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forest defense | government | police / legal a21 bush protests

Cascade Forest Alliance Press Conference Pictures

Pictures of the press conference...
Joe Keating
Joe Keating
A banner unfurls....
A banner unfurls....
Lupin, CFA spokesperson
Lupin, CFA spokesperson
Madelyn Elder, President of CWA Local 7901
Madelyn Elder, President of CWA Local 7901
Rabiah of Code Pink
Rabiah of Code Pink
Bush's Report Card
Bush's Report Card
William Seaman, PPRC
William Seaman, PPRC
Dave Mazza, The Portland Alliance
Dave Mazza, The Portland Alliance
...pictures of the tree-sit and arrests coming later.

transcript of forest speech 19.Aug.2003 18:01

......................

The stated goal of George Bush's visit here in Portland is to tout his so-called Healthy Forest Initiative.

Taking advantage of a national tragedy, President Bush unveiled the so-called "Healthy Forest Initiative (HFI), at the peak of the 2002 wildfires in Southern Oregon. The HFI uses fire, or more accurately the threat of fire, as a smokescreen to give the logging industry increased access to our national forests. The initiative removes environmental protections provided by NFMA, NEPA and the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, as well as state and regional conservation plans. In the name of fire prevention, the HFI prevents citizens from challenging logging and other destructive projects on land managed by both the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The HFI represents one of the greatest threats to our national Forests since the infamous 1995 Salvage Rider that opened millions of acres of national forestland to logging.

The scandal of the HFI is that the Forest Service authorizes logging in remote, in tact forests in one area to pay for the thinning of fire prone forests in other areas. In short, the Forest Service is cutting, intact, naturally fire resistant forests that have long been coveted by the timber industry to pay for "fuel reduction" near fire prone communities.

Obviously, increased logging far away from affected communities will do nothing to protect homes and rural communities from forest fires. Conservationists have long advocated that the Forest Service prioritize reducing fuel loads around communities and help homeowners fireproof their buildings, rather than using scarce funds to subsidize commercial logging of valuable trees in remote wild forests. The Forest Service's own scientists have shown that the most effective way to protect homes and communities from fire is by reducing fuels within 100 200 feet of homes, or up to a quarter mile around residential communities.

In the end, the HFI is merely a well-funded, well-coordinated public relations strategy aimed at using the fear of fire to increase logging. Key congressional leaders and administration officials like Agricultural Secretary, Ann Veneman, and Interior Secretary, Gale Norton, have consistently used the threat of fire to advocate streamlining or eliminating public review. Throughout the West, the administration has blamed severe wildfires on citizen opposition to the logging of our national forests hoping to persuade the American public that the only way to save our forests is to destroy them.

Now add to Bush tactics his desire to dismantle the Roadless Area Conservation Plan and his intent to gut the Northwest Forest Plan and it becomes clear that his Friendly Forest Initiative is only friendly to his industrial logging cronies.

Polls have indicated that over 70% of Oregonians from our urban and rural communities want more protections for our old growth forests not less. If successful, Bush's plan will effectively strip away an estimated 70% of the existing environmental protections for our forests. In other words, if George Bush has his way 70% of our last remaining old growth forests will be cut down and disappear forever.

Well the people of Oregon have a message for Bush.
"George remember the tens of thousands of Oregonians who went out into the woods to defend our forests during the Salvage Rider. Remember them well because if you make it necessary you will see us again"

We Stand United against Bush!

forest fires are not a "tradgedy" 22.Aug.2003 10:09

ember

while i'm very appreciative of the time and energy that the cascadia forest alliance gave to organizing the press conference against bush and his "healthy forest initiative," it saddens me to see cfa adopting the [p]resident's rhetoric of forest fire being a "national tradegy." as a resident of southern oregon who has made the study of fire ecology a key priority, i cannot emphasize too strongly the need to shift the language surrounding fire from it being an enemy, a tradgey, to it being a necessary and beautiful natural process. currently, fire is to forest policy what terrosism is to foreign policy. the same demonization, the same fear justifying excessive retaliation. forest activsists adopting this rhetoric is not helpful for those of us who wish to acurately and honestly assess the impacts of fire on an ecosystem, and assess what types of active management are necessary to help reintroduce fire into the ecosystem. the fires in s. oregon were not a tradgedy. they were within the natural range of variabilty in a fire dependent ecostystem. the real tradegy is that these fires are now being used to reinforce the notion of fire as an element to be avoided at all costs, as well as a justification for bush's ridiculous timber industry giveaway.