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environment | forest defense

Help Save Native Oregon Forests!

Blue Mtns. Biodiversity Project (BMBP) needs your help. The BMBP has been saving native Oregon forests through ground truthing, comments, and legislation for over 18 years. BMBP is opposing the Experiment Forest (EXF) project outside of Bend, OR. The EXF project area is part the Pringle Falls Experimental Forest which is located with the Deschute National Forest; about 25 miles southwest of Bend, OR. The EXF project is a beautiful mature Ponderosa pine forest has not had significant natural or human disturbance since 1865. This forest is unique because of the heavy logged that has taken place outside of Bend for the last century. This is one of the few and rare forests that has been allowed to grow back to its natural and native state.
Healthy Ponderosa Pine Forest
Healthy Ponderosa Pine Forest
Right now the Deschutes National Forest is accepting comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). All comments should be in by Monday, November 2nd, 2009.

Please support the "No Action" alternative. We are hoping for as many comments to protect this forest as possible. Please feel free to use the sample comment letter or write one of your own.

All comments should be addressed to:
Shane Jeffries
District Ranger
Bend/ Ft. Rock Ranger District
1230 NE 3rd St.
Suite A-262
Bend, Oregon 97701

Fax Number: 541-383-4700
Email:  comments-pacificnorthwest-deschutes-bend-ftrock@fs.fed.us
Subject: EXF DEIS Comments

Anyone wishing to obtain a copy of the DEIS or provide comments over the phone should contact Beth Peer at 541-383-4769

Talking points from: Blue Mtns. Biodiversity Project
Questions: Call 541-385-9167
Or check out our new website: bmbp.org

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Shane Jeffries
District Ranger
Bend/ Ft. Rock Ranger District
1230 NE 3rd St.
Suite A-262
Bend, Oregon 97701

Dear, Shane Jeffries,

I am writing to comment on the Experiment Forest (EXF) Project Draft Environmental Impact Report and Environmental Impact Statement. After looking at the EIS I believe that Alternative 1 "No Action" is the only reasonable course of action. I appreciate the great potential of the EXP. However, the DEIR/EIS fails to describe essential components of the project and does not look at the concept of natural processes that the forest is already in. Some of my concerns include:

1)The Reason for Fuel Reduction or Beetle Infestation: The EXF area is a healthy and beautiful forest. There are no signs of pine bark beetle or competition stress in the mature and old growth Ponderosa pine stands. Fuel loading in the pine stands is already low, with few ladder fuels and well-spaced trees with thicker, more fire resistant bark. There is currently low risk of fire or insect epidemic that would justify logging.

2) There should be no logging in: Spotted Owl nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat, or Late and Old successional forest (LOS) that is currently below historic range of variability, or any trees over 21" in diameter (dbh). There is already a male Spotted Owl living in the EXF, and the entire EXF is prime habitat for future Spotted Owl nesting. This is because of the large amount of evenly spaced mature and old growth Ponderosa pine in the entire EXF area.

3) The Thinning Progress for Scientific Studies: This is not a legitimate scientific experiment in that it starts with unproven assumptions by logging up to the Upper Management Zone (UMZ) or cutting healthy understory and mature trees and only leaving a few big trees. This "scientific experiment" replicates current Forest Service widespread logging practices without learning anything new. The EXF project is a large profit timber sale disguised as a scientific experiment.

4) There are no real controls: By definition a control is a standard of comparison for checking or verifying the results of an experiment. The control areas in the EXF are scheduled to be logged 10 years later. This is not enough time to let the natural processes of this already healthy and mature to develop, change, and grow. The EXF project is limited itself to data that has been collected; what would happen to a natural mature Ponderosa pine forest if left to natural processes?

5) The scientific Study of Natural Progresses: The EXF area is rare and worth protection as it is in that it has not had significant natural or human disturbance (fire or logging) since about 1865, making it extremely valuable for the scientific study of natural processes. The Deschutes National Forest and the forests around Bend, OR have been heavily logged for the last hundred years. Most of the return growth has been compact, spindly, same-age lodge pole pines. These would be perfect areas to do scientific research in fuel reduction and pine park beetle prevention. The EXF area is a natural forest that was allowed to mature through natural processes and should allow perfect scientific research as a forest that can provide for itself.

Shane Jeffries, the EXF is a valuable project, but under the circumstances of natural processes and scenic beauty. The EXF area should not be logged due to its unique value as a relatively pristine Ponderosa pine forest near Bend, OR with greater solitude for quiet recreation. I urge the Deschutes National Forest to choose Alternative 1 "No Action" and allow this beautiful forest to grow.

Thank you for your consideration of my comments.

Sincerely,

homepage: homepage: http://bmbp.org


A few questions 12.Oct.2009 10:25

A questioner

Why are you lying about this project?
You know the target of the project is lodgepole, but you just show a picture of ponderosas. Why are you trying to mislead these readers?
Is the picture from the project area?