Ochoco NF moves forward with Bailey Butte Fire Project

Contact(s): Patrick Lair, (541) 233-7770

The Lookout Mountain Ranger District of the Ochoco National Forest finalized plans this week to move forward with a post-fire salvage and restoration project within the 2014 Bailey Butte fire area.

District Ranger Slater Turner signed a Decision Notice that authorizes the removal of hazard trees along 19 miles of roads and logging of burned timber on up to 300 acres of harvest units, in addition to replanting some areas that burned with a high severity. The decision also authorizes riparian restoration activities on six miles of severely burned streams within the fire perimeter.

Hazard tree removal and logging are anticipated to take place this year.

In order to retain as much merchantable value as possible in the timber offerings, the Ochoco National Forest applied for and received an Emergency Situation Determination (ESD) from the national Forest Service headquarters in Washington D.C. An ESD will allow the forest to bypass the typical objection period and begin work on the project immediately. 

“I’m very proud of how our team worked very hard in this project to capitalize on the recovery of economic value of the taxpayers’ investment,” Turner said. 

The Bailey Butte fire started by lightning on private property July 14, 2014, and then ran south onto the Ochoco National Forest. The fire was contained on July 26 after burning 10,272 acres, of which 7,789 acres were on the Ochoco National Forest.

Planners began working on the Bailey Butte Fire Project following fire season last fall. 

The project offers timber salvage opportunities in areas that are accessible by an open road and burned with stand-replacing intensity, while avoiding areas that could negatively impact fish-bearing streams.

Neither timber salvage nor replanting will take place within the Ochoco Divide Research Natural Area.

The Ochoco Divide Research Natural Area, a 1,920-acre area set aside in 1935 for research purposes within an undisturbed forest unit, is almost entirely within the Bailey Butte Fire perimeter. Logging and road-building run counter to the established management principles of a research natural area.

For more information on this project, view the planning documents online.