The occupation of the Blue River Face Timber Sale in the Willamette National Forest has been ongoing for the last two months, defending ancient forest in the Blue River area of the Mckenzie Watershed. Activists are living high in a Douglas Fir tree in unit 5d of the sale, a spectacular setting in an area known to contain the highest amount of biomass on earth, even greater than the tropical rainforests of South America.
Populations of several sensitive species have been documented within the area, including rare lichens, the Oregon Red Tree Vole and Northern Spotted Owls. The sale area includes designated Critical Habitat for the Spotted Owl and yet the US Forest Service has chosen to ignore that, allowing Rosboro Lumber to continue cutting within the area. Rosboro Lumber is one of the largest recipients of federal timber contracts in Oregon and continues to extract substantial quantitys of timber from the Mckenzie Watershed which is one of the most heavily used recreational areas in Cascadia. Unit 5d contains massive ancient trees, Douglas Firs, Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar and Yew.
The occupation of Blue River Face is intended not only to stop cutting within the sale but to bring attention to Bush Administration forest management policys. Had not the Survey and Manage provisions of the Northwest Forest Plan been dismantled it is likely much of the sale would have been canceled-required wildlife buffers for sensitive species would have been set up as required by law before the rules were changed. The Bush adminstration felt it neccessary to remove protections for sensitive species in order to up the volume of timber being cut on federal lands in the Northwest. Closed door meetings were held with timber industry representatives in a shady process where environmentalists were not invited to participate.
The timber industry was the biggest source of donations to the Bush campaign in 2000 and increased volume is the reward to industry.
Logging at Blue River Face where there is Critical Habitat for Northern Spotted Owls flies in the face of a recent federal court ruling requiring all known Critical Habitat to be managed for long term persistance of the species.
Since the Mckenzie Ranger District has felt it neccessary to proceed with this illegal timber sale they have now got a tree-sit on their hands. The tree-sit is a short distance uphill from the Blue River, a body of water that is fast flowing, clean and clear and should be protected at any cost. The US Forest Service has no business planning a timber sale with tributary streams running through it and down to the Blue River.
Direct action at Blue River Face is the last resort intended to send a clear message to the Mckenzie Ranger District that ongoing decimation of the area will be met with resistance and will continue to be the source of public controversy.
Maps to the tree-sit are available in the lobby of Growers Market building in Eugene(upstairs @454 Willamette st.) We encourage people to visit Blue River Face and to call acting Mckenzie District Ranger Cheryl Friesen at (541)822-7254 and tell her you want all logging within Blue River Face Timber Sale halted due to Critical Habitat for Northern Spotted Owls within the sale area.
The Blue River Face campaign would like to express solidarity with activists working to protect the Biscuit Salvage sales in the Siskiyou region of Cascadia and all forest defenders working towards an end to all commercial logging on public lands.
Reach the Blue River Face Campaign at blueriverface(at)riseup.net