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environment | forest defense | save the biscuit

Forest Service Wrongfully Logs Botanical Reserve

Citizens have recently discovered the Forest Service clearcut fifteen acres of a protected botanical reserve as part of the controversial Biscuit logging project. This shocking abuse of public land has caused many to question the Forest Service's ability to act as transparent and competent stewards of federal forests.
Logging aftermath - including parts of the devastated Babyfoot Botanical Area
Logging aftermath - including parts of the devastated Babyfoot Botanical Area
Cave Junction, OR -
Parts of the Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area, a protected reserve in southwestern Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest, have been discovered logged. The violation occurred as part of the Fiddler Old-Growth Reserve logging sale, which the Forest Service closed to the public for months in an attempt to squelch the protests and controversy that surrounded the logging.

The Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area was established by the Forest Service in 1963 to protect Brewer spruce (Picea breweriana), a rare, ancient conifer tree that have existed in the area since before the last Ice Age. Brewer's spruce are among the rarest conifers in North America, and were the last to be discovered and described by western science on the continent. The Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area was also created to protect other sensitive endemic plants such as the Tracy's desert parsley (Lupinus tracyi) and Purdy's Lewisia (Lewisia cotyledon ssp. purdyi). Botanists come from around the world to visit the Botanical Area.

The logging was discovered by long-time southern Oregon resident Barbara Ullian, after the Fiddler timber sale was opened to the public on August 1st. "I've been coming to the Babyfoot area for decades and have met people from half way around the world there," states Ullian. "The clearcuts in the Fiddler timber sale are bad enough without finding the Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area logged also."

The Siskiyou Project estimates that about fifteen to seventeen acres of the small, fragile high elevation Botanical Area has been heavily impacted by clearcut logging, road and landing construction and piling of logging debris. The Forest Service stated in writing that there would be no Biscuit project logging in Botanical Areas.

"There is no excuse for this kind of abuse," said Rolf Skar, campaign director of the Cave Junction based Siskiyou Project. "The cause of this violation can only be either gross incompetence or callousness - and neither is acceptable. This sort of logging free-for-all shows why the government needs more public oversight and accountability, not less."

"The Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area is loved by local folks and is important to our growing tourism economy" said Greg Walter, a local historian and tourism advocate. "This violation has damaged a very special place and damaged the government's relationship with locals. It just breeds distrust."

The Forest Service has admitted that this logging was "a serious error."

More information about Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area logging and photos can be found at:

homepage: homepage: http://www.siskiyou.org

Department of Sedentary Agriculture 25.Aug.2005 00:20


The fruits of another component of the cretin culture...the same that accidently bombs Canadian troops and wedding parties, for instance.

Figure what lies in store for the Refuge, should the fed bozos engage in "sensitive" drilling on the Arctic plain!

I'm shocked and appalled! 25.Aug.2005 06:45


Please tell me where I can write or call to lodge a complaint about this. This is truly horrifying. Logging in and of itself is absolutely devastating on our natural environment. Rare and priceless species are trampled, bulldozed, and hewn down by careless loggers and greedy (non-local!) timber companies. From the delicate trillium to the giant sequoia, nothing is safe or sacred to a bulldozer or a chainsaw. I can't believe any of my neighbors would collude with timber companies by helping them to log our own backyard, but they do. I am no longer shocked, but only saddened by that fact.

But this, this is something different. Lawlessly tramping out into a protected botanical reserve! As if it wasn't enough that our last bits of wild earth need to be herded onto these reservations, now they're greedily trespassing even on these last little squares of refuge. You know, I've seen people rallying against the destruction of "the rainforests," by which they generally mean down in the Amazon. But they never seem to realize what is being lost here, in this temperate pacific rainforest, the only one like it in the world. It's already all but gone. This is the forest where Taxol was discovered. How many other lifesaving miracle medicines have been irretreivably lost to the short-sighted greed of private logging companies?

Yes, it's much easier to buy candybars with pictures of a rainforest half a world away and pretend that we're doing something to help, than it is to actually get up and do something about what is happening here in our own backyard. I'm there too. I know what is happening, but I don't really even know what to do about it.

Please tell me what I can do.

i wish i could say i was shocked 25.Aug.2005 08:12

fake action

this is clearly why forest defenders fight so hard, the forest service does not really have forest health in mind. it's all about the money. what, it took less than a week for dedicated activists to figure out that the logging was illegal. how long did the so-called forest service experts have?! if this is not reason to assist the biscuit defenders, what will move you?

Ted Kulongoski, DO SOMETHING! 25.Aug.2005 08:51

Big Foot

Ted Kulongoski needs to step in and stop this nightmare from continuing. Obviously, the forest service does not care about our forests.

Do you Governor?

Write, fax and call the Governor and ask him. Bark-out!

Governor's Citizens' Representative Message Line



Comment on Babyfoot logging/Fiddler site 25.Aug.2005 09:00

John F. Borowski

Two weeks ago, a friend and I went to photograph the Fiddler site. It was the single worst logging site I had ever seen. Big trees gone (fire resistant ones!) little trees left behind! It doesn't take a degree in forestry to realize that it is a sad sham. Ironically, bordering part of the Fiddler site are trees that were burned: yet survived. Nature simply doing its job. This site is going to erode quickly, its chances of recovery are now limited (very hot) and the damage is very severe.

When will we wakeup? Every time I hear "salvage" I cringe. The timber industry has used every possible excuse and or lie to continue logging. Just 15 years ago older native forests were "decadent and lifeless"...by the mid 90's it was "forest health" remember the salvage rider of 96? And sprinkled in their timber message: "we care about communities and jobs." Pure nonsense.

The forest protection movement needs to blitz the public with the photographs of this site, provide sound science and the truth will educate people. I plan to go back to school (teacher of 25 years) and use those pictures Mike and I took to wake folks up!

How many does it take 25.Aug.2005 18:16

you know the ISP

Yes, I agree we should write our representatives(the mayors, govenors, congress people...and especially the president) because as you know they really care about what we say and the aren't interested in money or greed or anything besides their own selfish materialism....Oh NO, they care about what we think and will do something to help Mother Earth. Give me a fucking break, if we choose to be activists while still reaping the benefits of the capitailist society and be arm chair activists in our own backyard, then we deserve what we get. We deserve to have our forests slashed, our rivers dammed, our skies polluted. Who can we write you ask?????..... We don't have to write anyone, we need and MUST get out there and take non-violent action ourselves....What does non-violence mean...Non Human. Even Ghandi mentioned during the struggle with the British Empire the idea of derailing trains by riping up the tracks. This is guerilla warfare. Does this mean we can't be peaceful...No it doesn't, but it also means that we must ACT! Watch daily as you drive past areas being bulldozed, developed, and destroyed. The machines of destruction are all around us. We observe, strategize, and ACT! These are best with solitary actions... no one to involve...least amount of risk. How many munkyrenchers does it take to put a dent in the capitalist system? There are many of us, some may petition, some may be on the frontlines protesting, and others (MANY) must take the non-violent effort to save our planet! Research, observe, and carry out! If we lived in a truly wonderful world where the right and wrong could be easily defined...would we be right or wrong to take down these death machines, or wrong to sit back and hope it goes away. Please read Ecodefense, tell no one and fucking take ACTION!!!!!!

Shame 25.Aug.2005 18:31


Damn Sahme , a Shame that this happen at all in the first place , what's next ? more debeat more pitures like this one more talk - sorry . The question is what is effective and what is not . Once something living is dead it is dead . When something is gone there is just a memory and when a memory is gone there is nothing .

Anger is a Reflection 25.Aug.2005 23:38


Ok this is me thinking out loud......... I was so fucking pissed off when I read this story, it even shocked myself at my anger. Then I felt kinda stupid. Ok I know this shit happens all the time and why does it take a big thing like this to make me want to act???? I know I know but at least I feel inspired to put my action where my mouth is. But ok hear is the other part. Are we so naive to think that anyone in the government or the timber industry is sorry for this???? Are we so naive to think that this is just a one time thing????? Are we so naive to think that a legal action is going to be justice for this crime?????? For all we know this could be a new tactic by the forestry office and timber industry to side step the restrictions. I guess a good question for all of us is when are we angry enough to change our tactics????? And will it be to late?????

ecoterrorists 26.Aug.2005 15:54


burn[1] an (all-too-common, nothing special) suv or two you're a dangerous "ecoterrorist", everyone (even many environmentalists) screech in rage at you, off to jail for 20 years.

kill rare trees that can never be brought back to life, also breaking the law in the process, woopsy, honest mistake, hardly gets a peep in the news, everyone off scot-free.


[1] only partially, they get repaired and sold anyhow


you can do something! 12.Sep.2005 15:43


the u.s forest service will be holding a public meeting to discuss restoration options for the babyfoot lake botanical area at the illinois valley ranger district in the butler building in cave junction.

the 352-acre babyfoot lake botanical area was established in 1963 to protect brewer spruce trees and other rare plant species.

the botanical area received heavy damage during the 2002 biscuit fire, and, during the fiddler fire salvage sale the forest service made an error, which resulted in the accidental harvest of burned trees on approximately 10 to 17 acres of that botanical area.

the meeting again will be held tuesday, september 13th at 7pm at the illinois valley ranger district in the butler building in cave junction.