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.