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"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens." Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013
As reported the Coquille Tribe is lobbying to take over the management of the Coos Bay Wagon Road timber lands. In March, a letter was sent to Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior raising objecting to tribal proposals concerning the CBWR lands including a request to manage or co-manage a moist fields ‘pilot project’. “Based on the management of their existing Coquille Tribal Forest, we are concerned that the Tribe will prioritize timber extraction above conservation and preservation of fish, wildlife, carbon, water, recreation and watershed and ecosystem health”. Read more at the BLM Coos Bay website.
The letter representing The Larch Company • Cascadia Wildlands • Oregon Wild • Sierra Club • Soda Mountain Wilderness Council • Umpqua Watersheds lists the proposals of the tribe and photographs of the forest management practices employed during recent sales are available at a Picassa album.
Tribal Cooperative Management Area (TCMA): This proposal, first introduced in the Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR) Draft Environmental Impact Statement, would have the Tribe co-manage 14,000-18,0002 acres of BLM forested lands adjoining their existing 5,410-acre Coquille Tribal Forest. This would total up to 23,410 acres in the Coquille River Watershed managed under significantly weaker environmental standards than either the Northwest Forest
Plan or the WOPR Preferred Alternative…
Transfer of Coos Bay Wagon Road (CBWR) Lands or Management of the Lands to the Tribe: The Coquille Tribe has also proposed that ownership (or management responsibility) of some or all of 74,547 acres of BLM lands be transferred from the public and the federal government to the Tribe. These lands are located in Coos County (59,914 acres) and Douglas County (14,633 acres) and contain significant amounts of remaining mature and old-growth forest habitat in Oregon’s Coast Range…
Manage or Co-Manage a Pilot Project: The Tribe has requested, a third secretarial pilot project in moist forests on the Coos Bay District. This new pilot would be in addition to two existing pilots in the Roseburg and Medford BLM Districts. As the Coos Bay BLM District has met 150% of their Potential Sale Quantity over the last 4 years, we do not see any need for an
additional pilot project in that District.…
An attachment to the Salazar letter documents a lengthy list of alleged violations and poor management practices, complete with footnotes, that include failure to provide a buffer zone near streams that feed fish spawning habitats.