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

environment | forest defense

Oregon BLM Breaks the Law Again & Again.

The Oregon Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which manages 2.6 million acres of public forest lands in western Oregon plans to slaughter Oregon' last ancient forests by eliminating the Northwest Forest Plan and weakening all other environmental safeguards to please their Oregon timber baron masters. These recent court rulings by the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals shows us again and again that the BLM is an out ot touch and an out of control federal agency!
This slice was cut from a fresh 440 year old tree stump? at the Mr. Wilson sale.
This slice was cut from a fresh 440 year old tree stump? at the Mr. Wilson sale.
The Overwhelming Evidence of BLM's Reckless Agenda.

In November 2006 the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruled that the Oregon BLM broke the law over not protecting the red tree vole (an arboreal mammal and major food source of the northern spotted owl) in southwest Oregon specifically in the Medford and Roseburg BLM Districts.

The Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center and against the BLM in a lawsuit over whether the Medford District and Roseburg District BLM was legally able to exempt themselves from surveying for or protecting the red tree vole, a sensitive species protected under the Northwest Forest Plan. The three timber sales that were challenged by the plaintiffs were the Cow Catcher, Willie Slide, and Cotton Snake timber sales in Southwest Oregon, Douglas County. So, these two BLM district's or portions thereof within Douglas or Curry County must now go back and complete red tree vole surveys before these 3 specific sales can be cut.

Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (N.E.S.T.), an all volunteer tree climbing survey team, was instrumental in the lawsuit because they showed that numerous red tree voles were living in the canopy of the Cow Catcher and Willie Slide timber sales thus a rare and sensitive species was being threatened with eminent harm.

With this ruling huge and numerous BLM timber sales like the 3,300 acre Westside and 585 acre South Myrtle timber sales also in Douglas may now be stopped, or until the Roseburg and Medford BLM complete red tree vole surveys (or until they throw out all Survey and Manage provisions, which ever comes first).

Most recently in December 2006 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has again ruled against the Medford District BLM when they illegally prepared and sold the Mr. Wilson timber sale back in 2001. (Yet no one gets fined or goes to jail. What a great system for the BLM!)
The plaintiffs Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center (KS Wild) and attorneys with Cascadia Resource Advocacy Group (CRAG) have won a belated victory.

Sadly, Judge Michael Hogan and Herbert Lumber (of Umpqua Bank fame) gave KS Wild and CRAG a lump of char "coal" and a few thousand ancient forest stumps instead.
The Mr. Wilson sale has been completely logged thanks to Judge Michael Hogan's ruling sometime in 2002 that in effect also broke the law.
It seems that the BLM believes that it is above the law and only obeys the wishes of Oregon's timber barons and the Bush regime.

Mr. Wilson timber sale facts.
EA was completed in July 2001, Decision Record came out October 2001. Auctioned in November 2001 to Herbert Lumber. Logging began in spring 2003. Injunction denied, case is in court. Attorney Ralph Bloemers, from Cascadia Resource Advocacy Group, is handling the lawsuit for KS Wild.
213 acres; 6.4 million board feet from 21 harvest units

BLM's GRAVE NEW PLANS.
However, even with these two ruling hanging over their heads both the BLM and the Forest Service Region 6 via orders from the Bush/Rey regime are attempting to throw out Survey and Manage Provisions all together. That could mean no surveys or mitigation to protect rare and sensitive species that make up the Survey and Manage lists. So, we will have to watch these corrupt and mischievous agencies like hawks ( and likely file lawsuits after lawsuit) to stop them from gutting all environmental safeguards.

THERE IS MORE (as hard as it to believe).
The BLM is attempting throw out key provisions of the Northwest Forest Plan as they apply to all forest lands managed by the BLM under what they are calling the Western Oregon Planning Revision or WOPR. Draft Environmentla Imapct statement due out sometime in Spring 2007.

WE NEED YOU TO SPREAD THE WORD.
Stay tuned because there is more shenanigans in the works by the BLM that we won't attempt to explain at this time.
The BLM won't stop until their corrupt and reckless plans are revealed to the more liberal people of the Willamette and Puget Sound Valleys. So spread the word.

For more info on the Lawsuits, the WOPR, and the timber sales currently planned by the BLM go to:
 http://www.kswild.org
or
 http://www.umpqua-watersheds.org