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Barstool Timber Sale Clearcut! - Photos and Commentary

The Barstool Timber Sale, a 20+ acre area in the Oak Grove Watershed, was cut late last week. Here are some photos and commentary from my visit this past Saturday.


The Forest SerVice facilitated the destruction of yet another swath of native old growth forest. Over the past few days, the trees living in what is labeled the Barstool Sale, Units 5 and 1 were chopped down, sliced up, and the ground and plant life was crushed and torn into chunks.


Going out to the land reveals the level of ruination left behind by the life eating machines. Looking at these photos gives a hint of what it is like. However, it is only a hint. 200-400 year-old trees, living sentient beings, torn into pieces, the sap leaking out like tears. Branches litter the ground, needles still green, giving the impression of life.


This tree was over 220 years old. The elevation of Barstool is over 3000 feet. At this elevation, the trees grow slower. 1500 feet lower, a 220+ year tree would be significantly larger in diameter.


With the canopy gone, the sun beats down on the moist ground, baking it to dry hardness, and assaulting the plants which are already browning and wilting. What was once a cool, moist vibrant forest, filled with humming life, has become a sad place.


This is one of many trees whose age was in the 200-300 year old range. These living beings have been standing since the early 1700's, yet the 20+ acres is destroyed in mere days.


Everywhere on the ground are the twisted remains.


Culturally, we see nothing but a commodity, to be used according to our selfish interests. We have lost sight of the kinship between all life, and our sacred duty to protect and honour life in its many variations. This society has lost its way, and only sees a mechanical universe, devoid of meaning and spirit. It is a painful loss for the forest, for other creatures and most of all for ourselves. We do not see that everytime we cut down a stand of trees, we are cutting down something precious within ourselves as well.


We shape the outer landscape in the pattern of our inner world. The human mind has become almost blind to the natural rythyms and patterns of life, within which inner wisdom is revealed. This mind is left with dry intellect which has no foundation, and thus is adrift in its own mental constructs.

It is the normal social pattern to live wrapped up in the surface habits and structures, filling ones time with shallow activity. Modern ego life is all but deviod of the unitive rythym of wholistic perception. We rarely take the time to look deeper, to perceive the quiet voice of life. The wild places foster this deeper sight, tickle the inner senses and enliven spirit.


By leaving a few trees, the devious mind is able to say this is not a clearcut, but this area, cut some time in the past, shows the lie. The ground is all but barren, the trees sparse and vulnerable. Rains strip away top soil. The pattern of harmony and vibrant life is broken.


From a 225 year old tree, all that remains is this stump, yet even in death, it has a lesson to teach. The modern mind is shrouded in layer after layer of facade and construct, like the rings of this tree. However, if we take the time to look within towards the center, we will find the life giving sap that nourishes and awakens spirit.


This beautiful tree was well over 300 years, cut down in just minutes by the sharp toothed chainsaw blade. It brings an almost unbearable ache to the heart to witness this.


Boundary marker delineating the edge of the cut area.


A temporary road used to haul out the cut trees. The delicate forest floor, stamped hard. In the background can be seen some standing tall trees. This is deceptive as well. It is just a narrow band of trees left standing.


These giants indescriminately trample everything. Looking underneath, could be seen torn up chunks of trees and the exposed machinery which drives this machine. On the back were the words 'bite me'.


An apt name


Another ancient tree felled for greed.


This area was left, with the trees marking the boundary as 'Wildlife Habitata Area'. Another deception for if you look in the background you can see the cutting on the other side. Such a small little isolated stand does not a habitat make.


With all the destruction around, it was a marvelous surprise to find a small spring bubbling up from the ground and nestled under a few small remaining trees. It was a cool, green oasis. A place to rest and recuperate, to gain sustenance, to splash the face and listen to the tinkling water. It was also a reminder that life is ever creative, springing forth, even from desolation. We need to dedicate ourselves with all our being to opening doors for life to act. To be open to let life create through us. Though it is a dark time, the story is not yet written.

We do need to ask ourselves, how much of our time do we put towards a new way of living? How much of our time is spent chasing pleasure, and running from pain? How much are we attached to the luxury and decadence of this culture? How much are we willing to give, to defend and nurture wild places, and the nature within ourselves?


There are still many beautiful places, but they are marked for destruction. Those who feel the need of our times, must ask these hard questions. Each person must look within, see the shackles of inaction, of culturally enforced apathy and take a decision - over and over, the decision must be made. What is my purpose? What is my life dedicated to?
simply beautiful / beautifully simple 16.Jul.2002 22:06

The PDX Prop Busta

deva, this is phenomenal work. not only are the photos incredible (and very sad) but the writing is very beautiful. thanks for putting it all into perspective. lots of good thoughts here for other issues, and for our own lives.

Sentient beings?????!!! 16.Jul.2002 23:51

English-speaker

"200-400 year-old trees, living sentient beings, torn into pieces, the sap leaking out like tears."

Oh please!

Spiritualism Detracts 17.Jul.2002 07:07

android9 android9@hotmail.com (subject:agitprop)

This article examples a running debate in the Portland IMC editorial collective, over the injection of religious views into news reporting.

An otherwise excellent story is marred by this phenomenon, robbing it of much of it's credibility for a mass audience or any rational reader.

Indeed, this article seems a mild, but deliberate reaction to that debate, attempting to assert Deva's and others' percieved right and obligation to foist prosletization on the readers.

Much of the debate has centered on the recent Female Chauvinist series, to which some members of the collective objected, and others just as adamantly defend.

When I strenuously objected to the second Feature in that series, the response was to immediately launch a third, even larger Feature by the same author, and a refusal to even try to seek more prinicpled addressment to the legitimate issues of sexism.

Indeed, I have been labled a sexist pig, for bitterly complaining about the irrational chauvinism of the series, and promising to block consensus on any further such items!

This article seems a direct challenge to my position, attempting to bait me into killing the whole story, so they can call me "sympathetic to the earth-rapers", no doubt.

Instead, I'd like to open the debate up to our readers and the general collective, and ask, is this religious subjectivity really what we want in a revolutionary media venue? If I go into the story and delete a few lines or words to excise the subjectivity, would that make me a Fascist Stalinist pig?

Is primitivist chaoticist religious chauvinism the official line of Portland IMC?

Or could the legitimate issues of Capitalism's insensitivity to nature be addressed just as well, or even more effectively, by leaving out the more blatantly subjective religious overtones?

Is this an issue of "freedom of speech", or is it an issue of hegemony-seeking primitivists trying to bogart the venue and impose their perspective on the rest of us?

Since Deva is not merely someone who has posted to the wire, but a member of the editorial collective, and thus empowered to select and design Features, these questions take on a more poignant significance with this story.

I did not object to the recent Farmworker March, or the SOA Watch features. Although they involve dedicated religious people who are engaged in revolutionary struggle, those organizations' presentations are not so overtly steeped in religious subjectivity.

Indeed, those groups have very sensibly and deliberately tailored their practice to avoid the subjective overtones, to appeal to more universal concepts of human rights. They are not trying to recruit anyone to their particular religous persuasion, in taking a principled and no less resolute stand in opposition to Fascism.

I propose the primitivist chaoticists should emulate those organizations, and not try to turn IMC into a venue for religous prosletization. We require no less of poltical organizations who wish to participate in IMC.

The editorial collective has a special responsability to maintain this objectivity, and not to encourage and invite such fundamentally reactionary perspectives to hijack the rational political purpose of IMC.

This does not mean they must abandon their personal views, except to the extent that they must recognize that any percieved obligation on their part to prosletize must be taken to more appropriate venues, and not imposed upon IMC.

While this is a fairly innocuous example of the problem, it seems to promise more overt and offensive imposititions to come. Several editorial colllective members have vowed to transform the site into a more "spiritual" venue.

The twisting of the debate over the Female Chauvinist issue, into me being a sexist for opposing an endorsement of Matriarchy, implied by so prominently featuring those articles, would seem an indication of a serious political confusion, which should not be allowed to prevail in the editorial collective.

We need more diverse and active participation in the collective, and in the discussion lists, to contend with this challenge to IMC integrity.

reply to android9 17.Jul.2002 11:17

Jeremy David Stolen fellowtraveler@riseup.net

I'll reply here briefly as an individual who is on the editorial team at portland. I represent myself and my own opinions here and am not speaking for the editorial group as a whole.

You said:
"Is primitivist chaoticist religious chauvinism the official line of Portland IMC?"

No. Portland IMC has no "official line" other than standing behind the principles that Self Expression and Self Empowerment are vital to a healthy society. The newswire provides a forum for these, regardless of the ideology expressed. Indeed, some people feel that too much is allowed to stay on the newswire (like the Volksfront stuff, for example). That latter point is an ongoing debate.

When it comes to features, portland indymedia casts a wider ideological net than many U.S. sites and in so doing provides a great diversity of views. I'm not sure what "primitivist chaoticist religious chauvinism" is so I don't know if such views have been included in any feature up 'til now. I don't know about other people who read indymedia, but I get lost when people start using such terms.


You also said:
"We need more diverse and active participation in the collective, and in the discussion lists."

Absolutely, I agree. portland indymedia workgroups like editorial would be more dynamic and exciting, and would produce even more diverse coverage and projects, if more women, people of color, non-English speakers, queer-folk, and people of faith, etc., were part of them. Some of us are actively working on such outreach.

The resistance movement in this country will not succeed until bridges are built and alliances forged among many different people and groups. portland indymedia is another example of a "leftist organization" (which is not how I would describe it, but which is how it is generally perceived, I think) that is dominated by straight white males and that is not going to get it very far. (The ratio is not nearly as bad here as it is in The Nation magazine, or the other publications that Emma Goldwoman mentioned, but there's room for improvement.)

Those of us who care about portland indymedia and contribute to it and organize for it need to figure out how we can offer ourselves to the service of those in the community who could benefit from the resources that we have to offer. This will mean outreach, communication, and a lot of listening. It will also mean doing things in different ways as the needs of the community become known. We can't go out and save the world -- we need to find out how we can help when people are trying to save themselves.

my two cents.

religious bias 17.Jul.2002 11:47

someone

The word "religion" comes from the Latin "religare", which means to direct or control, to relegate. Religion isn't just parroting spiritual or docrinal rhetoric, it's saying things the way you see them, within parameters you can't control: your religion. That which directs or controls you. Everyone brings bias to what they're saying, and anyone who claims to be objective when accounting any story is just plain wrong. It's good that Deva said things the way he saw them: he saw Barstool as a wounded organism. And it is a wounded organism, you could use math physics biology chemistry and scientific empiricism to prove it. Why don't you go out into the woods, live there for a month to become accustomed to the workings of the ecosystem, then see how you feel about logging. You'd probably come back with similar "religious" viewpoints, tho' you wouldn't claim that they were religious, you'd say that you were just saying things as you saw them. Just as did Deva.

Look here, android. I get what you're saying, but this is Indy media, it isn't an authority on how things are in the world, no one is dictating how others should think. I take all media with a massive grain of salt, especially indymedia. I expect it to be biased, just as with any other news. That bias may as well be obvious, it really amounts to more honest reporting.

re: andy 17.Jul.2002 11:56

deva

You know andy, this article has nothing to do with you. . .

These are my personal perceptions and heartfelt sadness at the cutting down of a section of forest. . .

Personal feeling, poetry, intuitive language to express something of the innerworld is important, and has a place in the world. . .and is an integral and necessary part of changing it for the better

There is no official line of portland imc. . .it is broader than any single persons or groups ideology.

Every effort that people make, to encourage, act, envision a better world, has a place on portland indymedia. As a person doing editorial work, i write center column features nearly everyday. If you go look at the features over the past year you will see countless features that give space for the points of view of the people involved.

If a good labor story goes on the wire, it becomes a feature. If a good story about forest activism, review of an evenings event, street theatre, health issues, pollution etc., it becomes a feature. Go look at the hundreds of features, and you will not see proselytizing for any certain religious or spiritual perspective.

It is your bias and closed mind that is coloring your views on this subject. Go look at the majority of the activist world. Spirituality is the foundation of many peoples lives outside the white world (maybe inside too). It is often white men who have trouble with it, because it is something beyond their control. The denial of spirituality is another form of white imperialism. Spirituality has the power to oppose materialism (and other ism's)

Go examine Shundahai, and Corbin Harney's efforts to stop nuclear weapons and power. . .Go read the communique's from the U'wa people. . .Spirituality is imbued in everything they do. They have not segregated and compartmentalized their lives. They have something to teach this dysfunctional society.

Over the past few weeks, there have been 15-16 forest activism features. Not a one of them expresses a spiritual viewpoint. Then one feature story goes up that does, and you are attacking it like a rabid dog. This shows your lack of perspective, and your intolerance.

Please consider these things

deva

Someone?! 17.Jul.2002 16:59

android9 android9@hotmail.com

Well, I'm really gratified that somebody at least "get's what I mean", even if you also seem to disagree that it's an issue.

Most people on the editorial collective just don't get it at all, and react like I'm some kind of odd, amusing, or annoying monster.

The nerve of me, to insist that Matriarchy would not be a good thing, and that imc should not extoll it.

I don't know what makes you think I haven't been in the forest, or am unaware of the fact that it is a living organizm, or that I can't feel the pain of Deva, the forest, and in my own heart.

Androids are people too! I have never objected to a little bit of addressment to spirit, even. But when it get's so syrupy and thick, I start to get nauseous.

(notice how I'm really trying to clean up my act, and didn't say "it makes me want to puke"?)

Call me WASP (the most despised minority on the planet, for sure, and deservedly so!) but I say too many of the Primitivist Chaoticists I have encountered are subjective bigots in their own right.

To call me a sexist pig for objecting to Matriarchy and insisting we really address smashing sexism, in a more prinicipled manner than advocating female chauvinism...

To imply that I am a heartless robot, who needs to get a life, for asking them to hold down the "spiritual" stuff, even just a tad bit...

Well, they make all kinds of other unjust and irrational extrapolations out of my perfectly reasonable positions, and it's pretty annoying, let me tell you, not only to them, but also to me.

I've ridden them pretty hard about this attitude of theirs, and said some pretty rude things about it, and they are really pissed off at me and fed up with my verbiose polemics, as nice and sweet as they try to be about telling me I am some kind of subhuman pig, for not embracing their religion.

I have to admit that I have a propensity for harsh and polarizing rhetoric. I'm really amazed these poor fools invited me to join the collective. They knew who I was...

I'm not always the best one to deal, when there are senstive and subjective internal issues to address. I'd much rather be bashing Nazis.

My prison-ghetto-street style doesn't go over all that well here in honky heaven. Everybody is so sweet and emo around here, it makes me nervous. You can't say jack, without they act like you pulled a knife on them. I don't mean to be mean, but my life has been hell. Sorry about that, but people are dying by the millions, and I'm a little freaked out.

Y'all act like you just can't understand how anybody could cut down those beautiful old trees. Do you really think handwringing, sobbing, and appeals to spirit will stop it?
Only revolution will stop it. Handholding pacifism will never defeat Fascism.

Do you think God, or Goddess, either one, or all 47 of them, or whatever, want you to whine and snivel, or withdraw into some privileged bourgeois blissout escapism? If I was God, I'd want you to seize power, in 02 and 04, and remove the fascist pigs from all levers of power, democratically, as our only hope for avoiding, or at least minimizing civil war.

Before you accuse me of violence, let me clarify...what will stop it is the revolutionary concept of actual real, genuine democracy. And that does not start by boycotting elections, (but then, that's another whole deep subject) nor by spacing out and avoiding democratic process on the ground, where you work....

Jeremy and Deva and the others here are working their asses off, and doing a huge and beautiful job, and I acknowledge it has not all been dripping with syrupy religious pap. I just want to make sure it stays that way. These guys need all the help they can get, including a lot more direct participation from the broader imc collective, and the community...

And I don't mean just kiting them an e-mail and asking them to post it as a feature for your fundraising benefit....(Post it yourself, to the Wire!!!)

We need more people directly invovlved in the editorial work, and helping to establish an administrative process for decision making...yes, that cursed word, structure.

I can see the primitivist chaoticists now, hissing, drawing back, raising their hands in ritual defensive hocus pocus...

Yes, we need a little more structure here, so there is a clear, written collectively approved policy on what gets featured, and how, exactly. Then there's technical assists, in writing, to encourage more people to dive in and do it, to become the media...some outreach and fundraising, and stuff like that, not to mention more actual reporters and techies!

Little things like that. But without them, we have that truly dreadful curse, chaos, where nobody is accountable, arbitrary subjective caprice rules, and nothing substantial that could ever really defeat Fascism and make revolution, or build a really viable society afterwards, is ever really established.

Entropy. Death. And all in the name of "freedom"?

Of course, if you're banking on, or should I say it, praying for, catastrophic apocalypse, why bother, right? (Hell, that's most of the problem with Christianity, too!)

Well, I better stop now, before I put my ass in a sling... some people have no sense of humor.

Look people, I mean no harm. Can't we all just get along?

I need a little help here...and so do Jermey and Deva and the girls (sorry I forget your names, sexist pig that I am - but I suspect you'll eventually log on and get in your two cents worth, if you aren't too busy demuring to the guys) (don't get me wrong, the several women involved are also working very hard and doing an excellent, awesome job)

In fact they are all working so hard at posting news that they are all too busy to actually build the structure required to keep them from burning out or to recruit and integrate new people. My polemics addressing them to that are just an annoyance and a distraction from posting the next story...

I could go on and on, but nobody agrees with me anyway, so what's the use? We need more people involved in imc, even if it's to protect it from android9!

Let me just close by saying, Death to Fascism, and may it be as peaceful and non-violent as possible, ie: by overwhelming popular democratic mandate! All Power to the People! @!

ANDROID 9 17.Jul.2002 17:15

EAST SIDE VOLKSFRONT@HOTMAIL

you heartless punk, you haven't been bashing shit, i wish you would try, talk is cheap on the internet, do something p l e a s e. . . "prison ghetto street style"? motherfucker that is our world and you aren't in it, in prison you'd be -dead- if you talked the shit you do on here, you are such a perpetrator it's fucking unbelieveable faggot motherfucker, we just hope you do some "nazi bashing" when we are around...

later punk bitch

What is the topic? 17.Jul.2002 20:03

KBW

I have spent some time ready through the IMC and it seems that articles start as an expose on an issue and then turn into bashing each other. Look at other posts. You'll se it 90% of the time. Talk turns more to talking about other people than the original issue.

Consequently, the issue is lost most of the time way at the bottom of the thread. See post just above mine. Why is this? Well, there could be several reasons, one of which is that people who post on forums such as these are very interested in people's responses. And how they respond. Some will be rude, some kind, some neutral. It is a form of expression.

What is anything other than a story. We assimilate information through our six senses (including mind) and then pass it on. We are always biased, consciously or subconsiously (I can't spell). So what does that leave. Well, we must process information given and then create a mental image of the story. Our mental image is shaped by our past experience, intellignce, etc. I enjoy any story that has been posted that is true for the poster. Why? Becuase it provides me with insight. Other people and things are the best teachers in the world.

Of course, I have contradicted myself by going off topic, but that is who I am. More directly, I enjoyed the article. I of course have different feelings and perceptions of the same situation. But if they were the same they would not teach me anything. I learned a tremendous (spelling again) amound by just looking at the people in the pictures. How they hold themselves, there posture. It gives insight into who they are. What they believe in. Pacifists, anarachists, every kind of ist helps me learn patience and understanding.

So you want a revolution. That's fine. Go for it. Put all your time into it. In the end, there will just be another revolution after yours. Should we all just sit around and hug trees? How the hell should I know? How the hell should you know? I don't claim to know everything, but I do claim to know some things worth knowing. One is that everything is transient. I might wake up tomorrow have a blinding insight and have my entire belief system change. Is the person I was yesterday better? Worse? Who knows, but different, that's for sure.

Do I support structure, and approval process. I guess, if I know everything about the approval process, i would know why and how posts were selected. I would know what kind of posts weren't selected. No matter what process you choose, I gives you hints as to those you didn't. If you are aware, everything people do or don't do will teach you something new.

Wow, of topic again. But that's how my mind works. Sometimes I think it's intersting for people to paint a small picture of who they are. So I will try in one paragraph. It gives someone readying this more info about the source.

I'm a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering studying abroad in China. I work on Climate Change and Sustainable development on a national level (yeh, bug deal huh). I like bball, tennis, hate the outdoors. To damn buggy and dirty. Love it when it rains and I get soked (that word doesn't look right), like it did on the way from the Foreign Student's dorm this morning to work. My fiance is an environmental science master's student who loves the woods and always get's on my case for not caring about the damn sucker fish that are destroying the water rights system in my home town and putting all the farmers on the street. I am a practicing buddhist. Doesn't mean I'm any good, but I'm practicing none the less (is that one word?). I look like the preppy blond hair college student that's the second to last that get's killed in horror movies. Oh well, I can't change who I am. My Karma has predetermined a lot of situations that are beyhond my control.

Which seems to be the main underlying thread of most of these posts. Control. You want others to believe or do what you want. That's fine, but if you understand why and the consequences of controlling others. Maybe you'd have other thoughts. I sure do. I'm a born leader, but don't like telling people what to do. So I try and humbly follow and attempt to kill my ego every chance I can. Like this post, which is sure to show my lack of writing skill and simple articulation. Well, I guess I'm just a little homesick. So I'll stop now and not take anymore space.

great article 17.Jul.2002 21:52

Enji

I loved the article. It was refreshing to see something that combined photos, information, and the heartfelt reactions to the scene.

There is a tradition in journalism of allowing one's bias to enter into the writing. They're called columns. I thought Deva gave us the best of reporting and column writing combined.

android9:
If you have a problem with religious bias, grow up. If you have a problem with feminist bias, again, grow up. For every one of these "female chauvanist" acts that it seems can NOT be allowed to go unnoticed, there must be ten male chauvanist acts that happen without a murmer. I am sad you chose this article to bring your disagreement public.

This was an excellent article *because* it was personal, and beautifully written. Much of the "bias" we see here on indymedia is filled with anger. Deva eloquently showed us his grief, along with his information. Thank you, Deva.

Freedom of Expression 18.Jul.2002 11:44

colorado

Ok, here's my thoughts on the topic. As previously stated, this is indymedia. Although I'm not involved in any 'official' manner, it seems to me that the point of indymedia is to provide a venue for the expression of thoughts normally silenced by corporate censorship. I may not agree with all of these thoughts, but i would still like to hear ALL of them. I agree w/ android in that i think that matriarchy is no better than patriarchy, but that doesn't mean that I (or anyone) should be able to prevent their views from being expressed.

I hurt for this forest too............ 18.Jul.2002 21:24

Dave L.

I hurt for this forest too.People should get out and defend the Oak Grove watershed from these kinds of attacks that may and will happen in the future. I've been up there and it's a real nice area. I'm glad CFA is tree-sitting and working to preserve the area.
As for android9's comments,I feel when people actualize the forest in metaphysical terms,it creates a path for connection with mother earth,and as an android,he lacks some of the basic feeelings of human beings.He is a person who takes every opportunity to be critical of everything he can.Many of these rants are very negative critiques that are just him wanting to hear himself blabber.I think everyone who has read his diatribes knows this. And I feel the tree fairys know this too,and they are not happy with him.Android9-you need to get out from in front of your computer screen and get out to the forest and do something meaningful,and there are plenty of forests around Ashland that need help.Indy media does not need you,does not want you,and frankly I'm real tired of your critiques.

deeply saddens me 21.Jul.2002 17:08

chris james crokided@hotmail.com

huge lump in my throught, This saddens me deeply. I guess I think these people or monsters think it wil just grow back. What do these things tell there children, for they are the most important resourse on this earth. A lot of of horridable things happen on this earth. It's part of living and dying. This is not necessary. It hurt's. runningwolf