BLM Rescinds Bear Grub Timber Sale Decision!

A group selection logging unit along the East Applegate Ridge Trail. This unit would remove whole groves of large, fire resistant trees, including all those marked with white paint in this photograph.

For the past three years Applegate Siskiyou Alliance has fought the Bear Grub Timber Sale, a large commercial logging project proposed by the Medford District BLM in the Wellington Wildlands, an over 7,000-acre roadless area west of Ruch, in the smaller Bald Mountain Roadless Area at the headwaters of the Little Applegate River, along the extremely popular East Applegate Ridge Trail, and many areas in between. This project proposed logging in the last remaining mature and old forest habitats surrounding Ruch, Little Applegate, and in the mountains above Talent, Oregon in the Rogue River Valley.

In October 2021, the Medford District BLM approved the Bear Grub Timber Sale and auctioned the sale off to the Timber Products Company, who had hoped to quickly begin logging; however, the BLM received 18 official Administrative Protests and was required to resolve these protests before the timber sale could be awarded and logging could begin. These included a detailed 52-page Administrative Protest submitted by Applegate Siskiyou Alliance and our partners at Klamath Forest Alliance. It also included numerous Administrative Protests from concerned residents in the Applegate Valley, who worked selflessly for over two years to stop this destructive timber sale.

Thanks to all who participated in our campaign to STOP BEAR GRUB!

Thankfully, this past week the Medford District BLM rescinded the decision to proceed with the Bear Grub Timber Sale due to issues surrounding these Administrative Protests and an admission that the project’s impact on the Pacific fisher was not adequately analyzed.

In the BLM’s cover letter that came with their 102-page “Response to Protests,” they unjustifiably deny a multitude of other valid Administrative Protest points that should have been addressed more meaningfully. However, they also officially notified those that submitted Administrative Protests that the Bear Grub Timber Sale Decision Record will be rescinded and our protests were at least partially granted.

What this means, we are not entirely sure, but the BLM stated they will rescind the decision record and that the agency will “further review” the Environmental Assessment (EA) in regard to project impacts and the Pacific fisher. We believe that this controversial, environmentally damaging and counterproductive timber sale should be withdrawn all together. It was developed with little to no meaningful public input, in portions of the landscape that are wild, well loved, and would not benefit from the logging treatments proposed. The Bear Grub Timber Sale would directly impact the Wellington Wildlands, the East Applegate Ridge Trail, as well as the forests and human communities of the Applegate Valley — it should be canceled!

Another Bear Grub Timber Sale unit proposing to remove whole groves of large, overstory trees. The Bear Grub Timber Sale should be canceled to ensure future generations have access to wild places and a livable climate.

This is a massive victory for the forests of the Applegate, but we need to ensure it is more than temporary! Please sign our petition and contact your elected officials demanding that the Bear Grub Timber Sale be canceled.

Please also consider supporting our work with a tax deductible donation. From Bear Grub to the IVM, to our tireless work to protect the Siskiyou Crest, Applegate Siskiyou Alliance is the most passionate advocate for the Applegate Siskiyous, and the only environmental organization focused entirely on protecting the wildlands of the entire Applegate River watershed. Your contribution will help us Stop Bear Grub!