From a first-hand account by an arrested forest defender: |
I woke up before the sun rose yesterday morning, to the sound of heavy machinery rumbling on the forest road (FS 5875) near where I slept beneath stately old cedars in Unit 2 of the sale. It took me a moment to realize this was not the usual early morning parade of heavy machinery going to work on the railroad - this convoy was stopping right at the head of the trail into the unit. I snuck up to near the road and heard car doors slamming and voices shouting back and forth. I heard the words "spur road" and "crop unit boundaries" before I ran back to where other folks slept on the ground. They woke up and were scurrying into the trees in moments. I got out the camcorder.
And out of nowhere come a cadre of loggers, chainsaws slung over their shoulders. From the other directions, two Freddies (saying forest service law enforcement officers is just waaaay too respectful for their ilk, eh?) come hurtling over a log. One is the infamous Burckel (hell if I know if I spelled that right), and he shouts: "This is a logging operation! If you interfere, YOU - WILL - BE - ARRESTED!" He was followed by an oddly familiar looking man with a mustache who greets me like he knows me. And lo and fucking behold, he does. He showed up in the units two days prior with a bicycle claiming to be "interested in what we were doing to save the forest." Damn sketchy man was, indeed, a spy!
The Freddies went on their way, and immediately the loggers began cutting some of the beautiful cedars that inhabited the top of Unit 2. I stood less than five feet away from one logger (named Frank) as he bore down into the cedar's old trunk with his saw. [ Read more... ]
See also: "Old-growth trees on the Willamette left for dead" and "Update on Straw Devil Timber Sale destruction"
Original call-to-action, with updates: "Forest defense needed immediately to stop logging in Straw Devil timber sale, where Sparrow's ashes are scattered"
Environmental News Service story: "Activists clash with officials on Willamette National Forest"
Previous stories about Straw Devil: [ Forest defense community mourns the loss of our friend Sparrow (14.Mar.2003) | Forest (dis)Service billboard in Eugene re-faced to memorialize Sparrow (14.Mar.2003) | friends of Sparrow announce occupation of Straw Devil timber sale ( 24.Mar.2003) | Womyns Occupation at Straw Devil Timber Sale in Cascadia's Willamette National Forest (2.Jul.2003) | Small Victory at Straw Devil Timber Sale (8.Jul.2003) | Update after Unit 1 logged-- arraignment & protest Monday July 28 | First Hand Account ]