Categorical Exclusion

Fear, Fire and Fact in Mt. Hood

Before the Forest Service plans a commercial timber sale, they often go into the forest and do a precommercial thinning, removing the small trees and limbs. The scoping map showing 15,000 acres of precommercial thinning shows the Barlow 's precommercial thinning schedule for the next few years and is a good indication of where the Forest Service will be proposing logging projects down the road. The comment period for the scoping period is the public 's only chance to comment, because the proposal is being administered as a categorical exclusion (CE).

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Barlow Ranger District
Watershed: 

Badger Creek, White River, East Fork Hood River

Driving Directions: 

covers the Barlow District and some areas in the Hood River District of Mt. Hood

The Evans Creek Collaborative group working on fuels reduction projects in the Cooper Spur area have move forward with the idea to have a demonstration area for future timber sales focused on reducing the intensity of fire in the forests. This small project will be a place for the group to discuss on-site differences about forest fire management practices. The logging will occur under a categorical exclusion (CE), exempting it from environmental assessment.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Hood River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
17.0
Watershed: 

East Fork Hood River

Prescriptions
"Purpose & Need": 

From the scoping letter Although a need for fuel reduction on National Forest System lands adjacent to private land exists on a much wider scale in the Cooper Spur area, the collaborative group preferred to start with a demonstration project at a smaller scale.

Driving Directions: 

Take Highway 35 south from I-84, towards the mountain. As the road begins to follow the Hood River to the right, look for signs for Cooper Spur. Turn right onto road 3510 and follow for approx. 1 mile. Take a left onto Road 3512 and the units will be shortly afterwards on the right.

New Road Miles: 
0.50

The Forest Service determined that the Slip Thinning Project should be categorically Excluded (CE) from having an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement. The CE authorities have been put in place by the Bush Administration. We do not support proceeding with projects without an environmental analysis.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
70.0
Watershed: 

Watershed: Middle Clackamas
Sub-Watersheds: Big Creek

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

S&M Species: Lower Columbia River steelheadNorthern Spotted OwlLower Columbia River cohoUpper Willamette chinook
T&E Species: Redband troutColumbia dusky snail
Other Species: Middle Columbia River steelheadBald EagleCanada Lynx
Additional Species Info: Under the NW Forest Plan, the Clackamas River is designated a tier 1 Key watershed, a crucial refugia for at-risk fish species."

Prescriptions
"Purpose & Need": 

The Forest Service states that the purpose of this project is to commercially thin young forest stands to enhance growth that results in larger wind firm trees enhance and restore within stand biological diversity and provide forest products to maintain the stability of regional economy. ' They claim this thinning is needed because the stand is experiencing a 'slowing of growth due to overcrowding. '

Restrictions
Restrictions: 

Wet season : log haul only permitted on asphalt or rocked roads
Nov. 1- May 31 : operation of off-road, ground-based equipment prohibited . Restricted Units: ground based portion of harvest units and ground based equipment

Driving Directions: 

From the North and Portland Take I-5 south to I-205 and continue south. Take State Hwy 212 east a couple miles and turn southeast on 224. Head to Estacada (about 18 miles). Go to Step 2.From the South Take I-5 north past Salem about 20 miles to the exit for Woodburn and State Hwy 211. Take 211 east through Molalla and Colton until you get to Estacada. Go to Step 2.Step 2 Estacada is your last stop for gas and supplies get back on 224 and continue up the Clackamas River about 20 miles. You will pass the Carter Bridge, Lockaby, Armstrong, Roaring River and Sunstrip campgrounds. Turn right onto on FS 121 (paved road) towards Indian Henry campground. Go some 2 miles, go over Sandstone Creek, and you 'll be at the Slip unit. If the paved road turns to gravel, you 've gone too far backtrack a mile or so.

Road Comments: 

No new roads would be constructed. ' Some existing closed or overgrown roads will be reopened. 'Upon project completion the roads that were open would be closed. Existing temporary roads and landings that are reused for this project would be obliterated after project completion. " A 5/23/2005 letter from the Forest Service states 498.96 has been allowed in the appraisal for this work. '
Reconstruction Miles: 4.16

Sportsman 's Park was originally proposed as a collaborative group proposal. The only project in 2005 that Bark did not comment on, this project went from a small improvement and fuels reduction on a recreation area to a large 900-acre categorical exclusion with hardly any public input. The project has been completed. As well, this project included 1521 acres of under-burn clearing.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Barlow Ranger District
Total Acres: 
905.0
Watershed: 

White River

Timber Sale Names: 

Sportsman 's Park (905 Acres)
Status: Post Appeal/Lawsuit

Driving Directions: 

The project area is on the east side of Mt. Hood, near Rock Creek, around Rock Creek reservoir, and south of Three Mile Creek.

A 2004 Bush administration rule that removed protections for rare plants and animals was determined illegal by Judge Pechman of the U.S. District Court. Summit CE is one of the logging projects that may be illegally moving forward without providing protections for rare species required by the court ruling. Bark appealed this project on 1/19/2006. This project is another example of the Forest Service 's abuse of the Categorical Exclusion loophole. The Forest Service claims to thin these stands in order to prevent Mountain pine beetle infestation. Sadly, this area is Critical Habitat Unit OR-11--dispersal habitat for the Northern spotted owl.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Clackamas River Ranger District
Total Acres: 
70.0
Watershed: 

Oak Grove Fork

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

T&E Species: Northern Spotted Owl Additional Species Info: This area is Critical Habitat Unit OR-11--dispersal habitat for the Northern spotted owl.

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
70.0
"Purpose & Need": 

According to the forest service, the purpose is to 1. Reduce the risk of mortality from insects and to enhance growth.2. Enhance huckleberry production.3. Provide forest products.

Bark Comments: 

The Forest Service plans to thin 70 acres of forest to enhance growth and light penetration through the canopy. Field surveys of these stands indicate that they are already significantly open, with a variety of plants growing in the understory.

Restrictions
Restrictions: 

No dates provided : Logging conducted in the winter over snow . Restricted Units: all

Driving Directions: 

The timber sale project area is just south of road 42, surrounding Summit Lake.

The Forest service has decide that the Tap 1 Thinning project fits a Category 12 Categorical Exclusion (CE) which allows for harvest of live trees on areas not to exceed 70 acres, despite the fact that it is directly adjacent to the Tap 2 Salvage project which is 100 acres. Bark does not support the Bush Administration 's new CE authorities, which allow areas to be logged without any environmental review. These side-by-side projects now can take place without any analysis of their cumulative impact to the environment.

General Information
District: 
Barlow Ranger District
Total Acres: 
64.0
Watershed: 

Eightmile Creek, Dog River

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

Additional Species Info: Unit 1 contains NRF habitat.

Prescriptions
Total Acres: 
64.0
"Purpose & Need": 

The USFS states the purpose and need of the project are to Improve forest health, promote the creation of large diameter trees, reduce fuel hazards and contribute to the supply of timber for local, regional and national needs.

Restrictions
Restrictions: 

Additional Species Info: Unit 1 contains NRF habitat.

Driving Directions: 

The timber sale project area is approximately 18 air miles west of Dufur and 9 air miles west of Mt. Hood.

Temporary Road Miles: 
0.5
Road Comments: 

While we are unsure of the final numbers of road miles to be added to this proposal our preliminary visit showed that many roads listed on the map are non-existent at this point.

The Forest Service determined this project would have no significant environmental impact and therefore does not need to do an Environmental Assessment. Bark does not support the Bush Administration 's new CE authorities, which allow areas to be logged without any environmental review.

General Information
District: 
Barlow Ranger District
Total Acres: 
67.0
Watershed: 

Eight Mile Creek

Prescriptions
"Purpose & Need": 

The Forest service is proposing this project in order to Contribute to the supply of timber for local, regional and national needs,Improve forest health by reducing mountain pine beetle populations and Reduce fuel hazards by removing dead ponderosa and lodgepole pine.

Restrictions
Restrictions: 

After February 28 : hauling on road northeast of unit 1

Driving Directions: 

The timber sale project area is located approximately 18 air miles west of Dufur and 9 air miles west of Mt. Hood

Temporary Road Miles: 
0.5

Thanks to all your help Bark and the Forest Service have reached a successful compromise regarding Wildcat CE. The Wildcat project is planned in stands with key legacy features which may be destroyed as a result of logging. Bark appealed Wildcat CE on 1/19/2006 on the grounds that the project will not meet its stated goals of enhancing biological diversity and stand health.

On 2/7/2006, Bark withdrew its appeal on the conditions that (1) the Forest Service would drop 1-2 acres in the western corner of Unit 1 to provide protection for an area with legacy features such as large, downed logs that are essential for ecosystem functioning, (2) Bark will work with Mt. Hood National Forest field staff in inventorying and marking all significant snags within Unit 6 prior to logging, and (3) within three months of the completion of all logging activities, appropriate Mt. Hood National Forest staff will facilitate a field tour with Bark representatives to observe post-logging conditions. This agreement is being carried out by volunteers tagging and getting coordinates for 100 snags within Unit 6 so that we might get a better idea of how well snags can be retained after logging. Our results are forthcoming.

In 2012, amazing Bark volunteer and Forest Watch Committee member Paula Hood took on the job of organizing a Bark team to inventory these snags. As logging goes forward and post-logging monitoring occurs, Bark continues to compile results. If you are interested in up-to-date information regarding snag retention in the sale, please contact the Bark office at 503-331-0374 and ask for our Forest Watch Coordinator or email info@bark-out.org with questions.

Project Status: 
Logged
General Information
District: 
Zigzag Ranger District
Total Acres: 
70.0
Watershed: 

Sandy River

Habitat & Species
Habitat & Species: 

T&E Species: Northern Spotted Owl Additional Species Info: A 2004 Bush administration rule that removed protections for rare plants and animals was just determined illegal by Judge Pechman of the U.S. District Court (see the feature story at www.bark-out.org). Wildcat CE is one of the logging projects that may be illegally moving forward without providing protections for rare species required by the court ruling.

Prescriptions
"Purpose & Need": 

The purpose of this project, as stated by the Forest Service, is to commercially thin young forest stands to acheive multiple objectives 1. Increase health and vigor and enhance growth that results in larger wind firm trees.2. Enhance biological diversity by variable density thinning that changes vertical and horizontal stand structure and brings more sunlight to the forest floor to establish ground vegetation.3. Provide forest products consistent with the Northwest Forest Plan goal of maintaining the stability of local and regional economies now and in the future.However, the Wildcat stands we observed exhibited a range of stand densities that varied considerably from stand to stand (unit 3 vs. unit 6) and within stands (units 1 and 6). Field surveys also revealed a wealth of already-existing gaps in the canopy, both natural and potentially from previous thinning. Further, logging in the project area has the potential to reduce or entirely remove legacy features such as large standing snags and large downed wood, and as a result will reduce, not enhance, biological diversity.

Driving Directions: 

This timber sale project area is located in the Zigzag District in sections 9 and 16 of T. 3 S., R. 6E., WM, Clackamas County

Temporary Road Miles: 
0.1
Road Comments: 

Bark believes there is no reason for the extra 500 feet of road in unit 1 because the existing road already reaches the boundary of the unit. The road density in the planning area is already high reduction of impacts from roads through decommissioning and restoration should be the highest priority of the Zigzag Ranger District, not new road construction.