Forest Service to Log Along Wild & Scenic Illinois River
Putting Local Economy, Clean Water and Salmon at Risk
Medford, OR -
The Rogue River/Siskiyou National Forest sold a logging sale today that would cut forests in the Wild & Scenic Illinois River canyon as part of the massive Biscuit logging project.
Located entirely in an Old-Growth Reserve that was supposed to be shielded from cutting as a safety net for sensitive species, the McGuire logging project would also slice into the 3,529 acre Six Mile Creek roadless area - an uninventoried roadless forest near the giant Kalmiopsis wildlands.
Though controversial Biscuit logging has been ongoing since March 7th of this year, the McGuire logging sale would be the first to log directly along the Wild & Scenic Illinois River, and may engender even greater public outrage.
Ronnie Chittim lives on a small private residence within the Siskiyou National Forest along the Illinois River. "I both live and make my living along this beautiful river" said Chittim. "Tourists come from all over the United States to stay in my cabin and enjoy the peace, quiet and beauty of nature."
"When people ask me where to go on trails around here, I'll have to tell them to walk until they see the stumps and slash piles down the road" continued Chittim. "This logging would trash a historic place, and increase fire risk for people like me. I'm concerned that the scenic part of this river is shrinking because of devastation from logging."
The economic future of the Illinois River Valley, the small collection of towns on the east side of the Siskiyou National Forest, is tied to tourism, small businesses and those moving to the area for its natural beauty and quality of life.
"This harmful logging is not about real jobs, fire safety or the economic future of our community" said Greg Walter, a local historian and tourism advocate. "They'd close down one of our most used tourism resource during peak travel season - it makes no sense at all."
"With all the forests in Oregon, why should we cut along the fish-rich Wild & Scenic Illinois River at heavy taxpayer expense?" asked Rolf Skar, campaign director of the Cave Junction-based Siskiyou Project. "The McGuire logging sale is a testament to how out of touch the Forest Service leadership is with common sense, our economic future and the values of most Oregonians."
More information about the extreme Biscuit logging project is available at: www.siskiyou.org