Take Action! Six Rivers National Forest is proposing 11,300 acres of ground based disturbance, including 4,500 acres of commercial post-fire logging in the 2020 August Complex area. The project targets the headwaters of the already impaired Mad River and the Wild and Scenic North Fork Eel River. While it is called the Mad River August Complex Restoration Project, don’t let the name fool you. This is largely a commercial timber sale targeting fragile post-fire forests that have experienced intense fire impacts.
“Salvage” logging only salvages the monetary timber value at the expense of the ecological and human communities that depend on our public land. While the Forest Service claims that the purpose of the project is, among other things, to re-establish late-successional forests, they are deliberately targeting the large, dead snags that are most likely to remain standing on the landscape. These snags provide important complex structure to the regrowing forest that improves wildlife use of the area—branches for perching, cavities for wildlife, and large woody debris for the forest floor. Logging of the area would set back the natural recovery of these lands and, perhaps surprisingly to some, can result in worse fuel conditions, increasing fire risk for nearby communities.
There are other components to the project that may produce benefits: restoring oak woodlands, removing non-native plants, and removing some hazardous trees. But the value of these measures is far outweighed by the harm from the proposed logging. EPIC urges the Forest Service to decouple the good from the bad and produce a project that the whole community can support.
The Six Rivers National Forest is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA), a relatively-light form of analysis, particularly when compared to the more robust Environmental Impact Statement. The 30 day scoping period has been initiated and ends July 26 to allow community members to comment on the proposed project and to provide alternatives to be considered in the EA. The choice to proceed on such a large project using only an EA is worrisome and follows a bad pattern to skimp on the necessary analysis needed to fully identify all of the potential environmental effects that the controversial project would cause.
Let the Forest Service know you support natural recovery and to limit post-fire logging operations to areas that are critical for public safety including main roads and critical infrastructure. If you are familiar with the area, please personalize your letter by adding any experiences or knowledge of the area, resources or impacts you may have.
July 26th is the comment deadline.
Click the button below to submit yours today!