I had the pleasure of observing a protest of the Mt. Hood National Forest’s Jazz timber sale yesterday at the S.O. in Sandy, Oregon. Photo here. The group Bark organized the protest. Maybe 50 people were there (the USFS folks locked the S.O. doors and stayed inside). Bark’s video is here. For “street theater” they brought in a small wading pool, added water, let some kids splash in it, and then dumped in a few buckets of soil to illustrate how the local streams would look after the harvesting (the kids loved playing in the mud). A young woman in a salmon costume writhed in simulated pain and then “died.”
Portland TV station KGW covered the event; its video had a reporter at the protest and “on location” at a river a mile from the sale.
The sale is to be a thinning of old harvest units. USFS documents here, including Bark’s lawsuit and the district court’s decision in favor of the USFS. The decision notice describes the sale: “The Forest proposes a thinning project of approximately 2,053 acres of plantations ranging in age from 30 to 60 years old. The average tree size in plantations is 12 inches diameter. Variable density thinning is proposed to remove the smaller trees while creating skips and gaps.”
(Skips and gaps — a phrase used (coined?) by Jerry Franklin and Norm Johnson in describing t heir “ecological forestry.”)
Bark’s main concerns are that the USFS would recommission 12 miles of decommissioned roads, leading to potential erosion. The group’s leader conceded that 9 acres in the sale area are suitable for logging. Bark announced that it will file an appeal with the 9th Circuit.
My take: The stands need thinning. The agency plans to take great care around streams. This is about as benign as logging gets.