The N126 timber sale is located in coastal rainforest north of highway 126 in the Bureau of Land Management’s Siuslaw field office. The BLM is currently planning 25,000 acres of commercial thinning in 30-130 year old Late-Successional Reserve (LSR) forests, which are specifically set aside to for spotted owl habitat and old growth characteristics under the Northwest Forest Plan. The BLM claims that the the forest within this sale is made up of mostly homogenous stands in need of commercial thinning, but our onsite visits have shown otherwise. While there are indeed a number of young plantations in the sale that could benefit from fire-wise thinning, a number of the units in N126 are healthy forests with many large legacy trees, layered canopies, and diverse plant species.
The N126 LSR Landscape Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) is currently being developed by the BLM to consider options, such as timber sales, non-commercial treatments, and associated restoration activities, on stands within the Late-Successional Reserve and adjacent Riparian Reserve Land Use Allocations (LUA). Their analysis area for the EA includes approximately 25,200 acres of Late-Successional Reserve and Riparian Reserve LUA stands north of Hwy 126 and within the Siuslaw Field Office, as well as approximately 6,300 acres of Late-Successional Reserve and Riparian Reserve LUA stands within the Mary’s Peak Field Office and encompasses portions of seven HUC 10 watersheds (formerly known as 5th field watersheds) including Lake Creek, Long Tom River, Wild Cat Creek, Deadwood Creek, Five Rivers, Lower Siuslaw River, and Upper Alsea River. The majority of the acres in the analysis area are located within the Lake Creek watershed.
We await their assessment. In the meantime, Cascadia field checkers continue to visit the area.
Get involved with WildCAT to join in on one of our upcoming trips!
Read our Report Back from Basecamp blog post that highlights our field checking and skill building weekend we held out in a portion of the N126 timber sale.