Frequently Asked Questions
- Where is the Applegate River Watershed?
- Who manages the federal land in the Applegate Valley?
- What types of projects does ANN work on?
- Why does the Applegate community need to engage in federal land management projects?
- What is the Applegate Adaptive Management Area (AMA)?
- Who can join ANN?
- How do I get involved with ANN?
Where is the Applegate River Watershed?
The Applegate River is a major tributary of the Rogue River in southwest Oregon. There are dozens of distinct neighborhoods in the Applegate River Watershed, which includes the tributary streams that flow into the Applegate River before it’s confluence with the Rogue River near Wilderville. The watershed is bounded on the south by the Siskiyou Crest; on the east by a line drawn roughly from Wagner Butte through Anderson Butte and Woodrat Mountain; on the north by the ridge running from Jacksonville Hill nearly to Grants Pass, and on the west by Roundtop Mountain, Grayback Mountain and its surrounding ridgeline.
The Applegate Valley is comprised of many areas, including
- Griffin Creek
- Sterling Creek
- Little Applegate River
- Yale Creek
- Upper Applegate
- Elliott Creek
- Forest Creek
- China Gulch
- Humbug Creek
- Thompson Creek
- North Applegate
- Slagle Creek
Who manages the federal land in the Applegate Valley?
In general, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the Applegate Valley’s lower elevation federal public lands, and the Forest Service manages higher elevation federal public lands, except for the Upper Applegate where the Forest Service manages everything upstream from McKee Bridge, regardless of elevation.
What types of projects does ANN work on?
The Applegate Neighborhood Network engages in issues that affect the environment and community in the Applegate River watershed. Examples of projects that we work on include, but are not limited to, the following: timber sale monitoring, collaboration with the BLM and Forest Service through the Applegate Adaptive Management Area (AMA), habitat restoration, pollinator conservation, public land grazing monitoring, OHV issues, public land trash dumping, unsafe target shooting, water quality, fisheries, building trails for hikers, runners, equestrians and bicycle riders, and other projects that motivated individuals or groups are interested in taking on.
Why does the Applegate community need to engage in federal land management projects?
When federal agencies worked on thinning forests in the Ashland Watershed they worked closely with Ashland City officials to collaboratively implement the Ashland Forest Resiliency Project (AFR) By contrast, none of the Applegate Valley neighborhoods are designated political entities; we don’t hold elections for mayors or city councilors, and our only elected officials at the county level represent all of Jackson and Josephine Counties. Because federal land management agency activities have local impacts, and the agencies seek community participation and involvement, ANN provides a vital local voice in decisions that impact Applegate Valley residents. As with many policy decisions, the loudest voices get heard. Well-funded timber and mining industry interests from outside the Applegate Valley have very loud voices—and might be the only voices heard unless the community speaks up, too.
What is the Applegate Adaptive Management Area (AMA)?
The Applegate AMA was created in 1994 through the Northwest Forest Plan. The objective of the Applegate Adaptive Management Area is to develop and test new forest management approaches to integrate and achieve ecological and economic health and other social objectives. An AMA is intended to be an opportunity for innovation, experimentation and learning. Through innovative approaches and community collaboration with public land managers we can develop localized, idiosyncratic methods that will best reflect the needs of the land and the local community. The approach to the AMA should rely on local knowledge of the land, site-specific standards, experience and ingenuity, rather than the typical top-down and industrial approach generally applied by the agencies in land management.
Of the nearly 500,000 acres in the Applegate Watershed, about 31% is privately owned and 69% is in federal and state management. The Applegate AMA includes lands managed by BLM’s Medford District (150,752 acres) and the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest (127,409 acres). Specific emphasis for the Applegate AMA includes the “development and testing of forest management practices including partial cutting, prescribed burning, and low impact approaches to forest harvest (e.g., aerial systems) that provide for a broad range of forest values, including late-successional forest and high quality riparian habitat (Applegate AMA Guide).”
To date, the Forest Service and BLM have only utilized the innovative approach that the AMA provides for very few projects in the Applegate. This has been a lost opportunity for the twenty-one years since the AMA was designated. This might change soon with the Forest Service and BLM moving forward with a renewed push for AMA collaboration.
Do you want to have a role in shaping sustainable forest management in the Applegate Valley? Theoretically, through the Applegate Adaptive Management Area, your voice can have an impact. The Forest Service and BLM are currently developing a project in the Upper Applegate Valley that will be created through community collaboration. The project will have fuel reduction and forest health thinning, but could accomplish many more goals with sustained community involvement. ANN will be engaged in the AMA process and we invite you to join us in shaping the future of public land in the Applegate Valley. Without community involvement the AMA could become yet another tool of the timber industry to get more logs out of the Applegate at the expense of fire resiliency, scenic viewsheds, clean water, and intact wildlands. This is a collaborative process that we should take advantage of or it may turn into just another timber sale.
Who can join ANN?
Anyone who lives or works in the Applegate! Members of the Applegate Neighborhood Network are people like you: an Applegate resident that cares about public land. ANN recognizes the need for a balance between economic and ecological values that impact valley residents, and we want to make sure that federal agencies hear the voices of local community members — including yours!
How do I get involved with ANN?
Join our email list or check out our event calendar for information regarding upcoming meetings and events — we welcome your participation!