Action Alert: Opportunity to Comment on Two Regional Timber Projects

1. Calapooia Project
Location about 30 miles southeast of Sweet Home, Oregon.
Thinning and other forms of logging on 1,132 acres
Comments due 1/18 THIS Friday at

2. Lowell Country Project
Location: Fall Creek 5th watershed
Overview:  thinning and other forms of logging of ~15,900 net acres
Comments due Thursday 1/24/2019. Submit comments at

Talking Points

Commend the Forest Service for concentrating timber projects on younger, dense stands
Express concerns:

  • Thinning projects in dense stands reduce but do not eliminate environmental concerns of deforestation including soil disturbance and removal of habitat. In addition to thinning, the projects include other treatments such as gap creation that remove larger numbers of trees.
  • These forests may not be the primary habitat for legally protected old-growth species such as the spotted owl but nearby disturbance will still impact these vulnerable species.  The proposal and environmental assessment should consider other species even if they are not legally protected. Medium aged forests (40-80 year old trees) still support a great diversity of species. One third of our North American common bird species are in decline and the biggest threat is loss of habitat. Locally, this year’s annual Christmas bird count noted concerning low numbers for several species.
  • The projects are designed to take trees in multiple parcels throughout the area. Fragmentation reduces biodiversity and damages ecosystem function. More edges create hotter/drier/windier microclimates favorable to fire spread.
  • A large number of roads are proposed to implement the logging but despite being temporary, they still allow disturbance of soil and shrubs, introduction of invasive species, and further fragmentation.
  • A stated goal of the projects is economic: “to produce a sustainable supply of forest products.” However, the economic benefits of intact forests are not considered.  Outdoor recreation is a burgeoning industry which brings in more dollars than the timber industry. Ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and the forests’ role in mitigation of climate change must be addressed in project planning.

For further information, contact Debbie