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Updates from BARK about Mt. Hood & Willamette and ALL National Forests

Barkers,

It's been a bitter sweet week. The Bush Administration has reversed the Roadless Rule, putting at risk 58 million acres of pristine National Forest land. In the same week, however, Bark heard news that two of the destructive logging projects that we have been fighting on Mt. Hood National Forest have been withdrawn. This is a rare victory! Congratulations to all who put in so many hours doing field work, pouring over documents, writing letters and educating the public. Join us at our upcoming Pizza Party to celebrate!
CONTENTS:

1. Family-Friendly Bark Hike!, July 25
2. Huge ViCToRY on Imp and Juncrock Sales!
3. Cloak plans released, comments due Aug. 4!
4. Bark PiZZa Party, July 28!
5. Endangered Species Act, calls needed ASAP!
6. Report From the Field: Logging at "Upper"
7. Regional Action Camp Eugene, July 30 - Aug. 2.


1. Family-Friendly, Kid-Friendly Bark hike to No Whiskey Timber Sale:

Sunday, July 25.. RSVP to get departure location & Information. Please let us know number of children and ages! RSVP to:  Charlief@bark-out.org.

Due to high demand, Bark is conducting its first ever hike geared especially for families with small children. Less driving, slower pace, baby and toddler friendly! Join dynamic hike leader, Declan Ferranti (age 9 months) on this fun adventure accessible to all. Bring food, water, hiking gear, appropriate clothing, and be prepared for gentle off-trail hiking. Hike includes discussion of how families with small children can be involved in Bark and helping preserve Mt. Hood National Forest. Parents/Guardians must attend hike and be responsible for supervising their own children! Don't forget to RSVP to:  Charlief@bark-out.org or 503-331-0374.


2. Finally Some Good News! Forest Service Pulls Logging Plans for Imp and Juncrock!

The Forest Service has withdrawn its decision to log 2 controversial logging projects on Mt. Hood National Forest, affecting 648 acres of native and old growth forest. The withdrawal applies to the 88-acre Imp timber sale in the Clackamas District and the highly controversial 550-acre Juncrock timber sale in the Barlow District. Over 500 people sent letters of protest to the Forest Service asking for the cancellation of the sales. Thank you to all who sent in comments!! Bark and the Oregon Natural Resources Council appealed the projects.

The Imp and Juncrock projects would have logged old growth forests in areas designated by the Fish and Wildlife Service as Critical Habitat for the northern spotted owl, a species currently undergoing a status review by a scientific panel, whose finding are to be published the week of August 9, 2004.

The letter withdrawing the Imp timber sale indicates a re-examination of the decision to destroy critical habitat of a federally listed threatened species when the latest scientific studies show its numbers rapidly declining: "I have decided to withdraw my decision... in order to consider further the documentation of the ESA consultation for the northern spotted owl on this project," Gary Larsen (letter dated July 7.) The letter withdrawing the Juncrock Timber Sale decision cites more general concerns, but we suspect that it too relates to the recent findings that all remaining suitable habitat for the spotted owl may be necessary for its survival. Congratulations, All!!



3. Cloak Field Checking Blitz! Your Comments Needed!

Field Checking Blitz this Sunday! Join the Cloak Jam!

Sunday, July 18 at 9:15 am NOTE DATE CHANGE:

The Preliminary Assessment for the Cloak Logging Project (Upper Clackamas Thinning Project & Oak Grove Thinning Project combined) just came out. This sale has 56 units and we need your help field-checking them all! Comments are due August 4. Thanks to the Bush Administration's environmental rollbacks, this may be our one chance to comment on this sale prior to the appeal. Already ground-truthing expeditions have discovered hidden old growth groves in the units, steep slopes, streams running through units, and healthy second growth with a vibrant understory mixed among younger plantation thinning projects. We need to get ground-truthing teams on the ground and get these units field-checked and documented, and we need your help to make it happen. We'll be going out in teams of 2-4 on Sunday July 18th on a ground-truthing blitz to field check the different parts of the sale. Carpools meet at Red & Black Café (SE 21st & Division) at 9:15 am. There you will find out who your team is, get your maps and driving directions. RSVP absolutely REQUIRED so teams and ground-truthing assignments can be created ahead of time. When you RSVP, let us know if you can drive. RSVP to  SarahW@bark-out.org. More info on the Cloak timber sale...

Your Comment Letters Needed by August 4!

The Forest Service recently opened a comment period on the Cloak Timber Sale in the Upper Clackamas and Oak Grove Watersheds of Mt. Hood National Forest. This sale would log 1,549 acres of forest, including 290 acres of native forest and 217 acres of Riparian Reserves. The Forest Service plan proposes to construct 1.8 miles of "temporary" road and reconstruct and re-open over 3.4 miles of road. Buffers of only 30 to 50 feet are proposed on streams, and road building would be allowed within 100 to 150 feet of streams. Comments are due August 4! For a sample letter, or to automatically comment today, go to:  http://www.citizenspeak.org/campaign/4055.php


Address Your Comments to:

to Jim Roden and mailed to 595 NW Industrial Way, Estacada OR 97023 or emailed to  comments-pacificnorthwest-mthood-clackamasriver@fs.fed.us. Please cc your comments to bark at  info@bark-out.org or PO Box 12065, Portland OR 97212. A list of suggested talking points will be available by July 26 on Bark's website. The Preliminary EA is already posted at  http://www.bark-out.org/tsdb/detail.php?sale=cloak.



4. Bark's FREE Pizza Party! July 28 @ Irving Park

Wednesday, July 28, 6:30 pm, Irving Park (near the tennis courts), located on Fremont, between NE 7th and NE 10th Ave.

Join us for our first annual Bark Summer Pizza Party! Made possible by generous James at Burlingame Pizza, this event will be a great opportunity to meet other Mt. Hood supporters and Bark volunteers, play Frisbee, socialize and catch up on letter writing. Everyone's invited, but we'll need you to RSVP to  brian@bark-out.org in order to ensure you get pizza! Let him know if you're a veggie or a vegan (no dairy)!


5. Bill to Gut Endangered Species Act Heading through Congress!

The ESA Under Attack: Please Call Resources Committee Members and Urge Opposition to Anti-Endangered Species Bills

The House Resources Committee will vote on two bills that would significantly weaken Endangered Species Act protections next Wednesday, July 21, 2004. We need your help to stop these bills in Committee. The two bills are Rep. Dennis Cardoza's (D-CA) "Critical Habitat Reform Act of 2003" (HR 2933) and Rep. Greg Walden's (R-OR) "Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act" (HR 1662). These bills would create holes in the designation of critical habitat and place additional burdens on the scientific process of listing species under the Endangered Species Act. Committee members need to hear from you today!

TAKE ACTION: Please call the following Representatives (see below) on the Resources Committee and let them know that you care about endangered species protection and don't want Congress to weaken the Act! Urge them to vote against both HR 2933-the Cardoza anti-critical habitat bill and HR 1662-the Walden unsound science bill on July 21, 2004.

Resources Committee Members to Call:

Representative & Phone
Jim Saxton, (R-NJ) 202/225-4765
Wayne T. Gilchrest, (R-MD) 202/225-5311
Rubén Hinojosa, (D-TX) 202/225-2531
Ciro D. Rodriguez, (D-TX) 202/225-1640
Solomon P. Ortiz (D- TX) 202/225-7742

Stephanie Herseth (D-SD) 202/225-6631

Neil Abercrombie, (D-HI) 202/225-2726

Brad Carson, (D-OK) 202/225-2701

Joe Baca, (D-CA) 202/225-6161
Calvin M. Dooley, (D-CA) 202/225-3341
George Miller, (D-CA) 202/225-2095
Grace F. Napolitano, (D-CA) 202/225-5256
Nick Rahall (R-WV) 202/225-6065
Jay Inslee, (D-WA) 202/225-6311
Tom Udall, (D NM) 202/225-6190
Mark Udall, (D-CO) 202/225-2161
Dale E. Kildee(R-MI) 202/225-3611
Ron Kind, (D-WI) 202/225-5506
Frank Pallone, Jr., (D-NJ) 202/225-4671
Raúl M. Grijalva, (D-AZ) 202/225-2435
Edward J. Markey, (D-MA) 202/225-2836

Background on the Anti-Critical Habitat Bill

Rep. Dennis Cardoza's (D-CA) "Critical Habitat Reform Act of 2003"- HR 2933 tries to undermine protections for the places that imperiled plants and animals need to survive and recover. The bill attempts to make the designation of critical habitat, the very places endangered species need to recover, voluntary rather than mandatory as the Endangered Species Act currently requires, by removing all legal deadlines. It changes the definition of critical habitat, creates loopholes and makes it increasingly harder for species to return from the brink of extinction.

Critical habitat is one of the most important protections in the Endangered Species Act. Scientists tell us that one of the best ways to protect species it to protect the places they live. One of the main reasons why species are becoming endangered is habitat loss. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to be good stewards of the environment and leave behind a legacy of protecting endangered species and the special places they call home.


Background on the The Unsound Science Bill

Rep. Walden's (R-OR) "Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act"-HR 1662 seeks to undercut the use of the best science. By requiring government agencies to "give greater weight" to some kinds of science over others, it seeks to restrict the use of important methods that scientists currently use to assess species' protection, such as statistical tools that often provide the most telling insights about the species. Scientists, not Congress, should determine which science best addresses any given issue. The Endangered Species Act already requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to use the most rigorous science available in developing balanced solutions to prevent the extinction of endangered fish, plants and wildlife. Developers, and the politicians they give money to, are trying to weaken the Endangered Species Act. They are manipulating science to fit their political agenda and working to remove the checks and balances that help protect people from special interests.

Information furnished by American Lands Alliance,  ldix@americanlands.org. More background and in-depth information is available on the Endangered Species Coalition's website at:  http://www.stopextinction.org/Issues/IssuesList.cfm?c=31


6. Report From the Field: Logging at the "Upper" Sale.

By Sarah Wald, Bark Forest Defense Intern, July 4, 2004 Visit

The Upper Timber Sale, located in the North Fork of the Clackamas River Watershed, is currently being logged. The roads have already been punched in. Trees located in landing areas and in the new roads have already been cut. The heart of the units could go any day now.

Nothing says Forest Service Like Road-Building Equipment...

The Upper Timber Sale was auctioned on March 7, 2003 to Rosboro Lumber for $600,758.50. This sale has major riparian (water quality) issues - with only 30 ft buffers recommended on the abundant streams in the units. One of the recently built temporary roads crosses a streambed. This sale contains beautiful native forest surrounded on several sides by the old Boyer Creek "Thin" - a hideous example of what the whole area will look like if the Upper sale proceeds as planned.

I have spent much time at this sale before logging began. It was heart-breaking to see the roads punched into Unit 5, one of my favorite groves. At the base of Unit 5 is a stream, the kind that reminds you of how all those "fairy land" references got attached to the Northwest. The carpet of moss was thick and soft enough to let a baby roll around on (which I did. Little 9-month old Declan thoroughly enjoyed himself)! Further up the river, much of the stream's protection was lost over a decade ago, when the hillsides surrounding it were logged. The part of the stream running through unit 5 is a beautiful oasis in an over-cut area. This weekend, we had a picnic lunch there, knowing the next time we visited this special place, it would likely be gone.

According to the Forest Service, the Matrix land in this area is "overstocked" and "lacks diversity." Yet most of the areas we walked through looked healthy with a wide diversity of species, ground cover, and several layers of canopy. We could see light clearly reaching the forest floor. Lichens and mushrooms were everywhere. In these Riparian areas, the Forest Service believes it is necessary to thin within 30 feet of streams to "improve riparian conditions by accelerating development of mature forest characteristics, including larger trees that would provide future large woody debris recruitment and snag habitat." Never mind the large number of snags they will cut down in logging this sale (labeling them with bright orange tape ironically labeled 'killer tree').

Logging healthy forests will not accelerate the development of the area into old growth. Tractor logging right over the healthy understory destroys the soil and increases erosion. Forests are more than tree farms with big trees. The Forest Service seems unable or unwilling to comprehend this. A lot of the equipment for road building was on site, but no logging equipment as of Sunday, July 4. There was a fire truck in the sale area. Is this regulation for logging? Is this because they know commercial logging will increase the risk of fire?

What you can do: Contact stores that sell Rosboro lumber products. Contact Rosboro Lumber ( link to www.rosboro.com. Tell Rosboro to stop logging native forest on our public lands. Contact Mt. Hood National Forest Supervisor Gary Larsen, (503) 668-1700 and Regional Forester Linda Goodman, 503-808-2200. Tell them how you feel about the logging of the Upper Timber Sale. Contact Senator Wyden at 202-224-5244. Ask him what he is going to do to stop the logging of the Upper Timber Sale. We have 50 timber sales on Mt. Hood National Forest. Our Senators and Representatives need to hear from you! Wyden's proposed new wilderness does not make up for the logging of our last native forest on Mt. Hood National Forest, nor the egregious logging in the Biscuit project.

Driving Directions: Up 4610, about halfway between Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness and the western forest boundary. Take 224 past Estacada and turn at the Silver Fox RV sign, 4610 (some of you may remember this as the back way to the eagle sales). Take a left towards the "No Shooting Area" sign. Stay on 4610 and the units will eventually be off of a road to your left. Be aware, at one point the road turns into something else and you have to take a really sharp right to stay on 4610. Take a map! There is "Logging Area. Keep Out" scrawled on the gate blocking the road the units are down. On weekdays, when log trucks might be barreling down the one lane 4610, you may want to go in from the side where the Eagle sales were. 4613 will take you up to 4610. To get to 4613, take a turn off onto Fall Creek Road, and then Squaw Mountain Road. Again, use maps!


Upper Unit map can be found on  http://www.bark-out.org/tsdb/detail.php?sale=upper


You may ask how the Forest Service is able to do something that is clearly not in the best interest of a healthy forest ecosystem? It is because they have not been confronted by enough concerned citizens. A simple letter or email is a very good start.


Linda Goodman
Regional Forester, Pacific Northwest Region 6
P.O. Box 3623, Portland, OR 97208
 ldgoodman@fs.fed.us


To get involved in groundtruthing Mt. Hood timber sales, contact  Brian@bark-out.org

7. Regional Forest Action Camp Outside Eugene

July 30-Aug. 2, Carpools available from the Portland Area!

The Cascadia Forest Defenders and Cascadia RiSiNG! EcoDefense will be holding an Forest Defense Training Camp at the Straw Devil Timber Sale Friday July 30 - Monday August 2. Workshops will include non-violent civil disobedience skills, ecology, forest issues 101, organizing skills, climb trainings, etc. Four days of free food and camping! Straw Devil has (since Spring 2003) been the site of full time forest occupation, and is currently held up by a lawsuit (along with Solo and Borg on Mt. Hood), the results of which are expected as soon as mid-August. Logging could begin at any point thereafter. The sale is the site of numerous Red Tree Vole nests (the primary food source of the Northern Spotted Owl), which the Forest Service is not protecting. The sale also has massive ancient 400+ year old trees, steep slopes, nearby creeks, and lots of enormous Incense Cedars (an uncommon tree in that part of Oregon). Contacts (for more information or to offer / request a ride to the camp): CFD (in Eugene): 541.684.8977 /  forestdefenders@riseup.net Cascadia RiSiNG! EcoDefense (in portland): 503-493-7495 /  action@cascadiarising.org / www.cascadiarising.org