I sat in the back, behind a sea of white and gray heads. A full house of tan, outdoorsy senior citizens had shown up to hear Daniel, author of Rogue River Journal.
Daniel has hiked the Rogue River trail and spent two long stints at a cabin in the Rogue wilderness. Daniel isn’t opposed to all logging on public lands, but he is against the BLM‘s allowance of logging steep slopes, causing landslides and dumping sediment into streams. “A river is not just the riverbed and an arbitrary quarter-mile on each side,” Daniel said. “The best solution is to designate a wilderness roadless area.”
The Rogue was designated one of the U.S.’s first Wild & Scenic Rivers in 1968, but it only designates 1/4 mile on each side of the bank. The Klamath-Siskiyou range surrounding that area is one of the most diverse bioregions in the U.S. and is habitat for tons of rare species. Salmonids rely on the shady Rogue tributaries to cool the river.
This region bosts the largest forested roadless area managed by the BLM in America. Unfortunately, the Medford District BLM (notorious for being the BLM’s highest producer of old growth timber) has its sites on opening logging the area in the Kelsey-Whisky timber sale.
This has been in the works for a while, but CWP and other activist groups have stymied the sale in the courts. Representative Peter DeFazio supports protecting the Rogue tributaries, but has said he will not support broader conservation efforts. Contact DeFazio and let him know where you stand on protecting the Wild Rogue.