Making forests resilient, environmental assessment pinpoints necessary steps

APPLEGATE VALLEY, Ore.– A three-year-long environmental assessment of a Jackson County watershed is expected to be released this week.

In those years, the Upper Applegate Watershed Restoration Project has been in the planning process between US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and private lands to address the resilience of some 52,000 acres to concerns like wildfires and climate change.

The assessment outlines the values of the forest or “nature’s benefits” and the best ways to restore or enhance the watershed and make it more resilient.

“The real objective is to thin out the forests so that there is less fuels when we do have a fire so that the older trees have more space, more water, more room to grow,” said District Ranger Donna Mickley. “So it just creates a healthier landscape.”

The restoration will look to include both commercial and non-commercial thinning methods as well as prescribed burns to remove some of the dense undergrowth across the watershed. The project is estimated to cost between $10 and $14 million over the next 10 to 15 years.

The assessment is expected to be released on both BLM Medford District and Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest websites on Wednesday.


© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.

Skip to content