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forest defense | save the biscuit

News from the Siskiyou Project

1. Action Alert: Protect the Waldo-Takilma Forest
2. Action Alert: Support a New Model of Forestry
3. Honoring Joan Norman
4. Biscuit Logging Update
5. Blossom Fire (Rogue River) Update
6. Upcoming Hikes
1. Action Alert: Protect the Waldo-Takilma Forest
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has just released revised plans to log parts of the beautiful Waldo-Takilma forest in the Illinois River Valley. Public comments on the logging plans, called the West Fork Illinois Landscape Management Project Environmental Assessment are due August 1st - please take action today!

The Land
* The West Fork Illinois river is the number one watershed out of 1,400 for rare species (according to the Oregon Natural Heritage Database)
* The West Fork Illinois has important spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead. Elk Creek and its tributaries provide some of the best habitat in the entire Rogue Basin for endangered Coho salmon.
*The eastern portion of the West Fork Illinois project area overlaps an area nominated by the public as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC)

The BLM Plan
* The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to log most of the non-serpentine forests in the West Fork drainage.
* Logging would decrease canopy cover, and increase fire risk
* Logging will occur in Riparian Reserves in Alternative 2
*Logging will be conducted largely through skyline and tractor methods, compacting soils, increasing risk of erosion and spread of invasive weeds
* In serpentine areas, fuel treatments will include use of the "slashbuster", a machine that can increase severity of ground fires.

Send your comments to:
Abbie Jossie, Field Manager
Grants Pass Resource Area, Medford BLM
3040 Biddle Road, Medford, OR 97504.
Email:  or110mb@or.blm.gov

Talking Points

1. The alternatives provided by the BLM are not sufficient - there should have been a restoration and fire safety alternative without industrial logging
2. Native forests in the West Fork Illinois River watershed should not be logged
3. BLM should stay out of riparian reserves
4. No logging should occur in places nominated for ACEC status
5. Do not use slashbusters on serpentine lands

Remember, comments must be received, not post-marked, by this Monday, August 1st.
2. Action Alert: Support a New Model of Forestry

At a time when government land management agencies such as the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are creating more controversy than consensus through extreme logging projects like the Biscuit and Kelsey Whisky timber sales, one community group is trying to make a difference.

The South Deer Association in Selma, Oregon has been working hard to have a new, sustainable model of land management applied to BLM administered land. The "Natural Selection" plan developed by the South Deer Association has been incorporated into the South Deer Landscape Management Project Environmental Assessment (EA). We need your help now to show the BLM that the public wants them to give the Natural Selection alternative a chance.

Submit your comments today. Comments are due by Monday, August 8th.

Send your comments to:

Abbie Jossie, Field Manager Grants Pass Resource Area
Medford District Bureau of Land Management
3040 Biddle Road
Medford, Oregon 97504

Sample Letter:

RE: Response to the Environmental Assessment for the South Deer Landscape Management Project (EA# OR110-05-10)

Dear Ms. Jossie,

Thank you for considering the community supported Natural Selection Alternative 4 in the South Deer Landscape Management Project.

Sustainable timber yields require sustainable forests. I support the Natural Selection Alternative for the South Deer Project because it addresses the following issues and concerns: (1) Assurance that the natural forest ecosystem with all of its species of plants and animals, would be retained as they naturally occur in a healthy way across the landscape, (2) that no more of the last few remaining natural late successional forests would be cut until the earlier ones have been restored, (3) that non timber values such as forest visual, recreational and tourism values, would be retained and/or enhanced across the landscape, (4) that there would be a forest fire hazard/risk reduction program through retention and restoration of low fire hazard natural late successional forests, (5) that there would be a reduction in public burdens, obligations, dependency, costs, and risk of forest collapse, (6) assurance that product removal retains forest values for ever increasing more valuable recreation and tourism dependent businesses, (7) that there would be sustainable timber and non timber forest products jobs that retain, enhance and contribute to mutually beneficial forest and community stability.

I oppose Alternatives 2 & 3 because: (1) They would convert scenic, recreational, aesthetic, spiritual, tourism, environmental and social values to tree plantation values, (2) they would degrade biological and ecologically healthy forest structures, microclimates, habitats, and soils, (3) they would disconnect terrestrial links and degrade aquatic systems, (4) they would cause major fuel hazard buildups and increased fire risks, and use temporary costly prescribed fire fuels reduction practices that inherently degrade forest and community health, (5) they would cause major decline in timber productivity and quality, and (6) they would provide short term destructive jobs at the expense of long term sustainable jobs and community well being.

I support the Natural Selection Alternative because it is a true multiple use and a truly sustainable community approach to forest practices on public lands.


Your complete name and address

More Info

Last March, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) asked for input from the public on the South Deer Landscape Management Project. The Project is located on 7,400 acres of BLM public lands in the Thompson, McMullen and Reeves Creek watersheds in Selma. Since that time the Association has been working with the BLM, and through a Memorandum of Understanding has submitted a Natural Selection alternative - one of three action alternatives to be considered for implementation and included in BLM's "Environmental Assessment" for the South Deer Project.

The Natural Selection Alternative would create a great many opportunities to enhance the economic vitality in a manner consistent with environmental health and community well being of Selma and the Illinois Valley. It places forest health first, which lays the foundation for all forest products and uses at a sustainable level, providing community long term stability.

The Natural Selection Alternative, the first of its kind for public forests, addresses virtually all major forest issues and has the potential to contribute greatly to the social and economic values of the Illinois Valley.

For more info on the Natural Selection Alternative, go to:

3. Honoring Joan Norman

courageous Joan Norman on the Green Bridge
Photo: Joan Norman takes a courageous stand for the wild Siskiyou on March 7th, 2005. photo by Lesley Adams

On this past Saturday, July 23, 72 year-old Joan Norman was killed in a head on car collision on Highway 199 near the California border. Joan inspired tens of thousands of people across the country while sitting on her lawn chair to protest the logging of old-growth reserves on Fiddler Mountain. She was arrested twice and spent more than two weeks in jail to defend Siskiyou forests.

"I don't know what else to do to stop the log trucks, so I am sitting down again," Joan said during her second arrest on March 14th of this year. While in jail, she worked tirelessly to empower other inmates by offering legal resources and personal support. She will be dearly missed, as will her ever-present enthusiasm and her no-nonsense, powerful advocacy.

Recently, Joan was asked if she was ever afraid to go to jail. Her response to that question echoes loudly through our minds today: "No, I am not afraid...I am more afraid that my grandchildren will think I did not try hard enough to leave them a legacy of peace, and world worth living in. I don't want them to know the beauty of trees by looking at a book. I want them to be able to walk among 800-year-old trees and know that is our destiny."

Joan had a contagious resolve and humble nobility that challenged those around her to take a stand for what they hold most dear. She personified the dignified heroism of those who act selflessly in defense of the fundamental values most American's share, but rarely act on.

Her daughter, Sue Norman Jones, said "Joan would like to be remembered actively, not passively".

Asked what her message to the world was last march regarding the effort to stop the Forest Service's largest logging project in modern history, Joan said, "Tell them to get some fire in their bellies and come to this gate of paradise and help us defend it. Tell them to come. I will be here."

Joan is survived by four children: Susan, Timothy, Terry and Annie, her friend and companion Bob Youdan, four grandchildren, one great-grandchild, nieces, nephews and her extended environmental activist family.

Joan is dearly loved and revered by many; the news of her passing sends shockwaves through Southern Oregon and far beyond. Forest advocates, friends, and family are now planning an interactive memorial for her on Sunday, July 31st at 3:00 PM at the Forks State Park, south of Cave Junction, just off hwy 199. Friends can bring food, pictures, songs and writings, and are invited to participate in celebrating Joan's remarkable life and her legacy. Donations can be made to the Joan Norman Memorial Fund at Home Valley Bank in Cave Junction.
Information about the upcoming action to honor Joan Norman will be available at  http://www.o2collective.org

4. Biscuit Logging Update

Logging continues in Old-Growth Reserves in the wild Siskiyou because of the Biscuit logging project. Sadly, the Fiddler timber sale is nearly completed, leaving hundreds of acres of stump-fields on steep slopes near Fiddler Mountain. The Forest Service even went so far as to log directly ontop of the popular Babyfoot Lake trail - a clear demonstration of the agency's log-at-any-cost agenda.

Protest and controversy has surrounded proposed logging at the Hobson logging sale in the Indigo Creek watershed. Road blockades, arrests have attempted to stop this logging which still has not been fully reviewed by the courts.

Logging has begun at the McGuire logging sale in the Wild & Scenic Illinois River canyon. This popular recreation corridor, with swimming holes, hiking trails and scenic views, should not be sacrificed to the saw.

For photos and more info on Biscuit logging sales, go to:

You can also send emails and faxes on Biscuit logging from the Siskiyou Project website:

5. Blossom Fire (Rogue River) Update
Three Blossom Complex Fires f(Huggins, Blossom and Solitude) started on July 21st around the National Wild & Scenic Rogue River and in the Wild Rogue Wilderness. At 200+ acres, they are still relatively small forest fires, but hot weather and winds could make them grow much larger.

Contrary to the rhetoric of anti-conservation special interests, fire-fighting is allowed in Congressionally-protected Wilderness areas. As a matter of fact, until fire plans are developed for a Wilderness area, the default policy is to suppress every fire -- a policy that has proven devastating to forests and communities over the last 70 years. The Siskiyou Project has advocated for the development and implementation of science-based, ecologically sensitive fire plans for the Kalmiopsis and Wild Rogue Wilderness areas. These plans would give land managers clear directions to ensure the safety of firefighters and the public, reduce government waste, and safeguard ecological values. Neither the Kalmiopsis nor the Wild Rogue have fire plans in place yet.

More crews are arriving to work on the Blossom Complex fires. Water is being dipped out of the Rogue by helicopter at a site just below the Brushy Bar area. Dip tanks have been set up at the Rogue River Ranch (above Blossom Bar) and the meadow at Big Bend. Heavy equipment has been used outside of the Wilderness to open some old roads in the Panther Ridge area.

Rafters are being temporarily delayed while the helicopters dip water from the river, otherwise there has been no restrictions on recreational use of the Rogue. The fires are burning primarily on the ground with occasional torching of trees. The Huggins fire is contained. The Blossom fire estimated at 160-170 acres and the Solitude fire at about 25 acres. While fires are as natural and necessary to Siskiyou forests as winter rains, fires underscore the importance of adequate community protection -- something the Bush Forest Service and BLM have largely ignored in favor of taxpayer subsidized backcountry logging.

6. Upcoming Hikes

This Saturday, July 30th: Dutchman's Peak
Travel with Don Heinze this Saturday, July 30th, on a moderate hike up Dutchman's to a high elevation botanical area. Hikers may see flowers like the Siskiyou fritillaria, bear grass, Applegate Indian paint brush and more. Meet at 10:00 AM Mt. Ashland parking lot in Ashland, Oregon (follow signs for Mt. Ashland off of I-5 south of the city of Ashland). For more info, contact Lisa at the Siskiyou Project (541) 592-4459.
Saturday August 6th: Babyfoot Lake Hike & Swim
After months of a "chainsaw only" Forest Service closure order, the magnificent Fiddler Mountain area will finally open again to the public (most likely Aug. 1st). Travel with Siskiyou Project to revisit this changed landscape and bear witness to the destruction perpetrated by Silver Creek logging company, Columbia Helicopters and the Forest Service. After bearing witness, participants will escape into the wilderness for a moderate hike and dip in Babyfoot Lake. Meet at the Illinois Valley Visitor Center at 11:00 AM (near the intersection of Highway 199 on Caves Highway). Call Lisa for more info 541-592-4459.

Siskiyou Project
9335 Takilma Road, Cave Junction, OR 97523
(541) 592-4459

Siskiyou Project - campaign office
917 SW Oak, Suite 407 Portland, OR 97205
(503) 222-6101

WWWRRAAUUUGH... 29.Jul.2005 01:30


of all the things that are stupid about politics today, almost none of it it as stupid as cutting down IRREPLACEBLE Old Growth. You don't get back virgin timber, or virgin soil. Tree farms are nothing like wild ancient forest.

Something really has to change. Somehow the BLM and the corporations need to be broken up. Enough tree sits and pepper swabs aleady. Somebody do something.

so mad.

Somebody do something aleady? 02.Aug.2005 00:23


You ended your comment with "somebody do something already". I hope this means you yourself are doing something and recruit all of your friends while you're at it. This is not to imply that you aren't... I just hate to think that someone might read your comment and agree with it, as in "gee... I HOPE someone does something about this". Change will never come from hope alone. Hope is the coping mechanism of cowards.
One set of hands working will always achieve more than a thousand hands just like them clasped in prayer. I hope to read many articles about the anonomously carried out work of everyone who reads this in the coming desperate months of war on the Biscuit.

"be the change you want to see in the world"