Letters, March 16
Bear Grub timber sale problematic
The Bureau of Land Management’s proposed Bear Grub timber sale between Ruch in the Applegate Valley and Talent in the Rogue Valley is problematic for a number of reasons: It will alter wildlife habitat, degrade scenic viewsheds, and may authorize new or so-called “temporary” road construction.
Most alarming, however, is that the proposed “group selection” logging will clearcut swaths of forests up to 4 acres in otherwise mature forest. This will increase fire danger because older trees provide canopy and minimize understory growth\ and the formation of “ladder fuel.”
Removing these trees will open once sheltered and shaded areas to sun and wind and create hotter conditions. Removing canopy and large trees over 20 inches in diameter will also create additional fuel loads, increase the number of wind-thrown trees, and bark beetle infestation.
Moreover, the BLM has neglected to adequately implement public participation in the agency’s consideration of this proposal. Is it any mystery why? The sale will make a few happy in the short term, but most likely it will hurt many more later on by impacting the region’s economy, endangering adjacent rural residents and their property, and damaging recreational areas in the Applegate Valley that attract visitors each year.
Brown delivers on climate action
On March 10, Gov. Kate Brown held true to her word and delivered the climate action that she promised Oregon’s citizens.
Executive Order 20-04 is a direct response to the climate emergency, and provides the foundation for a future all Oregonians need.
It will clean up our transportation by extending and strengthening Oregon’s successful Clean Fuels Program. EO 20-04 will make our buildings and businesses more energy-efficient, help create new jobs and result in huge energy savings for businesses and homeowners throughout the state.
This order will also hold large corporate polluters accountable and make them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions over time, while helping us manage our forests in a way that reduces mega-fires. That means less climate pollution filling our children’s lungs and fewer summers choked off by smoky skies.
Throughout our history, Oregonians have always led on environmental issues, while working to keep our communities strong. Gov. Brown has continued that tradition with Executive Order 20-04. Her commitment to, and leadership on climate action has established a framework that will move all of Oregon into the 21st century, and provides a pathway to a future that rural and urban Oregonians can thrive in.
Hogan M. Sherrow, director, Rural Oregon Climate Political Action Committee