The Crater Lake region continues to face misguided logging projects, some of which are proposed right up to the park boundary. One such project, known as Bybee, proposes to clear cut forests right up to the park boundary, while others like D-Bug, Loafer and Marsh all threaten intact forests deserving of Wilderness protections. Fortunately, we were able to protect the vast majority of potential Wilderness units within the Loafer logging proposal through litigation. While this protected several portions of roadless areas, the other proposals still threaten the old-growth forests in the Crater Lake region.
Logging intact forests in high value watersheds can be harmful in a variety of ways. Logging and road building in forested watersheds impoverishes wildlife habitat, degrades water quality and quantity, compacts soil and fragments the landscape. Not only would the Bybee Timber Sale imperil the fragile ecosystems of the park, but much of the logging would occur in the headwaters of the world famous Rogue River. The gushing, narrow canyons of the Upper Rogue should not be polluted by the sediment and logging debris from the Bybee Timber Sale. That’s not good for people or wildlife.
The Bybee logging project would log 1,300 acres in the proposed Crater Lake Wilderness. This would effectively cut off several intact wildlife corridors with logging and road building. The project includes 12 miles of new roads. The logging would be enough to fill 7000 log trucks, which, if parked end-to-end, would stretch 73 miles from Medford to the boundary of Crater Lake National Park.
Logging intact forests requires the building of roads, in turn this often results in the spreading invasive species into once pristine areas. It also degrades watersheds by causing erosion, increases peak flows, a disturbance corridor that negatively affects wildlife patterns.
While there are some forest lands that benefit from appropriate restoration and thinning, logging in pristine roadless areas surrounding Crater Lake would result in negative consequences.