Commissioners draft timber salvage letter to USFS

Josephine County, Ore. — The Josephine County Board of Commissioners is calling on the US Forest Service to change its current timber salvage plan.

Commissioner Simon Hare drafted a letter to the forest service, and the county’s other two commissioners have agreed to sign it. It’s been in the works for a while.

After the Douglas Complex Fire, the county asked the public to weigh in on the agency’s protocols. Residents said they wanted change in salvage and reforestation efforts after a catastrophic wildfire.

Hare told NBC5 News, the forest service acts reactively, instead of proactively. He said the forest service, and sometimes, Bureau of Land Management does a less-than aggressive job – removing dead, dying timber from the affected areas.

“Those are lightning rods as a catalyst for the next wildfires, and make it all that more challenging, which we saw in trying to deal with the Chetco Fire of where you couldn’t put firefighters on the ground because of previous fires,” said Simon Hare, Josephine County Commissioner.

The county is waiting on a decision from the director of the district.

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