Eugene Conservation Group Objects To Plans For Post-Fire Salvage Logging

Jan 13, 2021

A Eugene conservation group is concerned about Bureau of Land Management plans to log in areas burned in the September wildfires.

A photo taken Dec. 25, 2020 of a maple tree growing in an area burned in the September Archie Creek fire. Many conservation groups point to scientific studies of burned forests that show fire can be beneficial to the ecology and logging in those areas can cause erosion, habitat destruction and impact watersheds.
Credit Francis Eatherington / Cascadia Wildlands

The BLM’s plans include what they call “salvage logging” of 6,200 acres burned in the Archie Creek Fire near Roseburg and about 1,000 acres burned in the Holiday Farm Fire near Eugene. The agency sites the limited marketability of the burnt wood as a reason to move quickly

Rebecca White is Wildlands Director with Eugene-based Cascadia Wildlands. She said the plans amount to clear-cutting.

“The science tells us clear-cutting after a wildfire is about the worst thing you can do for recovery,” White said. “It increases erosion. It compromises clean water. And, in the case of the McKenzie, the drinking water source for 200,000 downstream residents.”

White said burnt forests store carbon and provide unique habitat for wildlife. Casacadia Wildands has urged the public to contact BLM if they have concerns about the plans. White said new Trump Administration rules allow BLM to log with less rigorous environmental review or public input.

“The Trump Administration did finalize a last-minute rule change that would allow the agency to log up to 3,000 acres, again without any public oversight,” White said.

White also pointed out the logging project could increase fire risk in the McKenzie and Umpqua watersheds.

In response to KLCC's questions about the project on the Holiday Farm Fire area, a BLM spokesperson wrote:  "The BLM is currently working with resource specialists to further analyze impacts of the project. "

Comments on the Holiday Farm Fire salvage project can be submitted at this link.

Here's info on the Archie Creek Fire project.

 

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