Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project Follow-up Action Alert: Comments on the Walton Lake timber sale due by Monday April 17th
Please don’t forget to send in comments on the Walton Lake sale– we need to show overwhelming opposition to the Forest Service’s proposal to log this magnificent old growth forest. Walton Lake is the Ochoco National Forest’s most popular recreation area, and the timber sale there would do the following:
*Clear-cutting, removing all fir, including large old growth firs, within view of the lake and beyond, under the guise of “controlling” root rot, which is actually spread by logging. This clear-cutting of Grand fir and Douglas fir would reduce existing large trees from about 12 per acre to only about 1.7 per acre. The Forest Service expects to remove 571 large trees equal to or greater than 21” diameter at breast height.
*This clear-cutting and additional commercial logging removing more large firs would completely transform the Walton Lake area from a picturesque old growth-surrounded lake to a devastated logging site. The public would no longer recognize their recreation site and lose their sense of place.
*Wild life are heavily dependent on water sources like Walton Lake, especially when there is good old growth forest security habitat and cover around the lake, which would be removed by the planned logging. Wild life and bird species using the lake area include ducks, aquatic snakes, Columbia spotted frogs, Redband trout, Damsel flies, Dragonflies, woodpeckers, herons, elk and deer, wild horses, and a wide variety of bird species and other local wildlife.
The Forest Service has promoted this as a thinning project. However, their own internal scoping documents described the proposed logging as a “[c]learcut with reserve trees” which would remove “all grand fir and Douglas-fir merchantable trees (including trees over 21 inches DBH)”. The dense, moist mixed conifer forest would “resemble a regeneration harvest [i.e., a clearcut] with retention trees.” “The immediate impacts to visual resources would be extremely noticeable as a majority of fir species would be removed from the site,” creating an unnaturally open site.
You can use our talking points to help write your comments, or you can simply copy and paste the Action Alert into an email to the Forest Service. Even short emails to the Forest Service are helpful. This forest needs your help now, please make your voice heard!
Comments can be submitted online by April 17th at https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public/CommentInput?project=47019
You can also mail comments to: Marcy Anderson, Walton Lake Restoration Project, 3160 NE 3rd Street, Prineville, Oregon 97754. Mailed comments must be postmarked by April 17th.
You can click on this link for more detailed talking points and information about the Walton Lake sale.
Please get your friends to comment, and share this Action Alert widely.
Thank you for your help! —Karen Coulter, Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project