Dear neighbors and friends in the Applegate and Rogue Valleys,
As many of you know, in 2014, the Medford BLM proposed a large timber sale for the Applegate Valley. It covers much of the BLM lands south of the Little Applegate Road, up onto the ridgeline between Wagner and Anderson Butte, and on BLM land east of Upper Applegate Road. At BLM’s request, a small group of concerned landowners have been working for several months to craft a Community Alternative (CA). The results of our efforts are in the attached "Community Alternative for the Proposed Nedsbar Timber Sale."
The CA reflects the drafting group's best efforts to fashion a timber management model that addresses the conditions and needs of our area while allowing for responsible timber harvest. Not surprisingly, advocating for forest management practices that improve forest health and reduce (or at least do not exacerbate) fire hazards in our dangerously dry forests is a very high priority that is reflected throughout the Community Alternative.
Now it's your turn to help us demonstrate broad support for this community-based proposal. We hope everyone receiving this email will want to "sign" the Community Alternative by granting us permission to list your name as a signatory. Our plan is to submit the CA with the list of signers early next week (Monday, February 9), so please let us know as soon as you can whether you will sign on.
As the BLM provides the requested documentation (i.e. critical habitat information) necessary to complete our finalized prescriptions and unit selection, we will be making our recommendations available to the community. We are currently under a BLM deadline to submit the body of our proposal containing the principles and guidelines that will inform our unit selection and prescription development
If you would like to "sign" the Community Alternative please fill out the form below. Be sure to include your full name and the town or area you live in. You may include your full address, or at least the road you live on, if you like.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read the Community Alternative. We hope you will join us in presenting a better alternative for the Nedsbar timber sale. We apologize for duplicate postings; we want to reach as many people as possible.
The Community Alternative Working Group:
Summary of the Community Alternative
The driving force for the proposed Nedsbar Timber sale is the Swanson decision (“Court Order”) issued in 2013 by a federal judge in Washington D.C. It requires the BLM to “sell or offer to sell” a specific number of board feet of timber within the BLM’s Medford and Roseburg districts. The Nedsbar Sale is one of a series of timber sales that must be offered if the Court Order is upheld on appeal.
Our community supports a timber sale that will help meet a portion of the volume required by the Court Order. However, the specific areas proposed for management at this time and the prescriptions must be appropriate for this project area. Primary considerations in the Little and Upper Applegate Valleys are: 1) a robust and growing agricultural and recreational economy, 2) the dry forestlands with their high fire hazards, 3) the steep topography, and 4) the special environmental characteristics of the Nedsbar area.
Goals of the Community Alternative:
a. A level of combined economic, legal, environmental, social and scientific/technical viability that is equal to or greater than either BLM Alternative 3 (BLM A3) or BLM Alternative 4 (BLM A4).
b. Reduction of fire hazards and fuel loads and building long-term forest resilience.
c. Production of a sustainable level of commercial forest products.
d. Protection and enhancement of the economic values of the affected geographic area, including burgeoning commercial agricultural activities, regional property values, tourism, and recreation.
e. Enhancement of watershed health and of forest vigor.
f. Preservation of the unique habitat connectivity corridor extending from the Rogue Valley into the Nedsbar Planning Area, up the Applegate River, the surrounding ridges to the Siskiyou Crest and well into California.
g. Collaboration among the BLM, local residents and other agencies to achieve a successful timber sale offering without legal challenges.
h. Achieving the goals of the Applegate AMA described in the Northwest Forest Plan and Medford BLM Resource Management Plan.