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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 disingenuously 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: For more Battle of the Biscuit coverage, check in regularly with the >>Rogue Valley IMC<<
The Bush administration, however, ignoring both science and common sense, created the "Biscuit Fire Recovery Plan", which -- while disingenuously 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:
For more Battle of the Biscuit coverage, check in regularly with the >>Rogue Valley IMC<<
Last Biscuit report back shows logging loopholes
From the open publishing newswire: Are Oregon's roadless forests being sent overseas and certified as sustainable forest products by Oregon Overseas? This is a late final reportback on Biscuit roadless logging. Biscuit Logging is mostly done now, although Silver Creek may finish plundering the North Kalmiopsis roadless area this spring, and they may still log the massive live "hazard" trees the Forest Service has rewarded them. They call it an OSHA requirement to take out the biggest and best live old-growth trees along roadways.
The photos show some of the last remaining green forest in the North Fork Indigo watershed being hacked apart by loggers who are outside of actual logging units. Mikes Gulch and Blackberry roadless logging sales [were] exempted under the roadless victory ruling. This afront on our forests is being done under the Biscuit FEIS, the Forest Service maintains that no green trees will be cut but stumps don't lie and the green trees we photographed were still on the ground.
GAO Shows Biscuit Logging Lost Taxpayer Dollars
From the open publishing newswire: The Government Accounting Office (GAO) today confirmed that logging after the Biscuit fire in southern Oregon's Siskiyou National Forest lost money. The report released by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), ranking Democrat on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee revealed that the Biscuit logging project cost taxpayers nearly $2 million dollars.
Logging generated $8.8 million in receipts but expenses were $10.7 million. Most of the receipts generated were from low-cost hazard tree removal ($5.1 million) - meaning that the losses from the controversial salvage sale portion of the Biscuit project were approximately $7 million.
Images of Roadless Area Logging, coming to a forest near you, unless...
From the open publishing newswire: On August 7th, 2006 logging began at the MIkes Gulch sale in the previously protected South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area. Video was taken from on top of Gold Ridge and the giant landing built to bring logs up by helicopter.
George Bush, John West, Scott Conroy, and Mark Rey all say Oregon forests belong to forest profiteers, not the american people. Oregon has become a sacrifice state, as they protect roadless forests in the East, they fast track logging Oregon's largest, most biodiverse, roadless area in the west.
Resistance to Roadless Logging Escalates as Protesters Blockade Bridge
From the open publishing newswire: Early this morning, protestors erected a daring road blockade to halt logging at the Mike's Gulch Timber Sale in the Siskiyou National Forest, site of the first ever incursion into an Inventoried Roadless Area since the passage of the federal Roadless Rule in 2001. At least one activist is suspended in a cantilever off the side of the Green Bridge above the Illinois River in a manner that prohibits traffic across the bridge without endangering the life of the person hanging from it.
This dramatic action follows years of lawsuits, rallies, public comment periods and national media attention involving tens of thousands of people speaking out against the logging of the Biscuit. Over 2 million people submitted comments to protect our nation's roadless areas before the Biscuit fire and over 20,000 citizens submitted public comments opposing the Biscuit logging when it was proposed, and almost 100 arrests have been made of people engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience protesting the massive logging project.
Nation's First Roadless Logging Began Today; Unprecedented Action Ignites Protest
From the open publishing newswire:
The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest began logging today in a roadless forest that was protected by the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule which protected 58 million acres of public forest from industrial logging, and road-building. The Bush administration is now logging roadless forests, despite massive public opposition and a pending court cases challenging the logging.
More than 100 citizens from across the country attended a rally in front of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office in Medford today to protest the first logging of Roadless Areas. A dozen people with shirts reading "Roadless is Priceless" sat down in a road in front of the Forest Service office with potted trees. This resulted in twelve arrests, with charges still pending.
Roadless Area Logging Equals Broken Promise
Controversial logging began today in Mike's Gulch, a National Forest roadless area in Southern Oregon. It's the first roadless area logging in six years and part of a systematic rollback of environmental protections by the Bush administration.
Today, Silver Creek Timber Co. began logging in the South Kalmiopsis roadless area, located in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Southern Oregon. The logging is the first logging allowed in a National Forest roadless areas since the Bush administration replaced the popular 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule in 2005.
Save Mike's Gulch! Get on the bus this Sunday!
From the open publishing newswire: The purchaser of Mike's Gulch, the massive timber sale located in the South Kalmiopsis inventoried roadless area adjacent to the world-renowned Kalmiopsis Wildlerness, has filed his required 7-day notice to initiate logging. Logging will commence on Monday the 7th. The stakes are high. This would be the first inventoried roadless area sale to move forward since the popular Clinton-era roadless rule was enacted.
Clear your calendars, play hooky and join Back2theWall and the Cascadia Wildlands Project in a strong show of opposition to this reckless proposal and support of wild Siskiyou protection. We will be joining forces with many different conservation groups, community members and supporters at the Siskiyou Forest Supervisors office (where all the big decisions get made) at noon on Monday, August 7.
The bus named Cool will be leaving Portland on Sunday August 6th at 01:30 pm and we will be camping near Medford and then returning to Portland Monday evening following the protest and a carpool in Eugene leaves from Kinko's back parking lot (13th and Willamette St.) at 5 pm on Sunday. Come prepared and self-sufficient. [ read more ]
Call Joe Keating to reserve a place on the bus! (503) 234-2613 or Steve at (503) 772-3164
Support the governor's petition to protect roadless forests!Oregon Governor Ted Kulongowski has called repeatedly for full protection of all 1.9 million acres of roadless Oregon forest. Ignored by the Bush Administration he is now suing the Administration in federal court. This and several other suits that might again protect Mike's Gulch are still pending. Nonetheless, logging is moving forward.
The Bush Administration claims that governors are allowed to petition for protection of roadless areas in their states. The petitions are not due until this Fall. The Administration promised interim protection for all roadless areas pending review of those petitions. The Administration has broken this promise at Mike's Gulch.
The Governor is holding an open hearing on roadless forest protection in Medford on August 16th. Please plan to attend this event as well. [ read more ]
Roadless Area Rule Violated by Siskiyou Forest Service in 2005Without much fanfare or controversy the Siskiyou National Forest planned and allowed the clear-cut logging inside the North Kalmiopsis roadless area as part of the Berry salvage logging timber sale in the Biscuit burn in 2005. Thus the US Forest Service unilaterally decided to violate the Roadless Area Conservation Plan at least one year before Federal Courts were to decide the legality of such actions. I suppose Siskiyou National Forest personnel figured that they would get away with this because no one would notice, at least not until the trees were cut and hauled away. Well, I guess they were right. Also, I suppose Forest Service personnel told them selves, well even if we do get caught no one would get punished. In fact they would likely get a pat on the back, a bonus or even promotion for doing the Bush administration's and Oregon's timber baron's bidding. [ read more ]
Scorned, Sold and Sued
From the open publishing newswire: Two major victories were scored [Friday] for Mike's Gulch, a threatened forest in Oregon's largest roadless area, the South Kalmiopsis. The area's Congressman clearly stated his opposition to logging and the State's Governor announced he is filing a lawsuit in Federal Court to block the sale.
Only one week ago the Bush Administration announced they were selling timber in a roadless forest for the first time since overturning the Clinton-era rule protecting 59 million acres of roadless forests from logging. People across the country quickly moved to be heard and to convince the two public officials to take serious action in favor of wildland protections. Forest lovers are celebrating today because it worked.
Roadless Red Alert!
From the open publishing newswire:
Breaking news: The Bush administration is planning to auction the controversial Mike's Gulch roadless logging project this Friday, June 9th. Logging could begin within days after the auction.
The Mike's Gulch timber sale would saw into the largest roadless forest in Oregon: the 105,000-acre South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area. In addition to harming the South Kalmiopsis, Mike's Gulch would set a dangerous national precedent by logging roadless forests for the first time since the 2001 Roadless Rule was approved.
In a move to gut the Roadless Rule, the Bush administration has asked state governors to complete complicated petitions to protect roadless forests in their states. While some anti-conservation governors are not participating in the process, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski is currently creating a petition. 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.
NEST finds species to stop old growth timber sales
The Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (NEST) will be conducting surveys for red tree vole nests?a small rodent which is the main food source of the endangered spotted owl?in the "Trapper" timber sale, a tract of old-growth forest in the McKenzie River watershed, the source of Eugene's drinking water.
The Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (N.E.S.T.) is a group of forest defenders committed to protecting the habitat of rare species associated with old growth and late-successional forests. NEST enforces environmental protections built into the Northwest Forest Plan (NWP). In 2004, Bush and the timber industry conspired to end the protections provided by the Survey and Manage portion of the NWP. However, their conspiracy was short lived because in January, a U.S. District Court judge upheld Northwest Forest Plan rules that required on-the-ground inspections for various animal and plant species before logging can begin. This ruling halted more than 140 logging projects on public land in the Northwest -- about three-quarters of them in Oregon -- after concluding that the Bush administration illegally stopped checking for sensitive species before letting the cut proceed. [ NEST Needs Volunteers!! ]
Bush Administration Puts Roadless Forests on Chopping Block
From the open publishing newswire: 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.
Concerned citizens can express their opinions and send instant faxes to Bush Forest Service officials at the Siskiyou Project website: www.siskiyou.org.
Related: [This Weekend, June 2-4:]Oxygen Collective Roadless Tour
Actions to Save Roadless Biscuit/Siskiyou
From the open publishing newswire: The Siskiyou National Forest, under orders from Undersecretary of Agriculture (and long-time timber industry lobbyist) Mark Rey, is preparing timber sales within the 88,000 acre North Kalmiopsis and the 105,000 acre south Kalmiopsis roadless areas.
The "Blackberry" timber sale is located in the North Fork of the Indigo Creek drainage, one of the most productive salmonid (includes salmon, steelhead and trout) bearing drainages in the entire Rogue River watershed and (perhaps the entire) Oregon coast. Only 6 other drainages in the (entire) Rogue River watershed are as (important to salmon) as the Indigo Creek drainage. Coho and Chinook salmon, listed "Threatened" under the Endangered Species Act, depend on the cold clean waters of Indigo Creek as a refuge to help them survive the warmer waters of the Illinois River.
In 2005 the Siskiyou National Forest allowed the clearcut logging (minus a few snags) of at least 500 acres in the headwaters of the 8,000 acre North Fork Indigo Creek drainage. This North Fork Indigo drainage is in the process of rejuvenating itself from the 2002 Biscuit fire and the miles of bulldozed fire lines and back burns set intentionally to fight it, not to mention the 500 acres of clearcuts committed in 2005.
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 DaysThe 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
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.Forest Service to destroy Oregon's foremost hatchery | Once Upon A Forest
Help respond to Rep. Brian Baird (D)'s pro-salvage logging article in the Oregonian
From the open publishing newswire: Yesterday, Congressman Brian Baird (D-WA) wrote an opinion piece in the Oregonian (copied below) with the intention of defending his indefensible logging bill, H.R. 4200. We need your help in sending letters to the editor pointing out that Baird's post-disturbance logging legislation is harmful to fish, wildlife, and overall forest recovery. At the bottom of this alert is a press release about 169 scientists from across the country who have come out against this legislation.
Day 1 of Walking with Joan; Resistance in the Siskiyou mountains
From the open publishing newswire: Public opposition to the Biscuit Timber Sales have circled over a year, and a commemoration of the late Joan Norman's civil disobedience and leadership is being celebrated with a three-day walk from the Green Bridge over the Illinois River to Federal agency offices in Grant's Pass. Day one is over, and is recounted below, including an insightful meeting with the head Forest Ranger of this district. An invitation to join with the walkers on the second day is issued, as well as for a confrontation with the stewards of our public lands at the end of the walk.
Dawn broke upon the Green Bridge and revealed several inches of snow the fell during the night, with a mist that obscured the nearby mountains. We had camped there the night before in honor of Joan Norman, who was a dynamic keystone in the popular protests of the Biscuit timber sales last spring. She died last summer in a tragic car wreck, and some of us felt it was important to celebrate the last and greatest stand she took in a long life of principled social and ecological activism. Geese honked and flew past in small groups over the Illinois River before us, while we warmed ourselves in front of a huge radiant fire that had burned since afternoon of the previous day. We were preparing to begin a long walk to Grant's Pass.