Foresters, Legislators, BLM and Conservationists Square Off Over Dwindling Old Growth Forest The Bureau of land management proposed Early Thursday morning, November 21st the Bureau of Land proposed a 2 year closure of 15 miles of public roads in the Roseburg BLM district.
The BLM proclaimed found no significant impact in closing the area to public access. If there are no official appeals filed the area closure will begin Dec. 24th and the 6 month old White Castle Tree Sit will be closed to public access as well to ensure that the forest is cut without the witness of environmental interests and to minimize hindrance to loggers.
Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) who have been occupying unit number 8 of the proposed cut have vowed to remain in White Castle despite the closure and say they will continue to protect this heretofore untouched ecosystem from being destroyed. Members of CFD are sitting and physically blockading logging of this ecosystem because they are opposed to the destruction of native forests in the name of bad science.
Unit 8, where the sitters are located is some of the last native forest that has never been logged in this area of Oregon. All of the timber sale is within area proposed as critical habitat for the survival of the Northern Spotted Owl and is in the home range of five different owl pairs. Located in between the ‘dry eastside’ and ‘moist westside’ forests, White Castle is an incredible bio diverse rainforest, with Western Red Cedars, Sugar Pines and swamp ecosystems and is also located within the watershed of Myrtle Creek and the surrounding communities.
When asked what he thought about the closure, Joshua Eng, a forest defender who has been on site for almost 2 months replied, “It’s simple for me. The place has never been logged. Humans have never ruined it. They can go log somewhere else.” The simplicity of his statement goes to the core of CFD’s mission to protect natural forests in Cascadia. When activist Erin Grady was asked if there was a plan to leave before the closure goes into effect she stated, “We don’t intend to let White Castle fall without resistance. We don’t intend to let White Castle fall at all.”
White Castle was purchased for timber harvest by Roseburg Forest Products (RFP), one of the largest privately owned timber companies in the world. RFP has long hurt communities in Douglas County Oregon either by laying off mill workers to outsource their jobs overseas, or now by logging within the watershed of their own people. The watersheds of these lands provide the drinking water to 1.8 million Oregonians. Cascadia Forest Defenders do not intend to see the last of Oregon’s native forests clearcut and anticipate victory.
# # #
Article filed by Robert Stone November 25, 2013
Portions of this article previously appeared in Newswire