The volunteers of the Umpqua Watersheds Conservation Committee work to hold the line, the “thin green line” that represents the intact portions of our area watersheds. We often do so by monitoring management proposals of the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry, Bureau of Indian Affairs and more.

Given the typical, often heavily impacted condition of the lands comprising the “checkerboard” pattern of alternating ownerships on the Oregon Coast Range and the west slope of the Cascades, we tend to most closely watch proposals made by the Roseburg and Coos Bay Districts of the BLM. With both the Forest Service and the BLM, UW’s Conservation arm does this by participating in the National Environmental Policy Act process, filing timely comments on timber sales and other proposals. When subsequent agency actions warrant it, we file protests with the relevant district; protests denied by BLM, we resort to the Interior Board of Land Appeals.

The Conservation Committee strives to fight an effective rear guard action in defense of our watersheds, until such time as regulation, spurred by wide spread public sentiment, is better positioned to end the destruction and begin the long term rehabilitation of our precious lands.

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Umpqua Sweets and geologic formations

Umpqua Watersheds members visited the proposed Umpqua Sweets timber project and geologic formations on the North Umpqua on June 6. The Arch is an impressive formation and the group was appropriately impressed. President Ken and Executive Director Kasey couldn’t resist walking on top of the arch. The group also hiked to the Honeycombs and Castle rock climbing sites adjacent to the BLM. We greatly appreciated the diverse and healthy forest and enjoyed each other’s company, with safe distancing. The coming heavy rain held off for us until on the way home. Diana