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forest defense | government | save the biscuit

Letters DENYing public entry to the Biscuit loging

Here are the letters Pam Bode wrote and Scott Conroy endorsed, which Blocked folks from entering and viewing the logging in the Fiddler timber sale area.

#2 contains the original e-mail application for group permit on the bottom of the rejection letter.
# 1

Dear Janet:
This letter documents my denial of your application for a Group Event at the Green Bridge and the Fiddler Timber Sale area.
The closure order (Order No. RSF-065) was issued to protect public health and safety and property. Per 36 CFR 261.50(e), your request to enter the closure area does not meet the requirements to issue a permit. The event appears to be recreational in nature (picnicking and sightseeing). I have denied all gate permit applications for recreation use to this date. Access within the closed area has been limited to private landowners, miners, timber company employees and contractors, people who are operating a business, educational institutions, people with research permits, and approved timber sale monitors.
In addition, the event is planned during the time that log trucks are expected to be hauling. Approximately 40-50 trips per day are occurring. Mixing buses and/or a large number of vehicles and log truck traffic on this road would be hazardous. A large group of people standing on the bridge and milling around in the area of the bridge would create a hazard during log hauling.
Off road parking is limited and per the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 36 CFR 261.10(f), parking on or partially blocking roads is prohibited.
The road to the area is not suitable for bus traffic at this time. The paved road surface is in disrepair and is thus, a safety concern.
The event is advertised as a reunion for people who have been previously arrested for blocking the logging operation at the Green Bridge. I will not allow unescorted access into the closed area for people who have been previously arrested for interfering with official Government business at the very site where they were arrested. It is difficult for me to reassign an employee to escort this group with such short notice on a holiday weekend.
Although you and others have expressed to me that it is not your intent to block the road or perform an illegal act, I remain concerned. I am concerned that people who you do not control could enter with you and take the opportunity of an unregulated entry into this area to gain access to the sale area and vandalize equipment or set up camp within the sale area with intent to impede operations.
If the event is tied to the Fiddler Timber Sale, I suggest that this event be planned to occur after the closure is rescinded. I expect harvest operation to be substantially completed in August 2005.
If this event is tied to this weekend and is about witnessing Biscuit logging in general, two Biscuit timber sales near Fiddler are substantially complete and are available as alternate sites for your event. These sales include Flattop and Briggs-Cedar.
You may contact me at 541-592-4001 to apply for a Non-Commercial Group Use permit for another site or for this site on another date.


Sincerely,


PAMELA W. BODE



#2 with application e-mail at the bottom
6/30/05

Laurel:

I am denying your permit application. I am enclosing a copy of the letter that I wrote to Janet Walker denying the permit application that she submitted, which is very similar to yours. The reasons for my denial for your and Janet's applications for the activities planned at the Green Bridge are the same. My recommendations for an alternate place or time are included in Janet's letter and apply to your application as well.

Your application varied from Janet's in that, after the picnic at the Green Bridge, instead of transporting all of the event participants to the sale area, you propose to visit the sale area with a group of about 10 people. My reason for denying your application to visit the timber sale units is that I have a policy, as described on the gate permit application, that states that all news media trips into the sale area will be escorted by a Forest Service media specialist. At this short notice (less than 24 hours on the day before a holiday weekend), I do not have a Forest Service employee available to fulfill this requirement.

If the news media is truly interested in visiting the sale area with you before the sale is completed, please resubmit your application with at least one week's lead time so that I can request the assistance of a media escort from the Supervisor's office public relations staff. It is safest to travel on the road after 3 PM on weekdays or at any time on weekends. Road reconstruction work often is planned for Saturdays to avoid haul traffic, so Sunday is the best day to visit the sale area unless you are interested in seeing logging equipment in action.

This has been a very difficult week. I know that I have made recommendations and decisions that you do not agree with and believe are misguided. I appreciate the professionalism that you and many others have displayed while we try to continue to communicate through this disagreement.



Pam Bode, District Ranger Two Rivers Zone
Illinois Valley RD 541-592-4001 (fax 541-592-4010)
Galice RD 541-471-6721
cell 541-659-4661
Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, R-6


laurel < laurel@o2collective.org>
06/30/2005 04:08 PM

To
Pam Bode < pbode@fs.fed.us>
cc

Subject
permit application

Pam-

I am requesting an expedited permit to enter the Forest Service Road
Closure area on Eight Dollar road on July 1st at 12:30 pm with a group
of people that may range from 50 to 100. We would like to assemble for
an educational free speech gathering at the Green Bridge over the
Illinois River, as well as swim in the river and eat lunch. We will be
discussing fire ecology, policy and forest management issues such as
salvage logging and would like to be within the area of the Biscuit
Burn to do so.

I am also requesting to bring a small group of media representatives
into the area of the Fiddler timber sale to show them the on the ground
effects of logging within units of the sale. This group would include
around 6 journalists and 3 or 4 spokespeople. Because of deadline
constraints for the local TV stations, this brief, escorted tour would
need to take place during hauling operations, between 1pm and 2pm.

People are arriving from around the state to see for themselves the
effects of salvage logging and would like to see the units for
themselves. If you are deeply concerned about safety issues we can wait
until 2:30 or 3:00 pm, when hauling operations will have stopped, to
bring the larger group up the road. We will be leaving before dark, and
can arrange a more specific time of departure if that is necessary for
your purposes.

My legal name is Mac Sutherlin.

Thank you and please reply as soon as humanly possible.

For the forests, Laurel



#3

Dear Tim:
This letter documents my denial of your application for a Group Event in the Fiddler Timber Sale area.
At about 11:30 on July 1, 2005, you called and submitted a verbal application to visit the Fiddler Timber Sale area the same afternoon with a group of 60 to 70 people. You stated that there would be between 4 and 10 vehicles, depending on whether or not the small school bus could access the sale area. You said that the people would like to view the harvested areas and take photographs. Rather than staying in one large group, the people would disperse and visit sites individually, however you were flexible about this action. You said that you did not expect news media to attend the event and that you would ask each participant to pledge that no civil disobediance would occur during or as the result of this site visit. You asked for entrance to the closed area from 2:30 to 6:00 PM, expecting that log hauling would be completed and that safety concerns would be mitigated during those hours of the day.
The closure order (Order No. RSF-065) was issued to protect public health and safety and property. Per 36 CFR 251.54 (g)(2)(iv) and 36 CFR 251.54 (g)(3)(ii)(F), your request to enter the closure area does not meet the requirements to issue a noncommercial group use permit. Your application was filed 3 hours before the planned event, and I believe it poses a substantial risk to public safety.
I am sending you this written reply to document my verbal denial given at 12:30 on July 1, 2005 in a telephone conversation with Laurel Sutherlin, who answered the cell phone number that you provided to me. As described here, I am denying your application for several reasons, but the primary reason is that I am unable to provide a Forest Service employee escort to mitigate the expected substantial risk to public safety because of short notice on the day before a holiday weekend.
The road to the area is not suitable for bus traffic at this time. The paved road surface is in disrepair and is thus, a safety concern. Although Laurel assured me that the bus is high clearance and could easily maneuver on damaged roads, I remain unconvinced that school bus would be suitable transportation for your group. I realize that you could transport the people in other vehicles, therefore please continue to read the remaining concerns.
Although hauling is completed by about 3:00 PM on weekdays, yarding of felled timber often continues later in the day. People walking through active harvest units to view the results of harvest would interrupt logging operations and put themselves and timber workers in danger. Without a Forest Service escort, I could not be certain that people would stay clear of the active logging units.
The event is advertised as a reunion for people who have been previously arrested for blocking the logging operation at the Green Bridge. I will not allow unescorted access into the closed area for people who have been previously arrested for interfering with official Government business at the very site where they were arrested. In my telephone conversation with Laurel, he said that he was willing to leave the previously arrested people out of the permitted group. I have no employee available to check ID at the closure gate to ensure that this occurs.
I have a policy, as described on the gate permit application form, that all news media trips into the sale area will be escorted by a Forest Service media specialist. Although you told me that there is no news media with you and you do not expect any media to attend the event, Patty Burel (Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest public affairs officer) told me that Christopher LaMarca is with your group. Mr. LaMarca gave the Forest Service a letter of reference from Newsweek Magazine this morning at the protest that occurred at the Forest Supervisor's office in Medford. Mr. La Marca represented himself as a media representative.
If the event is tied to the Fiddler Timber Sale, I suggest that this event be planned to occur after the closure is rescinded. I expect harvest operation to be substantially completed in August 2005.
If this event is tied to this weekend and is about witnessing Biscuit logging in general, two Biscuit timber sales near Fiddler are substantially complete and are available as alternate sites for your event. These sales include Flattop and Briggs-Cedar. A noncommercial group use permit is not needed if your group is smaller than 75 people.
You may contact me at 541-592-4001 to apply for a non-commercial group use permit for this or another site on another date. You are required to submit your application at least 72 hours in advance notice of your planned activity.

Sincerely,

PAMELA W. BODE
Totally unfair 01.Jul.2005 23:13

gk

Denying access is totally unfair. So what did the bus load of people for the forests do? Where did they go? Thank you for furthering the cause.