Mazama Forest Defenders constructed a tree-sit at the Ashland branch of Umpqua Bank wednesday morning as part of a statewide day of action in solidarity with the tree-sitters at the Peak timber sale. A large banner proclaiming "stUmpqua Bank: Complicit in Forest Destruction" was hung from the platform high in a cedar tree directly across from the entrance to the bank.
Activists on the ground passed out literature urging bank customers to divest their money from Umpqua Bank and to urge Chairman of the Board Allyn Ford to stop logging Peak immediately. Fellers from Roseburg Forest Products/Scott Timber are in the third week of logging at Peak. Tree-sitters continue to occupy two platforms in the sale area. USFS law enforcement officers are maintaining a 700 + acre closure on the entire sale area and all access roads.
Mazama Forest Defenders vow to continue the resistance at Peak until the sale is stopped. Nearly 50% of the trees are still standing. Non-violent protests and acts of civil disobedience continue both inside and outside of the closure area.
Last week Senator Ron Wyden sent a letter to the Under Secretary of Agriculture Mark Rey asking that he direct the Forest Service to exchange the remaining old-growth replacement volume sales (Blodgett and Silver-Sturgis) with second growth plantation volume. The Senator noted that proceeding with controversial timber sales, like Peak, will result in further polarization.