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Comments Needed: Help Protect Oregon Old Growth

by Bark Thursday, Mar. 18, 2004 at 1:44 PM
info@bark-out.org

The Forest Service is trying to move forward with several contentious old growth sales in Oregon that have been the site of mass protests and civil disobedience. Tomorrow (Wed March 18th) is the last day to submit public comments.

PROTECT OLD GROWTH SPECIES - TAKE ACTION FOR SOLO, BORG, STRAW DEVIL, PRYOR AND CLARK

FOREST SERVICE PUTS OLD GROWTH TIMBER SALES BACK ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK

Comment Deadline: March 18, 2004

Following last year’s victory for Solo and Borg on Mt. Hood National Forest, and four other timber sales in the Willamette National Forest, the Forest Service has released a revised plan to log five sales, including Solo and Borg on Mt. Hood. The plan was just released, and we need to respond in force!

Please take a moment to write a letter to Linda Goodman and send a copy to Senator Wyden asking them to cancel these sales.

EMAIL, WRITE OR CALL THESE PUBLIC OFFICIALS:

You can also send an automatic email to Linda Goodman and Jim Rice (not Wyden) through: http://www.citizenspeak.org/campaign/4106.php

Linda Goodman

ldgoodman@fs.fed.us

Regional Forester

Pacific Northwest Region 6

P.O. Box 3623

Portland, OR 97208

503-808-2213 or 2204

Fax:503-808-2210

Senator Wyden

700 NE Multnomah Suite 450

Portland, OR 97232

(503) 326-7525

Email him at this website: http://wyden.senate.gov/contact/

For Comments on Solo and Borg only, also cc:

James Rice

jrrice@fs.fed.us

595 NW Industrial

Estacada, OR 97023

503-630-8710

Don't forget to cc: Bark! info@bark-out.org

SAMPLE LETTER

I am writing to urge you to drop the Solo and Borg projects in the Clackamas River watershed in the Mt. Hood National Forest, and the Straw Devil, Pryor and Clark projects in the Middle Fork of the Willamette River watershed in the Willamette National Forest. Citizen surveyors spent hundreds of hours climbing trees and combing the forest floor for rare species depending on old growth forests that the Northwest Forest Plan is supposed to protect. Dozens of sites of these rare wildlife species were confirmed, and in the fall a court victory stopped the logging of these areas. Yet the recently released Supplemental Environmental Assessments for these sales reveal the Forest Service’s clear intent to move forward and log these precious old growth ecosystems. Rather than justifying plans to liquidate some of our last ancient forests, the Forest Service should be focusing on restoring complexity and resiliency to our forests with non-commercial logging project. Please work to truly cancel these old growth sales.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

1) Get your friends and relatives to contact Regional Forester Linda Goodman and Senator Ron Wyden. Let Bark know how many letters/calls were made.

2) Collect signatures on post-cards to be sent to the Senator and Forester Goodman. Contact Bark for more information: info@bark-out.org or (503) 331-0374

3) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

4) Organize a protest or media event to draw attention to the renewed threat facing these five precious areas.

TALKING POINTS:

• The government refuses to listen to public sentiment that old-growth logging is unacceptable.

• These new EAs show that the government wildlife surveys were incomplete, and it took citizens weeks of effort to do the government’s work for them. The EAs do not explain how these methodology problems will be fixed in future projects.

• The government is ignoring public input and rejecting valuable information provided by the public. Citizens spent weeks searching for are species, and now the government will log these sites, destroying old-growth habitat and killing spotted owl prey species.

• The government is giving old-growth dependent wildlife too little protection and refusing to consider much larger buffers that would better ensure their long-term persistence.

• The government is pretending that Canada lynx is a non-issue, while ignoring the fact that the Cascade Range is an expanse of conifer forest large enough to support a viable population of lynx. If we are going to bring the lynx back from the edge of extinction, we need to manage the Cascades for lynx.

BACKGROUND

The Forest Service plans to move ahead with five timber sales that threaten Ancient Forests in the Pacific Northwest. The Solo, Borg, Straw Devil, Pryor, and Clark projects have been controversial for many years and have been actively resisted in the forests and in the courts. These projects threaten roadless areas near Diamond Peak, municipal watersheds for nearly 200,000 people, and some of the largest and oldest Douglas-firs, incense cedars, and Pacific yews around.

The Solo and Borg projects are in the Clackamas River watershed in the Mt. Hood National Forest and the Straw Devil, Pryor and Clark projects are in the Middle Fork of the Willamette River watershed in the Willamette National Forest. Each one of these areas is special. For example, the Solo timber sale, in the threatened Oak Grove sub-watershed contains the oldest known Pacific yews in Mt. Hood National Forest and some of the largest remaining Douglas-firs in the Clackamas Ranger District.

Citizen surveyors spent hundreds of hours climbing trees and combing the forest floor for rare species dependent on old growth forests that the Northwest Forest Plan was designed to protect. Dedicated people who wanted to see these forests protected confirmed dozens of sites of these rare wildlife species. Tree-sitters put their bodies on the line to ensure the protection of several of the sales. For over five years, tree-sitters lived in the canopy of the Clark Timber Sale (Fall Creek) while tree-sitters began their watch at Solo in the spring of 2002.

After a victory in the courts that stopped logging of these areas last fall, the Forest Service released Supplemental Environmental Assessments for all these projects on February 17, 2004. While there is a comment period associated with each of these projects, it is clear that the decision-makers in the Clackamas District of the Mt. Hood and the Middle Fork District of the Willamette have already made up their minds that cutting old growth is more important that protecting species and working with the public. We need to step up the pressure on these reckless agencies.

MORE INFORMATION:

Solo & Borg: Contact Bark @ www.bark-out.org; (503) 331-0374 or info@bark-out.org

Pryor, Straw Devil and Clark: Contact Cascadia Wildlands Project @ www.cascwild.org (541) 434-1463 cascwild@efn.org Or Cascadia Forest Defenders @ (541) 684.8977 in Eugene ForestDefenders@riseup.net

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