Earlier this month, the Forest Service released their 30-day public comment period for the largest single timber sale we've ever seen in Mt. Hood National Forest. The "Crystal Clear Restoration Project (CCR)" includes 13,271 acres (nearly the size of Manhattan) of commercial logging, much of which is in mature, never-logged forest southeast of the mountain. This is the type of forest that keeps the most carbon in the ground, provides the most clean water, and is habitat for the most sensitive wildlife.
How can this be called a "restoration" project? Although the name "CCR" might arouse nostalgia for 1960s radio hits, when pressed for an explanation of how it would restore the forest, the Forest Service backslid into calling it a "straight up timber sale," making their motives crystal clear.
Public comments are due on April 1st. Submit yours today!
Here's a bit more about the Crystal Clear Timber Sale:
- Crystal Clear Timber Sale is located along US-26 east of Clear Lake and continues along the southeastern National Forest boundary with the Warm Springs Reservation, following OR-216.
- The Forest Service borrowed public money to plan this commercial project, which they must pay back to the federal government at a rate of 130%.
- This timber sale is being fast-tracked. The Forest Service wants to release a decision by the summer, before we can even get our boots on the ground (it's currently under snow!).
- The entire timber sale is within Critical Habitat for threatened northern spotted owls, which need intact older forests for survival.
- There are currently 555 miles of roads in White River watershed, where the project is located, making it high priority to reduce road density in sensitive species habitat impacted by traffic and erosion.
- Much of the area is in high-elevation moist forest which hasn't been adversely impacted by fire suppression or previous logging. However the Forest Service is justifying this project as a way to "reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire behavior."
- In 2014, OR-25, Mt. Hood's first confirmed gray wolf in over 50 years roamed through the Crystal Clear project area. We want to ensure the area remains suitable to sustain wolves in the future.
The Forest Service needs to hear from you!
Send comments to the Forest Service telling them to prioritize keeping our remaining native forests intact, and sensitive wildlife unharmed.