McKENZIE BRIDGE, OR – Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) has initiated a tree sit on the Goose Timber Sale area surrounding McKenzie Bridge, Oregon to call attention to thousands of acres of public lands logging planned for the McKenzie River drainage and tens of thousands of acres of logging planned across the state. Over 18 million acres of Oregon’s forestlands is federally managed by the US. Forests Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The Goose timber Sale Project is a 2,000 acre logging project that includes logging of nearly 1,000 acres inside an un-inventoried road-less area that adjoins the Andrews Experimental Forest to the north. CFD is embarking on this campaign to end the harvests of multiple Willamette National Forest and Eugene BLM timber sales in the McKenzie River watershed.
“It is long past due for state and federal agencies to declare a climate emergency and implement a moratorium of logging on all public lands across Oregon and the nation,” stated Shannon Wilson, a Cascadia Forest Defender since 1995.
In the report “The Great American Stand: U.S. Forests and the Climate Emergency”, released by the Dogwood Alliance in March 2017, it states the EPA estimates that “carbon emissions from logging from 2006 to 2010 was equal to 584 million metric tons of CO2, an amount greater than fossil fuel emissions from the residential and commercial sectors combined.”
“Protecting people’s drinking water and preserving public lands as carbon and biological reserves is about human survival and my community’s survival,” said Mathew Hawks, one of the activists in opposition to the Goose Timber Sale.
In 2012 CFD initiated a tree-sit that resulted in a lawsuit that temporarily stopped the sale until the Willamette National Forest completed an Environmental Impact Statement in 2016. However, the Forest Service increased the acres to be logged.
The McKenzie River is the sole drinking water source for the city of Eugene, Oregon according to the McKenzie Watershed Council. “We aim to draw attention to the sort of public lands logging that threatens endangered species with extinction, Eugene’s water supply, and the entire climate.” Stated native Oregonian Mary Grace Hickok.
A view from Hwy 126 of the road-less area in the background.
CFD says this tree sit is done as an act of solidarity with EO Wilson’s “Half-Earth” campaign to protect 50% of the Earth’s biosphere to preserve biodiversity. A Harvard professor for over 50 years, Pulitzer Prize winning author of 25 books, and the world’s most prominent biodiversity scientist, Wilson calls for “Half of the Earth” to be protected as wildlife reserves to save 90% of the remaining species on the planet.
“Protecting half of Oregon and all the nation’s public lands as carbon and biological reserves is the only viable avenue to address the climate emergency and extinction crisis,” stated Wilson. “We will continue to defend the forests until our society shifts their management of public resources to a more sustainable solution.”
If you want to be involved or be part of the tree sit please contact us.
To see the areas in Eugene’s watershed that could be impacted by logging, click on the link below:
The first timber sales designed under the new Revised Management Plan (RMP) were offered at auction today at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office in Springfield. Though these were not particularly egregious cuts, Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) did not let their passing go unmarked. CFD has been tracking the RMP though its development with members making public comments particularly against the destruction of the aquatic conservation strategy of the Northwest Forest Plan and the abandonment of efforts to survey and manage key species such as the red tree vole, a staple food of the Northern Spotted Owl. Despite massive input against increasing logging in western Oregon during the planning phase, the BLM announced it would enact the RMP increasing logging by 37% on our public land last August. 20 environmental groups immediately filed protest but the BLM is moving forward anyway. A handful of diligent activists held banners and conversations outside the BLM as employees filed into work and bidders from timber companies went in to the auction. Todays demonstration was small and amicable, just enough to let Big Timber and BLM know that we are paying attention. Future sales that implement the more destructive methods outlined in the RMP will be met with resistance.
The State Land Board can either stop the sale of the Elliott or sell it this Tuesday!
The Department of State Lands (DSL) released the agenda for the State Land Board meeting on February 14th in Salem. In it the DSL has requested to proceed with the direct sale of the Elliott State Forest.
“The Department will initiate negotiations in good faith with the plan proposers towards a binding Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA), and an eventual transfer of ownership of the Elliott Property to the Elliott Forest LLC, unless and to the extent the Board directs the Department otherwise.”
In other words, unless the State Land Board tells the Department of State Lands to not sell the Elliott, it will be officially sold.
The newly elected State Land Board members need to hear from us before they make a decision on Tuesday. Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and State Treasurer Tobias Read are the new members, and this will be their first State Land Board meeting.
What the State Land Board needs to know from us:
- The Elliott needs to remain in public ownership.
- The DSL is disregarding the Land Board decision in December to look into other options.
- We still have time to create a new plan for the future of the forest.
- The common school fund needs to be decoupled from the revenue of the Elliott, but not at the cost of loosing our public lands.
Who to call and write to:
- Call the State Land Board: Tobias Read (503) 378-4329 and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (503) 986-1523
- Send an email to Tobias Reed (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dennis Richardson (email@example.com).
- Call your legislator
Please join us at the State Land Board Meeting on Tuesday! Wear green to show your support for the Elliott. The meeting is from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at the Oregon Department of State Lands Land Board Room 775, Summer St NE, Salem.
This could turn into the State Land Board meeting where the Elliott is finally sold. Please have conversations with your friends and other organizers to make sure that the Elliott is not sold quietly. Basically the shit should hit the fan if this happens! Who wants to bring the bag of shit?!?
Please get creative in the ways we as a community are reacting to this proposal. Don’t let the Land Board think that they can get away with doing nothing. Because if they do nothing, the Elliott will be sold.
Rally & March – In Eugene at 10am at the Park Blocks, 8th ave. & Oak.
NonViolent Direct Action Training – 4pm -Gerlinger Hall, Room 242, Univeristy of Oregon campus.
Come visit an awesome, endangered part of the forest with us! This timber sale is part of the new BLM management plan and is up for slaughter soon. Knowledgable mushroom guides will walk you through the fungi of the forest. Meet for a carpool at the Lane County Fairgrounds E. Parking lot at 13th & Madison, 10 am Saturday 11/19. Bring lunch, water, Mushroom basket/bag, a pocket knife, & raingear.
THE LOCATION IS NOT SET YET!!!
We’re potentially headed to the “McKenzie View” project area, out Hwy 126, take a right, over the white covered bridge onto Goodpasture Rd, then a right onto Marten Ridge Rd (if Goodpasture turns to gravel you’re gone too far). About an hour’s drive, all paved, no gravel. The proposed cutting is adjacent to Marten Ridge Rd (marked 16-2E-36.2 on map)- mostly on your right. The ‘Rough Draw’ piece is separate, north of the river.
In the last year, Cascadia Forest Defenders protested BLM timber sales such as John’s Last Stand, which even the BLM thought better of auctioning, possibly because those sales broke their own rules. The Northwest Forest Plan has set the minimum bar for forest health since 1994. Now the BLM, without so much as a legislative mandate, has tossed even that out the window in favor of a new set of rules founded on greed and dirty politics not science and common sense.
We’d see more wasteful clear cuts under the BLM’s Revised Management Plan for Western Oregon. Calling for massive logging increases in 80- to 150-year-old forests, the plan would guarantee that Oregon would never have more ancient forest than it does today.
By cutting stream buffers in half to log the larger timber from riparian zones, the plan lowers protection for the drinking water of 1.8 million Oregonians while putting valuable fisheries at risk. The plan further fails to protect threatened and endangered species by dropping the scientific mandate to survey and manage.
The plan also fails to adequately consider the climate crisis. Instead, while the BLM acknowledges that the trees are worth more sequestering carbon, it commits to meeting the mandates of the 1937 O&C Act that everyone agrees is out of date.
While the plan benefits the Oregon timber industry and politicians they subsidize, the majority of Oregon’s citizens will lose more forest recreation, water, fisheries, and wildlife. Rather than see our forests cut to pad corporate pockets further, Cascadia Forest Defenders is calling for a moratorium on logging on public land. Reformation of the timber taxes on the largest Oregon timber corporations could easily fund western county services while retaining jobs in the forest.
If this lawless raid on our public forest makes you afraid, angry, and/or tearful, turn that energy into action! Your public officials actually need to hear from you that you want your air clean, your water present, and your ancient forests standing. Weird, huh? So, write your congressmen and senators and your president. And, perhaps you’d like to attend Congressman Defazio’s campaign kick-off on August 16 (6pm, 155 Blair, Eugene). He definitely needs reminding that passing bills in Congress that call for increased logging does not serve the people of Oregon. Remind him and other politicians that without a new law to protect this proposed BLM plan revision, the plan will not stand up in the courts. When they talk about how to fund public services, remind them of all those tax cuts they have given big timber since the 1990s, and tell them to stop the corporate welfare.
If that sounds too heady, just get out in the woods and start holding them down. That is what we mean by a moratorium on logging on public land. Our next Public Hike will be to some Old Growth near Eugene on August 27 to see what Nature can do when we stop interfering. Carpool leaves Sequential on McVay at 10 am. Bring a lunch and some water. See you in the trees!