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Cascadia Wildland Update -Biscuit Scientists gag order, snoshoe hike, judge stops140 sales

The Cascadia Wildlands Project's Legacy Forest Campaign Update 1-20-06

IN THIS UPDATE:
* Gag Order Placed on OSU Scientists Responsible For Biscuit Study
* CWP Halts Hatcher Pass Development Again in Southwest Alaska
* Court Enjoins Over 140 Illegal Timber Sales
* Former Forest Service Employee to Expose Biscuit Corruption, Jan. 25th
* Snowshoe Hike Planned For Saturday, Feb. 11th
* Gag Order Placed on OSU Scientists Responsible For Biscuit Study

In the last few weeks, we've seen substantial mainstream media coverage about a recent study in the journal of Science (due out today) conducted by research scientists from Oregon State University's College of Forestry. Their study concluded that salvage logging in the Biscuit fire area in southwestern Oregon did not aid recovery. They found that areas left to recover on their own were responding better after the 2002 fire, while areas that were salvage logged had a higher mortality rate for new seedlings and a possible higher risk of fire due to the amount of slash left on the ground (to get a copy of their report, go to our website: www.cascwild.org).

Here's where things get sticky. OSU's College of Forestry has close ties to the timber industry and gets about 10 percent of its funding from logging taxes. Understandably, the department was sharply divided. A group of professors at the school has asked the journal to withhold the study from their publication, which the journal has declined to do. Meanwhile, Hal Salwasser, the Dean of the College of Forestry, put together a memorandum debunking this report (to see his report, go to our website) and sent it to OSU's faculty and Congress, an attempt to do some damage control and effectively undercut the work of their scientists. On top of all that, the College of Forestry has put a gag order on the scientists trying to limit the amount of media generated from their report.

These attempts to hold back research, especially coming from their own school, stands in the way of academic freedom and unbiased scientific research. Universities should be places of open discussion and dialog, free from the fear of censorship. Please take the time to contact the President of OSU and ask him to respect peer-reviewed science and not censor research from inside his own school.

President Ed Ray
646 Kerr Administration Bld
Corvallis, OR 97331-2128
PHONE: (541) 737-4133
FAX: (541) 737-3033

or go online and e-mail him at:

 link to oregonstate.edu&recipient=Ed+Ray



* CWP Halts Hatcher Pass Development Again in Southwest Alaska

On Dec. 28th 2005, Cascadia Wildlands Project appealed J-L development proposal for Hatcher Pass, headwaters of the Little Susitna River and one of the most popular salmon fishing destinations in Alaska. They had plans to develop the land into a "snow village" and strip mall. In one of the quickest turnarounds we've ever seen,they withdrew their proposal the following night because of the legal standing we had with the borough from a ruling in 2003, the first time developers proposed their plans. Gabe Scott, our Alaska Field Representative, has been effective in this campaign by developing strong ties with local fisherman and rural citizen groups and applying intense grassroots pressure on local government. Thanks Gabe, keep it up!


* Court Enjoins Over 140 Illegal Timber Sales

On January 10th, US District Court Judge Marsha Pechman placed a legal injunction on 144 different timber sales across the Northwest. This follows her Aug. 2005 decision that repealed the Bush Administration's attempts to re-write the Northwest Forest Plan and its requirement to conduct surveys for little known plant and animal species. Called the "Survey and Manage" strategy, it requires the Forest Service and BLM to "look before you log" and place buffers around areas were sensitive species are found.

Always a friend to the timber industry, the Bush administration removed the Survey and Manage strategy from the books in 2004 and the Forest Service began planning timber sales without surveying. With Judge Pechman's decision, the sales planned under the amended 2004 rule must be reviewed and, if necessary, re-written to comply with the original law. This is good news for conservation groups like the CWP, giving us back a vital tool to help fight ancient forest logging on our public lands. Major kudos go to Doug Heiken of the Oregon Natural Resources Council and attorneys Pete Frost and Stephanie Parent.



* Former Forest Service Employee to Expose Biscuit Corruption, Jan. 25th

On Wednesday, January 25th, the CWP will be hosting Rich Fairbanks, (former Forest Service employee and ID team leader from the Biscuit timber sale project), as he presents his take on the political and economic corruption that swirled around Biscuit. Rich has the dirt and is fired up to let us all know about it. From back room deals with industry to campaign donations and political strong-arming, the Biscuit timber sale was yet another example of Forest Service fraud and industry welfare. This is promising to be a real eye opener for anyone interested in what really went on behind closed doors around the largest timber sale in modern history.

Join us as we continue to hold the Fed's feet to the fire and make sure this type of corruption never happens again!

When: Wednesday, January 25th, 6:00pm-7:30pm

Where: Eugene Public Library, the Bascom room, main floor

Cost: Free and open to the public!

For more information, contact Jeff Long at (541) 434-1463, or email at  jlong@cascwild.org.



* Snowshoe Hike Planned For Saturday, Feb. 11th

A day of fun in the snow-capped Cascades!

On Saturday, Feb. 11th, the CWP will be heading up into the high reaches of the Cascade Mountains for a day of snowshoeing. We will be exploring wild areas near Willamette Pass and the Diamond Peak Wilderness. We'll be organizing a carpool for the shuttle up there, but you will need to provide yourself with a pair of snowshoes. You can rent snowshoes at Berg's in Eugene, their number is:(541) 683-1300, it costs about $5 per pair. If you have never hiked in the snow, don't miss this trip!

Hike leaves at 10am from the Park and Ride on Walnut and Franklin, across from the PC Market. Hikers should be prepared for all weather and are responsible for their own lunch and water needs. Please RSVP to Jeff at the CWP office at: 434-1463. Hope to see you there!

thank you 21.Jan.2006 08:22

kirsten anderberg

Thank you very much for your hard work, all you keeping this constant eye on Biscuit and other important issues for us, and thank you very much for posting these very coherent and professional quality updates.

we need to thank the judge 21.Jan.2006 16:27

PSU raven

I wonder if it's possible to thank people like the judge who re-instated the Survey clause.

I wrote a paper at PSU about the travesty, and this is the first I've heard about the requirements re-instation. Now, when people in power do the wrong thing they are usually rewarded monitarily, so when she goes and does the right thing, there probably should be an outpouring of support so they know who they are doing it for.

It's so easy to want to riot the evil, but we need to start praising the people who actually effect positive change.

Right the FCK ON ! 22.Jan.2006 12:54

double dee

there should be some way of getting messages to the judge via the court. ?
where is the court house that she sits in located ?

carpool to Eugene ? 22.Jan.2006 14:33

leggs

anyone up for organizing a carpool to Eugene on the 25th to hear the x-forester spill the beans on Bisquit corruption ? Should be ----hot----- !