Tuesday marks the 10 year anniversary of the Northwest Forest Plan, a Clinton-era rule enacted to address the decline of the Northern Spotted Owl and (supposedly) to create a truce in the "Timber Wars" of the 1980's and early 1990's. Although lambasted by radicals and criticized by some mainstream environmentalists, loss of support from big green groups on fighting the plan eventually led to its enactment. While creating some protections, the Plan mandated that logging continue on 1,000,000's of acres of publicly owned National Forests. The Plan allowed for major loopholes, such as the infamous Salvage Logging Rider. Old-growth logging - with taxpayer funded corporate welfare subsidizing the destruction - continued, as did grassroots resistance. The rule of profit over life remained unchanged.
Enter Bush II.
Of W's innumerable, well-documented environmental rollbacks, his changes to forest policy are amongst the most severe. Bush has made Cascadia a special focus, visiting us (1, 2) under the strangest circumstances when he announces new forest-death laws. What little protection the Northwest Forest Plan offered is now in shambles, with the elimination of rare species and aquatic protections under the plan.
Now, in Southern Oregon, the largest timber sale in history - 40+ square miles of logging - is taking shape, innocuously named the "Biscuit Recovery Project". Earth First! will hold its regional rendezvous there, June 10-14. The deep south Cascades are certain to be a hot spot: nearby, just across the CA border multinational energy giant Calpine (a co-conspirators with ENRON in the California energy crisis) and war profiteers Halliburton are planning to decimate 10,000's of acres of sacred tribal land around Medicine Lake for geothermal energy exploration.
East of the Cascade crest in Oregon massive old growth logging masquerading as forest-fire fuels reduction is being fought by groups like Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project and PROWL. New direct action groups like the Klamath-Salmon Action Network are activating in Northern California. The Cascadia Forest Defenders have a renewed womyn and trans gendered occupation in the forests near Eugene, OR. Citizen surveyors the Cascadia Wildlands Project and the tree-climbing Northwest Ecological Survey Team are all expanding their efforts.
Bark - Mt. Hood's timber sale monitors - is now facing dozens of logging operations, with logging season already begun at the Hipo and East Five-mile sales. Bark is holding a Community Forum on the issues on May 4th. The Cascadia RiSiNG! Eco-Defense Network support office (not to be confused with the Cascadia Rising Infoshop) promotes grassroots eco-resistance across Cascadia and helps folks find a place in the forest defense movement. Both groups need your support! Also, not to be missed: Wednesday and Thursday the Oxygen Collective will be speaking in Portland at PSU and Reed Colleges respectively.
As one Cascadian put it - "Bush is using Cascadia as his playground for a new forest policy, we will use it as our palette of resistance."
BACKGROUND AND NEWS: Cascadia RiSiNG! Eco-Defense Infosite | Native Forest Council | Indymedia Forest Pages: Portland | Rogue | Vancouver | SF Bay |
RELATED GROUPS: Back to the WALL | Bark | Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project | Cascadia Forest Defenders | Cascadia Wildlands Project | EPIC | Klamath-Salmon Action Network | KS Wild | Medicine Lake Infopage | Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team | Oxygen Collective | PROWL |