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PFT Acquires Monumental Forestlands
2,000 Acres in Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Now Protected
The Pacific Forest Trust is pleased to announce the acquisition of almost 2,000 acres of private forestlands within the planning boundaries of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (CSNM). With these first acquisitions, we have officially launched our Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Campaign to Complete the Vision.
“PFT’s effort in the Monument is a prime example of how private initiatives can help achieve our national and state conservation goals,” says Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D). “This is a significant step forward in achieving the intent of the Monument.”
The acquisition from American Forest Services, a timber management company that agreed to sell the lands to PFT, covers two critical areas within the Monument’s planning boundaries. These properties lie along the crest of the CSNM, just below Soda Mountain, along Jenny Creek. Both properties have outstanding biological diversity and connect significant ecological areas within the Monument itself.
The lands along Jenny Creek -- 1,240 acres of Douglas fir and ponderosa forestlands, grasslands and riparian areas -- lie within the Jenny Creek watershed in the southern-central region of the Monument and are surrounded by late successional forest. Jenny Creek, perhaps the Monument’s most vital feature due to its outstanding habitats, is home to several threatened and endangered species including redband trout, Fredenburg pebble snails, Northwestern pond turtles and Pacific tree frogs.
“The CSNM contains rare habitats, including lower-elevation forest streams like Jenny Creek that provide essential habitat for very rare fish species,” states Jack Williams, a senior scientist with Trout Unlimited. “Protecting and restoring such resources is vital for the eco-region.”
The second area -- 560 acres along the Soda Mountain crest at the southern portion of the Monument -- is within the boundaries of the proposed Soda Mountain Wilderness Study Area. A mixed conifer forest with rare alpine meadows, this property connects significant portions of old growth forests within the CSNM, ensuring these lands will not be further fragemented. Both parcels of land provide critical nesting centers to endangered Northern spotted owls and have active elk populations.
Located just north of the Oregon-California border in Jackson County, Oregon between Ashland and Klamath Falls, the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument -- designated by the federal government in June 2002 -- is the first and only National Monument designated specifically for its diversity of plants and animals.
Despite this significance, only 53,000 acres of the Monument’s 85,200-acre planning area are currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The remaining 32,200 acres are privately owned and unprotected.
“With 40 percent of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument unprotected, the Monument’s very purpose and integrity are at risk,” says PFT President Laurie Wayburn. “Every time these undeveloped lands are sold, we lose the opportunity to conserve this natural treasure-chest that protects water and other resources and that will benefit generations to come.”
We are very grateful for the support of the Collins Foundation, as well as other charitable donors, who have joined PFT’s Conservation Capital Fund in financing this $1.42 million acquisition and kicking off our CSNM campaign.
California Forest Futures 2005
Conference Inspires New Partnerships and New Solution
Recent estimates by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection indicate nearly 40,000 acres of California oaks and conifers are being lost to development every year. This is the equivalent to losing a forest the size of the city of San Francisco to residential sprawl annually.
To address this growing crisis, the Pacific Forest Trust and the UC Berkeley Center for Forestry hosted California Forest Futures 2005 this past May in Sacramento. The convention center buzzed with energy and insight for two full-days as 250 attendees -- elected officials, policy makers, forest owners, foresters, land use planners, natural resource managers, environmentalists, conservationists, scientists, media and other concerned citizens -- gathered to explore strategic solutions to stop loss and spur progress. The complex and powerful forces reshaping California’s forest landscape were examined. And plans to ensure the financial and ecological viability of the state’s forests were outlined by an array of forest experts. Participants left with a new commitment to fight for the future of California’s forests.
“Retaining and sustaining our forestlands is a challenge we must all rise to meet. It's neither a Democratic nor Republican issue. It's not solely a problem for the government, the forest product industry or conservationists,” noted Mike Chrisman, California Secretary of Resources and conference honorary chair. “It's a statewide crisis that needs the help and support of all our institutions and all our citizens to help solve. Working together we can assure California's great forestlands remain forever vast and vital.”
David Bischel, California Forestry Association president, added, “Californians want their wood products to come from forests managed by the highest environmental standards. But the high-cost of doing business in this state is killing our industry. As such, we must work together to find new ways to ensure the health of both California's working forests and forest industry.”
“We disagree with the timber industry on many things,” concluded Paul Mason, Sierra Club California's forestry representative. “But we all agree that it's bad when you convert a forest into a Wal-Mart or a sub-division.”
The conference successfully brought the “quiet crisis” of forest loss to the attention of the media, prompting feature stories in the Sacramento Bee, California Coast and Ocean, and Capitol Weekly, plus radio coverage on NPR’s The California Report and KBFK News Radio. The Bee story can be accessed online (free registration required) at: http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/environment/story/13022695p-13869043c.html
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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