Target: Salem Bureau of Land Management
Goal: Protect forest habitat of endangered red tree vole from a clear-cutting timber sale in Oregon
A proposed timber sale in Oregon’s Mary’s River Watershed would clear cut nearly 100 acres of mature forest, threatening the endangered red tree vole. The Northwest Forest Plan requires a survey for the vole in the proposed logging area, and creation of protected areas where it is found, but the Bureau of Land Management has directly refused, claiming that it is a low-priority site for the species. However, the Rickard Creek site represents some of the last remaining habitat for the vole.
The red tree vole spends the majority of its life within trees, and as such is the most tree-adapted mammal in North America. Its habitat in the North Oregon Coast was federally designated a distinct population segment in 2011, warranting protection. The Salem Bureau of Land Management has successfully incorporated more thinning practices into its timber harvesting, meeting and surpassing its timber goals.
This sale at Rickard Creek unnecessarily goes contrary to this effort, allowing clear-cutting in a sensitive area of older trees. In addition, private lands surrounding the area have already been extensively clear-cut, jeopardizing chances of survival for the tree vole and other species.
The Rickard Creek sale now faces a lawsuit filed by three conservation groups who argue that the timber clearing and sale would violate the Endangered Species Act. Please support these groups and the red tree vole by preventing this destructive timber sale.
Dear Salem Bureau of Land Management,
The Rickard Creek timber sale would destroy a mature forest and sensitive ecological zone, seriously threatening an endangered species, the red tree vole. Clear-cutting this area is out of line with the community’s preferred direction of forest management and logging, and runs contrary to the thinning practices the Bureau of Land Management has successfully adopted.
Clear-cutting is unnecessary, as more sustainable thinning practices have proven to far exceed recent goals for timber harvests in this region. The Mary’s River Watershed is prime habitat for the red tree vole, which already faces limited habitat and is listed as a survey and manage species. The Bureau of Land Management is thus required to survey for the species and maintain protected areas, measures which it has not taken.
Please address the issues raised by conservation groups and government agencies, and reconsider plans for the timber sale at Rickard Creek so that valuable habitat and an endangered species are adequately protected.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sam Beebe, Ecotrust via Flickr