiversity crises.
Logging on National Forests in Eastern Oregon is widespread and happening at an increasing pace and scale. In addition, there is, all too often, a huge discrepancy between what the Forest Service promotes to the public as “restoration” and “thinning” and what is actually happening on the ground.
BMBP contacted the Forest Service with our concerns about some of the logging pictured below in the Big Mosquito sale. While agency staff emphasized that large and old Ponderosa pines were not meant to be targeted for logging, they also confirmed that they have the discretion to allow these large and old trees to be cut– and often sold– as part of timber sale implementation.
The photos below were taken in the Camp Lick timber sale in the Malheur National Forest between 2021 and 2023. They show recent logging within “stand improvement thinning” and “biomass thinning” sale units in the Camp Lick sale.
While not all units in these timber sales include clearcuts or logging of large and old trees, too many do. We’re increasing our efforts to document the aftermath of logging and shine a light on what agency “restoration” projects actually look like in far too many cases. Even when logging does not include clearcuts or logging of large and old trees, the ecological costs usually include issues such as loss of fish and wildlife habitat, soil damage, erosion, and degradation of water quality and streams.
The photos below were taken in the Big Mosquito timber sale in the Malheur National Forest between 2021 and 2023. They show recent logging within “free selection” thinning, “commercial thinning”, and “understory removal”. Click here to learn more details about the large and old Ponderosa pines logged in the Big Mosquito sale.
Examples from the Umatilla National Forest of “thinning” in the Willoughby “Urban Interface Protection” project.
These photos were taken in the Willoughby project in 2023 by a local public lands advocate.
The photos below are only a few additional examples of the widespread, landscape scale logging taking place in eastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. The photos below depict a variety of logging methods.
Help us protect forests from logging! Please sign up to receive our Action Alerts, and contact us if you are interested in volunteering!