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Video: Bark Response to USFS Jazz Timber Sale Decision

The US Forest Service issued a Decision Notice and Environmental Assessment for the Jazz Timber Sale on September 7th, 2012. While nearly 3,000 individuals provided public comment in opposition to the Jazz Timber Sale, the Forest Service has decided not only to proceed with Jazz, but the only change they made was to increase the amount of heavy thinning to "create elk habitat."
Bark Response to USFS Jazz Timber Sale Decision>
This 7 minute video is a response from Bark by Brenna Bell, staff attorney and National Environmental Policy Act NEPA)Coordinator.

(The following is adapted from the Bark website.)

After months of waiting, the Forest Service issued its decision on the Jazz Timber Sale, and the results are shocking. The final sale puts more forest on the chopping block, admits to additional road impacts, and has no plans to monitor logging impacts on the ground.

Now, since receiving the decision, Bark has a begun review of the decision and initial impressions indicate that the Forest Service did not fully address the more than 3,000 public comments submitted opposing the project. We will provide more information after full review.

The Jazz Timber Sale would log 2,000 acres of forest, throughout 30 square miles of the Collawash River watershed. The Collawash is a tributary to the Clackamas River and is host to the last wild late run of winter coho salmon, making it key spot for the survival of this species.
The Collawash is also considered the most geologically unstable area in all of Mt. Hood National Forest, having experienced 7 landslides in a single year alone. Logging loosens soil and increases sediment runoff into streams and rivers, and Bark is concerned these impacts would be magnified on this unstable landscape, and would negatively impact water health and salmon habitat.
The Jazz Timber Sale is being billed as restoration, yet would allocate time and money to re-build 11 miles of old roads that have been either actively decommissioned or are naturally reincorporating into the landscape, and would construct 0.4 miles of new road. Additionally, the large size and vast span of Jazz makes it very difficult for the public, let alone the Forest Service, to accurately gauge the environmental effects.

While couched as a "thinning sale", the project would create 20 new logging landings, each of which is a small clearcut area, and have almost 50 skyline yarding corridors - 15 foot clearcut strips through "no-cut" buffer in Riparian Reserves.

Additionally, the agency cannot ensure that logging companies follow "Best Management Practices" to mitigate the impacts of logging (as Bark has found in its recent post-logging monitoring), despite deferring to these BMPs as the primary method to mitigate the impacts of the sale. To make matters worse, the BMPs in Jazz are much weaker standards than those in other recent sales in the Clackamas River Ranger District.

You can take action today by contacting your congressperson to express your frustration with the Forest Service approval of this project.

The Forest Service has already "jumped the gun" - in July they logged a decommissioned road, before any decisions have been made about whether or not to re-open the road. This is only one of 12 miles of decommissioned roads that would be reconstructed, and then re-decommissioned, at a cost of nearly $300,000. To add insult to injury, this entire project is being billed as forest restoration.

Bark Response to USFS Jazz Timber Sale Decision>

Bark Groundtruthers spent over 600 hours surveying the proposed Jazz Timber Sale and documenting concerns ranging from an abundance of streams and other riparian areas in logging units, impacts to the Collowash River Watershed, threats to salmon population, and a high density of landslides and unstable soil in the project area. Bark intends to hold the agency accountable to its own public process to ensure that the concerns raised by thousands are incorporated, not dismissed.

Bark is reviewing the Forest Service's decision and will be evaluating our next moves to stop this massive logging project from going forward.

You can take action today by contacting your congressperson to express your frustration with the Forest Service approval of this project.

homepage: homepage: http://www.bark-out.org