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Klamath-Siskiyou eNews, Issue 91

Klamath-Siskiyou eNews, Issue 91
June 21, 2006 (Happy Summer!)

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In this Issue:

Unprecedented Roadless Forest Sold on the Siskiyou
Living With Lions Presentations - Tomorrow in Medford!
Celebrate Wilderness Week with KS Wild
Legal News: Supreme Court Rules on Clean Water Act

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Unprecedented Roadless Forest Sold on the Siskiyou

Forest Service ignores request from Governor to keep its promise

On June 9th, the Forest Service auctioned off the first roadless forest since the popular Roadless Area Conservation Rule was approved in 2001. The Mike's Gulch roadless logging sale would cut into Oregon's largest Inventoried Roadless Area: the 105,000-acre South Kalmiopsis. Silver Creek Timber was the high bidder and received Mike's Gulch for a pittance: $32.05 per thousand board feet (that is cheaper than firewood!). The Blackberry roadless logging sale is scheduled for auction later this summer.

Hours after the auction, Governor Ted Kulongoski announced he would file for a temporary restraining order in the Federal District Court in San Francisco to stop the federal government from proceeding with the Mike's Gulch roadless sale in the Siskiyou National Forest. Governor Kulongoski said the auction would foreclose his ability to influence the management of Oregon's unroaded national forests when he petitions the federal government later this year.

In 2005, the Bush administration repealed the Roadless Rule, and replaced it with a petition process for governors to request the protections in their state. Governor Kulongoski is preparing a federal petition and has been clear he wants to protect the 1.9 million acres of roadless areas in Oregon. The Bush administration promised that roadless areas would have interim protections while states pursue the petition process, "We are providing interim protection to roadless areas, pending the development of state-specific rules provided for in our 2005 rulemaking (Undersecretary Mark Rey in a letter to the NYT, 9/15/05)."

This disingenuous action on the part of the Forest Service has prompted broad response from elected officials and the public, all requesting that the government keep its promise of interim protections and cancel these roadless sales. The auction has prompted newspapers across the country to speak out, including a June 19 New York Times editorial stating, "The administration broke that promise [interim protections] earlier this month when it took bids of a logging project in Oregon's Rogue River-Siskiyou national Forest," then suggested that Mark Rey, "would be well advised to reconsider his strategy, beginning with a cancellation of the Oregon sale."

On June 10, the Oregonian wrote that Mike's Gulch is, "a complete loser of a timber sale...a total waste of time, money and public trust in the Forest Service," then concluded that, "The courts should intercede. This sale makes no economic or environmental sense. It is only the Bush administration forcing its way into a roadless Oregon forest, just to prove that it can."

Please take action today! Join with voices across the nation and speak up for roadless forests!

Please call Governor Kulongoski and thank him for standing up for Oregon's roadless areas - (503) 378-4582

Write a Letter to the Editor of the Mail Tribune (or your local newspaper) in support of roadless protections and ask the Forest Service to the cancel the roadless logging sales in Oregon's Rogue River/Siskiyou National Forest. Send your letters to: Letters to the editor, Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; Fax (541) 776--4376;  letters@mailtribune.com. Include a daytime phone number for verification. Letters must be 200 words or less.

Contact Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth and tell him to cancel the Mike's Gulch and Blackberry timber sales in Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest. Phone: (202) 205-1661; Email:  dbosworth@fs.fed.us; Fax: (202) 205-1765

For more information and talking points, visit: www.kswild.org/KSNews/roadlessauction

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Living With Lions Presentations - Tomorrow in Medford!

As the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and individual counties gear up to implement a massive cougar killing program this year, the Mountain Lion Foundation is touring the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion to educate interested residents on the natural history, biology and behavior of lions and on how to reduce human-lion conflicts. This series of free events is sponsored by the Rogue Group Sierra Club and KS Wild. For more info, contact Sierra Club representative Kris Biechler at (541)840-7326 or  kbiechler@wave.net.

June 22nd - 7pm at the Old Jackson County Courthouse Auditorium, 10 S. Oakdale, in Medford, OR
June 23rd - 7pm Humboldt State Museum of Natural History, 1315 G St., in Arcata, CA
June 24rd - 10am Special Children's Program, Humboldt State Museum of Natural History, 1315 G St., in Arcata, CA


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Celebrate Wilderness Week with KS Wild

Please join KS Wild in celebrating statewide Wilderness Week by attending one (or all!) of these three free events:

Film: American Values, American Wilderness, June 27, 8pm
Narrated by the late Christopher Reeve, this film documents Americans' deep love and personal connection to our wild places. In AMERICAN VALUES: AMERICAN WILDERNESS, a diverse group of Americans, including a teen-age daughter of Cambodian refugees, a children's book author, a cancer survivor, a Native American tribal chairman, and inner city kids, among others, share their values for wilderness. Drinks and popcorn provided. 84 4th street, Ashland

Siskiyou Crest Evening Hike, June 29
Unwind with an evening hike along the Siskiyou Crest adjacent to the Red Buttes Wilderness. Enjoy extraordinary views of Mt. Shasta, the rim of Crater Lake and the Siskiyou Mountains. Hike into a Roadless Area proposed for Wilderness, and learn about the unique "land bridge" that connects the Cascade and Coast ranges. Meet at 5pm at Evo's Java Lounge in Ashland. Return at 9:30pm. Bring a packed dinner, water, good shoes and clothing layers. Moderate, 4-5 miles with 500 feet elevation gain.

Zane Grey Hike, Lower Rogue River, July 1
Experience the spectacular Wild and Scenic Rogue River as you hike this gentle riverside trail and look for river otter, osprey and salmon. We will hike into the 46,000-acre Zane Grey Roadless Area and discuss the BLM's plans to log within this national treasure. Moderate, 4 miles. Carpools leave Evo's Java Lounge in Ashland at 9:30am and from Sunshine Natural Foods in Grants Pass at 10:30am.

Please RSVP for hikes to  lesley@kswild.org

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Legal News: Supreme Court Rules on Clean Water Act

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in two consolidated Clean Water Act (CWA) cases: Rapanos v. U.S. and Carabell v. U.S., which presented the question whether the filling of wetlands that drain into or lie adjacent to tributaries (in this case, some of which are man-made drainage mechanisms) of traditionally navigable waters may be regulated by the federal government. Although the decision was 5-4, the court failed to piece together a majority view of what constitutes the scope of the Clean Water Act. Five justices were only able to agree on one thing: the cases needed to be sent back to the lower court for additional review.

Four justices, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito, concluded that the CWA's regulation of "waters of the United States" does not extend to ephemeral or intermittent channels or "channels that periodically provide drainage for rainfall." Instead, the CWA only covers "relatively permanent, standing or continuously flowing bodies of water," such as streams, rivers, oceans and lakes. This plurality opinion would undo 30 years of implementation of the CWA whereby federal agencies have exercised jurisdiction over a broad array of waters and wetlands.

Four justices, Stevens, Ginsberg, Souter, and Breyer, concluded that the Army Corps of Engineers had arrived at a permissible interpretation of the statutory phrase "waters of the United States" and can therefore regulate the various waters covered by the Corps' regulations.

The man in the middle was Justice Anthony Kennedy. Because there was no majority opinion, Justice Kennedy's conclusions likely control. Justice Kennedy concluded that a water must have a "significant nexus" to navigable waters to warrant protection under the CWA. In other words if the water (or wetlands) "significantly affect[s] the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of other waters more readily understood as 'navigable,'" those waters are protected by the Act.

Unfortunately, case-by-case determinations are a troublesome prospect and often invite court challenges by regulated entities. On the other hand, Justice Kennedy appears to allow important ecological benefits, such as "pollutant trapping, flood control, and runoff storage," to constitute a "significant nexus." Only time will tell how courts will employ this new test and whether critical wetlands will continue to enjoy any level of protection under the CWA.

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The Klamath-Siskiyou (KS) Region of southwest Oregon and northwest California is a world-renowned hub of biological diversity. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, this region houses more conifer species than any other region in the world. From ancient old-growth forests to dry desert climate - and everything in between - the KS is a refuge for wild nature.

The Klamath-Siskiyou News is a bi-monthly electronic publication of the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center. Click here to become a member of KS Wild today! By sending a minimum of $20 to KS Wild you receive e-mail alerts, our quarterly newsletter - KS Wild News - and protection for the outstanding Klamath-Siskiyou wildlands.

homepage: homepage: http://www.kswild.org

has logging begun? 21.Jun.2006 14:47

dept of aggravation

has any logging begun?

mike's gulch not to be awarded until monday 6/22 22.Jun.2006 15:52

mugsly

article in today's Medford Mail Tribune:

 link to www.mailtribune.com