Hey folks, Please take a moment to call Senator Smith and voice your opposition to the Eagle Creek Timber sale. His DC number is (202) 224-3753, Portland is (503) 326-3386.
And of course the forest defenders up at Eagle need your help. For more info call the CFA hotline at (503) 241-4879
Eagle Creek Protesters Invade Downtown Portland
June 6, 2001, 05:00 PM
By KGW staff
Protesters lined the streets of downtown Portland on Wednesday, urging an end to logging near Mount Hood before it even goes into full swing. About 200 protesters opposed to the Eagle Creek logging sale marched through downtown to the offices of Sen. Gordon Smith to demand that the logging be canceled.
Smith is one of two members of Oregon's seven-member congressional delegation who has not come out in opposition to logging the area about 50 miles southeast of Portland in the Mount Hood National Forest. The group is fighting the Eagle Creek timber sale because they believe it impacts not only the forest and old growth, but also Portland and Lake Oswego's water supply.
"We care a lot about this place, about management of our public forest lands, and regardless of whether they change their minds or not we've got to do what we're doing," said Jeremy Hall with the Oregon Natural Resources Council. West Linn Mayor David Dobbs and congressman David Wu joined the activists in protesting the sale.
Five of Oregon's seven members of Congress want the sale halted. The Forest Service has not replied to any of their letters. Security guards in the World Trade Center closed off the elevators to Smith's 12th floor offices. Smith was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. But a handful of protesters were allowed up to talk to Smith aides to protest the sale.
"A delegation of Cascadia Forest Alliance people, about 30 to 35, came up to express their opposition to the Eagle Creek timber sale," said Kerry Tymchuk, Smith's state director. "We had a nice conversation and they were very well behaved. We talked about natural resource issues and are hoping to arrange a time when they can meet with or talk with the senator and express their concerns directly." Donald Fontenot of the Cascadia Forest Alliance said later Wednesday that Smith agreed to a conference call with them on Thursday.
Earlier the protesters had gathered outside a building housing U.S. Forest Service offices. Opponents of the sale have been protesting in the woods, suspending themselves between old-growth trees and blocking roadways, for years. Jeremy Hall of the Oregon Natural Resources Council demanded to know why the Forest Service was allowing a timber sale in an area that has a history of serious blow-down losses of trees from previous sales. Trees can be more susceptible to being blown down by winds in a logged area. "They say logging is important to maintain the health of the stand," he said. "We believe the forest is healthy. There is no call for chain saws to come into it."
The Forest Service said the area could be logged beginning last Friday, but protesters camped alongside the access road leading to the area say they will stay there and block access until the sale is canceled. "There is catastrophic blowdown all over the place," said Fontenot. "We will be on the road, in the forest, in the trees, we will be there until that timber sale is canceled," he said to cheers of onlookers. Fontenot said there were no blowdown problems in the drainage area until the first timber sale there in 1982. Activists perched in trees and blocking roads have managed to stall any major work in the sale so far.
Chainsaws buzzed for just an hour last week, while loggers cut trees that had already fallen down naturally. The trees fell across an unpaved logging road. Environmental activists surrounded the loggers and harassed them as they worked. They also blocked a road with a human chain later in the day, to prevent a heavy loader from entering the area slated for logging.
Vanport International's contract allows the company to log in Eagle Creek between now and the end of October. It has not sent crews back to the site since activists sent loggers packing last Friday.