The Quartz Timber Sale is an 847-acre logging project set to take place on our public lands in the Umpqua National Forest on the Cottage Grove Ranger District. The proposed sale will commercially log and then burn forests up to 130 years in age. Folks here at Cascadia were concerned about the potential short thrift given to the presence of northern spotted owls and red tree voles, both imperiled, old-forest dependent species. We decided to get into the woods and see for ourselves what this patch of forest had to offer.
On our ground-truthing mission, we snaked our way through low elevation young forest. As the road tangled its way through the trees and climbed in elevation, we came to a more traversable and level section of ground. There we were able to hike through older parcels of the forest, lumbering around creek ravines and marveling at the larger old-growth trees that bared the scars of long-forgotten fires. The combination of old-growth trees and younger trees creates a habitat that is ideal to many native Oregon species, including owls and voles.
We concluded that it would be a shame to see these beautiful sections of forests heavily logged and roaded to facilitate commercial timber harvest on our public lands. We hope you folks feel the same, and we encourage all of you to check out the sale yourselves. Details on the Quartz Timber Sale are available here on the Forest Service website. Feel free to let the Forest Service know how you feel about this project.
Luke Mobley, Cascadia Summer Intern