Protesters gather outside Medford BLM office over Bear Grub project

MEDFORD, Ore. – A dozen protesters were out in front of Medford’s Bureau of Land Management office on Thursday morning. They were there to protest the BLM’s Bear Grub Vegetation Management Project.

Luke Ruediger with the Applegate Neighborhood Network said they delivered a petition with over 500 signatures to withdraw what they’re calling the ‘Bear Grub Timber Sale’ from further consideration. The sale could potentially cause significant increases in fuel loading and fire risks, according to Ruediger.

“While [the project] opens it up to light and other growth, it also opens it up to shrubs that are more fire prone. So it could be years until it comes back to normal,” said Rose Gerstner. She is an Applegate resident who says she lives adjacent to BLM lands.

Kyle Sullivan with the BLM said this is not entirely true. “If we don’t do these re-treatments every 15 years, that will increase the fire risk. What they’re not telling you, is 90% of these vegetation management treatments have been done in the past.”

The BLM is accepting public comment on the project on their website through July 13th.

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Madison LaBerge
Madison LaBerge is the anchor of NBC5 News Weekends at 6 and 11. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Madison is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves living in the Pacific Northwest. She can't get over "how green everything is!" When Madison is not at work, she looks for new and exciting cooking recipes and explores Southern Oregon. Feel free to send her story ideas or the address of your favorite Mexican food restaurant!