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March and Rally Against Species Extinction

Monday morning, February 23, 2004, people gathered in downtown Portland to protest the forest policies of the Bush Administration, which protesters claim will seriously undermine species protection in Northwest forests.
Joe Keating of Back to the WALL
Joe Keating of Back to the WALL
Sign of the Times
Sign of the Times
4 species in Danger of Extinction
4 species in Danger of Extinction
Photograph of March
Photograph of March
Another of the March
Another of the March
Anoather Sign
Anoather Sign
This event, planned by the Cascadia Rising Eco Defense Network and Back to the WALL, was part of a regon wide protest, taking place simultaneously in 9 cities in three states, Oregon, Washington and California.

(Taken from the press release)
"Bush and Mark Rey (former timber industry lobbyist / Undersecretary of Agriculture in charge of the federal, public lands timber sale program) just released a final draft of a plan to eliminate "Survey and Manage" species protections. Survey and Manage was created as a result of the Spotted Owl controversy of the 80's and 90's mandates that surveys be made for rare and little known species before any timber sale in western California, Oregon, or Washington takes place - a basic "look before you log" requirement.
Survey and Manage has been a lynchpin of combating timber sales under the legal system for years and was the basis of the Straw Devil / Solo / Clark timber sale victories last summer."

Contact Back to the WALL 503.649.8493 / back2thewall_pdx@yahoo.com
Cascadia Rising Eco-Defense Network 503.493.7495 / action@cascadiarisin.org

After marching to the Forest Service office from Waterfront park, the gathering was addressed first by Joe Keating of Back to the WALL and then Brian Frank of Cascadia Rising. During their brief remarks, four people representing 4 endangered species performed a symbolic dying, lying on the sidewalk for the remainder of the event. At the end they were resurrected, again symbolically, demonstrating the strength and determination of the community to resist this latest assault on the lands owned by the American people, and adminsitered by the U.S. Forest Service.
For an audio file of the event:
Survey and Manage Rally Audio

homepage: homepage: http://www.PhilosopherSeed.org


Southern Oregon Report Back 23.Feb.2004 13:08

Cascadia RiSiNG! Eco-Defense action@cascadiarising.org

we had a great morning. more than 40 people showed up at 8am in medford (rogue river
and siskiyou national forest HQ). high school students, elders, college students and
community members had a funeral procession for an hour in front of the office,
complete with species tombstones, a coffin, an eerie gamelan gong ensemble and a
black banner that read EXTINCTION IS FOREVER.

we were covered by 2 local TV stations, the medford tribune and the ashland daily
tidings. folks are working on a Rogue IMC story and we will have great photos very
soon. scott conroy, RR and siskiyou NF supervisor came out into the reception room
and had a conversation with about 20 of us. good stuff was said and we told him we
would be back soon to talk about the biscuit. he grudgingly smiled.

about a dozen folks are now in downtown ashland with the tombstones set up in a
graveyard and people are pasisng out literature and doing some grassroots community
education.

adelante-


Addition to Original Post 23.Feb.2004 14:18

Jim

Thought I would use this opportunity as a test to see if an mp3 would load up. This is the same audio file as the earlier link to the RealPlayer in the original post above. Except that it is posted directly to pdx-imc site, not a link to my site.

Great News! from Southern Oregon. Great idea following up the march and rally with handing out literature................


olympia 23.Feb.2004 15:46

Cascadia RiSiNG! Eco-Defense

a report from Oly:

In Olympia nearly twenty demonstrators held signs and banners and
dialogued with a PR hack at Olympic National forest Headquarter from
10-1pm. The event was festive with flutes and drums, a three car fender
bender, and even an altercation with a groundskeeper who turned his leaf
blower on us. That brought out a Forest Service cop who called the leaf
blower guy a
"meathead." The real star of the day though was a 36 year career veteran
PR Hack of the Olympic National Forest named Mr. Eldrige.

Eldrige brought us back into a conference room and told us that he was
there to listen, then proceeded to talk and talk and talk about vague ways
the US Forest Service doesn't do bad things anymore. He kept mentioning
his boss, George W. Bush, as if he was personal friends with the guy. But
later Eldridge admitted that he never really has actually met the big "W"
before.

We also got Eldrige to admit that in Dosewallips they may cut a huge grove
of old growth trees next to a wilderness area in order to "rehabilitate" a
forest Service road that leads to a campground and wilderness trailhead.
When asked how much forest service funding was available to survey and
manage for rare species in this threatened forest Eldridge admitted that
the funding continues to decline. But that's how Eldridge's boss runs the
forest service. The less thorough and accurate scientific studies of a
rare ancient forest are, the less reason you have to save it, thus your
election campaign contributors get a big payoff via local sawmill profits.

Our last ancient forests on public lands, and the scientists who study
them, continue to give solid scientific reasons for ending logging in
these places. But the Bush administration has never found a scientific
truth that can not be unfunded, obscured or manipulated. Last week a
prestigious panel of scientists gave a very thorough explanation of ways
the Bush
administration has overridden the credibility and authority of scientific
knowledge. In essence science has now completely taken a back seat to a
formal policy of deception at all costs to maximize profits at all costs.

This Demo was the first in a series of solidarity demos with
www.cascadiarising.org
Most all of the activist at the Olympia event traded email addresses and
phone numbers and vowed to help organize a much larger Demo against the
Forest Service in coming months. So stay tuned...

"There's going to be more then just a protest for the rollback of Survey
and Manage! With the amount of deregulation and criminal abuse going on in
the Bush Forest Service we could easily find a new reason to demonstrate
every day to save our forests," said Sawyer, a logger turned
environmentalist.

oly shot1
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none 23.Feb.2004 19:56

p

there was 'rally' in bellingham wa. but i got there a little late cause there was nobody around.if people were passionate aqbout these things theyd be there all day or at least more than the hour they were apparently in bham.theres so little public activism here but ive already said this on the seattle imc site.

Eureka protests 24.Feb.2004 17:55

Cascadia RiSiNG! action@cascadiairising.org

February 23, 2004

Eureka Protests Species Extinction

Eureka, CA - Forty-one demonstrators gathered outside the Six Rivers National Forest HQ this morning to protest the Bush administration's plan to remove protections for 460 rare and endangered species.

The protest was one of eight such demonstrations happening today along the West coast, where forests covered under the Northwest Forest Plan will be opened to increased logging. In California, logging would double on five and a half million acres of public land.

Holding signs reading "Stop the Bush War on our National Forests," Extinction is forever" and "Mother and Child Against Extinction," demonstrators spoke about the roll-back in environmental protections that have existed since the 1970's, like the Endangered Species Act, which turned 30 this year. "We're here today because they are still cutting our old-growth forests," said Scott Greacen of the Environmental Protection Information Center. Many species under protection of the Northwest Forest Plan are old-growth dependent.

Survey and Manage, a program within the Northwest Forest Plan, is the protective measure Bush wants to cut. Forested areas serving as habitat to rare species cannot be logged under the program.

The Bush Administration, which has reaped millions in donations from Northwest timber companies, aims to clear the way for restrictions on old-growth logging on public lands. Protections for rare species are an impediment to old-growth logging. Greacen said environmentalists planned to sue over the removal of protections, which would render the Northwest Forest Plan illegal. "It's a slam dunk case," he said.

Earth First! activist Naomi Wagner also addressed the crowd, voicing her hopes that police would enforce existing laws, instead of protecting the "interests of the crooks" as often happens in Humboldt County. Wagner is facing a forty-day jail sentence for using civil disobedience to stand up to Humboldt's most infamous timber crook, Maxxam's Pacific Lumber.

Kimberly Baker of the Klamath Forest Alliance addressed the crowd about timber sales in National Forests. "We have a right to know what happening in our forests," she said. "It's empowering to know you can walk into the Forest Service office and look at their plans on file." But if there is a discrepancy between the plans on paper and the situation in the forest, "they won't know," said Greacen, pointing to Forest Service Officers observing the demonstration from afar. "We have to tell them."

Following the hour-long demonstration, a march to near-by highway 101 took the message to a larger audience. Honks and waves were offered in support. But while the demonstrators engaged in their rights to freedom of speech and assembly, a man with a small dog engaged in a little profiling, using his video camera to record vehicles and license plates of protesters. Such is the climate of free-speech in America.

The US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will decide in the coming weeks whether to keep the Survey and Manage program intact within the Northwest Forest Plan.
###

Click here to read about other F23 extinction protests.



Posted by Remedy at 06:06 PM


Ashland photos and multimedia 24.Feb.2004 18:10

Cascadia RiSiNG! Eco-Defense

Check out

 http://rogue.indymedia.org/en/2004/02/2207.shtml

There's video and audio footage there too!

stop mass extinction 24.Feb.2004 22:25

human

The Earth is experiencing a mass extinction that is the one of most rapid that has ever occured. Many species are going extinct everyday. Ecosystems need a variety of species to be healthy. All animals, including humans, depend on each other.

Awesome! 25.Feb.2004 10:10

CatWoman

Thanks to everyone who participated, and thanks Jim, for the report back.

Events in Eugene 25.Feb.2004 16:30

OFREG ofreg@hotmail.com

Rally protests pending policy change
Protestors hold a mock funeral procession Monday morning in front of the Federal Building to protest new old-growth regulations. The rally was one in a series of nine held in West Coast cities to protest the changes.



The demonstration at Eugene"s Federal Building was held to protest slackened old-growth restrictions
By Erik Bishoff
{title}

February 24, 2004


Protesters gathered in front of the Federal Building at 211 E. Seventh Ave. on Monday morning to protest a decision that would eliminate restrictions on timber sales in the Pacific Northwest's remaining old-growth forests.
The planned protest was part of a series of
rallies organized by the Cascadia Rising Eco-Defense Network and Back to the WALL activist groups. A total of nine rallies were coordinated in cities across three states -- including Portland, Olympia, Wash., and Eureka, Calif. -- to protest the USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management's pending joint decision.

Aftermath of the decision

On Jan. 23, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management released a final environmental impact statement with a preferred alternative to remove Survey and Manage Mitigation Standards and Guidelines from the Northwest Forest Plan.

Oregon Natural Resources Council field representative Doug Heiken said a record of decision from the agencies is expected by the end of February. He added that he is all but certain the alternative will be finalized.

Survey and Manage was established as part the Northwest Forest Plan in 1994 to protect old-growth forests across western Washington, western Oregon and northwest California. The plan required the agencies to survey for certain species prior to logging and engaging in other
ground-disturbing activities, and to provide buffers for those species.

Western Environmental Law Center attorney Pete Frost noted that the Northwest Forest Plan divides old-growth forests into "reserve" and "matrix" areas, and Survey and Manage rules focus specifically on the survey of old-growth stands.

"That standard has been very important in stopping logging in only old-growth forests," Frost said. "This standard has really been about preserving up to 400-year-old trees. The Bush administration is proposing to eliminate that standard so that old-growth
within the matrix can be logged."

Last October, Frost and his firm, which was representing ONRC, won a case against the Forest Service protecting six timber sales -- including Straw Devil, Clark, Solo and Borg -- across 574 acres of old-growth in the Mt. Hood and Willamette National Forests. It claimed the Forest Service had failed to properly survey for species, such as the red tree vole, under the Survey and Manage standard.

However, without that standard in place, all old-growth forests within 4.5 million acres of public land are at risk for logging, Frost said. Already new environmental draft assessments -- the precursor to any logging activity -- have been released for the six timber sales.

Kelley Townsend, a member of the Eugene-based Oregon Forest Research and Education Group, said only 3 to 5 percent of old-growth across the United States remain, adding that any plans to cut in those area are "ridiculous."

"The remaining old-growth in national forests are a very finite resource, much better used for public enjoyment and recreation," he said. "Virtually any product made from old-growth lumber can be made from small pieces of second-growth timber."

While the presence of the red tree vole, an arboreal critter that subsists on Douglas fir needle that is the primary food source for the spotted owl, played a primary role in protecting old-growth forests, Heiken said smaller species of life are just as important as the larger ones. He added that a variety of salamander, fungi, mollusks, lichen and vascular plants would all become threatened from the removal of protections.

Protesting for change

A number of protesters in the crowd, which reached a peak of about 25 people, wore costumes of the animals and species that would become threatened and held up signs that read "296 species sentenced to death," and "Look before you log, duh." One banner read "End commercial logging on public lands." Other people held flowers.

Not all at the rally were in agreement with such sentiments, however.

Lane Community College student Jonney Reb said environmental protections go too far and affect the economics of workers of the timber industry far too much.

Protesters conducted a mock funeral procession around 9:15 a.m.for the affected forest species, walking around the block of West Seventh Avenue and High Street to the front of the Federal Building, where they held a eulogy in front of law enforcement officers, who guarded the door and took pictures. Protesters stood in silence as a man named Praxis read a statement he wrote.

"The loss of the web of life is profound, and no doubt the rest of the web will suffer," he said. "The last remaining ancient forests of Oregon are set to fall before the saws of loggers, at the feet of men who have learned nothing in 5,000 years except how to kill more efficiently.

"Let us each use whatever means we have available to us to ensure that this distraction does not happen, because our liberation is tied up with theirs."

University graduate student Thomas Nail said he considered the rally a symbolic action with two purposes: educating the general public and providing an outlet for people to express their frustrations with the decision-makers in institutions of power.

"I don't see it particularly effecting direct change or legislation," he said. "However, environmental law and demonstrations go hand in hand. One without the other won't be affected."

Frost said without civilian survey teams, he could not have won the ONRC lawsuit preventing Straw Devil and other timber sales.

"I appreciate what activists do. We couldn't have a strong forest preservation movement without activists. I relied in the Straw Devil case on ONRC volunteers to prove logging was illegal."