Applegate residents question new BLM project

Jackson Co, Ore. — The Bureau of Land Management is currently reviewing public comment on a proposed 500-acre operation in the Applegate.

While the agency says letters were sent to residents who will be effected, one local woman says she never heard from the BLM.

Donna Rodriguez has lived on 6 acres in the Applegate Valley. She’s concerned about the ‘Bear Grub Vegetation Management Project’. It’ll be done in portions of the Middle and Little Applegate, as well as Bear Creek Watersheds.

“I don’t think it’s a good fire prevention practice to clear cut because when the brush comes in and grows up, that could be just as bad as the trees. Plus it’s detrimental to my land value,” says Rodriguez.

The BLM says it is looking to thin aged timber where large trees are left behind and smaller trees are removed from the forest stands.

“The goal is to reduce the risk of wildfire in that area to give us a chance to be able to effectively fight fire in that area by thinning out the trees,” says Megan Harper who works for BLM.

The agency says it’s reviewing public comment on the plan, but Rodriguez says she never heard about it.

Rodriguez says the BLM did work here some 30 years ago and that she says was a good thing.

“At that time I was nervous about what was going to happen. And it ended up making the property much more beautiful,” says Rodriguez.

That could happen again this year, she just wants to be in the know.

Update 2/20: This article has been updated. A previous version incorrectly said clearcutting was part of the BLM’s plan for this project. We apologize for the error.

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Katie Streit
NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]