The Following is a press release announcing a lawsuit filed by two
environmental organizations in Eugene to stop the Trapper timber sale.
Cascadia Forest Defenders applaud the efforts of other organizations
in the Eugene community to stop the logging of ancient forests in our
watershed. Cascadia will be free!:
*Conservation Organizations Challenge Decade-Old Logging Plan Above
Renowned McKenzie River*
EUGENE - Working to halt an outdated timber sale originally proposed
over ten years ago, two conservation organizations filed a lawsuit
today in federal district court. The legal challenge by Cascadia
Wildlands and Oregon Wild takes aim at the Willamette National
Forest's Trapper timber sale above the McKenzie River, which proposes
to log 157 acres of mature and old-growth forest.
The U.S. Forest Service first proposed the timber sale in 1998 and has
failed to address significant new information that has arisen since
the agency issued a decision on the project in 2003.
"The McKenzie is Eugene's backyard recreation paradise," says Kate
Ritley, Executive Director of Cascadia Wildlands. "The McKenzie's
forests filter our drinking water and shelter all kinds of wildlife.
We need to protect these precious forests for future generations, not
destroy them for short-term profits."
In the ten years since the project was planned a pair of threatened
northern spotted owls has taken up residence in the vicinity of the
timber sale. According to new research data, the species continues a
downward population trend both range-wide and in a large study area
that encompasses the logging project. Additionally, the Forest Service
logging plan fails to protect dozens of red tree vole nests located in
the project area. The red tree vole is a small mammal that lives in
older conifer forests and is required protection when its nests are
located. The vole is also a major food source for the northern spotted
owl. Because of these factors and other threats to the species, the
conservation organizations believe protections from harmful timber
sales are more warranted than ever.
The Trapper timber sale has been the subject of controversy before. On
two past occasions, Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon Wild successfully
challenged the species impacts opinion issued by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service (USFWS). USFWS is the federal agency in charge of
recovering endangered species and had illegally issued opinions that
would have allowed the Trapper timber sale to proceed despite negative
effects to threatened wildlife.
"It is past time the Forest Service retire this reckless project for
good," says Doug Heiken, Conservation and Restoration Coordinator with
Oregon Wild. "The agency has a choice between logging mature and
old-growth forests on public lands above our treasured McKenzie River
or identifying common-sense projects that benefit wildlife, protect
the forest, and create jobs. It should be an easy choice."
The groups believe the Forest Service should be spending limited
taxpayer dollars on projects that restore degraded landscapes, like
restoration thinning in tree plantations formed by past clearcutting,
decommissioning harmful roads, and enhancing fish and wildlife
habitat. The groups have offered to work with the Forest Service and
the purchaser of the Trapper timber sale, Seneca Sawmill, to find
replacement timber volume from less controversial areas. The purchaser
has not expressed interest in this option. The Willamette National
Forest has provided replacement volume to timber companies in the past
when timber sales were mired in public controversy. The organizations
are being represented by attorneys at Western
Environmental Law Center and Cascadia Wildlands.
Cascadia Wildlands - we like it wild.
www.CascWild.org - PO Box 10455 Eugene, OR 97440 - 541.434.1463
We educate, agitate, and inspire a movement to protect and restore
Cascadia's wild ecosystems. We envision vast old-growth forests, rivers
full of salmon, wolves howling in the backcountry, and vibrant
communities sustained by the unique landscapes of the Cascadia
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The wild lands are not our home, nor our house, they are our creator. Without the wild lands we lose our roots and like a tree we will die with out them.