Forest Service to Destroy Oregon's Top Salmon Hatchery
The world renowned Rogue River has literally only a handful of intact productive salmon bearing streams remaining. The three largest and most viable salmon bearing streams in the entire Rogue/Illinois River drainages are the Lawson, Silver, and Indigo Creek drainages. All three of these watersheds lay within the now threatened 88,000 acre North Kalmiopsis roadless wild area.
In contrast, the Applegate River, a major tributary of the Rogue, has been dammed and severely degraded by mining and grazing, the Upper Rogue has been dammed by the Lost Creek Dam, and all other subsequent mid Rogue River tributaries have been degraded by the urban sprawl of Medford and Grants Pass as well as the Salvage Rapids Dam.
This summer- 2006, the Siskiyou National Forest is preparing to clearcut a projected 1000 acres of this irreplaceable fragile salmon habitat in the 8,000 acre North Fork Indigo Creek roadless drainage. This is on top of the more than 500 acres of clearcuts they have committed in 2005 inside that same drainage. The North Fork Indigo produces literally tens of thousands of young salmonids every year. The drainage is still recovering from the 2002 Biscuit fire and may not ever recover from further clearcutting.
Can the salmon and all those whose livelihoods depend on healthy salmon runs allow this clearcutting to occur?
Currently the Pacific Fisheries Management Council is threatening to shutdown commercial and sports salmon fishing on the entire west coast, thus making the fishermen and their families bear the brunt of the conservation of endangered salmon runs. At the same time, the National Marine Fisheries Service is allowing the US Forest Service to clearcut thousands of acres in these most productive salmon bearing streams, BLM to do much of the same throughout western Oregon, and a few white men, which own Oregon's timber industry, to continue to destroy the best remaining salmon bearing habitat unabated.
Now, does that sound fair?
What would really be fair to the salmon fishing people and the salmon?
First, prohibit the Forest Service and BLM from degrading any more salmon bearing habitat (starting with cancelling the North Fork Indigo/Mikes Gulch clearcuts and re-implement the Aquatic Conservation Strategy) and stop the BLM from throwing the Standards and Guidelines of the Northwest Forest Plan in the trash as they are now currently trying to do.
Actions to save Oregon's endangered salmon runs include: (1st) demanding (any way you can think of) that the Siskiyou National Forest cancel any plans to clearcut inside the Kalmiopsis roadless areas, (2nd) that US Forest Service, BLM re-implement the Aquatic Conservation Strategy provisions that have been recently thrown in the trash by these agencies and the Bush Administration, and (3rd) that the BLM be stopped from throwing out and thus not following the current Standards and Guidelines of the Northwest Forest Plan. Finally, demand that Governor Ted Kulongoski assert a salmon recovery plan via the State Legislature to strengthen State Forestry Practice Regulations that will protect and restore all remaining salmonid habitat as his legacy to all Oregonians.
If you want to help with further research and data to back this assertion contact me.
For more info, updates, and avenues of action to protect salmon and the Kalmiopsis go to: