Comments on the Quartz Integrated Project are due Sept 26!
The Quartz Integrated Project is an 8,331 acre project area, located 22 miles southeast of the town of Cottage Grove – about a one hour drive away from Eugene. It is on publically owned US Forest service land, managed by the Cottage Grove Ranger District of the Umpqua National Forest. This project area is in the Sharps Creek Watershed, which drains into the Dorena Reservoir. It is a well trafficked area for recreation, hiking, water sports, and other outdoor activities.
The preferred alternative of the USFS seeks to commercially thin 1,026 acres of forest. Some of these units are younger stands of 60-80 year old trees. However, as well as being intact and recovering ecosystems, many of the units contain stands aged 100 years or older. Many of these older stands contain old growth remnant trees.
Besides being valuable unto themselves, these remnant old growth areas are a prime habitat for the red tree vole – a Survey & Manage species,
under the Northwest Forest Plan. According to the Quartz Project EA, only 13 trees were climbed to search for red tree voles. We believe there are many, many more occupied red tree vole habitat areas in the Quartz Project area. As of Sept 19, NEST has found and documented more than 30 red tree vole nests, within the Quartz Integrated Project. None of these areas have received protection under the preferred alternative (Alternative 2).
NEST urges supporters to submit comments regarding the Quartz Integrated Project. The area is located very near to Eugene – an easy location to visit, if people are interested in making a short trip. Of the three proposed alternatives, Alternative 1 – No Action – is our preferred alternative. We also ask that folks request that the area be thoroughly surveyed for red tree voles (a rare species that receives required habitat protection, under the USFS’ own survey & manage guidelines) and that citizen nest survey data – found by experienced NEST volunteer surveyors – be accepted.
Please send all comments (postmarked by the Sept 26, 2014 deadline) regarding the Quartz Integrated Project to:
Joseph Linn, District Ranger
Cottage Grove Ranger District
78405 Cedar Park Road
Cottage Grove, OR 97424