Letters, Feb. 10
Concerned about BLM project
I am writing to express my concern for the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed Integrated Vegetation Management Project (IVM) in areas of the Grants Pass Resource Area.
Having not seen the actual decision notice on parts of this adjacent to my home in the Applegate Watershed, I am purely commenting on areas and trees I have seen marked for cutting.
The trees I have observed with the agency’s ubiquitous blue paint have been large and located in areas that are ecologically healthy and not particularly fire-prone. Nearby are vast regions where the agency’s past clearcutting has left huge and extremely flammable risk to nearby communities.
Rather than spend large sums of tax dollars cutting the few remaining old growth trees providing habitat for endangered species in our region, I suggest that the agency redirect all of its resources into only thinning the failed plantations and tree farms from even-aged management in the past, and let wildlife flourish in the very rare good habitat remaining.
Like many of you I have battled blackberries on my land. We have all seen them creep out from fencerows and overrun pastures. So, armored in a heavy shirt and pants; armed with pruning tools, mattocks and shovel and the battle cry “I’m tougher than you are,” I attack.
When I throw the blackberry vines into the burn pile the fire explodes. I’m always amazed at how extremely hot and fast they burn. I don’t know much about wildfire behavior but there is no doubt in my mind that blackberries were a factor in the speed and devastation of the Almeda fire.
When it comes to controlling blackberries on the Bear Creek Greenway the fire gave us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reclaim our Greenway and reduce future wildfire potential. Now, we can see the creek. We can see the lay of the land. With the blackberries gone we can see the potential.
They’re coming back. If we don’t act now the blackberries will take over again. Ashland, Talent, Phoenix, organize your crews. Mobilize your community volunteers. Attack!