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forest defense | save the biscuit

Bark Alert: Juncrock, Cloak, Convention, ORVs, Roads

Wed, 25 Aug 2004

The abrupt changing of seasons has brought a flood of news for Mt. Hood. Just as the rain began this weekend, Bark received word that the Forest Service is preparing renewed logging plans for the controversial Juncrock timber sale. We had hoped the Forest Service had gotten the picture when they temporarily withdrew this old growth logging project earlier this summer, following hundreds of letters and calls in opposition. Apparently they still haven't learned that the public doesn't want to see any more old growth clear-cuts!

Bark is committed to stopping Juncrock, but we need your help! See below for how you can get involved.

While the sun was still shining earlier this month, we received some brighter news: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife are not offering adequate protections for the protected Northern Spotted Owl. The implications of this ruling may be far reaching - we'll keep you posted.

You can hear all the latest news from Mt. Hood in person at our next hike - we'll be visiting the Cloak Timber Sale on September 12th. See ya there!

Bark out!


1. Juncrock Back on the Chopping Block, comments due Sept. 30th
2. Bark Hikes the Cloak Timber Sale, Sept. 12th
3. Court rules in favor of Spotted Owl!
4. Comment on the new ORV rules, comment by Sept. 9th
5. Stop the Roadless Rule Reversal! comment by Sept. 9th
6. Nation Forest Protection Alliance Convention, October 1st-4th
7. Protestors target Wyden and (st)Umpqua Bank
8. Make Money: Save Trees!

1. Help Needed: Juncrock Back on the Chopping Block!
Comments on the renewed logging plans for this terrible timber sale are due by Thursday, September 30th.

Earlier this summer, Bark learned that the Forest Service withdrew their decision on the Juncrock Timber Sale in response to the legal appeals submitted by Bark and ONRC. The Forest Service has now announced they will be releasing a revised version of the Environmental Impact Statement for the Juncrock Timber Sale this fall. The Forest Service has not changed their proposed action, despite receiving over 500 letters opposing the sale. They still plan to log over 550 acres of mature and old growth forest off of Highway 26 in the White River Watershed, Mt. Hood National Forest. Once again, we must raise our voices against this sale. We have until September 30th to submit "scoping" comments. As early as October, the Environmental Impact Statement will be re-released. At that point we will need to mobilize to gather hundreds of comments in a brief amount of time. We need your help both to comment now and to prepare for the upcoming EIS comment period.

You can comment automatically at:  http://www.citizenspeak.org/campaign/7074.php
Remember: Emails are great, but hand written letters carry more weight!

Why are they logging Old Growth? According to the USFS, this sale targets trees that are either "diseased" or at risk for disease. However, the diseases they are concerned with are natural, native components of our native forests. Disease is a natural part of a forest progression. It is integral to forest health to allow forests to progress through a natural occurrence such as disease. Furthermore, evidence shows that tree mortality due to disease actually increases in logged areas (USFS General Technical Report RM-234). Removing large trees here will not reduce susceptibility to disease, but unnaturally increase it. In addition, logging would disrupt all natural disturbance processes.

Send Your Comments To: Becky Nelson, NEPA Coordinator, 780 N.E. Court Street, Dufur, Oregon (phone: 541-467-2291). Comments may also be sent by FAX (541-467-2271). Email comments to:  bnelson01@fs.fed.us

Sample Letter:

Becky Nelson,

I'm writing to comment on the proposed Juncrock Timber Sale in the White River Watershed of Mt. Hood National Forest. Please consider my comments as part of the public record. I am concerned about the 560 acres of mature and old growth forest that will be destroyed by the Proposed Alternative. Please protect our forests, waters and wildlife by choosing the No-Action Alternative or an alternative based on non-commercial restoration. Logging to remove diseases native to our forests will only hurt our forests ecosystems.



Other Ways You Can Help:

1. Upcoming Hikes to Juncrock: Joint Audubon/Bark Field Trip
Feathers, Flora and Foolishness: Birds, plants and forest management are the focus of this field trip. We will visit some old growth forest in a Mt. Hood National Forest timber sale and learn what the future of the birds and plants of the area may be. Much of the walking will be cross-country. Bring lunch, water and sturdy hiking boots. Contact Don Jacobson 503-235-6234, for car-pooling and details. Beginners welcome.
2. Get your friends to submit comments on the Juncrock timber sale. Have them comment automatically at  http://www.citizenspeak.org/campaign/7074.php
3. Have your friends, housemates, and family write a Juncrock letter with you. Or you can even host a letter writing potluck, dinner, or evening at your house. Bark can supply Juncrock materials for such events, advice on how to host one, and even a presenter to give firsthand information on the sale.
4. Join our Juncrock Outreach team. Can you take on a project to increase outreach on the Juncrock sale? We need folks who like creating public outreach materials and folks who like to write articles, give presentations, or contact local organizations. If you are interested in working on outreach on the Juncrock timber sale, please contact (Mary do you want to be the contact or should I?  SarahW@bark-out.org is the public email address I'm okay with having distributed).

More Information and Photos of Juncrock Available at:  http://www.bark-out.org/tsdb/detail.php?sale=jrck


2. Hike to the Cloak Sale!

Sunday, September 12th at 9:15 am, Daily Grind Parking Lot (SE Hawthorne & 40th). Carpools will LEAVE PROMPTLY AT 9:30 AM. Please arrive by 9:15 so we can check you in, arrange rides and give a brief overview of the day's plans.

The Cloak timber sale proposes 1300 acres of logging. This sale includes clearcuts, old growth logging, and logging in "protected" Riparian Reserves.

We will visit these areas, and learn about timber harvesting in the National Forest. We will rejuvenate ourselves by walking through old growth stands, and we will learn what can be done to stop harmful forest harvesting practices. Come prepared for a full day hike. Bring water, lunch and appropriate waterproof clothing. See www.bark-out.org for more information, or call Bark at 503-331-0374. If you can drive, great, if not, we will make sure you have a ride.

More info on the Cloak timber sale...
 link to us.f524.mail.yahoo.com

3. Court Strengths Owl Protections!

In a significant ruling, "critical habitat" is reinforced in the Endangered Species Act. Thanks to KS Wild (www.kswild.org) for this update!

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued a ruling last week that could have major implications for the Endangered Species Act, recovery of the northern spotted owl and dozens of timber sales throughout the Pacific Northwest. The case, Gifford Pinchot Task Force v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, questioned whether the Fish and Wildlife Service was adequately protecting the designated "critical habitat" of northern spotted owls as ordered under the Endangered Species Act.

The Endangered Species Act requires designation of habitat critical to the recovery of a plant or animal that is listed as threatened or endangered. A coalition of environmental groups, including Bark, challenged six biological opinions issued by Fish and Wildlife allowing logging within critical habitat for the northern spotted owl on public lands in Oregon and Washington.

The court ruled that the Endangered Species Act "was written not merely to forestall the extinction of species ... but to allow a species to recover to the point where it may be delisted." However, federal agencies have been planning timber sales in critical habitat and issuing owl "take permits" for years. These permits allow agencies to proceed with timber sales even though there are documented spotted owls using the area. These "take permits" are essentially "kill permits," allowing the degradation of critical habitat and the killing of spotted owls, both of which are antithetical to the intentions set forth in the Endangered Species Act.

While we await review of the ruling, the implications of this could affect dozens of sales that Bark is currently opposing due to proposed logging in spotted owl critical habitat.

4. Forest Service Proposes Ineffective Off-Road Vehicle Rules

Get a Grip on Off-Road Vehicles: Mail your comments by Thursday, September 9th.

On July 7th, the U.S. Forest Service proposed new rules concerning the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles in America's National Forests. Although they represent a small step forward, the proposed rules will not protect our National Forests. If the rules are adopted as written, more unroaded areas will be scarred with renegade routes, harmful routes will be legalized, and hikers, horseback riders, and sportsmen will be lose more pristine and quiet areas to the rip and roar of motors.

Please mail the Forest Service your thoughts on the proposed off-road vehicle rule. In your letter, please name the forests you know are threatened by unmanaged off-road vehicles; describe the damage the vehicles cause; share the sights, sounds, & smells you've witnessed.

Please ask the agency to strengthen the Proposed Rule for Designated Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use to include the following provisions:

1. Complete off-road vehicle route designations within two years;
2. Determine when and where off-road vehicle use is appropriate through site-specific analysis of impacts to the environment and other visitors;
3. Immediately bar use of all unauthorized, renegade routes; and

Limit the system to routes that the Forest Service can afford to enforce, monitor, and maintain.

Mail your comments to:

Proposed Rule for Designated Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use, c/o Content Analysis Team, P.O. Box 221150, Salt Lake City, UT 84122-1150; by e-mail to  trvman@fs.fed.us; or by facsimile to (801) 517-1014.

For more information, visit Wildlands CPR's website at www.wildlandscpr.org.

5. Stop the Roadless Rule Reversal!

On July 12th, the Bush administration announced a proposal that effectively repeals the Roadless Rule that was put into effect in 2001 after an extensive comment period. We need to tell the Forest Service, the Bush administration, and the rest of America that we're still watching, and we still care. Please take a few moments to send Dale Bosworth a personalized letter, letting him know why you believe roadless lands are so important.

Below are some sample talking points:

1. More than 2.5 million people have already commented to the Forest Service regarding roadless area protection, with more than 90% of those commenting supporting full protection for roadless areas. The Bush Administration is purposefully disenfranchising the American people.
2. There are already enough roads in our national forests: America's national forests are covered with 386,000 miles of roads -- enough to circle the earth 15 times.
3. The American taxpayers are forced to subsidize logging roads and timber sales that benefit timber companies to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars per year, even though the Forest Service has a $10 billion road maintenance backlog.

Comment letters should be mailed to:

Content Analysis Team, Attn: Roadless State Petitions, USDA Forest Service, P.O. Box 221090, Salt Lake City, UT 84122; by facsimile to (801) 517-1014; or by e-mail at  statepetitionroadless@fs.fed.us.

6. National Forest Protection Alliance 6th Annual Forest Protection Convention: Defending Forests, Defending Freedoms!

Mark Your Calendars! Friday, October 1st - Monday, October 4th, 2004, Siskiyou Meadows Camp, Cave Junction, Oregon

Join grassroots activists from across the nation as we build upon our vision for the permanent protection of public lands. We hope you will attend and help us take action to stop the Bush Administration's pro-logging agenda in its tracks! The convention will be held in the remarkable Siskiyou Wild Rivers area - one of the most biologically diverse forests in the world and home to the largest proposed logging project in U.S. Forest Service history. Bark staff and members will be there in force. Please mark your calendars and join us! Registration required: $38/night includes lodging and three meals. Full registration $114. Limited scholarships available. Registration deadline is September 15th. Detailed information available soon at www.forestadvocate.org. For more information call KS Wild at 541-821-3882 or NFPA at 406-542-7565,  nfpa@forestadvocate.org. The schedule for the conference is now online too: see  http://www.forestadvocate.org/convention/index.htm

7. Portland Forest Activists Target Senator Wyden and (St)Umpqua Bank

Bark isn't the only group looking out for the forests in Portland...

On August 17th, over 40 forest defenders arrived unannounced and occupied Senator Wyden's office for over 30 minutes. The protestors asked Senator Wyden to work to end the commercial timber sale program; work to stop all logging at the Biscuit, including Matrix lands; work to cancel all commercial timber sales on federal lands in Oregon, and to stop using wilderness as a cover for promoting commercial logging. They specifically asked that section 8, which promotes commercial logging, be dropped from the Lewis and Clark Mt. Hood Wilderness Act of 2004.

The protestors brought 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. The Senator's aide, Mary Gautreaux, immediately snuck out the back, refusing to view the show. Before leaving, the forest defenders delivered piles of sawdust to the Senator's office, symbolically bringing the forest destruction caused by Senator Wyden directly to his door.

On August 18th, a protestor dressed as a spotted owl locked to a 250 pound stump, shutting down Umpqua Bank's flagship store in Portland's Pearl District for several hours, while 20 Oregonians protested the bank's ties to the destruction of Oregon's public lands. Umpqua Bank is tightly connected to the destruction of Oregon's ancient forests. Over the last four years activists have increasingly targeted Umpqua Bank for protests as a means to force Oregon old growth logging companies Roseburg Forest Products and Herbert Lumber to respect the public's desires to protect ancient forests. Herbert Lumber owns the contract on the Bear II timber sale in Mt. Hood National Forest.

More details can be found at:  http://www.indymedia.org/en/2004/08/111692.shtml

8. Make Money & Save Trees!

If you are looking for flexible, part time, meaningful work, consider joining Bark's canvass!

You'll make a difference for the earth, earn money, meet new people, and learn a great deal about our National Forests! To find out more information, contact AJ at  AJ@Bark-out.org or at 503-331-0374.


Join us on 2nd Sunday Bark-about! We meet the second Sunday of every month at the Daily Grind (SE Hawthorne & 40th) promptly at 9:15 am and carpool to hike a different controversial timber sale on Mt. Hood National Forest. Email, call us or visit www.bark-out.org for more information!