Logging is active at the Nugget Timber Sale in the Mckenzie Ranger District in the Willamette National Forest. Some of the units were logged last summer, but upon learning cutting had commenced within the sale again in the past week or so, one man decided he had seen enough. In an action that should be an inspiration to all Cascadians, he went to the area determined to do what he could to halt the operation and occupied a tree in unit 8 of the sale. When fellers arrived for work the next morning, they found him perched high in the branches of a large Douglas Fir. Evidently the fellers attempted to tell him he needed to come down and leave the area immediatly-he replied that was not going to happen and he was going to be there for an undetermined amount of time. There was a lengthy discussion between members of the felling crew and after a while they decided they could not cut with him there and jumped in their trucks and left the area. Forest Service LEO's also showed up on the scene after a while, looked the situation over and finally decided there was nothing they could do either, they also gave up and left the area. As the activist was not prepared for an extended occupation, at the end of the day he descended from his perch-a small symbolic action, but a great effort that should be commended.
This action was no permanent solution to the problem of ongoing logging in the Mckenzie watershed, which is the drinking water source for the city of Eugene and an area which is an invaluable recreational resource used by thousands of people every week for hiking, fishing, bird-watching, rafting, cycling and many other activitys. But it shows people are concerned about what is continuing to happen in the watershed and that people are really tired of the US Forest Service selling off our prime recreational areas for fast profits to the timber industry. It also shows a small group of committed individuals, even one person can make difference-however small it all adds up to overall resistance against the forces of darkness that are ruining our national forests for the sake of profit.
We will continue to monitor and protect the Mckenzie Watershed-we refuse to accept continued cutting in the area-the federal commercial logging program in the Mckenzie Ranger District and on all public lands needs to end once and for all.