Local organizations protest BLM’s Late Mungers project

MEDFORD, Ore. – Concerned Southern Oregon residents came together Monday at the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Medford office to protest the BLM’s Late Mungers project.

“It has to stop, we aren’t going to let this happen,” rally organizer Cheryl Bruner said.

The BLM said the project is designed to make the landscape more resilient to wildfire.

The project involves 830 acres of commercial logging as well as 7,500 acres of prescribed fire and small tree thinning.

But not everyone is happy with the project.

Some local organizations like KS Wild and the Williams Community Forest Project said the project will involve old-growth logging, which are thicker, older trees that are less likely to catch on fire.

Bruner also doesn’t think the BLM is following regulations.

“This is our land. I mean the BLM is managing it, but this is public land,” Bruner said. “This isn’t their land. And they have to manage it according to certain laws.”

The BLM said it is good for the public to have an opportunity to have their voices heard, but they were clear that there is no old-growth logging in this project.

“We aren’t harvesting any trees that are larger than 36 inches in diameter or any trees that were established before 1850,” BLM Spokesperson Kyle Sullivan said. “The BLM values and protects larger and older trees, and this project is really designed to help those legacy trees.”

Two local organizations have said they will appeal the BLM’s decision to move forward with the project.

The project is tentatively set to begin in April.

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Ethan McReynolds is a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC5 News. He grew up in Bothell, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Broadcasting and minors in Journalism and Sport Management. At Gonzaga, he started his own sports podcast. Ethan loves rooting for his hometown Seattle sports teams, especially the Mariners. He loves playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. He is also an avid Taylor Swift fan.
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