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“Umpqua Sweets” Proposed BLM Sale of 2000 acres along the North Umpqua River

Published December 6th, 2019 in Conservation, News, UW Blogs

From September 24th through November 1st, Cascadia Wildlands spearheaded an investigation of a Roseburg BLM Timber Sale called Umpqua Sweets. They conducted field trips to the units and meetings with the BLM Swiftwater Field Office personnel. Some Umpqua Watersheds members joined in the research, including Francis Eatherington. The following are comments about the sites by Samantha Krop, Gape Scott, Steve Cole and Francis Eatherington.

The Umpqua Sweets Timber Sale area contains sensitive geologic sites, archeology sites, old growth forest, wetlands, riparian areas and buffers, Elk habitat, steep terrain and streams that run into the North Umpqua River. These factors and additional concerns regarding road building and landings for yarding are reasons for alarm. Of particular interest and concern is 20 acres of clearcut proposed on the south side of the North Umpqua River near The Narrows and just yards west of the Swiftwater protected Wild and Scenic River. Studies have shown that increased fire danger results from regeneration harvest. And Umpqua Watersheds and Cascadia Wildlands are actively and vocally opposed. The sale extends up into the forest from Rock Creek Road past Susan Creek.

The issues are too numerous to discuss here point by point but the following is a general summary of issues: road cutting through riparian areas and their buffers, damage above Honey Creek and the North Umpqua and endangering homes, old growth habitat destruction particularly in groves with Douglas Fir, Hemlock and Sugar Pine. Steve Cole set up a wildlife camera and we look forward to his findings. He has visited units on very steep terrain so he referred his concerns to the Department of Geology and Mineral Industry Interactive Map regarding Statewide Landslide Information to Oregon (SLIDO). Steve’s research found High Landslide Hazard Areas which would endanger the North Umpqua and as a result, fish populations.

November 1st, Gabe and Samantha met with BLM Field Manager, Mike Korn. A distressing issue is that trees slated for retention could be cut for road building and yarding sites. They talked about the Arch unit and the North Umpqua Riverside unit. They feel that these units could be dropped if we all keep up the pressure, as well as pressure for another public meeting and hike. Mr. Korn reported that the BLM expects to release the Environmental Assessment in August 2020. The BLM received hundreds of email and phone calls about this project. We need to keep it up! Visit Cascadia Wildlands website for details and photos and to send comments to the BLM.

Steve Cole’s site has photos and LIDAR maps: umpqualsogproject.org

BLM site has maps at https://eplanning.blm.gov for Umpqua Sweets Harvest.

Submit comments: blm_or_mail@blm.gov & through Cascadia Wildlands: www.cascwild.org/Umpquasweets

If you are interested in the UW Conservation Committee please contact me through the UW of

fice (541-672-7065) or UW email uw@umpquawatersheds.org. The committee meets the 3rd Tuesday at 6pm at McMenamins Restaurant. Join us!

Diana Pace, Conservation Chair, diana@umpquawatersheds.org

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