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.


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!


URGENT! Contact Joint Ways and Means Committee to Oppose SB 838A

SB 838 imposes a moratorium on mining that uses any form of motorized equipment until January 2, 2018, and declares an emergency so the bill goes into effect immediately.

This bill is currently in the Joint Ways & Means Committee and is scheduled for a workshop on Friday,  June 28.

Please contact the Joint Ways & Means Committee right away, and let them know this bill will be harmful to Oregon’s economy and violates your federal mining rights. It should not be passed out of committee.

You can contact the whole committee by copying and pasting the following list of e-mail addresses into the To line of your e-mail.

rep.peterbuckley@state.or.us; Rep.NancyNathanson@state.or.us; Rep.DennisRichardson@state.or.us; Rep.BruceHanna@state.or.us; rep.lewfrederick@state.or.us; rep.timfreeman@state.or.us; rep.bettykomp@state.or.us; rep.bobjenson@state.or.us; rep.brianclem@state.or.us; rep.carolyntomei@state.or.us; rep.gregsmith@state.or.us; Rep.MikeMcLane@state.or.us; Rep.TobiasRead@state.or.us; Rep.JenniferWilliamson@state.or.us; sen.billhansell@state.or.us; sen.chrisedwards@state.or.us; sen.chuckthomsen@state.or.us; sen.fredgirod@state.or.us; Sen.ElizabethSteinerHayward@state.or.us; sen.dougwhitsett@state.or.us; Sen.JackieWinters@state.or.us; sen.arnieroblan@state.or.us; Sen.BetsyJohnson@state.or.us; sen.richarddevlin@state.or.us; sen.rodmonroe@state.or.us;

ESA Working Group Seeks Feedback on ESA

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have announced the creation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Working Group. This Working Group, led by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings and Western Caucus Co-Chair Cynthia Lummis, will examine the ESA from many angles.

Through a series of events, forums and hearings, the Working Group will invite open and honest discussion and seek answers to the following questions:

  • How is ESA success defined?
  • How do we measure ESA progress?
  • Is the ESA working to achieve its goals?
  • Is species recovery effectively prioritized and efficient?
  • Does the ESA ensure the compatibility of property and water rights and species protection?
  • Is the ESA transparent, and are decisions open to public engagement and input?
  • Is litigation driving the ESA? Is litigation helpful in meeting ESA goals?
  • What is the role of state and local government and landowners in recovering species?
  • Are changes to the ESA necessary?

One of the goals of the ESA Working Group is to start an open discussion and hear from everyone who has thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Share with us what you like about the ESA, or ways in which you think it can be improved.

Submit your comments to the ESA Working Group here.

SB 838 Alert

SB 838 imposes “a moratorium on any mining using any sort of motorized equipment to extract gold, silver or any other precious mineral from placer deposits of the beds of the waters of this state.” It appears that SB 838 will be rushed through to avoid the outrage and protest that SB 115 produced.

Here is a link to the bill.

Please contact the Senate Environmental and Natural Resources committee members and ask for a NO Vote on SB 838. Their e-mail addresses are listed below.

  1. Sen Jackie Dingfelder 503-986-1723
  2. Sen Alan Bates 503-986-1703
  3. Sen Alan Olsen 503-986-1720
  4. Sen Bill Hansell 503-986-1729
  5. Sen Mark Hass 503-986-1714

DEQ Seeks Public Comment on New Suction Dredge Restrictions

The DEQ is seeking public input on new restrictions on small suction dredges and non-motorized in-water mining activities.

“A representative from the Calif. Dept of Fish and Wildlife, Mark Stopher, will provide an update on the California moratorium on dredge mining and will accept comments on how California’s experience may inform the Oregon process.”

    What: DEQ Public Comment on new Suction Dredging Restrictions
    When: Thursday, Marc 7
    6:30 PM
    Where: Jackson County Public Library
    205 South Central Ave, Medford

Please attend this important meeting and give the DEQ your input on eleven new proposed permit conditions, ten proposed findings, and four proposed strategies for reducing environmental impacts of suction dredging.

Please see this document for details of the new restrictions, conditions, findings, and strategies proposed.

Doc Hasting’s response to State of the Union

The following is House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings’ respondse to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:

“During tonight’s State of the Union address, the President once again spoke about job creation and economic growth, but continued to ignore the economic opportunities that exist through energy production on federal lands and the responsible management of our Nation’s natural resources. Tonight’s speech was further indication that during his second term, President Obama will ensure his Administration is more aggressive in its unilateral pursuit of new regulations and policies that will impede economic recovery. By circumventing Congress through administrative fiat, the Obama Administration has the ability to lock up large swaths of public land from multiple use economic activity, slow federal energy production even further, and impose burdensome new layers of red tape that will destroy job creation potential for millions of American’s still looking for work.

“The President may continue to talk about the need for all-of-the-above energy, but we have learned over the last four years that actions speak louder than words. The Obama Administration has closed off millions of acres of public lands and waters to American energy production, offered the fewest offshore lease sales in the history of the program, and caused energy production on federal lands to significantly decline. Meanwhile, the private sector and individual states—not President Obama and the federal government—can take credit for America’s recent increase in oil and natural gas production. It’s simply difficult to take President Obama seriously when he talks about job creation while flatly ignoring one of America’s largest potentials for job creation.”