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New Mt. Hood Tree Sit Defending Ancient Forests at Solo Timber Sale

The Cascadia Forest Alliance today announced that it has erected a new tree sit at the controversial old growth Solo timber sale in the Mt. Hood National forest southeast of Estacada. Alliance activists maintained a treesit at Solo last summer while surveying the old growth canopy for rare species. After holding off logging last summer and discovering specimens of the extremely rare 'Oldgrowth specklebelly' lichen (pseudocyphellaria rainierensis), activists left their vigil in the trees with plans to return if necessary. Logging is once again sheduled to begin June 1 and from past experiences, activists know that the Forest Service may waive their own rules in order to allow logging earlier.

"There's so little ancient forest left, we can't continue to let greedy timber companies destroy it for short term profit," said Armillaria, a tree sitter with the Alliance. "Thousands of years of unique evolution and biodiversity are carried forward in these stands of old forest, plus they protect our drinking water and keep water cold for salmon. The Forest Service is misguided or just plain corrupt if they think a giant tree farm can replace this."

Over the winter, Thomas Creek Lumber, the original purchaser of the Solo sale, backed out of the contract amid intense protest. But in their desire to clearcut the old forests at Solo and turn the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackams River into a giant tree farm (an 'aggregate plantation of uniform age trees' in Forest Service lingo), the Forest Service held a new auction. The only bidder at the new auction was Freres Lumber, once convicted of rigging bids on public lands timber sales and fined $100,000. For their illicit behavior, Freres was also banned from buying timber sales in portions of the Willamette National Forest at one time.

Previous stories about Solo timber sale and its defense: [ 18.Nov.2001: 40 hike Solo timber sale in search of rare lichens and moss | 10.Jul.2002: New Tree Sit in Controversial Old Growth Mt. Hood Timber Sale | 30.Jul.2002: 'You buy Solo, you buy us!' - Pepper spray and arrests at the Solo timber sale auction | 31.Jul.2002: Oregonian demonizes protesters... again | 09.Sep.2002: Visit to Solo timber sale exposes Forest Service plan to destroy forests for tree plantations | 13.Nov.2002: my first visit to a tree-sit | 06.Feb.2003: In unprecedented move, Forest Service to re-auction Solo timber sale on Friday; BARK demands sale cancellation; CFA calls for protest | 07.Feb.2003: AUDIO FILE: Bark Field Trip To Solo Timber Sale | 07.Feb.2003: Solo timber sale goes to Freres Lumber; Auction protested ]

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