FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/29/01
Borg Timber Sale Auction Draws Protests
Convicted Timber Thieves Buy Contract
Estacada, OR: At 8:45 this morning, about a dozen activists with the Cascadia Forest Alliance and other groups protested the auction of the Borg timber sale in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Chanting "If you buy Borg, you buy us!" and "Public lands, not private profit!" the activists were hoping to deter any would-be purchasers from signing a contract with the Forest to clearcut the 45 acres of ancient forest at stake at the Borg timber sale. The only purchaser to show up for the 'auction,' Thomas Creek Lumber & Log Company, purchased the rights to cut the Borg timber sale for the minimum bid price. Activists angrily pointed out that Thomas Creek Lumber has been convicted of national forest timber theft in 1975 and 1991, stealing millions of dollars of trees from the American public.
"It's already a crime that our publicly owned ancient forests and drinking watersheds are logged at taxpayer expense every year," said Ivan Maluski of the Cascadia Forest Alliance, a group with a long history of successful protest within the Mt. Hood National Forest's Clackamas Ranger District. "And it adds insult to injury when convicted timber thieves are allowed to continue to log our public lands."
The Borg timber sale would clearcut 45 acres and thin an additional 15 acres of publicly owned ancient forest in the Oak Grove Watershed. The proposal involves new roading and road reconstruction. The sale is one of many targeting the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River which, like Eagle Creek, provides drinking water for 185,000 Oregonians. The Forest Service's goal with the Borg and other Oak Grove sales is to convert the area's native and ancient forests into even-aged young tree farms. The Borg auction is the second auction of ancient trees on public land in the Clackamas Watershed this spring and many more are expected this summer in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Thomas Creek also recently purchased the contract to the Barstool timber sale, very near the Borg sale, and is expected to keep bidding on Mt. Hood timber sales through the summer.
"We cannot stand by as the Forest Service continually gives away our publicly owned ancient forests for questionable short term economic gain," said Maluski. "Drinking water, quality wildlife habitat, intact forests and protected public lands are the legacy we should leave our children, not this continual cycle of more logging and roadbuilding which the Forest Service leaves us to clean up after."