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Cascadian Forest Battles

post from the Indy Bay Area:

Cascadian Forest Battles
by Annie Archy  Monday, Oct. 24, 2005 at 7:38 PM

Forest defense actions grow in Oregon, Bush delists marbled
murrelets, Alaskan Tongass threats, Karen Coulter slandered, Ingmar
Lee the Egotist gone from cathedral grove

Here's a quick report on the forest defense actions around the
Pacific Northwest of North America after having completed a
Cascadian bioregional tour.

Battles against logging of the lush ancient rainforests of the
Pacific Northwest are still being kept alive by heroic forest

America's largest oldgrowth forest in Alaska's Tongass National
Forest is under direct attack by the Bush Administration. Clinton's
Roadless Rule implemented in the last days of his presidency
included millions of acres of this rainforest within its protected
boundaries. The Roadless Rule has since been scrapped by the Bush
Administration and now the Tongass is back in the courts. The South
East Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) is hard at work using legal
avenues to challenge the decision. Veteran activists like Bart
Koehler are back at it again. Treesits are being planned by local
activists right now should the court decisions fail.

British Columbia
In Cathedral Grove, a treesit stays strong after being set up almost
2 years ago by local activists Greg and Richard Boyce. Minister of
Forests Barry Penner has recently indicated that he is reconsidering
the parking lot there. Note the public meetings at:

Tuesday November 15, 2005 Port Alberni (Undisclosed location or
Tuesday November 22, 2005 Parksville Community Centre 5:30 -7 pm
(open house display) 7 pm to 8:30 (presentation Q&A)

In the meantime several brave activists still defend the grove.
Luckily they no longer have to contend with loud mouth egotist
Ingmar Lee who has moved to Africa. Lee brought down violence onto
the camp by provoking the local rednecks through hurling insults at
local yahoos, while all the campers including the women had to face
their wrath, paying for Ingmar Lee's macho insecurities. Lee had
also been taking credit for the hard work of all the protesters who
occupied the camp through the brutal winter months, firing off media
reports of 'his' direct action camp as if he was still there all
from the security of his home months after he left. Lee has become
famous in BC for his personal grand standing and attention seeking
antics, inserting himself into the protests and campaigns of others
while trying to claim credit. He's also famous for insulting other
activists in the social justice and environmental movement with lies
and slander. Women in particular are often the victims of this male
assholes' steamrolling antics. Activists are well advised to keep
him out of your campaigns should he seek to insert himself.

The Bush administration is moving to drop federal endangered species
protections for the marbled murrelet, a small seabird that has stood
the way of Northwest logging for more than a decade. Scientists
the species is sliding toward extinction in Oregon, Washington and
California. However, the Bush administration concluded the declining
birds in this region do not differ enough from more numerous
in Canada and Alaska to warrant protection on their own. There are
estimated 21,900 marbled murrelets in Oregon, Washington and
and 925,600 in Canada and Alaska. The move reverses an earlier
pledge by
the Fish and Wildlife Service not to remove the protections until it
examines how the entire species is faring across its range. Many
biologists think the murrelet is declining in Alaska and Canada. The
murrelet was listed as threatened in Oregon, Washington and
in 1992 as logging eroded old-growth forests where the birds nest,
their numbers declined. Its protections, along with those for the
northern spotted owl and salmon, led to a collapse in logging of
lands. Scientists who have studied murrelets said the fate of the
is closely tied to forests. Canadian researchers said the new laws
Canada used by the Bush administration to justify its move are not
strong enough to safeguard the murrelet. "The reality is that the
act is
pretty weak, and there really is not a lot of improved protection
murrelets in Canada," said Alan Burger, an associate professor at
University of Victoria. "I don't think the U.S. can expect Canada to
provide extra murrelets, because ours are in trouble as well."

The beautiful ponderosa pine and douglas fir forests of the Blue
Mountains in Eastern Oregon are under threat again! After the last
few summers of fires, timber sales are popping up all over the place
in roadless areas. Reminiscent of the 1996 Salvage Rider sales,
these opportunistic sales are being challenged by the Blue Mountains
Biodiversity Project. A viscious smear campaign by media in Bend
against BMBP founders Karen Coulter and Asanti is taking place.
Please see how you can help them by going to:

The Biscuit Sale, the largest in US history, is still underway in
south western Oregon. Resistance by local Earth First! activists and
Greenpeace in numerous blockades, treesits, and actions has
continued for over a year. Unfortunately, the confidence boost given
to the USFS and nearby proposed BLM sales by the Bush administration
is a tough battle. More blockades are underway. This is THE action
site in the Pacific NW. Please join the dedicated resistance. Go to

Santa Rosa, CA -- In a brazen move, Maxxam/Pacific Lumber Co.
(Maxxam/PL) began logging in the contested "Bonanza" timber harvest
plan (THP # 1-05-097 HUM) on Tuesday, September 27 without the
required authorization from the North Coast Regional Water Quality
Control Board (Water Board). After logging an unknown amount of the
250-acre plan, the illegal logging was stopped by the company.
Accordingly, on Thursday, September 29, Maxxam/PL was served a
Notice of Violation by the Water Board for logging without a
required permit.
According to the Notice of Violation, Maxxam/PL began logging the
Bonanza plan without first having obtained enrollment under rules
known as the General Waste Discharge Requirements. The rules are
required of Maxxam/PL to protect water quality against the harmful
cumulative effects that the company's logging wreaks on watersheds.
The Bonanza harvest plan contains the largest unprotected,
contiguous, occupied marbled murrelet stand left on Maxxam/PL's
land. Last year, a comprehensive Status Review for the murrelet,
prepared by a blue-ribbon panel of top murrelet researchers, warned
that if current trends continue, the endangered species faces a very
high probability of extinction in California within a very short
time. Despite the clear implication that Maxxam/PL's Habitat
Conservation Plan is inadequate to ensure survival or recovery of
the murrelet, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has inexplicably
released the Bonanza murrelet stands for harvest.
It remains unknown to what extent the Water Board's Notice of
Violation will prevent further harvesting in the Bonanza plan. The
company is now required to submit a written report to the Water
Board on Friday, September 30, describing the illegal activities and
the reason the activities took place in the absence of authorization
by the Water Board.

"Maxxam's liquidation plan for Humboldt County's old growth forests
has yet again run afoul of the law," said Sam Johnston, Private
Lands Campaigner for EPIC. "The fate of California's marbled
murrelets and the old growth forests they depend on - not to mention
the fate of the human communities that depend on the health of these
watersheds - should not be determined by a rogue Houston outfit -
Maxxam Corp.- whose subsidiary, Scotia Pacific, is flouting the law
and draining the resources of Humboldt County just to pay interest
on its massive corporate debt," added Johnston.

Ongoing uncertainty about a prospective corporate reorganization was
stoked on September 27 when Maxxam/PL's timber-holding subsidiary,
Scotia Pacific LLC, called off negotiations with its noteholders.
Responding in a press release, the noteholders stated their
intention of ultimately spinning off Scotia Pacific into a company
separate and independent from its current parent, Pacific Lumber.
Pacific Lumber is a subsidiary of Maxxam Corp., which is based in
Houston, Tx.

Annie Archy

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