BMBP is out in the woods almost continuously from the beginning of June until the last week in September, and we cover thousands of acres of proposed timber sales across four national forests. We documented issues in sale units such as: proposed logging on steep slopes above creeks; extensive cattle damage to streams; mature forests mischaracterized by the USFS as tree plantations (some of which have never been logged); cumulative ecological damage from past logging, roads, and livestock grazing; and sensitive areas directly threatened by logging including wildlife corridors, never-logged forests, and old growth mixed-conifer and Ponderosa pine forests. We are also documenting conditions related to climate change, which are occurring with increasing regularity, such as streams that historically supported year-round flows drying up completely or suffering from lower than normal flows due to shrinking snowpacks. Flows that are lower than historic norms are likely to cause increased stream temperatures and decreased connectivity, which can be extremely detrimental or fatal for fish and other aquatic species—especially as these trends are becoming increasingly frequent. Proposed logging, especially in streamside riparian areas, is likely to exacerbate these problems, and further disrupt watershed hydrology and increase stream temperatures. We use the information we collect in the field to do extensive follow-up work in order to defend forests– including written comments, public outreach, negotiations, and sometimes litigation.
Recently proposed timber sales (as of spring of 2019) that we are currently working to stop or modify include: the Austin, Rattlesnake, Ragged Ruby, and Camp Lick timber sales in the Malheur National Forest; the Greater Suttle Lake, Green Ridge, Twin ‘Landscape Restoration’, and Kew timber sales in the Deschutes National Forest; the Ellis, Willoughby, Upper Touchet, and Glass sales in the Umatilla National Forest, the Black Mountain Sale in the Ochoco National Forest, and the Blue Mountains Forest Resiliency Project– a timber sale which would span half a million acres over three Forests. In addition, we continue to monitor numerous other projects at various stages of the agencies’ planning process, and challenge ecologically destructive projects at every opportunity.
BMBP accomplishes all of this work on a shoestring budget, and with only two paid staff! If you can donate, even a small amount, please do. You can donate here. If you are considering volunteering with us, please visit our webpage and go to the “Get Involved” page. Thank you!
For the Wild,
Paula Hood, Co-Director
Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project