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Medford District of BLM Addresses Dying Douglas Fir Trees across SW Oregon Region

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More Douglas fir trees have died in Southern Oregon in the last four years than the last four decades combined and the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management wants to know why.

BLM leaders want your feedback on the best strategy for how to respond to increasing tree mortality. The agency is concerned about public safety along roadways, increased fire risk, change in wildlife habitat and economic impacts.

Medford District BLM Manager Elizabeth Burghard said their top priority is to decrease risk to local communities. She said they are very concerned about the impacts of Douglas fir mortality on safe and effective wildland firefighting and they need the public's help to decide where and how to take the most effective action.

The BLM is proposing to remove dead and dying trees in strategic areas to improve community safety, assist with evacuations during wildfire events, provide access for emergency services, and provide firefighters safe and effective means to engage fire when it occurs. Foresters hope to remove these dead and dying trees while the timber still has commercial value.

The Medford District BLM anticipates that the environmental analysis will cover an estimated 5,000 acres of commercial salvage, non-merchantable removal, and activity fuel treatments. Implementation of the work could happen using timber sales, stewardship contracts and/or other service contracts to remove dead and dying material and associated activities in late 2024.

Input would be most beneficial if received by January 7th. Additional information can be found at "eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2027249/510/."
Posted on 12/4/23 6:30AM by Sam Marsh