Dangerous Behaviour Of USFS Called Out In Notice To Cease And Desist
Almost all of the employees of the US Forest Service in Oregon are being served with notices to cease and desist their dangerout activities. Please give these people a call and ask how they're planning on dealing with these. In addition, if you can, go downtown personally and ask to speak to the highest supervisor available and drop a copy of this off. I'm about to go myself.
Also, if anyone can, please find a site where you can print out the forms for a petition, and an online petition site, and put this on there... when I tried to turn these in down south, they told me that they couldn't accept a complaint signed by me, because I had "credibility issues"... i.e., being an activist arrested defending the forest. I feel like I'm turning into a liberal about this issue, but I am under the impression that even the most staunch conservatives place some value in human life, while often not in the lives of the forest.
So, without further adeu, the notice to cease and desist.
Notice to Cease and Desist Preempting Legal Action
To whom it may concern, including:
Siskiyou National Forest Supervisor Scott Conroy (541) 858-2301
Illinois Valley and acting Galice District Ranger Pamela Bode (541) 659-4661
Siskiyou National Forest Law Enforcement Chief Lee Fox (541) 858-2451
Siskiyou National Forest Law Enforcement Sergeant Paul Williamson (541)
Siskiyou National Forest Law Enforcement Officer Sean Thomas (541) 592-4000
Between August 8th and 9th of this year, employees of the Siskiyou Forest of the National Forest Service have endangered several protesters lives near to the Hobson Timber Sale in the Galice Ranger District, which is part of the controversial Biscuit Fire "Recovery" Project. While engaged in acts of civil disobedience in resistance to the onset of logging operations, Siskiyou Forest Law enforcement agents have knowingly and willfully taken steps to endanger protesters lives. These specific acts include:
• Sergeant Williamson spurring up two trees and cutting ropes supporting an anchor-dependent tree sit in the south end of unit 12 in the Hobson timber sale. One support line was cut before the Sergeant even initiated verbal contact with the tree sitter, and when the second line was subsequently cut, half of the sitter's platform fell out from underneath him. This action is unprecedented on Pacific Northwest federal public lands, and put the tree sitter in extreme danger of loss of life and limb, particularly the risk of broken back from taking a lead fall, if he was wearing a climbing harness, and more serious injuries if he wasn't. Officer Ross was also present during this action, which took place during the afternoon of August 9th, and
• Elements of the support system for a platform hanging above Forest Service road 2411 near the boundary between the Siskiyou National Forest and adjacent Bureau of Land Management lands were removed by a team of law enforcement officers including Sergeant Williamson on August 8th. The loss of these supports put undue strain on support lines anchored into the
roadway, and caused the suspended platform to drop noticeably. In addition, a heavy Caterpillar bulldozer operated by logging contractors was used to punch a road through a hillside in close proximity to the support line anchors in full view of law enforcement officers. Warning materials were removed from the roadway, vehicles were allowed to pass around on a temporary road cleared by the bulldozer, and no adequate warning system was put into place to warn oncoming vehicles that life-supporting anchors, consisting of tar-covered steel pipes and dark-colored rope, were still anchored into the middle of the roadway after the law enforcement vehicle escorts left around noon. Finally, in the afternoon Sergeant Williamson was observed driving toward the support lines at high speed, clipping one of them with his vehicle as he drove past, either recklessly or willfully.
These actions taken by the Siskiyou National Forest law enforcement officers inspire grave concerns in citizens who are concerned with the welfare of human life and appropriate conduct of empowered law enforcement agencies, especially in the wake of previous actions near the Hobson timber sale, including the July 20th seizure of a documentary video camera by Officer Sean Thomas, and the dismantling of an occupied barricade on Forest Service road 2411 that same day, during which a chainsaw blade was operated within inches of the occupant's head, and the rope supporting an anchor-dependent platform suspended between two trees over a cliff was cavalierly held by one officer while the anchor knot was untied and retied to a manzanita bush on the side of the road.
Obviously agents of the Federal Government are not allowed to endanger the health and safety of a human being, especially when there are no emergency exigent circumstances that would warrant placing that person at risk of serious injury or death. The officers were put on notice that what they were doing could potentially result in serious injury or death. We are hereby putting you on notice to cease and desist these actions now and in the future or we will seek redress from the Federal courts.
As citizens who have engaged in the public process to comment on the ecological management decisions undertaken by the Forest Service, we are astonished and appalled at the conduct of the law enforcement officers working for the Siskiyou National Forest. We care about human and non-human life, and have conducted ourselves in a peaceful, nonviolent manner, while protesting the Biscuit Fire "Recovery" Project. In response, we have been carelessly, recklessly and willfully endangered by your agents, and we will not tolerate the endangerment posed by cutting ropes supporting anchor-dependent tree sits, driving into ropes supporting suspended platforms, holding knives to ropes supporting people's lives, pulling unstable "bi-pod" structures' support lines until they nearly fall over, wheeling around 1200 pound concrete barrels with people's arms locked into them or unsteadily jacking up heavy vehicles with people laying underneath them, all of which are actions that Siskiyou Forest law enforcement employees have taken since Judge Paul Hogan reversed his injunction against logging in the fragile post-burn habitats of the Biscuit Fire area early this year. Nor will we tolerate any similarly risky or dangerous actions that could theoretically be taken by your agency in the future. Only one notable action can be credited to your agency: the utilization of a search and rescue team to safely secure a platform suspended from the Green Bridge on March 14th. We recommend at the least that you endeavor to employ skilled rescue technicians or dispatch competent engineers to oversee the removal of forest-protecting structures that you see as contrary to your ecologically destructive agenda, and reprimand the rogue law enforcement agents who have been perpetrating these actions.
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