The Bush Administration has proposed an immense salvage-logging project — totaling 518 million board feet -– which would severely damage one of America’s premier natural landscapes. The Siskiyou National Forest in southern Oregon is internationally renowned for its wilderness, wild rivers, and biological diversity. The rugged area has the most complex soils, geology, landscape, and plant communities in the Pacific Northwest. At the heart of this fabulous wildland treasure is the Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area surrounded by several large roadless areas. Conservationists have sought designation of a Siskiyou Wild Rivers National Conservation Area to recognize and protect the area’s unique qualities.
During the summer of 2002, the Biscuit Fire burned much of the Siskiyou National Forest, fulfilling a crucial natural role in this wilderness ecosystem. The Biscuit fire was a natural, weather-driven event that burned in a mixed mosaic pattern, helping to maintain the area’s phenomenal ecological diversity. Natural rejuvenation is taking place already, with many fire-adapted plants and trees re-sprouting.
The Bush Administration views the Biscuit Fire mostly as an opportunity to benefit the timber industry. In fact, in December 2003 it proposed one of the largest logging projects in the history of the national forests –- cutting a phenomenal 518 million board feet of timber from 45 square miles of forest land.