Author Archives: admin

ESA Working Group Releases Findings

The Endangered Species Act Congressional Working Group, chaired by Rep. Doc Hastings, has released its final report on its Findings and Recommendations.

The report recommends constructive changes to the ESA in the following four categories:

  1. Ensuring Greater Transparency and Prioritization of ESA with a Focus on Species Recovery and Delisting
  2. Reducing ESA Litigation and Encouraging Settlement Reform
  3. States, Tribes, Local Governments and Private Landowners on ESA Decisions Affecting Them and Their Property
  4. Requiring More Transparency and Accountability of ESA Data and Science

This report is a must read!

Wyden Town Hall Sunday, February 7

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) will hold a town hall on Sunday, February 9, at 12:30 PM at the Anne Basker Auditorium in Grants Pass.

Please be sure to attend to let Senator Wyden know how strongly we in Josephine County oppose his O&C Land Grants Act of 2013, which will not only reduce timber harvests on O&C Lands, but will eliminate our legal grounds for demanding that the BLM comply with the O&C Lands Act of 1937.

Senator Wyden is in the pocket of the environmental activist special interest groups, and wants to permanently withdraw more than half of the O&C lands from any future timber or mineral production, while imposing “ecological forestry” mandates on the remaining lands that will significantly reduce potential timber harvests.

The preservationists will attend to admonish him to withdraw even more lands from production and make timber harvesting restrictions even more draconian. Supporters of natural resource utilization need to show up in equal numbers to present a voice of reason.

What: Wyden Town Hall
When: Sunday, February 9, 2014
Where: Anne Basker Auditorium
604 NW 6 St, Grants Pass

BLM Public Meeting on Post-Fire Recovery

The Bureau of Land Management is holding two public meetings, one in Glendale and one in Grants Pass, to discuss possible treatments and projects burned last summer by the Douglas Complex and Big Windy Complex wildfires.

The BLM says the goal of the meetings is to share information on post-fire projects, provide updates on accomplishments, and listen to concerns and ideas from members of the public. BLM personnel from both the Medford and Roseburg Districts will discuss a number of topics, including:

  • Roads and road safety
  • Fire planning for future suppression efforts
  • Riparian and watershed management
  • Vegetation habitat and recovery
  • Economic recovery
  • Emergency stabilization
    What: BLM Public Meeting on Post-Fire Recovery
    When: Thursday, January 23
    5:30-7:30 PM
    Where: Grants Pass Interagency Office
    2164 NE Spalding Ave, Grants Pass
    More Information: BLM flyer

Natural Resources Committee Holds Hearings on ESA Settlements

On Thursday, the House Natural Resources Committee held an oversight hearing entitled “ESA Decisions by Closed-Door Settlement: Short-Changing Science, Transparency, Private Property, and State & Local Economies.” This hearing examined the impacts of the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) closed-door mega-settlements on listing and critical habitat decisions and the need to reform this law to ensure that its focus is on recovering species while protecting jobs and local economies.

Click here for more information.

BLM “Community Listening Session” for Western Oregon Resource Management Plans

The BLM is hosting what they refer to as a “Community Listening Session” to talk about some of the key issues facing western Oregon’s land management project. (See press release here.)

The BLM is required by law to get public input on their Resource Management Plans (RMP). The purpose of this session is to get public input on key issues like timber production and forest management, endangered species conservation and recovery, protection of older forests, and providing clean water. They’re also going to update us on the RMP project team’s analysis of the current management situation and opportunities in Western Oregon and the planning criteria and guidance they’ve established for developing preliminary alternatives.

The environmentalists are well organized and will be there in force presenting the preservationist point of view, so it’s vitally important to have as many people there as possible representing resource industries and pro-resource utilization perspectives.

The “Listening Session” will be on Tuesday, December 10, from 4:00-7:00 PM, at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, Padgham Pavillion, at 1 Penninger Rd in Central Point. Please plan to be there and bring as many people with you as you can.

They’re requesting people to RSVP to reserve a space. RSVP to blm_or_rmps_westernoregon@blm.gov, with the Subject line “Medford Meeting RSVP” and include your name and address in the body of the e-mail.

    What: Public Input on BLM’s new Resource Management Plan
    When: Tuesday, December 10
    4:00-7:00 PM
    Where: Jackson County Fairgrounds
    Padgham Pavillion
    1 Penninger Rd, Central Point
    RSVP blm_or_rmps_westernoregon@blm.gov

Mineral Wealth of Southern Oregon

The next Timber Advisory Committee Meeting will feature a presentation about the Mineral Wealth of Southern Oregon by Tom Wiley and Andree Pollock from the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). Tom gave an excellent talk last year and this should be very interesting and informative.

The meeting will be on November 12, from 1:30-3:00 PM, in the Marie Hill Conference Room, which is located in the Josephine County Corrections Office at 510 NW 4th St.

    What: Mineral Wealth of Southern Oregon
    When: Tuesday, November 12
    1:30-3:00 PM
    Where: Marie Hill Conference Room
    Josephine County Corrections Office
    510 NW 4th St, Grants Pass

Vote NO on the Measures 17.53, 17.54, 17.55, & 17.56

At the Weekly Business Session of the Board of County Commissioners on October 2, Margaret Goodwin presented the case against the four ordinances that were referred to the voters on the November ballot. You can watch a video here. The presentation begins at 32:45 on the video.

Here is a printout of the slides she presented, along with footnotes that reference each section in each ordinance addressed by each bullet point in the slides. <BCC Presentation with footnotes>

You can use the footnotes on each page to look up the referenced sections in the ordinances, which are posted on the County Web site here, and verify the accuracy of every statement.

These are very bad ordinances. The Josephine County Republican Party urges you to vote NO on all four of them.

SORA Position Paper on Oregon Resources and Economics

The Southern Oregon Resource Alliance has published a position paper on Oregon Resources and Economics.

Click  here  to read the position paper.

Responsible Forest Management

Timber harvested vs burned

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 11, 2013 – National forests are in an unhealthy and dangerous state resulting in larger and more intense wildfires. In 2012, wildfires burned 9.3 million acres, while the U.S. Forest Service only harvested approximately 200,000 acres.

This means that 44 times as many acres burned as were responsibly harvested and restored. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 65-82 million acres of Forest Service Lands are at “high risk of wildfires.”

Federal District Court Rules BLM Must Sell Timber

In a landmark ruling on a lawsuit brought by SWANSON GROUP MFG. LLC, et al. vs. Ken Salazar, et al, on June 26, the United States District Court ruled that The BLM must sell the annual sustained yield capacity of timber in the Medford and Roseburg districts, and cannot use the flawed Owl Estimation Methodology as an excuse for not making the timber sales.

O&Csuit_order

ORDERED that defendant Ken Salazar and/or his successors shall sell or offer for sale the declared annual sustained yield capacity of timber for the Medford and Roseburg districts for each year; it is further
ORDERED that the Owl Estimation Methodology is set aside and shall not be used by defendants Ken Salazar, Tom Vilsack, and/or their successors unless and until the methodology is submitted to the rulemaking procedures of 5 U.S.C. § 553;

This is great news for the timber industry and the O&C Counties! It will undoubtedly be appealed, and it may take some years before we actually see increased timber harvests, but this is an important milestone that reverses the direction in which we’ve been travelling for the last 20 years, and puts us back on the road to recovery.

This may well be the first nail in the coffin of the Northwest Forest Plan!

This is a VICTORY to CELEBRATE!