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Forest Service Releases Bearknoll Timber Sale

The Forest Service released another egregious timber sale in Mount Hood National Forest, and this time convienently over the holiday season. Public pressure early in the process has forced the Forest Service to drop much of the sale, but there are still many problems remaining that need to be addressed. BARK has been working on this sale from the inception and are calling upon the local community to help stop this sale and preserve our heritage.
Large Trees in Unit 211
Large Trees in Unit 211
The Forest Service released another egregious timber sale in Mount Hood National Forest, and this time convienently over the holiday season when the public was unlikely to notice. Public pressure early in the process has forced the Forest Service to drop much of the sale, but there are still many problems remaining that need to be addressed. BARK has been working on this sale from the inception and are calling upon the local community to help stop this sale and preserve our heritage.

Bearknoll Timber Sale is 531 acres and located in the White River watershed. Bearknoll is very diverse, with 12 species of conifers in the planning area, more than in most areas of Mount Hood. Bearknoll is located on the transition between Eastern and Western forest habitats and rests between low and middle elevations, with even Ponderosa Pine and Pacific Yew growing a few feet apart.

The Bush administration claims we need to cut down our forests to help them survive fire. When in fact, thinning opens up the forest to hotter, drier conditions and leaves small diameter wood on the forest floor which increases the risk of fire. Most thinning operations take the largest flame retardant trees and leave the smaller, more flamable trees behind. Even the Environmental Analysis (EA) for Bearknoll states that timber harvesting is the primary reason for the increase in fire. And as maps from the Biscuit fire in the Siskiyous show, areas that had been logged experienced more devestating fires than areas left intact. The Bearknoll planning area has already had 2,802 acres cut in the last twenty years and has coincidentally experienced ten fires in the last ten years. Yet, ironicaly it is stated in the EA that this action will help prevent fires.

The Bearknoll Timber Sale is directly adjacent to the Osprey, Diablo, Juncrock, and Hilynx Sales and in total would be a loss of 5,134 acres, but the Forest Service failed to consider the effects of these other sales when planning Bearknoll. With all these actions occurring in the same area, the Forest Service should perform a more detailed analysis - what is known as an Environmental Impact Statement - to truly assess the impact of all these proposals to the forest as a whole.

The timber sale is located in a watershed that is a source for high quality water, and any action taken should have no negative impacts to these streams. A primary detriment to water quality is the amount of roads per square mile. This area already exceeds the Forest Service's own directives. These roads cause erosion, increased run-off and sedimentation which can severely diminish the water quality. Any action taken should remove these excess roads.

The threatened Northern Spotted Owl is a resident in the area and much of the area slated to be logged is considered suitable owl habitat. The EA notes that these activities are likely to "provide opportunities for competitors and predators (e.g. barred owl) to the spotted owl" (EA 91). Other Sensitive species such as Redband Trout, Wolverine, and Lynx will be adversely affected by this proposal. In regard to Deer and Elk, the EA states that the proposal will eliminate ALL the optimal cover for Deer and Elk. Optimal cover is important because it provides winter protection, offers forage, and is very limited in the area.

So what can you do to help preserve our National Forests? Visit the area and see for yourself what is slated to be lost. Take Highway 26 west through the town of Government Camp to where the road splits between Highways 35 and 26. Stay on Highway 26, now heading south for approximately 10 miles until you reach Forest Service Road 43. You can also check out bark-out.org to learn more about this sale and the 48 others currently in the works in Mount Hood National Forest. And most importantly at this time, please take a moment to write the Forest Service and let them know how you feel about the destruction of the Bearknoll Timber Sale. Comments are due on January 20th. They can be sent to:Becky Nelson, Project Manager, Hood River Ranger District, 6780 Highway 35, Mount Hood/Parkdale, OR 97041. Or can be sent by email to:  bnelson@fs.fed.us

homepage: homepage: http://www.bark-out.org
phone: phone: (503) 331-0374

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enough pessimism, enough procrastination, NOT ENOUGH ACTION 04.Jan.2005 16:40

backwoods boy

O.k. so here's the thing. We, the people in this area, need to rally behind our forests once again. Now I know that CFA is no more and that they had a very bumpy road near the end, but we the people are not Cascadia Forest Alliance. A lot of folks in our area that love the forests have of recent had a bad attitude (major negativity) towards others that don't act and toward the world and people in general. But there are a lot of us who are motivated by love for the forests and hope for the future. I myself will not drive everyone away because of my fears. So what I'm saying is, lets make the forest an issue in the area again. And how do I propose we do that. First, get involved however you like. BARK is a great organization with some truly inspiring people that work there. They have hikes out to these threatened places every Sunday, which believe me will inspire you to do more. If thats not your gig the NATIONAL EARTH FIRST! RONDEVOUS will be in MT HOOD NATIONAL FOREST this year. Second, talk to people, come to rallys and take steps to change your lifestyle. THE FORESTS WILL BE AN ISSUE THIS YEAR. BUT NOT IF WE ALL JUST SIT AROUND AND TALK ABOUT IT.

WITH LOVE, HOPE, AND ACTION WE RESIST

I agree 04.Jan.2005 17:03

Another Cascadian who loves intact forests

I agree that forest preservation needs to continue to be an issue. A big up to BARK for keeping their efforts going. For people who are concerned about the plight of the Cascadian forests: Keep networking with others interested in working for the good of the forests, attend Bark meetings or CFD meetings in Eugene, just keep plugged in. Cascadia Wildlands Project also has regular e-mail updates with good current information about threatened areas and what you can do to help stop undesirable logging projects in Cascadia.

Comment On Line Option 04.Jan.2005 19:42

bark volunteer

If you don't think you are likely to write up your own comments but still want to send a message:
Direct comments can be made on-line at:

 http://www.citizenspeak.org/campaign/5096.php

fuck meeting 05.Jan.2005 11:40

JD

I am tired of people writing about the need for meetings and such. Meetings are what kills the movement. Of the "meetings" I was involved in, none were particularly productive. Most are ridiculous attempts at feel-good parties by city-slickers. If you want to stop the forests from being logged go into the forest with the real forest activists and get things done. Bring your own tactics, your own supplies, and a strong work ethic. Do not be distracted by drama... remove yourself from people who are; this is the only way that legal teams and direct action can work.

Note that this is not saying legal action doesn't work, it is saying that is sometimes doesn't and sometimes it needs more time. direct action is for these two situations. direct action doesn't always work, but with the right people witht the correct mindset it can be very successful on a relatively consistent basis.

Fuck townies and forest pretenders.

Comments 05.Jan.2005 13:32

OFREG

My comment is in, Alternative 1 is the right choice.

IGNORE THE NEGATIVITY 05.Jan.2005 14:44

backwoods boy

Why all the negativity. That is exactly what I was talking about. I'm definitely not a fan of people who do a lot of talking and little else but wasting our time knocking them down doesn't help. So what if someone is, for example, not vegan or from the city or whatever else you want to say. As long as they actually want to be involved in some way. I live in a tipi in the backwoods of the Gorge but I'm not trying to pull anyone else down cause they have different tactics or lifestyle choices than me. We all just need to find out where we want to plung in do it.

IGNORE THE NEGATIVITY AND RESIST

Meeting of the MINDS 05.Jan.2005 17:48

mnstrmotion

i disagree that conversing about an issue of this importance is necessarily doomed to be a waste of time , providing that those who hold passionate opinions on all sides attend the conversation and are willing to listen as well as talk .
i believe that history shows the power that a group of commited people can realize when they BRAINSTORM on a problem.
BUT , i also believe that a preliminary requirement for this level of brainstorming is the establishment of a conversational atmosphere where people are inclined to speak their truth in the most straight forward manner possible , and where possible escalation of intensity will not destroy the basic structure of the gathering.
anyone interested ?

Thoughts 05.Jan.2005 20:39

Cascadian

There is a need for a full spectrum of resistance in order to stop the continued destruction of our forests-many people first attend meetings or other events and progress into participating in front-line resistance. Some people do not wish or for various reasons are not able to participate in direct actions, and they do valuable outreach work by educating others at meetings and other events. People learn about threatened areas and what can be done to save them at those meetings and other events. One of the tools in the toolbox is outreach and educating the general public about what's really happening in the forest.

People that are participating in direct action campaigns need and depend on support from "townies". I think it is commendable that folks such as BARK expend countless hours educating others and letting us know what's up. Such efforts are valuable and vital to forest preservation.

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