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forest defense | save the biscuit

US FOREST SERVICE, LOGGERS, RECKLESSLY ENDANGER LIVES OF NONVIOLENT PROTESTORS

HOBSON TIMBER SALE, OR- Yesterday, August 9th, at around one o'clock, Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers, including Officer Paul Williamson, Officer Lee Fox, and Officer G.W. Ross, made a reckless but unsuccessful attempt to forcibly remove a dedicated protestor who has been living in the tree-tops. The elaborate and unusual tree sit, known as an Upper Canopy Protection Station, stretches across multiple acres and is currently blocking logging within a unit of the Hobson old-growth reserve timber sale in the Biscuit Area.
Monday's Sky Pod action at Hobson Old Growth timber sale
Monday's Sky Pod action at Hobson Old Growth timber sale
Loggers Blocked From Work Monday
Loggers Blocked From Work Monday
US FOREST SERVICE, LOGGERS, RECKLESSLY ENDANGER LIVES OF NONVIOLENT PROTESTORS

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

Media Contacts: Wild Siskiyou Action/Shanna Foley: 541-659-2682
Laurel Sutherlin 541-301-8963

HOBSON TIMBER SALE, OR- Yesterday, August 9th, at around one o'clock, Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers, including Officer Paul Williamson, Officer Lee Fox, and Officer G.W. Ross, made a reckless but unsuccessful attempt to forcibly remove a dedicated protestor who has been living in the tree-tops. The elaborate and unusual tree sit, known as an Upper Canopy Protection Station, stretches across multiple acres and is currently blocking logging within a unit of the Hobson old-growth reserve timber sale in the Biscuit Fire Area.

A network of ropes, stretching throughout the unit slated for logging, support the platform the activist is living on. The support lines are tied into dozens of trees, preventing loggers from falling those trees as well as any trees in the area that could fall into the support lines and endanger the safety of the person living atop the platform.

However, USFS law enforcement officers, who appeared either not to comprehend the design of the structure, or not to prioritize the survival of the tree sitter, made the rash decision to disable much of the structure by haphazardly cutting vital support lines. Officer Paul Williamson was able to spur-climb a tree in which one of the anchors for the support line had been placed, then without giving warning to the young man in the platform, cut the support line, causing the platform to tip precariously.

Despite the fact that the platform tipped dangerously after having one support line disabled, Williamson, with the help of the two other officers, climbed a second tree and cut a second support line. This caused the platform to fall five feet and to tip completely vertically. At this point the young man was no longer supported by the platform, but was left dangling in the air by his backup safety line. Only after the officers cut the two life lines did they inquire whether the young man was wearing a harness and safety attachment. If the activist had not been wearing a safety device which anchored him to the tree he would have fallen off of the platform and easily could have been killed.

The man was able to reattach the safety lines to the tree and re-level the platform. Despite having his life placed in extreme danger by Forest Service the man in the platform is determined to continue his stay in the tree. After surviving the incredibly perilous situation, the young man expressed that his deep love for the forest would give him the strength to continue to put his life on the line to protect the last 5% of old-growth forests left in this country.

The Forest Service recently issued a closure order on the timber sale area and the roads leading to it, citing safety concerns as their number one rationale. Indeed, the Forest Service has created the unsafe conditions with their aggressive actions and have stood idly by while employees of Greg Liles logging company have sexually harassed, physically assaulted and threatened the lives of the peaceful protestors.

Meanwhile, the young woman suspended in the "Sky Pod" that blocked the road leading to the sale on Monday came down on her own and escaped without arrest after loggers failed to evict her and bulldozed a make shift road around her blockade. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers are currently combing the area searching for activists to evict from the area. Activists maintain that this closure, as well as the previous closure issued at the Fiddler sale, are unconstitutional and will be struck down by the courts as early as the end of this week. A Josephine County judge is hearing a constitutional challenge to the Fiddler closure this Friday in Grants Pass, while the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to rule any day on an Injunction Order that would halt all Biscuit logging immediately.

marvelous 10.Aug.2005 14:29

fake activist

i applaud the activists with all my heart. i know some see their actions as illegal, but you have to look past the recent court rulings. if every forest burns at some point, then the logical end is that every forest will be logged, roadless areas included. a burned roadless forest does not need our help...fire is natural. please do more to help these folks. stop logging in our burned forests!

From Montreal Ecological Society of America Conference 10.Aug.2005 16:51

Old growth stands

There is no more reason to cut the last roadless or old growth forests than there is too destroy the historic buildings from any town in the Western U.S. for a new box store. THe time for clear differentiation regarding humans need for fiber, our gross overconsumption, and logging a very rare and priceless type of forest structure is here. There is no excuse to log in the Siskiyou's LSR's, roadless, or old growth forest except greed. Fire has played it's role, and played it in just the way we should invite it too. I encourage all people to take immediate action no matter what that action may be to save this natural legacy of Oregon, and to back up these front line activists that have inspired me ever since the all Women's day of action on the Green Bridge.

Deadly serious 10.Aug.2005 17:09

gk

This is a deadly serious issue. We don't want trees felled. Loggers want to work. Something has to be negotiated. Sit tight, tree friends, you are in our hearts.

Environmentalism means MORE jobs. 11.Aug.2005 12:59

Politicus sal@electrobotanica.org

Logging jobs are not at odds with environmentalism. This is a wedge issue succesfully used by business against those who work to protect our forests. In fact, proper environmental maintenance would create more jobs than the logging industry currently supports. Logging also costs the public as logging on public land is subsidized by the US Forest Service. Our taxes are being directly funnelled into business profits at the cost of the environment. The entire situation is disgusting from many vantage points.


love is a power 12.Aug.2005 17:19

pascal wilson ome_gaia@hotmail.com

that the forest service cant stop. who does the forest service, service? not the forest, only greedy humans, who ignore the love and only see money.

Joy in the Core of Trees 13.Aug.2005 09:45

Ponyswolf

I feel that the protestor did the right thing. This world is so encumbered by laws, not many will hear about the Old Ones: a.k.a: the trees, the water, the air, and this person depended on only her friends and her platform to hold her up.

I am going to treesit when I can make alliances, fimd an old growth tree that is strong enough, and find a tree with a nice nook to sit and/or sleep in. The trees have their hearts and their joy, way more than the jerk that tore her down!

Family 13.Aug.2005 10:10

Ponyswolf

I wonder... when the people cut that man's life support ropes, did they have any thought for that man's family? No. I think they are pigs and when I am old enough I will treesit also.