A total of 11 people attended the hike, which was led by Sandi Scheinberg, Executive Director of Bark. |
Besides these timber sales, the area is threatened by a proposed development by Mt Hood Meadows, who are seeking to build a four-season destination resort and expand the Cooper Spur Ski Area right in the middle of a key deer and elk migration corridor.
According to Sandi, Bark has challenged the Polallie-Cooper sales for two reasons. The first is that the Forest Service has "failed to include any cumulative effects analysis considering the proposal for a 450 unit resort, nor an expanded ski area. And they are required in their environmental review, to look at any kind of effect to anything happening nearby. But they didn't include any of those things, as if having almost a 900 acre logging project next to a massive resort development, next to a dramatically scaled up ski area would not have any cumulative effects. So, we sued to stop the timber sale, and said that you need to analyze this, at a minimum, what the effects of this thing will be...."
And the second main reason they sued to stop the sale was that, they have failed to consider all the new and available science on fire. Much of the information Sandi provided during the hike had to do with the theme of fire and fire prevention, which is often used to justify the need for logging.
There was much to learn, and not just about the timber sales and Forest Service management practices. Besides these subjects, Sandi spoke about how snags provide habitat for forest creatures; how down woodey debris contributes to the building of soils and fertility and absorb water for slow release to the forest during the drier seasons; she identified various plant and tree species and spoke at length about the different habitat these species need, and the habitat they likewise provide to the overall balance of being that is the forest.
This area is a transitional zone, between the wet northwest fir forests and the drier, east of the Cascades pine forests. Here, both tree species exist, often side by side, and provide a unique landscape and ecosystem.
Many other groups, both in Portland and on the mountain are seeking to protect this fragile area from these timber sales and future development. For information and to find out how you may assist in this effort go to Cooper Spur Wild And Free Coalition
This 18 minue audio file features excerpts from the Polallie-Cooper hike.
Polallie-Cooper Field Trip