Logging foes take to trees to protest Solo timber sale

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at ipns.com
Sat Jul 13 01:17:10 EST 2002


>From The Oregonian, July 11, 2002, p D10

Logging foes take to trees to protest Solo timber sale
Activists dedicate the "tree sit" to a woman who fell to her death in
the Mount Hood National Forest

By GILLIAM FLACCUS, The Associated Press

	Anti-logging activists on Wednesday began living in a platform
suspended from tres slated for sale later thismonth.
	The "tree sit" on the Solo timber sale in the Mount Hood National
Forest is part of a larger protest in the Oak Grove watershed
organized by the Cascadia Forest Alliance.
	The platform can hold as many as four people, said Sarah Wald, a
volunteer for the alliance. The tree sitters are supported by about 15
activists who have been living in a nearby base camp since July 1in
hopes of preventing the sale - and eventual harvest - of the 157-acre
plot.
	Those campers also are monitoring four other timber sales in the
watershed that could be logged this summer, Wald said.
	The protest comes just three months after the U.S. Forest Service
canceled the Eagle Creek timber sale, also in the Mount Hood National
Forest.
	It also comes after a tree-sitter, Beth O'Brien, 22, died April 12
when she fell 150 feet from her aerial perch at Eagle Creek. The
tree-sit getting under way will be called "Horehound" in honor of
O'Brien, who used that tag as her forest name, Wald said.
	Protesters had occupied trees at Eagle Creek for nearly three years,
although the Forest Service said the cancellation was because of
problems with "blowdown" and not protesters. Blowdown happens when
trees not intended for cutting are felled by winds at the edge of
clear-cuts.
	Walt said the activists object to the Solo timber sale because it
contains 300- to 400-year-old Douglas fir trees, as well as very large
and rare Pacific yew trees. In addition, the watershed flows into the
Clackamas River, which provides drinking water for 185,000 Portland
area residents.
	A rare species of lichen, commonly called the Old Growth Speckle
Belly, also has been discovered growing on yew trees included in the
sale, she said.
	The Forest Service has created a one-acre buffer around the lichen,
Wald said, but the protesters want the agency to put the entire sale
on hold until a more complete survey can be done for the plant.
	"It's a very rare lichen," she said. "We think it's very important
that the Forest Service hold off on this sale until they do those
aditional surveys."
	Forest managers were extremely careful in planning and selecting the
trees for the sale, said Jim Rice, timber management coordinator for
the Clackamss River Ranger District, where the sale is located.
	Surveyors checked for the rare lichen, he said, and discovered it
grew in very isolated areas that were included in buffer zones.
	He said the sale had been delayed one year because surveyors
discovered the Malone jumping slug in the area. That slug species was
listed on a federal list of protected species under the Northwest
Forest Plan but recently was removed when scientists realized it
wasn't so rare after all.
	"The people that worked on these timber sales are all specialists, we
went to school to do this, and we're there to protect the national
forest and provide balance," Rice said.
	"The protesters' objective is to stop all harvesting on national
forestland. It seems like every sale we have they protest for one
reason or another."

Posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler
www.oregonwhitetruffles.com



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