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Oregon Forest Defenders Occupying Senator Wyden’s Office (PDX)

Oregon Forest Defenders Occupying Senator Wyden's Office
Wyden Sells-Out Oregon's Public Forests to Timber Industry

Contact: Kristen Michelson, 971-221-6668 (ON-SITE)
For Immediate Release

Tuesday, August 17th, 10:30 am: Over 40 forest defenders from across Oregon are currently occupying Senator Wyden's office at 700 NE Multnomah St. With drumming, banners, and songs, the forest defenders delivered piles of sawdust to the Senator's office demanding Wyden stop selling Oregon's public lands to the timber industry. The protestors presented a slide show of threatened areas to educate the Senator and his aides about the on-the-ground destruction caused by their pro-logging policies.
Oregon Forest Defenders Occupying Senator Wyden's Office
Wyden Sells-Out Oregon's Public Forests to Timber Industry

Contact: Kristen Michelson, 971-221-6668 (ON-SITE)
For Immediate Release

Tuesday, August 17th, 10:30 am: Over 40 forest defenders from across Oregon are currently occupying Senator Wyden's office at 700 NE Multnomah St. With drumming, banners, and songs, the forest defenders delivered piles of sawdust to the Senator's office demanding Wyden stop selling Oregon's public lands to the timber industry. The protestors presented a slide show of threatened areas to educate the Senator and his aides about the on-the-ground destruction caused by their pro-logging policies.

"We need to shift management of Oregon's forests away from the commercial timber sale program towards genuine non-commercial restoration. Yet, from the Biscuit logging project to the so-called Healthy Forest Restoration Act, Senator Wyden aggressively promotes increased commercial logging in our National Forests," said Kristen Michelson, one of the protestors.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org), Senator Wyden is the fifth highest recipient of logging industry political contributions of all members of Congress. Senator Wyden receives more timber industry contributions than over 98% of all Republican congressional members, and all but one Democratic congressional member. Wyden is the third highest recipient of timber industry donations in the Senate.

"Wyden profits from timber industry contributions while the timber industry profits from Wyden's attacks on Oregon's public forests," said Michelson. "Even Senator Wyden's highly touted Lewis and Clark Mt. Hood Wilderness Act includes provisions that increase commercial logging on Mt. Hood National Forest."

Wyden's Lewis and Clark Mt. Hood Wilderness Act mandates a quota for logging on the westside of Mt. Hood National Forest while opening up the east side of Mt. Hood for logging in the name of forest health and fire prevention. Mirroring the Bush Administration's so-called Healthy Forest Restoration Act, the bill allows logging in Mt. Hood's eastside back country, which has been proven to increase the risk of catastrophic fire.

Senator Wyden has firmly stated his support for logging in Late Successional Reserves in the Biscuit Fire Area. He pushed to have the Biscuit Salvage Logging Project divided into three sections to speed up the logging of the Matrix areas. In 2003, Wyden's initial "healthy forests" bill, co-sponsored with Senator Feinstein (D-CA), included a salvage logging "pilot project" carved out of forests affected by the Biscuit fire. It was the only "healthy forests" bill bandied about that year that included anything about post-fire logging.

Senator Wyden was the most influential senator in the passage of the Bush administration's controversial Healthy Forest Restoration Act. In 2002, Senator Wyden proposed legislation that would have reduced environmental protections and increased logging across National Forests in eastern Oregon and Idaho.



Protestors presented Senator Wyden with the following list of demands:

1. We demand that Senator Wyden work to end the commercial timber sale program on all US public lands, as suggested by the National Forest Protection and Restoration Act (see www.forestadvocate.org).
2. We demand that Senator Wyden work to stop all commercial logging in the Biscuit Fire area, including in Matrix lands.
3. We demand that Senator Wyden work to immediately halt all commercial timber sales in Oregon specifically including: Solo (Mt. Hood National Forest), Straw Devil (Willamette National Forest), Kelsey Whiskey (Medford BLM), East Fork Coquille (Coos Bay BLM) and Metolius (Deschutes National Forest).
4. We demand that Senator Wyden stop using wilderness proposals as a cover to increase commercial logging on our public lands. Specifically, we demand that Senator Wyden work against any legislation or rider that allows commercial logging in the Biscuit Fire Area in return for increased wilderness areas. We demand that Senator Wyden remove Section 8, which promotes commercial logging, from the Lewis and Clark Mt. Hood Wilderness Act of 2004.

phone: phone: (971) - 221 - 6668

What about G. Smith? 17.Aug.2004 11:29

RUN DMC

Nice work yall!

For years Wyden has been raking in the timber $$$ while talking out of both sides of his mouth.

If you follow him around the state (shudder) on his town hall visits, its amazing to watch how his forest rhetoric changes from town to town.

But while Wyden plays both sides of the fence, Gordon Smith is well-known as a timber industry puppet. Smith also supports the HFRA, opposes Mt. Hood (or any other) Wilderness, kills fish at his food packing plant, works to dismantle the ESA, and supports logging every tree made of wood.

So why does Ronnie get all the protest love while G. Smith kicks it with his timber industry buddies?

I suspect its 'cause its easier to hate on a "liberal" who doesn't walk the walk, than on a a full-on timber pimp.

So yeah, Wyden is spineless, and G. Smith is heartless.

Don't forget about Gordo-

love,

call in report 17.Aug.2004 11:30

deva

40 or so people occupied the office of Senator Wyden for half an hour today. There were no arrests. A call in report said that the Wyden Aide they were going to meet with snuck out the back. (typical)

An offer was made to meet with 6 of the forest activists but everyone wanted to meet. The offer was upped to 12 people and while it was being discussed, the offer was rescinded.

There was lots of cheerleading, signs and apparently, some sawdust ended up on the floor of the office. Makes one wonder if Wyden has taken to killing trees himself.

question 17.Aug.2004 12:55

steev

i was there, but since I was facing another direction, paying attention to the cops who were arriving as it happened, I was unclear if the sawdusting happened before or after the offer to meet with 6-12 activists was rescinded by the Wyden staffpeople.

can anyone offer details about that? was the sawdust the cause or the effect of the refusal to meet?

also, contrary to the story above, the powerpoint presentation was not shown, which is a shame.

it was 17.Aug.2004 12:59

after

it was after the offer was recinded....

Good work 17.Aug.2004 13:09

thistle

The sawdust is a nice touch!

Same time next week?

How's bout rolling office occupations until he actually does something to help rather than harm the forests????

Powerpoint Opportunity Missed 17.Aug.2004 13:11

MD

Yes, I just got confirmation by Powerpointer that the PowerPoint Presentation was not an option.

Jail Support Confirms "No Arrests" 17.Aug.2004 15:10

MD mikedeepdx@yahoo.com

The Jail Support Team for the Protest/Action today at Senator Ron Wyden's Office confirmed that there was "No Arrests" as of yet and are not expecting there to be any today.

media coverage? 17.Aug.2004 16:37

in my opinion

What about media coverage? That's how to really Ron Wyden to do something. The thing he hates the most is media stories that quote people criticizing him, especially stories that spread far and wide, on TV, on radio like OPB, in the Oregonian and on the AP wire.

Nothing on the AP wire that I've seen yet. Any TV cameras, or interviews done from the office?

Sounds like a good effort overall, but don't forget that making the news is the biggest way to get under Ron Wyden's skin. The guy never saw a tv camera he didn't want to jump in front of.

But its true that the only thing that's ever made him move is criticism in the press and consistent pressure from the left.

Media Coverage? Its right here... 17.Aug.2004 21:12

free press for the masses

There was actual coverage by video (does not lie) of this event? Didn't you see it? Posted on the newswire today.

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/08/294920.shtml

THE ONLY MEDIA COVERAGE THAT GOES THE DISTANCE.

think about it

I have no clever title 17.Aug.2004 21:55

I have no ironic name

A tremendous effort was made to generate media for this action, but unfortunately, most of the "liberal" press will ignore forest issue related protests unless it is impossible to do so. Press releases nearly simultaneous to the action were sent to all local media outlets, including the AP. Follow-up press releases post-action were also sent out. Some news organizations even received an early-morning phone call to prepare them for the upcoming press release. The OPB reporter deemed the "raw chicken found in Willamette Park" story more important and declined to cover the event. There may be a forthcoming story in tomorrow's Oregonian, but the reporter didn't allow our media liason to answer any questions or give any quotes, so any story will be incredibly one-sided. No other corporate media made any attempt at contact.
On the bright side, Jim Lockhart was videotaping, as was Indymedia and a freelance photographer. KBOO covered the story, as did Radio Free Olympia. The Portland Alliance will have a story in it's forthcoming issue, YEAH independent media! Phil Busse from the Mercury was also "embedded" with the action.

Some pictures from the action 19.Aug.2004 10:31

free camera front

Just some free pictures for all.
During the action, secret folders were found in the Senator's filing cabinets
During the action, secret folders were found in the Senator's filing cabinets
There's too much sawdust to hide in Wyden's office
There's too much sawdust to hide in Wyden's office