Though representatives of Vanport Manufacturing, the US Forest Service and Oregon Senator Ron Wyden's office have announced a deal to cancel the Eagle Creek timber sales in the Mt. Hood National Forest, activists with the Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA) are skeptical. |
The timber sales, which would affect the drinking watershed of 180,000 Oregonians, wildlife habitat and popular wilderness trails, have been the target of citizen activism for over five years. Since April 20, 1999, activists have continuously occupied old-growth trees in an area called "Sunset Grove". Perched over 150 feet high, activists are determined to stay in place until there is proof that the sale has been cancelled.
"The Forest Service has a long history of bending rules and breaking promises" said Rolf Skar, a CFA volunteer. "We won't come out of the trees until we see documented proof of the cancellation."
While the cancellation of the Eagle Creek timber sales would be welcome, activists are mindful of a larger picture. "Eagle Creek is a symbol of what's wrong with the federal timber sale program," said Ivan Maluski, a volunteer with CFA. "There are over 50 other sales in the Mt. Hood National Forest that threaten our watersheds, recreation opportunities and wildlife habitat. Any one of those 50 could become the next Eagle Creek. On a regional and national scale, the number of proposed timber sales and acres to be logged on public lands is staggering."
CFA and other groups have announced a massive rally for Friday, May 10th at Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland to call for an end to commercial logging on public lands.