portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

environment | save the biscuit

Bush Administration Puts Roadless Forests on Chopping Block

The Bush administration announced Thursday that it will auction the controversial Mike's Gulch roadless logging sale next week in Medford, Oregon. The Mike's Gulch logging sale, part of the larger Biscuit logging project, would be the first logging of roadless forests anywhere in the nation since the popular Roadless Rule was created in 2001.
Roadless forests threatened by the Mike's Gulch logging project
Roadless forests threatened by the Mike's Gulch logging project
Bush Administration Breaks Promise, Puts Roadless Forests on Chopping Block

Grants Pass, OR
The Bush administration announced plans today to auction the controversial Mike's Gulch logging sale in Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest. Logging could start within days after the auction, now scheduled for 10:00 AM in Medford, Oregon on Friday, June 9th.

The Mike's Gulch timber sale would be the first wholesale logging of roadless forests in the country since 2001 when the national Roadless Rule was approved. The Bush administration, in a move to gut the Roadless Rule, has asked state governors to complete complicated petition processes to request protection for roadless forests in their states - a process Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski is currently undertaking. Despite a promise to provide "interim protections" to roadless forests while petitions are being completed, the Bush administration is moving ahead with roadless forest logging in Oregon.

"This is the wrong kind of logging in the wrong place and the wrong time" said Rolf Skar, Siskiyou Project campaign director. "Science shows this logging will destroy natural regeneration, increase fire risk and degrade the health of our watersheds."

The Mike's Gulch logging sale targets Oregon's largest Inventoried Roadless Area: the 105,000-acre South Kalmiopsis. Feeding the salmon-rich Wild & Scenic Illinois River, the South Kalmiopsis also boasts some of the highest botanical diversity in western North America.

"Roadless forests are the crown jewels of our national forests" said Skar. "The South Kalmiopsis is a jewel among jewels. We simply cannot allow the Bush administration to sacrifice it to the saw."

The Mike's Gulch logging sale is part of the larger Biscuit fire logging project. The 2002 Biscuit fire burned in a patchy mosaic across a large, wild landscape called the Siskiyou Wild Rivers region in southwestern Oregon.

A study released this week shows that roadless forests slated for logging have large numbers of natural conifer seedlings growing back after the fire. The Donato report, recently published in the prestigious journal Science, also documented high regeneration rates in forests affected by the Biscuit fire. That report also found that industrial logging after the Biscuit fire increased re-burn risks and destroyed natural regeneration. These conclusions caused timber industry-linked faculty at Oregon State University's College of Forestry to attempt to censor the study. This scandalous breech of academic integrity has led to official investigations and controversy that is still rocking the College of Forestry.

"This roadless forest logging cannot be justified ecologically or economically. It's being driven by dirty politics, plain and simple."

Concerned citizens can express their opinions and send instant faxes to Bush Forest Service officials at the Siskiyou Project website: www.siskiyou.org

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

ah, hell. 03.Jun.2006 17:02

leda horse-to-water

Seriously, Mike's Gulch is absolutely beautiful. It can be <i>seen</i> from the road, since it's, you know, a gulch and all, quite a bit lower than the mountains all around. And the place is very much alive. So seriously, people really ought to try and do things about this. I wish everyone involved the absolute best.

Spend your efforts on DeFazio and Wyden 03.Jun.2006 20:09

dude

Hey folks. Don't waste your valuable time writing to dunderheads running the De-Forest Service; Bosworth, Conroy etc. WE need to get Congressman Peter DeFazio and Senator Ron Wyden to publicly oppose these precendent setting roadless area timber sales in the largest roadless areas in Oregon. Thus far they haven't recieved enough pressure to get them off the fence. These two when they stand in solidaritiy with the governor will be the only thing along with us to stop these timber sales! a dude who has been a part of stopping many timber sales in cascadia yeah the system is bent but you can still get things accomplished thru the system if you know how to manipulate it.

well the time has come then 03.Jun.2006 22:05

everybody wants to

Just keep an eye on who wins the auction. where are they located?


will anyone really want to win anymore?