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forest defense | katrina aftermath

5/31/05 Legacy Forests Campaign Update & Action Alerts

IN THIS UPDATE:

* Fisher Fire "Salvage" Logging Begins
* "Funk for the Forests," Benefit, June 17th at Luckey's Tavern
* Meet a Mustang, June 4; Update on Wild Horse Legislation
* Eugene City Council Votes to Safeguard McKenzie Forests
* Westside Project (Medford BLM) Needs Your Comments
* Fisher Fire "Salvage" Logging Begins in Wenatchee

In March, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest approved a plan to log 2,500 acres of federal lands that were burned by the Fischer Fire in August of 2004. The US Forest Service hopes to recover money from the burned timber, but will do so at the expense of old forests, clean water and public safety. The plan calls for logging in old-growth forest reserves, and for building or re-building over 15 miles of road. This timber sale allows for logging of burned trees up to four feet in diameter to generate 20 million board feet of timber, enough to fill 4,000 log trucks. The project logs in sensitive areas with potentially unstable soils, threatens public safety by increasing fine fuels in an area close to homes and communities, and will likely have adverse impacts to water quality.

Because of a new rule by the Bush administration, logging has already begun using an "emergency" exemption that allows the trees to be cut before the Regional Forester can address the issues raised by conservation groups and other members of the public. Large trees are being trucked off the steep slopes surrounding Blag Mountain just above the towns of Peshatin and Leavenworth. Yakima Resources, who was the sole bidder on the Fischer Fire salvage project, purchased the old trees with the minimum bid and is sending them to an Oregon mill for processing.

These types of large-scale salvage logging projects are on the rise in the Pacific Northwest. Residents of the region must speak out now against this colossal waste of taxpayer money and the destruction of an irreplaceable natural resource before we see an increase in destructive salvage timber sales like this one!

To get to the burn area, drive Highway 2 east to Peshatin, just east of Leavenworth. At the town of Peshatin, turn left across the bridge over the Wenatchee River, and follow the signs for the Derby Canyon Rd. Take the Derby Canyon Road until it goes from paved to gravel. Stay on the main gravel road for about a mile and a half, then veer right on Road 7400. Stay on 7400 a couple miles, then turn right on the 7402 Road. Timber Sale units will be on your right and left for the duration of the road. Before you go, bring good maps of the area and the timber sale. (You can download unit maps at www.cascwild.org).

Please contact Linda Goodman, the Regional Forester, and Jim Boynton, the Okanogan/Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor, and let them know you oppose the Fischer Fire Salvage project and other large scale salvage logging projects that use public money to harm public safety, old forests, roadless areas, water quality, and soils. Ask the agency to spend their timber sale budget on genuine fuels reduction, fire safety, and restoration activities that improve forest health and water quality.

CONTACT:

Linda Goodman
Regional Forester
USDA Forest Service
Pacific Northwest Region
PO Box 3623
Portland, OR 97208
Phone: 503-808-2200
Fax: 503-808-2210
Email:  lgoodman@fs.fed.us

Jim Boynton
Forest Supervisor
Okanogan & Wenatchee National Forests 215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, WA 98801-5933
Phone: 509-664-9323
Fax: 509-664-9286
Email:  jboynton@fs.fed.us

For more information, contact Jasmine Minbashian,  jasmine@cascwild.org; 360-319-3111.


* "Funk for the Forests," Benefit, June 17th at Luckey's Tavern

Join the Cascadia Wildlands Project on Friday, June 17th for an evening of funk music by Eugene's local funk masters: Fuzz, Sidewinder Trio and Disco Organica, cold drinks and campaign updates (including Legacy Forests and Gray Wolf). Funky/disco costumes encouraged. The benefit event will be held from 9:00 pm - 2:00 am at Luckey's Tavern (10th and Olive St. in Eugene). 21 and over. $5-$50 at the door. Big raffle with great prizes. Bring lots of friends.


* Meet a Mustang, June 4; Update on Wild Horse Legislation

On Saturday, June 4, CWP volunteers will be having a Meet a Mustang day at Avalon Stables (80143 Hazelton Rd, Cottage Grove OR, 97424). There will be gentled wild horses to meet, and opportunities to watch them perform and interact with them. This is an event designed to let people know about the need to protect Oregon's wild horses, as well as what wonderful companion animals they make when adopted. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 541-434-1463 or email  wildhorse@cascwild.org. Please feel free to volunteer to help at the event as well!

As you may know, Rep. Rahall recently introduced an amendment to the Interior Appropriations Act that would reverse the Burns amendment. Rahall's amendment prevents the use of federal taxpayer money to sell wild horses for slaughter. This amendment passed in the House on May 19th, 249-159!

Oregon's own Congressman Walden specifically spoke out against this amendment and saving the horses. Congressmen DeFazio, Wu and Blumenauer voted to save the horses and should be thanked.

Unfortunately, though the amendment passed in the House, the wild horses are NOT yet safe. This amendment must pass the Senate as well, and Senator Burns has vowed to "throw it out." More importantly, even if the amendment does pass, it only protects the wild horses for fiscal year 2006. We must get support for the two bills currently in the House and Senate (H. R. 297 and S. 576) in order for the Burns rider to be fully reversed and the horses protected again, permanently.

The BLM has inserted language into their sale papers that prevents buyers from selling the horses to slaughter. However, the language of the Burns amendment prevents them from enforcing this language. Oregon's wild horses are not safe until the Burns Amendment is reversed.


* Eugene City Council Votes to Safeguard McKenzie Forests

On Monday, May 23, the Eugene City Council voted 7-1 to safeguard mature and old-growth forests on public lands in the upper McKenzie River watershed. Although non binding, it sends a clear message to the Willamette National Forest that logging of older public forests in the watershed is unacceptable and that these forests should be protected for future generations, for our outstanding drinking water quality, and for river businesses that rely on them for their livelihood. The resolution also encourages restoration of degraded landscapes in the watershed.

Currently, over 3,000 acres of mature and old-growth forests are scheduled to be logged in the McKenzie this summer or next. Contact Mary Allison, McKenzie District Ranger, 57600 McKenzie Hwy, McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413 and let her know how you feel about this. Contact the CWP for more information.


* Westside Project (Medford BLM) Needs Your Comments

Many National Forests and BLM Districts have been slowly phasing out of the old-growth logging program and focusing on restoring dense plantation forests. One exception is the Medford BLM who has unquestionably become the old-growth logging "workhorse" in the region. It is clear that liquidating publicly owned old-growth forest has become a priority of the Medford BLM. In fact, they have an addiction. In their most recent scheme, the Medford BLM has proposed the Westside Project which would "regenerate" (translation: clearcut) 1,000 acres of mature and old growth forest, perform "density management" (translation: aggressively log) 1,600 acres of mature and old-growth forest and build 10 miles of new road on your public lands just outside of Glendale, OR. Guess who gets to foot the bill? Yep, you and I as taxpayers.

Your initial comments on the Westside Project should be sent to Katrina Symons, Field Manager, Glendale Resource Area, 200 NE Greenfield, Grants Pass, OR 97526 by June 27. Be sure to tell her:

- to stay out of mature and old-growth forests
- to protect threatened and endangered species
- to focus on treating dense plantations and other genuine forest health projects (like improving spawning habitat, replacing culverts, and obliterating defunct roads)
- to not build any new road on an already heavily roaded landscape
- to protect water quality
- anything else you think would let her know she is way off track with understanding public sentiment

--

Josh Laughlin, Campaign Coordinator
Cascadia Wildlands Project
P.O. Box 10455
Eugene, OR 97440
541.434.1463 (voice)
541.434.6494 (fax)

Visit our web page at www.cascwild.org to become a member of the Cascadia Wildlands Project, sign up to receive email action alerts or our newsletter, order merchandise, and learn more about our conservation campaigns.

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