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Oregon to auction off Old-Growth from Elliott State Forest

On Wednesday, June 18, the Oregon Department of Forestry will auction off some of the oldest trees left on state forest lands. The Lone Surprise Timber Sale contains dozens of centuries-old trees critically important to the declining Northern Spotted Owl population in the Elliott State Forest. This is in spite of Governor Kulongoski's campaign pledge not to cut old-growth.
Old Growth for sale in Lone Surprise.
Old Growth for sale in Lone Surprise.
Rainforest to be converted to tree-plantation by clearcutting and herbicide use.
Rainforest to be converted to tree-plantation by clearcutting and herbicide use.
Best endangered species habitat left near Loon Lake will be clearcut.
Best endangered species habitat left near Loon Lake will be clearcut.
The Elliott State Forest is 93,000 acres of coastal public forests between Reedsport and Coos-Bay.

Wednesday June 18, 2003, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) will auction off 3 sales in the Elliott State Forest that convert old, native forests, even 300 year old trees, into new tree plantations, by clearcutting and herbicide spraying.

ODF will be selling some of the best endangered species habitat on the Elliott. 164 acres will be clearcut of 10 million board feet (2,000 log truck loads) in the Howell Ridge, Larson Headwaters, and Lone Surprise timber sales.

The Howell Ridge and Larson Headwaters sales, naturally regenerated after an 1868 fire, contain valuable Marbled Murrelet and Spotted Owl habitat with trees averaging 2 and 3 feet across and over 200 feet tall. Larson Headwaters is upstream from Coastal Coho Salmon habitat. The Lone Surprise sale contains very rare old-growth, hundreds of years old, that survived the forest fire in 1868.

The Lone Surprise timber sale (pictured) contains old-growth trees rarely found on the Elliott because, after the 1868 fire, the remaining old-growth was the first to be logged. Recent studies have found that these few remnant old-growth stands are vitally important to the survival of Owls on the Elliott, and recommends they not be logged.

None the less, Roseburg Forest Products (541-679-3311) was seen cruising the sale to prepare a bid price. Why is Oregon Department of Forestry selling this forest to be clearcut when even Governor Kulongoski (503-378-3111) promised not to cut old-growth as a campaign pledge.

On the same day, the Larson Headwaters sale will be sold. ODF has rated this sale as "High Hazard for slope stability". The "probability" of a slope failure to enter a stream is rated as "High" and becoming a channelized debris flow is also rated "High". Downstream, Larson Creek still supports endangered salmon. But a NO tree-buffer (zero feet) will be left on the small tributaries flowing into Larson Creek, in spite of the landslide risk and endangered fish downstream.

This is good for children.

ODF claims cutting old-growth and clearcutting high-landslide-risk slopes in the Elliott is especially good for school children because the Elliott is "common school fund lands".

The auctions on June 18 will be at 2:00 p.m. at the Coos District Oregon Department of Forestry, 63612 Fifth Road, Coos Bay, Oregon 97420. 541-267-4136 (voice) and 269-2027 (fax).

For more information see umpqua-watersheds.org/local/elliott_state_forest.html

homepage: homepage: http://umpqua-watersheds.org
phone: phone: 541-673-7649