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forest defense | save the biscuit

Fiddler (Biscuit) Closure Order

Here's the Freddie press release.
Check it out,
Here's the press release from the Forest Service site.
Note that the comment about a delay on Saturday is bullshit.
There was no blockade on Saturday.

Get ready to cross that line!
Public lands not private proffit!





Contact:
Tom Lavagnino (541) 821-1496
Patty Burel (541) 858-2211

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: March 14, 2005
ROGUE RIVER-SISKIYOU NATIONAL FOREST CLOSES FIDDLER FIRE SALVAGE TIMBER SALE ROAD TO PROTECT HEALTH AND SAFETY

MEDFORD, OR, March 14, 2005 -- At noon, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National
Forest issued a closure order effective immediately to prevent people from
illegally blocking road access to the Fiddler Fire Salvage Timber Sale.
This closure is effective until July 1, 2005, or unless rescinded sooner by
the Forest Service.

Over the past week, protesters blocked the road four times leading into the
Fiddler Salvage Timber Sale on the Illinois Valley Ranger District. The
Eight Dollar Mountain road leads to the Babyfoot Lake Trailhead. On
Saturday, March 12, these activities delayed two injured forestry workers
in obtaining prompt medical attention. There is a also a safety hazard
issue resulting from one woman suspended by a rope system from the green
steel bridge crossing the Illinois River and illegally preventing road
access.

Forest Supervisor Scott Conroy said," Conflicts at this Fire Salvage Timber
Sale have resulted in a public safety hazard for timber workers, visitors
and protesters and this road needs to be closed to protect the health and
safety of people near the area." The Forest Service is taking reasonable
actions after four incidents of road blockage and a situation where there
was a delay in medical attention because of the road blockage.

The Forest Service issues closure orders when activities or behavior become
unsafe, violent, disruptive, or destructive. The agency has the
responsibility to address unlawful activities in the short term and can
prohibit public access to specific areas to maintain safety and the rights
of others.

The closure covers access to the Fiddler Fire Salvage Timber Sale with an
additional safety zone of 100 feet from the center of the road. This
public closure affects Forest Roads 4201.000, 4201.090 and 4201.140 at the
Forest boundary in the Illinois Valley Ranger District, Rogue
River-Siskiyou National Forest.

Timber sale purchaser, Silver Creek Timber Company has indicated their
intent to operate the sale this season, and the Forest Service has a
contractual obligation to provide access for the purchaser.

The Fiddler Fire Salvage Timber Sale meets all environmental laws.

##

Special Closure - ORDER No. SIF-060 - Fiddler Salvage Timber Sale Road/Area Closure (90KB PDF)

Exhibit 1 Map - Page 1 of 2 (204KB .jpg)

Exhibit 1 Map - Page 2 of 2 (185KB .jpg)
now i will most certainly join y'all 14.Mar.2005 13:53

it's my land, too

this is nonsense...they will allow people in to destroy the forest, but not to save it?!!!

Forest Dis-service 14.Mar.2005 15:53

Jason

The Forest Service has become corrupt and evil. Their job is to assist business to destroy the forest. They have completely failed their public trust.

This is absolutely ridiculous 14.Mar.2005 17:00

Eduard

Absolutely fucking ridiculous. I'm calling on all good people to join in this effort in some way. If you can make your way to the Green Bridge over the Illinois River and join the forest defenders there, please go. If you can't go, send supplies. If you can't send supplies, take time to tell someone you know who COULD go or led support about what's going on at the Biscuit.

Closure 14.Mar.2005 17:08

Dry Ice

For those of us who aren't familiar with the area could someone clarify how far does the closure extend from the actual boundrys of the Fiddler Timber Sale? Is the entire road system closed? If that is the case it would seem to be an illegal closure as a federal court ruling by judge Tom Coffin a few years back ruled closures can only cover an area 1000 ft. from an active logging operation at maximum.

Closure Fight 14.Mar.2005 17:39

not in the know

Can forest closures be challenged?
If interested, how might people go about doing it?
Thanks.

Closure ruling 2001 14.Mar.2005 18:15

Cont........

JUDGE CALLS FOREST SERVICE CLOSURE UNCONSTITUTIONAL

FALL CREEK, Oregon, February 23, 2001 (ENS) - A federal judge has declared that a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) decision to close a timber sale site to activists and journalists was an unconstitutional restriction of First Amendment free speech rights.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Coffin issued an opinion declaring that the Forest Service Closure Order for the Clark timber sale in the Willamette National Forest was unlawful. The defendants argued that the closure order, which had been in place since June of 1999, was unconstitutional because it was overly broad and did not serve a significant government interest.

Since 1998, Cascadia Forest Defenders activists have built tree settlements within the proposed logging sales and have been occupying the trees in protest of the logging plans.

The closure order made it illegal to be present on the forest road system within the sale areas. Attorney Lauren Regan filed Motions to Dismiss on behalf of three defendants charged in federal court for "being on a road," asking that all charges be dismissed.

In his written order, Judge Coffin stated, "The Clark Timber Sale has generated protest activity, which is subject to First Amendment protection. The roads are public fora, and, like the streets and sidewalks of a city, provide the type of setting where demonstrations and expressive activity occur.... Accordingly, the defendants' motion to dismiss is granted."

"We are very pleased with Judge Coffin's ruling," said Regan. "This order creates excellent legal precedent to address future closure orders issued by the Forest Service. We are hopeful the USFS will stop abusing their authority in issuing this type of unconstitutional and unwarranted closure order, which make it illegal for citizens to use their public lands, or to protest the unsustainable logging practices of this agency. We hope this decision will be a wake up call to the U.S. Forest Service."

They must be spending a lot of taxpayers money to close this area. 15.Mar.2005 08:46

echo

The thing about this closure is people live on the other side of the green bridge. Some folk have mining claims; like it was mentioned, the popular Babyfoot Lake trailhead is up that road(4201). This isn't just loggers accessing the place, there's all kinds of different people going up that road and coming back.

If the closure extends all the way to the green bridge, that's at least 12 miles of road they've closed. Is this constitutional, legal, fair? Hell no!! Does that make a difference? Hell no!! The fores service has done the same thing before. Do some research on the Peak timber sale a couple years ago in the Rogue River NF.

The thing is, there are court cases and appeals and all this great constitutional protection, but out in the back country on the ground, you coulldn't be farther from any of it. I'm not saying it doesn't matter, it does, but other things are vital as well: good hiking boots, a sturdy backpack, warm clothes and some heart. Get my drift? The terrain is rugged out there, please be careful!!!

And i hope like hell this closure is lifted in court, but i feel cynical about that happening.

what else you can do 17.Mar.2005 09:15

coco stephaniefrie@yahoo.com

What can YOU do?
You can write or call Pam Bode (in Cave Junction)or Scott Conroy (in Medford)of the USFS, and tell them you want the closure reopened. People can no longer access the Green Bridge at the Illinois River river which is approx. 15 miles away from the cutting area. Nor can people visit several trails, including the one at Babyfoot Lake which is a very popular hiking trail for all kinds of folks; including children, local, and visitors alike.
Thank You!