Last summer’s Chetco Bar Fire ignited on a snag-filled burn scar within the Kalmiopsis wilderness, sending flaming logs and brush through the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and down toward the Chetco River, spreading into a 191,000-acre fire that destroyed homes and threatened many more in Brookings.
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has just announced a salvage and restoration plan for portions of the burn area. They are accepting comments through January 31. Click here to send a customizable message to the national forest.
A large majority of the Chetco Bar fire occurred on lands restricted for spotted owl habitat, designated wilderness or other purposes. Yet over 25,000 acres of the Chetco Bar fire also damaged so-called matrix lands, or those lands that had been previously identified as well-suited for timber harvest.
The national forest’s plan is to focus salvage efforts on the 13,000 acres of matrix lands that suffered moderate to high-intensity burns, where there are large amounts of standing dead trees with little to no live trees left to contribute forest cover. The dead and dying trees are posing a hazard along non-motorized trails, dispersed and developed camping areas, and areas where there are opportunities for hunting and fishing. Maps of the project area can be found here.
The Forest Service is accepting comments on these projects by January 30. They need to hear there is support for the salvage and restoration work. Please click here to send a message to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest that you support these important efforts.
We have a ready-made letter that we encourage you to customize to your liking. We believe it’s important for the national forest to hear these key messages:
- Active forest management activities including salvage harvesting and replanting are necessary to restoring the forests back to health.
- A comprehensive salvage effort will support jobs in local communities, as long as the projects are implemented as soon as possible.
- Maximize recovery within the project area, and seek additional opportunities for salvage and replanting where appropriate.
- The national forest should seek a Emergency Situation Determination to begin work as quickly as possible.
- Conduct road maintence activities to facilitate salvage operations and improve the existing road network.
Please take a moment to register your support for salvage and restoration of forests burned by the Chetco Bar Fire. Just a moment of your time will make a big difference for the forests and surrounding communities.