TRAMPLING ON CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT |
Earlier this year, in response to citizen outrage over logging in Acey Line Timber Sale in the God's Valley area of the Tillamook National Forest, the ODF created a citizen group to review timber sales involving older stands of trees. The last meeting was July 26 and no one was told that logging would begin in Acey before the final review of the citizen group discussions. On August 1st, the road to Area 3 was blocked by several county sheriffs and state police. Armed law enforcement officers were seen patrolling Area 3. Citizens who attempted to go in to see what was happening were threatened with arrest. The logging was finished a few days later and on August 7, the ODF brought a carefully-selected group of media to visit the site. Greeting the media was a local woman locked to a cable across God's Valley Road holding a sign stating "God is Dead!" The media entourage had to use another road. While the ODF was showing the media the logging, a banner saying "Save God's Valley" popped up in the woods.
Citizens have snuck in to document the logging, risking arrest. They found 40 inch diameter trees cut; the contract specifies no trees greater than 32 inches diameter were to be cut. Trees with branches greater than 5 inches diameter were to be left for marbled murrelet nesting trees, but citizens found some of these cut too. These concerns were ignored by the ODF. Yarding of the trees should begin in about a week. This will cause damage to leave trees, the understory and the soil.
For more information, and how you can help with this and other timber sales that need citizen oversight, visit the BARK website, or call (503) 331-0374; email: Bark@Spiritone.com