About the Chetco Fire Salvage Project
The Chetco River is an exceptional, free flowing Wild and Scenic River with crystal clear water, abundant recreation opportunities, and is home to world-class runs of wild salmon and steelhead. This national treasure is essential to the culture and economy of southwest Oregon.
Last summer, the Chetco Bar Fire burned close to 192,000 acres, much at low or moderate severity, in and around the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
Now, the Forest Service is seeking public comments to inform a plan for post-fire logging on 4,090 acres of matrix land in parts of the Chetco and Pistol watersheds, and we are asking for your help to demonstrate broad support in favor of prioritizing this area’s important natural resources.
Wildfire is an important natural process and is integral to the long-term health of the watershed. After last year’s wildfire, we are now at a critical time for recovery and new growth in the national forest. Wildfire and forest experts here locally and across the country have identified that post-fire logging can be extremely disruptive to the natural recovery processes.
If done incorrectly, post-fire logging will have lasting effects on the health and productivity of these important fish populations and the surrounding communities who depend on them.
Forest Service Project Proposal
While the science does not support an ecological basis for post-fire salvage logging, we appreciate that the Forest Service’s current proposal focuses post-fire activities on the existing matrix lands, and avoids logging in wilderness, roadless areas, and riparian reserves from the available lands for harvest. After reviewing the project proposal, we support Alternative 3, which among a suite of actions will limit post-fire logging to plantations only, avoids steep terrains, does not build new roads, and includes buffers to minimize damage to streams.
Take action today to show your support for the Chetco River and ask the Forest Service to prioritize the health of the watershed and wild, native fish when moving forward with this project. Comments are due by May 15, 2018.
Or, submit your own comments by following the steps on the Forest Service website.