6/2007

Can Can Timber Sale

6-12-07 update: USFWS proposes new critical habitat for northern spotted owl,
removing owl protections in Screen Pass and HiYoSilver units of Can Can.

11-6-06 update: Court of Appeals Rules the BLM violated protection for the Red Tree Voles.
Can Can is stalled until the BLM can change the laws to remove red tree vole protections in late summer 2007.

Old Growth Logging

The BLM's Can Can timber sale would clearcut 520 acres of mature and old growth forests in the Canyonville/ Azalea area. The old forests range in age from 110 to 240 years.

There are units just east of Canyonville, units on the Days Creek Cut Off road, units up St. Johns Creek south of Riddle, and units close to Interstate-5 south of exit 95.

Can Can Timber Sale Unit H
Unit H of Myrtle Morgan


The areas are very diverse, containing Douglas Fir over 4 feet across, Grand Fir, Hemlock, Ponderosa Pine, Incense Cedar, Sugar Pine, and many hardwoods, including Big-leaf Maple, Chinquapin, Madrone, and Oaks. Some areas have very rich understory. Unit 1 is located in a Connectivity/Diversity Block, which is important habitat for wildlife, including threatened and endangered species. The sale is also in the "Critical Habitat" for connectivity for Spotted Owls between the Coast Range and the Cascade Provinces.

This sale would be a "regeneration harvest", aka clearcuts. The sale would also construct nearly 3 miles of new, permanent roads. The largest Giant Chinquapin I have ever seen, 33" in diameter, is located in the path of one road. Renovation of over 12 miles of existing roads is also proposed.

This clearcutting will impact the home range (dining room) of seven Northern Spotted Owls. One nesting pair was recently discovered next to unit K of the Hi Yo Silver sale. The BLM states in the EA that 520 acres of suitable habitat will be removed. The EA never mentioned the new information on the downward spiral of the Owls and new threats to them, such as Barred owls and West Nile Virus. Now, more than ever, we know that Northern Spotted Owl habitat should not be logged.

The BLM is not asking you for your opinion at this time, but you can write to them anyway and let them know what you think about this huge sale of publicly owned timber. There are many nearby plantations in desperate need of thinning. Instead of logging large, old trees, why not thin second-growth stands and tree plantations? Thinning would supply the volume BLM wants to meet their harvest goals and create jobs.

Right: Unit M, Screen Pass.

Contact:

Bureau of Land Management
777 NW Garden Valley Blvd.
Roseburg, OR 97470
541-440-4930 voice
541-440-4948 fax
E-mail address: or100mb@or.blm.gov

Write to BLM at anytime about this propsal to log the public's old growth.


Screen Pass and Hi Yo Silver units of Can Can
are in critical habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl
The Endangered Species Act forbids adverse modification of critical habitat, like clearcutting.

Can Can Timber Sale Unit L

Can Can Unit L (HiYoSilver).

Can Can Timber Sale Unit I
Can Can Unit I (HiYoSilver).


Can Can Unit M (Screen Pass).


Screen Pass and Hi Yo Silver Timber Sales in Critical Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl

The Screen Pass and Hi Yo Silver Timber Sales are in forests that were designated as Critical Habitat in 1992. On June 12, 2007, the USFWS released a new designation of Critical Habitat, threatening to remove that designation from these Can Can units. While all of Can Can units contain prime wildlife habitat and contribute to biodiversity, nesting habitat, and dispersal pathways, it is harder for the BLM to log Screen Pass and Hi Yo Silver because of their Critical Habitat designation.

The BLM is not allowed to "adversely modify" critical habitat, such as clearcut it. The USFWS wants to change that so there will be 1.5 million acres LESS critical habitat (from 6.9 million acres down to 5.4 million acres) in the pacific northwest. Hi Yo Silver and Screen Pass timber sale would loose their critical habitat designation. Last year the BLM was sued to stop the logging of critical habitat. The new designations will make it easier to log here. These are spectacular old growth forests, within an "area of concern" (designated in 1992) for connectivity between the Klamath and Cascade mountains.

Screen Pass can also be seen from interstate 5. This violates the BLM's "visual management" regulations, except, that the BLM denies Screen Pass can be seen from the highway. The picture on the right, of interstate 5, was taken from unit M.

In 1987 a fire swept through this area, burning up the thick, overstocked tree plantations, but cooling down under the old growth forest, cleaning out the brush and killing very few of the old growth trees. Especially in Screen Pass, the old trees have scorched bark from the 1987 fire, yet are virtually undamaged. Converting these forests to a tree plantation not only increases the fire hazard, it takes away this critical habitat for owls that now dine on this old-forest ecosystem.

Public old-growth forests should not be converted to tree plantations for the benefit of the timber industry. They have enough plantations already. Instead of logging in Critical Habitat Units, the BLM should be conducting commercial thinning/density management sales in the thousands of acres of managed plantations within their short window of opportunity to benefit from the thinning.