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Central Cascade MountainsLAST UPDATED: March 14th '04 The Central Cascades bioregion includes the coastal rainforests as well as the Mt. Hood and Gifford Pinchot National Forests. Some groups working on preserving and defending these forests include the Native Ecosystem Education Project, Cascadia Forest Alliance, BARK, The Gifford Pinchot Task Force, and the Tillamook Rainforest Committee Forest Advocate
An open posting website that serves much of this region, where folks can go to post or read about forest defense news as it happens is at: www.tree-sit.org.
MT. HOOD NATIONAL FOREST :
Timber Sale Groundtruthing
Bark is a working group that takes hikes into proposed timber sales, does ground-truthing, and teaches letter-writing skills so folks that walk the sales can write comment letters and potentially help with appeals later on.
Sunday March 14thSolo Timber Sale: Documentation & Sample Comment: "Comments on Solo are due March 18th!! Please mail a copy to Bark (or just send your letter to us and we'll mail it for you)." BARK PO Box 12065 Portland, OR 97212
Bark leads hikes at least once a month on the 2nd Sunday of each month, and more often as is needed. Carpools leave at 9:30 from the Daily Grind on those days. In November 2003 there was aVictory Hike to Borg & Solo Timber Sales to celebrate the recent landmark court decision against the US Forest Service in protection of old growth! In February these sales were put Back On The Chopping Block and comment letters are needed up until March 18th, 2004. The reason these sales and many others are again being proposed after being deemed illegal, is due in part to the recent gutting of the Survey & Manage Guidelines by the Bush Administration.
March 10, 2004, Bark announced it has filed a lawsuit to stop the proposed logging of Old Growth in the Mt. Hood National Forest at the Slinky Timber Sale: ". The area slated to be logged, called the Slinky Timber Sale, is located east of Estacada in the Oak Grove and Upper Clackamas watersheds, and would clearcut trees as old as 450 years. The Clackamas River District on Mt. Hood is currently planning 15 other logging projects totaling 5,195 acres. Concern about the cumulative impact of these projects on drinking water and wildlife is what spurred Bark to take action.
The Slinky timber sale proposes removing 184 acres of northern spotted owl habitat at a time when the species is thought by many experts to be at risk of extinction. Current timber sales are expected to remove over 1,355 acres of spotted owl habitat from the landscape, equivalent to over two square miles of forest. In the past several decades, thousands of acres of spotted owl habitat have been destroyed. Given the precarious state of the spotted owl, Bark feels the timber sale is utterly irresponsible."
Local Community Television stations broadcast coverage of Bark field-trip ground-truthing in the Mt. Hood National Forest: Multnomah Community Television, Portland Cable Access, and the Tualatin Cable Access stations. Audio of some of these hikes can be found at: www.philosopherseed.org
Bark for Mt. Hood coming to a cable access TV station near you, on Channels 23 and 21 and 11
Cascadians have been visiting the timber sales in the Mt. Hood National Forest the past couple summers, and have found a number of rare species that have not been mentioned in forest service documents describing the impacts logging in these areas will have on these species. For breathtaking photos and a feel for what some of these sales are like, Click Here.
In October 2003 some of the defenders of the Borg Timber Sale arrested in August of 2002, went to court and 3 of the "Borg 4" had all their charges dropped. In support of the campaign to boycott Office Depot until they agree to stop using products made from old growth wood, some CFA activists went to support the Office Depot Protest in Portland.
Throughout the month of august, the Solo Timber Sale was a main focus, and as of late October it was hoped that this sale would be saved; In October, there was an ONRC lawsuit that successfully won an injunction, based on FS failure to follow Survey & Manage Guidelines. In February, the gutting of the Survey & Manage Guidelines again allowed the FS to put all these sales Back On The Chopping Block. Comment Period for Solo, Borg, Straw Devil, Pryor and Clark ends March 18th, 2004.
CFA maintained a number of tree sits in Eagle Creek Watershed at the Eagle timber sale over a period of nearly three years. Sunset Grove, a village of 3 tree sits unit 2 and Heaven and Haddah in other units, to name a few. Also at the Eagle timber sale activists used a varitey of blockade techniques to keep logging trucks out of the timber sale area year after year. Due in large part to their efforts and the resulting media coverage the timber sale has been cancelled. The unpopularity of this sale stems from many factors: logging in critical watersheds, increasing instances of severe blowdown and the fact that all environmental protections were suspended due to the fact that this sale was one of the last to be sold under the 1995 Salvage Rider.
In April Beth "Horehound" O'Brien died from a fall from a tree name Truth in Sunset Grove. Beth, as well as David "Gypsy" Chain and Judi Bari, risked their lives to protect Ancient Forests. Many risks are taken to protect our sacred mountains. It is a tragedy that such risks must be taken. One day no one will have to put their lives in jeopardy to stop native forest destruction.
ONGOING CAMPAIGNS: :
Boycott Umpqua Bank!!
The Willamette, Umpqua, and Rogue River forests presently have forests being endangered by the sole owner of Roseberg Forest Products(RFP), Allyn Ford, who is also the chairman of the board of Umpqua Bank. Many controversial "replacement volume" sales are going to RFP, which replace the tree farms originally bought by RFP. These replacement sales are estimated to be worth around 3 times the value of the tree farms they replace. The largest stockholders in Umpqua Bank, are Lynn and Milton Herbert, owners of Old-growth consuming Herbert Lumber. Pickets go on often in front of Umpqua bank, and CFA urges people to divest from this bank.
To find out more about CFA, and how you can help, call (503) 241-4879 or visit www.cascadiaforestalliance.org.
GIFFORD PINCHOT NATIONAL FOREST
Since 1984 the Gifford Pinchot Task Force (GPTF) has been working hard to protect the forests of Southwest Washington. The GPTF was expecting to see at least 41 timber sales threaten the Gifford Pinchot Forest this summer, but for some reason logging has not been pushed forward very quickly. It is possible that forest managers are waiting for the relaxation of laws promised to happen when Congress reconvenes in 2003. According the Forest Service, almost 90% of the logging on the GPNF over the next 10 years will target mature and old growth stands.
The LaRoux Timber Sale was the first old growth sale the GPNF attempted to sell last year, and is an example of the good reasons Survey & Manage requirements are essential to protecting old-growth dependent and other at-risk species from logging and mining and grazing operations. Thanks to the work of GPTF and their supporters, this LaRoux timber sale has been postponed for one year maybe two. But earlier last year, the timber industry led by Douglas Timber Operators (DTO) filed suit in federal district court in Oregon challenging the survey and manage provisions of the Northwest Forest Plan. Among other things, DTO claimed that the protection buffers established around survey and manage species created unlawful reserves without public comment, and unlawfully limited timber harvest on public lands.
Several conservation groups intervened in this lawsuit, and in addition the GPTF filed their own lawsuit alleging that the 2001 changes to the survey and manage program did not adequately protect survey and manage species. But in mid-October, the Bush Administration reached a settlement agreement with DTO on their lawsuit; notably, none of the intervenors in the case (including the Gifford Pinchot Task Force) were participants to the agreement. As part of the settlement agreement, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management agreed to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for the Northwest Forest Plan that would specifically address the survey and manage program. The comment deadline for this SEIS was November 20th.
The Bush Administration is also working to accelerate logging by revising the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan, and by relaxing other wildlife protections. Bush officials say they want Northwest cutting to approach the annual goal of 1 billion board feet originally projected by the plan, enough to build some 75,000 average homes. But that would require close to a tripling of current logging rates, depressed owing to court challenges and other entanglements.
The Task Force is looking for volunteers, interns, and Grove Guardians to help keep our ancient forests standing. If you would like to get involved with the Gifford Pinchot Task Force, call (360) 992-8773 or send an email to their volunteer coordinator at: email@example.com
The Tillamook Rainforest Committee of the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club is working to protect the coastal forests of Oregon in the Clatsop and Tillamook forests, which together are in the area called the Tillamook. The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is finalizing plans that would allow this agency to clearcut over 4,800 acres of the Tillamook Rainforest for the Fiscal year 2003.
Feb 14th 2003 Update: It has been learned in February 2003 that the ODF has approved a State Forest Management Plan than will mean that 85% of the Tillamook/Clatsop forests will be logged over time. Only narrow buffers of 25 feet away from streams will be left alone. No watersheds are being set aside for fishing or wildlife. No consideration for the siltation already happening in Clatsop Bay and all of the other areas downstream from the Tillamook/Clatsop forests. The Tillamook Rainforest Coalition is presently working to submit a compromise bill to the Oregon senate. This Bill, SB 430 addresses the economic reasons for the decision to log off the remaining State Forests near the coast. This Bill stil allows logging, but only in 50% of the forest. The other half would be set a side for wildlife and conservation. The yield annually, if this bill were passed would increase from 89 million board feet to 112 million board feet.
Older Information: Now that the Forest Plan has been approved in the Tillamook and Clatsop State forests, resulting in a doubling of the annual average timber harvest in the area they are in, focus has shifted to protect forests on state lands for the first time. The forest plan approved by the Oregon Board of Forestry, which oversees ODF, has resulted in a policy which is designed on the surface, to allow for environmental concerns to be addressed, while still letting the chainsaws rip. Saying that the plan allows some areas to regenerate into Old Growth while the other Old Growth areas are being cut and roaded is the bottom line of the plan approved over a year ago. CFA has been working on some of the most outrageous examples of public lands abuse. There are already 796 miles of logging roads in the Clatsop State forest alone.
One big issue needing public input by May 20, 2002 is the land-trade issue of the ODF trading away old growth coastal rainforest for clearcuts to logging companies. A public hearing on the G & N land exchange will be held at 6-8 PM April 17, 2002, in Astoria. According to CFA, the "Oregon Department of Forestry is at it again, refusing to listen to the people whose land they hold in trust. The G & N land exchange in Clatsop County is nearing its final stages. In July of 2000, a public hearing was held in Astoria and over 100 people came and spoke out against trading away these biological legacies. ODF nodded their heads, pretending to listen, and now is proceeding with the exchange without consideration of the wishes of the public."
In March 2002, an Old Growth sale called Cougar Monster was put on hold, before it's scheduled March 19 sale date, after Donald Fontenot and Bob Van Dyke raised objections. This 450 acre sale is only one of many that the ODF has "misclassified" in order to get the cut out. Apparently many sales are not only "misclassified", but are actually being "reclassified". This reclassification process allows sales to slip under the radar, and they are not subject to the level of environmental protections for the old-growth dependent species that, on paper, are not at risk by the sales. The Willamette Week gives more detail in the article, "TImber Sale Stopped" and "The Coast is Clearcut", which describe the situation in the Clatsop and Tillamook State Forests, collectively known as the Tillamook, and how the Tillamook Forest is especially at risk, because "Oregon has asked for an exemption from the enforcement provisions of the Endangered Species Act in the Tillamook."
In August 2001, the Oregon Dep't of Forestry sneaked in and completed logging in the God's Valley area of the Tillamook Forest in an Old Growth sale called Acey Line Thin, even though the ODF had promised to wait for the "focus group" to complete their review and input on the sale. In response, CFA set up a treesit in God's Valley to prevent further destruction of this area. Area IV as of Nov 28, 2001, had been mostly logged, with trees felled within 20 feet of tree-sitters, and one activist was been seriously injured after loggers cut the limbs below him and he fell out of that tree the next night. In response, a group of 15 activists crossed into the closure area, with arms linked and were all arrested & subsequently released.. >