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The dire plight of native forests in the Biscuit: Siskiyou Project's Rolf Skar interviewed on pdx indymedia web radio

Today, Rolf Skar of the Siskiyou Project was interviewed on the pdx indymedia web radio show, "On the Air", about the plight of the Biscuit Timber Sale. As reported on this site (here and here), the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently lifted its temporary restriction on logging in Old-Growth Reserves at the Biscuit timber sale, opening a floodgate of destruction there. Rolf is deeply involved with efforts to protect this area and we talked to him about that struggle, the history of the Biscuit fire, fire ecology in general, and the challenges of organizing in such rural country.

Biscuit is the largest timber sale in modern history, threatening 19,465 acres, with an expected take of 372,000,000 board feet. The area is a pocket of hithertoo mostly unlogged native forest supporting one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. Not merely a Cascadian treasure, this area is globally unique. That any human being would consider it acceptable to even consider destroying it speaks volumes about how truly dispicable our so-called "civilization" has become. By the middle of the interview, i was boilin' f'n mad at the greed and stupidity of the forces plotting this crime. Why do people suck so much?

Fortunately, Rolf offered some hope, and some concrete ideas for how to help...


Rolf Skar in the voluminous secret underground pdx indymedia web radio studio
Rolf Skar in the voluminous secret underground pdx indymedia web radio studio
Visiting the area under attack and lending a hand to the people working down there is one option, Rolf said, and he invited people to contact the Siskiyou Project if they are interested in that option. In fact, a campout is happening on the weekend of Feb. 11-13. Even if the weather is snowy, groundtruthing can be done. (That's when you hike around a timber sale to see if it is legally marked, respects stream buffers, etc.) If anyone in the area wants to lend a snowmobile for these efforts, Rolf said it would be greatly appreciated!

Rolf knows, too, i'm sure, that a person's passion for saving a wild place often increases dramatically after seeing it in person. For example, i know that the Solo sale in Mt. Hood is not the most beautiful place on earth, as the whole watershed has been so pounded to death by logging, but because i've spent time there it's close to my heart, and as a result i've been willing to contribute time and energy to efforts to save it. The Biscuit sounds like a much more remarkable place, so perhaps be warned before you go!

The Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center (aka, KS Wild), which is another effort to fight the Biscuit sale that we talked about in the interview, echoes Rolf in making the following suggestion on their website:

Take action today contact Governor Kulongoski and Senator Wyden and ask them to:

  1. Conserve an Oregon treasure by publicly urging the Forest Service to cancel these old-growth reserve timber sales.
  2. Protect fish, clean water, wildlife and recreation economies by opposing logging in old-growth reserves.
  3. To support the permanent protection of the Siskiyou Wild Rivers Area in southern Oregon, one of the most biological rich ecosystems in the world.

Call or Write Today!

Senator Ron Wyden
Portland: (503) 326-7525
Washington DC: 1-800-839-5276 (capitol switchboard ? ask for Wyden?s office)
700 NE Multnomah St. Suite 450
Portland, OR 97232

Governor Ted Kulongoski
160 State Capitol, 900 Court Street
Salem, Oregon 97301-4707
(503) 378-4582

Rolf additionally suggested contacting Representative Peter DeFazio:
Washington, DC Office
2134 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington DC, 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6416
Eugene Office
151 West 7th, Suite 400
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (541) 465-6732
Coos Bay Office
125 Central, Suite 250
Coos Bay, OR 97420
Phone: (541) 269-2609
Roseburg Office
612 S.E Jackson Street, Room 9
Roseburg, OR 97470
Phone: (541) 440-3523
Toll Free (in Oregon): 1-800-944-9603
email: http://defazio.house.gov/emailme.shtml

Rolf described Forest Service boss Mark Rey as "unredeemable"; that is, there's no way we're gonna convince him to do anything different. But if he gets enough heat from Congresspeople and/or the governor, he could fold. That's how politics works.

Rolf reminded us that public pressure has worked to turn back an evil forest plan before: the "lawless logging rider" (see pdx indymedia story, as posted by BARK). As stated on the siskiyou.org website, "Thanks to thousands of calls, emails and electronic faxes from people like you, Oregon Senator Gordon Smith failed to pass his lawless logging rider through Congress at the end of 2004."

Of course, when lobbying and lawsuits fail, direct action is what remains. The Siskiyou Project is not involved in organizing such actions, but if you visit the area, maybe you could hook up folks who do...

It was a real pleasure to talk to Rolf today. He's one of the most knowledgeable, dedicated and hard-working activists i've met in Cascadia. Really makes me want to do what i can to help. Give a listen to the interview and be inspired yourself!



This show is the latest in the "On the Air" web radio series, in which spArk and/or Deva interview local people involved with struggles for environmental and human justice.

This show, like previous ones, will be archived on the radio page after it is broadcast.

add a comment on this article

On the Air 25.Jan.2005 03:09


is "On the Air" really "On the Air"
if so, where could i find it?

Karl Vincent Langstramm 29.Jan.2005 15:59

Karl Vincent Langstramm

I really still don't get where you people who have no idea what it is to live to struggle finding a safe roof over your heads get off on thwarting an industry that grows the material for people to make that struggle a bit easier.

I mean a lot of you kids come form smug suburban pasty pale insulated little abodes where you were spawned, where you can flee for refuge whenever you want, where you have insurance to fall back on your entire life if all else fails . . .

never mind these homes where your Mammas and Pappas got their rocks off in

and had you conceived in,
and had your diapers changed in,

are the very blood and sweat of the very salt of the earth --- whom you picket sneer, mock as bigoted chauvinists, hicks, in-breds, and rednecks.

Human habitat is good for the economy. It's shelter, it's homes, its safet. . . And yes OH . . . gOD FORBID . . .made from big trees that are already dead from being burnt.