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The Battle of the Biscuit - ongoing coverage

In the Summer of 2002, natural forest fires burned in the Siskiyou National Forest in Southern Oregon. The corporate media's panicked reporting made it sound like the world was ending. The truth, however, is that fire has been a normal part of the area for thousands of years, and that the ecosystem's cycles of growth and regeneration are actually fire-dependent.

The Bush administration, however, ignoring both science and common sense, created the "Biscuit Fire Recovery Plan", which -- while disenguously utilizing the language of conservation in its presentation -- threatened to destroy thousands of acres of old growth native habitat. When, in December of 2003, 90% of the 23,000 people who commented on the plan expressed their opposition, the Bush administration declared an "emergency" and removed the ability of citizens to appeal the plan.

The Forest Service claims that half a million acres burned. In actuality, that agency set backburns in a perimeter around the natural fires, and let them join up into one big fire. That perimeter describes an area of half a million acres, but half of that did not burn at all, or burned in a light, healthy underburn, mostly clearing away underbrush. Activists have observed (and even the Forest Service admits) that the burned areas are recovering naturally. Logging them would only disturb this process with long-term deleterious effects to the ecosystem.

The most hotly contested timber sales are those that are categorized as "Late Successional Reserves" (LSRs), a designation from the Clinton-era "Northwest Forest Plan" meant to protect such areas from logging forever. Also in danger are "matrix" sales, which -- though set aside for timber harvest under the same plan -- are also native old growth, and can often be saved from the saw by identifying endangered species, riparian areas, etc.

A lawsuit challenging the legality of cutting in the LSRs begins on March 22. In the meantime, the court system denied citizen requests to forbid logging there in the meantime, so people have turned to direct action. As of mid-March, over 40 arrests have happened during blockades of the road leading to the Fiddler timber sale, on the East side of the Biscuit area, near Selma, Oregon.

Southern Oregon is sparsely populated, people-wise, and the folks there are seeking the help of everyone in Cascadia (and beyond) to help them with their fight.

Organizations fighting the logging:

[ Who's Who in the Battle for the Biscuit | What's What in the Battle for the Biscuit]

For more Battle of the Biscuit coverage, check in regularly with the >>Rogue Valley IMC<<

actions & protests | forest defense 17-Apr-2006 08:00

Treesit Outside of Rep Baird's Vancouver Office

From the open publishing newswire: In the early morning of Sun. April 16th Adrian Haley, a concerned citizen, climbed 60' up a tree outside Rep. Brian Baird's Vancouver, WA office. He plans to perch in the tree until Sat April 22nd and descend during an Earth Day celebration planned in Fort Vancouver. Mr. Haley is protesting Rep. Baird's decision to cosponsor the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act - HR4200, and his continual disregard for the growing majority of science showing post-fire logging hinders forest regeneration.

Tree-Sit Ends with Actions Over Next 2 Days
The action ended a lot sooner than planned but in the next 2 days there will be more. Please help us show Baird how we feel about his Salvage bill.At first the lower level cops showed up around 10:30 and were really cool and thought things would be chill until Mon. when the big wigs would make decisions about arrests etc. Then a little later the Chief of Police showed up and changed the whole situation. He started playing hard ball and said, "NO MATTER WHAT, HE IS COMMING OUT OF THAT TREE TODAY!". We played a little hard ball with him and soon the folks who had control over the property showed up. They were furious and wanted Adrian out of the tree even sooner than the officer.
related: Adrian Haley and associates negotiate for Baird public debate
Got Roadless? Oxygen Collective's Show Coming to Portland
Got Roadless? Show Dates

April 17 - Eugene, University of Oregon
April 18 - Portland, Clinton Street Theatre
April 19 - Eugene, Lane Community College
April 21 - Medford, Medford Public Library
The Final chapter of the saga of the Biscuit Burn is still unwritten. Ecologists prove logging it is unhealthy, firefighters warn it's dangerous, economists assure it's wasteful. Dozens of arrests have stymied the threat to a fraction of their promise. Still, Bush and Big Timber come back for more - this time Kalmiopsis Roadless Areas auctioned off under the guise of salvage!

The Oxygen Collective has been at the forefront of both public education and popular protest of Biscuit logging. We will be offering a free multi-media presentation reviewing the Biscuit saga up to now and highlighting how the latest logging proposals will create detrimental national precedents.

related: Forest Service to destroy Oregon's foremost hatchery | Once Upon A Forest

forest defense 08-Mar-2006 22:17

Biscuit Flares Up Again: Trials, an Anniversary and New Timber Sales

From the open publishing newswire: Arrestees from last year's civil disobedience actions against the Biscuit logging project are set to begin their trial hearings today, March 7th. This occurs on the one year anniversary of the day logging began within formerly protected old growth reserves in the Siskiyou National Forest. At seventy-two years old, Cave junction resident Joan Norman was the first of dozens to be arrested in what grew into a multiple month, community supported resistance campaign that gained national media attention. Joan would be going to trial today but she was killed in a car accident last July after spending 16 days in the Josephine County jail for her second Biscuit arrest. The remaining 20-some defendants are challenging the Forest Service and the legitimacy of the government's actions that allowed these unprecedented sales to move forward against massive public opposition.

The trials will take place against the contentious backdrop created by a wave of new reports that fundamentally challenge the science and economics behind the Biscuit logging project, as well as the Forest Service's recent announcement that they are planning to release two new, highly controversial timber sales in as little as ten days time. The release of these remote, Inventoried Roadless Area sales is a direct assault on the Clinton-era Roadless Rule, one of the most widely supported pieces of national environmental policy in decades.

Related:Biscuit actions may continue this summer | In Defense of the Biscuit video | cascadiarising.org/ | Oxygen Collective | Siskiyou Project | Kalmath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center | Earth First! | Overview/Background | Portland IMC Biscuit Action Page | The Biscuit Alliance


Live Web Radio Coverage 20-Sep-2005 14:29

Boise Cascade: Keep Your Word

"Keep your word" Boise Cascade From the open publishing newswire:

Update: Coverage will begin at 1:15pm and go until about 2pm. Tune In

Tune In for coverage tommorow to Portland Indymedia Web Radio

What: Protest Action. Led by the Back 2 The Wall's (B2TW) bus named COOL and flanked by 8' trees, citizen's wearing green ribbons will march in a dirge on Boise Cascade. A 20'x3' banner with "Boise Cascade: Keep Your Word" will be prominently displayed.

When: Tuesday September 20th @ 12:15 PM till 1 PM

Why: To oppose Boise's Cascade's decision to log old growth in the B&B fire Sale in the Deschutes National Forest. This decision breaks Boise Cascade's widely publicized 2003 promise not to harvest from old growth forests in the United States.

Report back: [ Photos from today's Boise Cascade protest | Boise Cascade: Keep Your Word ]

BATTLE OF THE BISCUIT 28-Aug-2005 11:46

The Vertical Range War: Part Two, Up and Downs On the Yellow Brick Road

From the open publishing newswire: The Horn has been a place where, by some twisted magic of the Gods, the paths all seem to go straight uphill. Here, help has been far removed from just around the corner, and sometimes the only people with transportation are the people on the other side. Here, every act of resistance must be constructed out of materials on site, and the willing hands of the campers are often the only tools they have to hold back an enemy waiting to overpower them with bulldozers and hoists. Here in the heat of summer many of the campsites have been over a mile from water, and a site that lasts beyond a few days is a rarity. Here physical exhaustion is the norm. I've sat around campfires in the evening here at the Horn, eating with the campers after one of my runs in what they call the Revolution Taxi, and with very little convincing I would have sworn to God I was eating with front line troops from some long ago war. A conflict where the irregulars went to battle wearing the cloths on their backs, and those who returned could be marked in a crowd by the thousand mile stare in their eyes, and the grime on their limbs and faces that only long months of desperate struggle grinds into a body.

But there is something else about the Horn. Something every resister should know. It's something that goes beyond the long hikes, beyond the intimidating drive, beyond even the physical demands and deprivations, you see, there's something sinister about the Horn.

previous: [ The Vertical Range War: Fear and Transgression at the Hobson Horn (21 Aug. 2005) ]

BATTLE OF THE BISCUIT 24-Aug-2005 23:59

Forest Service Wrongfully Logs Botanical Reserve

Logging aftermath - including parts of the devastated Babyfoot Botanical Area From the open publishing newswire: 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.

"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."

related: [ forest service admits fawking up botanical reserve in siskiyous | photos + more info at Siskiyou Wild Rivers Campaign website ]

BATTLE OF THE BISCUIT 24-Aug-2005 08:44

Starhawk Joins Biscuit Activists for Spiral Dance at Grants Pass Forest Service office

6 From the open publishing newswire: A march, starting at Gilbert Park holding colorful banners, snaked through the north end of town to the offices of the Forest Service. The elements were brought forward into a large circle as press took pictures and video for the nightly news. I was surprised by the fun vibrant spirit which was created in front of the FS building and enjoyed dancing around in spiral dance. We were reminded that there are still some brave souls struggling to stop the destruction up at the Hobson logging sale who need our help. I think we made our message clear.

BATTLE OF THE BISCUIT 21-Aug-2005 16:39

The Vertical Range War: Fear and Transgression at the Hobson Horn

From the open publishing newswire: The Byzantine madness that passes for forest management in these the final troubled days of our short-lived empire is enough to drive a man to cynicism and strong drink. Those were the thoughts racing through my fevered brain as I barreled headlong down a dark gut tightening mountain road after having survived one more supply run to the hearty souls maintaining the line in defense of mother earth at the place the powers that be have named Hobson's Horn. It had been another night jitterbugs and jangles, you know, hugs and hellos tinged with fear and loathing. That kind of happy to be where you are, but unable to stop looking over your shoulder in the dark for the steps you're only hearing in your mind sort of night; that kind of night that seems to happen way to often when good Americans dare to raise their voices against the powerful and mad. Rumored threat and actual threat flowed like thick wine around the meeting place, mixing and mingling with the light of the nearly full moon.

[ Battle of the Biscuit ]

BATTLE OF THE BISCUIT 19-Aug-2005 00:58

Forest Service Ranger, Pam Bode, Lies on Stand

From the open publishing newswire: n an attempt to rationalize an unconstitutional closure of Fiddler and then Hobson to stop protesters from stalling logging operations through non-violent civil disobedience, Pam Bode lies on the stand. In a hearing on 8/12 concerning a court case challenging the closure, Pam stated that some protesters had thrown rocks during an action, that she, "could not tell the violent protesters from the peaceful ones", and that protests at Fiddler, "approached riot levels". Anyone, who was at Fiddler, knows this to be an act of blatant perjury.


BATTLE OF THE BISCUIT 10-Aug-2005 16:12

Forest Service attacks tree sitter in Hobson Sale

Monday's Sky Pod action at Hobson Old Growth timber sale From the open publishing newswire: HOBSON TIMBER SALE, OR- Yesterday, August 9th, at around one o'clock, Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers, including Officer Paul Williamson, Officer Lee Fox, and Officer G.W. Ross, made a reckless but unsuccessful attempt to forcibly remove a dedicated protestor who has been living in the tree-tops. The elaborate and unusual tree sit, known as an Upper Canopy Protection Station, stretches across multiple acres and is currently blocking logging within a unit of the Hobson old-growth reserve timber sale in the Biscuit Fire Area.

A network of ropes, stretching throughout the unit slated for logging, support the platform the activist is living on. The support lines are tied into dozens of trees, preventing loggers from falling those trees as well as any trees in the area that could fall into the support lines and endanger the safety of the person living atop the platform.

related: Directions to Hobson Camp at Biscuit | save the biscuit action page | oxygen collective | rogue valley indymedia

BATTLE OF THE BISCUIT 08-Aug-2005 21:52

17 Year Old Woman Halts Old-Growth Logging in Memory of Joan Norman

From the open publishing newswire: A blockade has been constructed to stop ancient forest logging within the Biscuit timber sale and to honor the late Joan Norman. Atop a platform 50 feet in the air, a 17 year-old woman sits committed to halt felling within this contested old growth reserve timber sale, called Hobson... The platform is suspended from a traverse between two trees, with support lines anchored into multiple points in the road. Any interference with the ropes will cause the platform to tip, thus endangering the woman's safety.

"I'm incredibly inspired by Joan," said Leera, the young woman occupying the road blockade. "I know that the protection of the last ancient forests is up to all of us; following in Joan's footsteps, its time for my generation to lead the way."


BATTLE OF THE BISCUIT 04-Aug-2005 00:50

Hobson timber sale being logged; Activists gathering to stop it

From the open publishing newswire:
Greg Liles can be reached at (541) 772-6960
The Hobson timber sale, part of the Biscuit Fire salvage logging hoax, located in an old growth reserve in the rugged Siskiyou Mountains is home to many rare & sensitive creatures including mountain lions, eagles, scorpions, rubber boas, & black bears. This area is currently being logged. The sale was bought by Greg Liles Timber Company, based out of Medford, OR. The sale has already been a focal pont of blockades & other actions that are on going.

Due to the many variables involved in forest defense, including the start of active logging at the Hobson timber sale, we have had to move the location of our resistance camp once again! But don't fret, it's easy to find, and you'll want to find it to come join us "Hunkering Down at Hobson" this week and beyond.

forest defense | legacies | prisons & prisoners 24-Jul-2005 03:13

Legendary Forest Activist Joan Norman Passes On

joan norman From the open publishing newswire: I haven't an idea about how to say this. Joan Norman died today. She was killed instantly in a head on car wreck.

Joan was in the process of moving to Brookings. After having been on a waiting list for two years to get her apartment - a move she wanted primarily for health reasons - the place had just come through and today was moving day. Details are sketchy yet, but apparently she was headed back to the Illinois Valley with her nephew, who is banged up some, but O.K. We don't know yet about the people in the other car. Apparently this happened near Twin Pines, is that still in Calif? More details will be reported later.

[ Interview with Joan Norman, one of the participants: "Tell them to come with Fire in their Bellies" (14 Mar 2005) | more stories about Joan ]

21-Jul-2005 08:30

New Biscuit blockade shuts down logging activity for full day

From the open publishing newswire: Wednesday morning, just 72 hours after law enforcement dismantled the log cabin fortress that launched the Siskiyou Free State in Southern Oregon- dedicated forest defenders worked through the night to reconstruct a bigger, better-fortified version of the blockade. When the feds arrived at the Hobson old growth reserve timber sale this morning, they encountered an intricate lockdown scenario that foiled their efforts at extraction for the entire day.

on pdx indymedia: [ Battle of the Biscuit ]

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