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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Last Tuesday, the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors passed the following Resolution concerning the unmanaged state of our local National Forests and the fire threat they pose to our local communities.
from Marcia Armstrong, Siskiyou County Supervisor

WHEREAS, approximately 63% of Siskiyou County’s 6,600 square mile land base is retained as federally managed lands; and
WHEREAS, on August 17, 2001, the Federal Register Vol. 66, number 160, listed the Siskiyou County communities of Big Springs, Callahan, Dorris, Dunsmuir, Etna, Fort Jones, Gazelle, Happy Camp, Hornbrook, Horse Creek, Klamath River, Macdoel, McCloud, Mt. Shasta, Quartz Valley, Sawyers Bar, Scott Bar, Seiad Valley, Somes Bar, Tennant, Weed and Yreka as “Urban Wildland Interface Communities Within the Vicinity of Federal Lands That Are at High Risk From Wildfire”; and
WHEREAS, the Klamath National Forest – a typical Forest located in Siskiyou County, has a standing inventory of 13.5 billion board feet of timber and grows an additional 654 million board feet (MMBF) of timber each year; and
WHEREAS, compared with the year 1989 where 320 MMBF of timber were harvested from the Klamath National Forest, the Northwest Forest Plan reduced the Allowable Sales Quantity on the Klamath to only 440 MMBF over a 10 year period - or approximately 44 MMBF a year; and
WHEREAS, only about 15 MMBF is currently being harvested netting 639 MMBF of additional biomass being added to the Forest each year creating unhealthy forest densities that stress trees, making them more susceptible to pests and disease and aggravating an already dangerously high fuel load; and
WHEREAS, large wildfires have resulted such as in 2006 when the Titus, Hancock, Uncles Complex and Rush fires burned 28,000 acres in Siskiyou County, threatening local communities and costing the federal government more than $12 million to try and contain them until the fall rains and snow could extinguish them; and
WHEREAS, in 2006 more than 16,000 acres burned in the Six Rivers National Forest on the Western edge of Siskiyou County and another 51,000 acres on the Shasta Trinity, south of Siskiyou County;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors finds that the current situation of heavy fuel loading in the Klamath, Shasta-Trinity, Six Rivers, Rogue River-Siskiyou, and Modoc National Forests constitutes a dangerous public nuisance posing a genuine threat to the public safety of communities throughout Siskiyou County; and
THAT THE SISKIYOU COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVIORS DIRECTS the U.S. Department of Agriculture to commence immediate and accelerated efforts to abate this nuisance through comprehensive and widespread hazardous fuel reduction on National Forests throughout Siskiyou County.
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