Still Standing

By
Thursday, September 27th, 2012

The Public Lands Program has been an advocacy building block for the Environmental Protection Information Center for nearly a decade. Monitoring environmental threats on federally and state owned land is a public interest service that EPIC provides to our local and statewide community.

The US Forest Service holdings in our bioregion, namely the Mendocino, Six Rivers, Shasta-Trinity, and Klamath National Forests, lay squarely within the EPIC geography of concern. The time honored forest watch methodology enables EPIC to stay engaged on preventing and modifying potentially damaging projects proposed across the region.

Last Spring the Salmon River Ranger District on the Klamath National Forest decided to log 70 acres of mature forest with minimal environmental review. EPIC stopped the project, known as Little Cronan, from moving forward due to the fact that the Ranger illegally signed the decision by failing to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service as required by the Endangered Species Act.

This beautiful piece of forest has a trail leading to the Marble Mountain Wilderness, yet the agency wants to turn this trail into a logging road.  The project is on the Wild and Scenic North Fork Salmon River, a waterway considered critical for salmon recovery. The area surrounding and including the Little Cronan project is proposed as Critical Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl, and contains increasingly rare nesting and roosting habitat.

The Salmon River Ranger District on the Klamath National Forest is a high priority area for EPIC because of its proximity to wilderness, and roadless areas, and because of its value as a landscape scale biological corridor.  Tucked between the Marble Mountains and Trinity Alps Wildernesses, the Salmon River RD is of undeniable conservation importance in terms of maintaining the long-term integrity of these protected core areas.

Unfortunately, though, the justification used for promoting the logging of these old forest stands that lie within an area of high conservation value is the same rhetoric commonly used, cutting big trees in the name of forest health and fire risk reduction, when the evidence is conclusive that cutting big trees is anything but healthy for the forest.  While we may see another incarnation of this ill-conceived project, thanks to EPIC we will have another opportunity for comment, to participate, and to protect our wild forests. 

Please stay tuned for future action alerts on this old growth forest stand that is Still Standing because EPIC, and all of our supporters, still stand with the big trees.