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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.
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
A welcoming committee is forming to prepare for continued Biscuit logging protests this summer in response to the Forest Service announcing two new logging sales. Mikes Gulch and Blackberry would log the third and largest roadless area in Oregon, in the South and North Kalmiopsis Roadless Areas. Mikes Gulch would connect with the completed Fiddler logging sale and would be visable from Redwood Hwy and the National Wild and Scenic Illinois River. The sales could be sold in a matter of several weeks. MIkes Gulch is right above the green bridge where actions had taken place last summer. There is a campout on the green bridge already scheduled for March 13th.
It's rare to find two diametrically opposed sides using the same exact posterchild to support their views. However, that's essentially what's developed over the past few years as the logging industry have locked horns with conservation groups and scientists in a battle over so-called "healthy forests" policy and the future of America's public lands following wildfires.
Natural fires have been an important part of the Siskiyou Wild Rivers area for thousands of years. The fire-enriched Siskiyou region has more conifer species than any other temperate-zone forest in the world, and has been identified by scientists as one of the most important ecosystems on planet. In other words, not exactly the ideal place for industrial logging of ancient forest reserves and roadless wildlands.
Unfortunately, listening to some people, you'd be led to believe that the 2002 Biscuit Fire laid waste to everything in its path. While referred to repeatedly by the logging industry and their supporters as catastrophic, devastating and unnatural, the reality is that 84% of the Biscuit Fire area was either unburned, or burned at low to moderate intensity.
Yet, this reality hasn't prevented Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) - who incidentally has received $643,363 in campaign contributions from the logging industry during his senate career and was one of the major supporters of the so-called "Healthy Forest Restoration Act" - from declaring in a recent opinion piece that "Today, nearly half the Siskiyou National Forest remains a charred moonscape."
Last Friday (Jan 6) some friends and I took a hike to Fall Creek, where we encountered a logging operation happening in the hills. This, I believe, is the sale that was bought by Silver Creek Timber Company on November 2nd, 2005 (note, Silver Creek is the same company that's been reaping the benefits of the Biscuit Fire). If this is correct, this sale is 4.22 million board feet, or about 500 logging trucks full of trees.
In terms of what we saw, there were two or three logging trucks (just pickups, as of last Friday, they're not yarding yet), and "fellers" in what seemed to be two locations up the hill. There was also one law enforcement officer, who allowed us to enter into Bedrock Campground across the river. We hiked up the rocks and got some video footage of the mountainside and watched some of the trees fall. This is definitely not roadside salvage -- they're cutting well up the hill, in areas with burned trees. This is why I draw the conclusion that this is the Silver Creek sale. If anyone has more information about what's going on in Fall Creek, or would be interested in investigating, I'd be good to have more information out there. Forests should not fall in silence; let's find out what's going on.Oct 2005 Fall Creek Auction protest | www.cascadiarising.org
Salvage Logging Legislation Introduced in the House of Representatives: On Thursday November 3rd, Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) and Brian Baird (D-WA) introduced a bill that will sweep aside protections for old growth reserves, roadless areas, fish and wildlife in order to rush logging after fires and natural disturbances. The bill eliminates meaningful environmental review and public involvement.
The Walden-Baird bill is an extreme example of what happens when money from the logging industry influences politicians that are entrusted with protecting America's natural heritage.
Representative Tom Udall (D-NM) has introduced an alternative bill called the "National Forests Rehabilitation and Recovery Act" (H.R. 3973).
Related: gptaskforce.org | Fall Creek "Salvage" Sale Timber Auction--On the Inside Looking Out | Oly Ecology Center Week in the Trees Int'l Forest News | Rogue IMC Forest Defense Page | Oxygen Collective Biscuit Defense & New Orleans Relief Efforts | O2 Collective Biscuit Movie: Keep Towing That Line
On Wednesday, November 2nd, the Forest Service will auction large swaths of forest in the Fall Creek area. This is the latest action that will result in the "salvage" logging of fire-burned old-growth trees that are ecologically integral to the life of the forest. The estimate quantity on this sale is 4.422 million board feet, or roughly 500 logging trucks full of timber.
Gather @ 8 am outside of the Eugene Grower's Market, 454 Willamette. We will carpool to the auction site in the Middle Fork Ranger District (46375 Highway 58, Westfir, OR). Bring musical instruments, costumes, food, and creative ideas for resistance.
Update: Coverage will begin at 1:15pm and go until about 2pm. Tune InTune 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.
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) ]
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."
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.
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.
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.
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
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."
Greg Liles can be reached at (541) 772-6960The 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.
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.
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 ]
In an exciting new chapter of the campaign to save the Wild Siskiyou, forest activists announced today the construction of a bold and elaborate infrastructure of resistance at the Hobson old growth reserve timber sale in the Biscuit Fire area. Southern Oregon forest defenders are calling on all allies to support these actions in whatever ways they can.
An impressive log cabin fortress now stands on the single road leading to this remote North Kalmiopsis timber sale, sealing off vehicle access to an area now referred to by many as the "Siskiyou Free State." In addition, an unusual new form of tree sit has been established in one of the units of the sale that connects many trees together across multiple acres in a rope-work network that suspends an activist in midair while preventing any trees from being felled in the area.
pdx indy stories/background: [ Battle of the Biscuit ]
Selma, OR - Three years after dry lightning strikes started the Biscuit fire in southwestern Oregon's Siskiyou Wild Rivers area, the Siskiyou National Forest has begun logging forests in the Wild & Scenic Illinois River canyon.
"It's disappointing to see that with millions of taxpayer dollars and three years to work with, the Forest Service is still getting it all wrong" said Rolf Skar, campaign director of the Cave Junction based Siskiyou Project. "Instead of working together on real fire safety and creating restoration jobs, we're watching them log along the fish-rich Wild & Scenic Illinois River at heavy taxpayer expense."
The McGuire logging sale is located entirely in an Old-Growth Reserve that was to be shielded from cutting for sensitive species under the Northwest Forest Plan. It also logs the 3,529 acre Six Mile Creek roadless area - an uninventoried roadless forest near the giant Kalmiopsis wildlands.
Tree-sit up; You're invited to join the forest defense effortThe Forest Service has recently discovered a n occupied arboreal structure in the area, and machinery has started to enter the area. The beginning of logging may be imminent. The Biscuit campaign has been preparing and working to make this new site of civil disobedience and resistence public. Lots of planning and organizing rewards us with making this announcement to everyone interested
Friday marks the beginning of a week and a half of forest defense activities around Oregon and just outside Portland on Mount Hood National Forest. Today Back to the WALL plans a protest and action in Southern Oregon at the Biscuit Timber Sale. Anticipating the protest, the closure imposed earlier this year in the Illinois Valley has been granted a one month extension by the Forest Service's timber stooges, in a blatent effort to stifle dissent. This 12+ miles closure of a public road accessing the Kalmiopsis wilderness and many other popular recreation areas was put in place following acts of non-violent civil disobedience (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) and other protests. Calls to the Forest Service supervisors are desperately needed.
Friday night in Portland at 7 pm at the Redwing Cafe(1700 S.E. 6th) an Earth First! history event will be held, focusing on the life and work of famed redwoods defender, labor organizer, and COINTELPRO survivor Judi Bari complete with music, speakers and a new film. On Saturday there will be a hike to Bear, an old growth forest on Mount Hood which was just cut this month - the logs have yet to be removed. All this is leading up to the National Earth First! Rendezvous which begins Monday the 4th with a celebration of Cascadian independence from the US.