Bureau of Land Management Western Oregon Plan Revision
The Bureau of Land Management extended the public comment period for the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR) until January 11, 2008. That means everyone who cares about Oregon's forests, rivers and wildlife has another chance to let this administration know how they feel about public lands management.
Numerous articles have been printed in the last month regarding the BLM's new plans. You can read articles printed in the New York Times, Register-Guard, Mail Tribune, Oregonian and others by visiting the press page of the Oregon Heritage Forest website:|
FOR A SIX MINUTE VIDEO ON THIS ISSUE
This is a 27 minute audio file featuring Joe Keating of Oregon Wildlife Federation. It is a segment from the weekly live call-in Public Access program, "A Growing Concern."
WOPR BOPPERS, RealPlayer
WOPR BOPPERS, MP3Background
In August the BLM released its draft management plan for western Oregon. Known as "WOPR," the BLM is proposing a bold and myopic plan for 2.5 million acres of public forests stretching from the Willamette to the Rogue Valley. Our nation, faced with a severe deficiency of old-growth forests and looming climate change, has an opportunity to shift the management direction for these public assets.
The result of a "sweetheart settlement" between the timber industry and the Bush Administration, WOPR is proposing to triple logging levels by removing protections for old-growth forests, shrinking buffers for creeks and weakening safeguards for wildlife. The BLM would remove itself from the Northwest Forest Plan, dramatically boost old-growth logging, clearcut (yes, clearcut) forests at a 9 to 1 ratio to thinning, build 1,000 miles of new logging road in the next ten years, and place timber production above all other forest values. While the BLM touts community stability as the motivation, stability, by definition, emphasizes adaptation and resiliency rather than a preservation of fickle extractive industries, in this case, timber dependence. The BLM is looking in the rear-view mirror as a way to move forward, and our communities and forests are going to take the hit.
Federal forests are not simply warehouses of commercial timber waiting to be harvested. The watershed, wildlife, scenic, recreation, biological, historical, cultural and spiritual values associated with America's forests are cherished and widely recognized. While timber is certainly a piece of Oregon's economy, it is but one amongst a variety of resources and values that these forests provide. Additionally, forests supply ecological services such as water filtration, soil stabilization, air purification and climate control that are vital to a healthy future. Rather than hitch our stability to a highly volatile industry that has over-harvested much of the region, we should continue economic diversification and adjust to a leaner, trimmer timber industry based on restoration thinning and fuels reduction, not old-growth clearcutting.
Our government has proposed equally outrageous proposals in the past that have been stopped because people stood up and spoke out on behalf of a better future. The BLM is stuck in a rut and needs help in broadening its scope. There are several ways that you can help influence the outcome of this misguided proposal. Here are a few:
1. Call Representative Peter DeFazio (541-465-6732) and Senator Ron Wyden (503-326-7525) and ask that they help protect Oregon's forest heritage.
2. Submit a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper. It is important to keep this issue visible. Click here for talking points, word limits and addresses.
3. Submit comments to the BLM before January 11th, and send copies of your comments to your Congressional delegation (both Senators and your Representative in the House).
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