Fight clearcutting proposed for Kelly Creek and the North Fork Clearwater River!
The Forest Service has released an Environmental Assessment (EA) promoting the Dead Laundry timber sale, proposed for tributaries to Kelly Creek and small streams along the North Fork Clearwater River in the Clearwater National Forest. Friends of the Clearwater opposes this Forest Service plan to log over 4,000 acres of the North Fork Ranger District, which would also involve constructing 68 miles of roads and “reconstruction” of 99 miles of existing roads.
You can help to save this area from logging by commenting on the EA. The deadline to comment is Monday, June 28. The EA and more information released by the Forest Service can be found here.
The following are some of the problems we have identified, which you may consider as talking points for your comment:
- 3,837 acres of logging would be “regeneration harvest”—a euphemism for clearcuts, or clearcuts modified by leaving a few trees. This totals nearly six square miles of national forest, with eight of the cut areas to exceed 100 acres—one alone would be 460 acres!
- The Forest Service also proposes to experiment with 196 acres of “old-growth enhancement” which would involve logging trees from existing old-growth forests, many being be 200 years old or older. The Forest Service has no scientific support for this “enhancement” We urge the Forest Service to allow natural processes in old growth to function unimpeded by heavy-handed management. Old growth is not a place for the Forest Service to experiment with logging.
- All this logging is claimed to be necessary to “restore” the health and “resilience” of the forest, but intensive logging in the form of clearcuts, shelterwood logging, and seed tree cuts do neither. The Forest Service’s real priority, however, is revealed by considering the projected timber volume expected to be stripped from steep mountain slopes—about 40 million board feet, which is enough to fill over 6,500 logging trucks ripping up roads already bleeding sediment into fisheries streams.
- The timber sale would degrade fish habitat in tributaries to Kelly Creek and the North Fork Clearwater River, including crucial habitat for the westslope cutthroat trout and critical habitat for the Threatened bull trout.
- The proposal would degrade roadless characteristics by slashing of trees and burning within the Moose Mountain Inventoried Roadless Area (IRA). The timber sale would also degrade roadless characteristics by logging 59 acres of forest within an uninventoried roadless area right next to the Hoodoo IRA, in an area with ample Wilderness character but for which the agency refuses to consider for wilderness recommendation, including in the 2020 draft revised forest plan.
- Wildlife species which have already experienced severe habitat loss in this vicinity, which will see more habitat lost or fragmented by this timber sale, include fisher, marten, wolverine, gray wolf, moose, northern goshawk, pileated and black-backed woodpeckers, and the Threatened Canada lynx. And the industrial treatment of our Forest will harm the prospects of recovery for the Threatened Bitterroot Ecosystem grizzly bear population, as described in the most recent Clearwater Defender.
You can personalize your comments, and email them to: email@example.com or send via U.S. mail to:
Amy Boykin, North Zone NEPA Planner
North Fork Ranger District
12740 US Hwy 12
Orofino, ID 83544
You can also submit your comments via our comment form below. The Forest Service requires commenters to give their name and address for comments to be included in the project record. Here, the Forest Service has also requested a phone number and email address.
So don’t forget to sign before you hit the “comment now” button. Please note that if you use the below comment form, browsers or browser settings can sometimes interfere with the submission. We recommend that you bcc yourself; if you receive the email, you will know that the agency did, too.
Dead Laundry Timber Sale - call for actionRead or Edit the Petition