***UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 14th, 2013: All logging of sensitive habitat for the marbled murrelet in the Elliott has been halted under federal injunction for nearly a year pending the resolution of a lawsuit filed by Cascadia Wildlands and other conservation groups--essentially suspending all native forest clearcuts. This summer, however, the Department of State Lands submitted a new proposal to "dispose of," or privatize, over 2700 acres of forest on the Western side of the Elliott. Read this article for more info on this heinous violation of public process.***
F.A.Q About our current campaign:
F.A.Q About our current campaign:
What is the Elliott State Forest?
Where is it?
The Elliott is in Oregon’s coastal range, South of the Umpqua River, in Douglas and Coos County. The nearest towns are Reedsport, Allegany, North Bend and Coos Bay.
What do you mean by “native” forest?
We use the term “native forest” to describe wild lands that have never been logged, mined, or developed. Other folks may use the terms “virgin,” “original,” "ancient," or "intact." The coast has been even harder hit by industrial logging than other regions of the Pacific Northwest. By some estimates, less than three percent of the coast range is native.
Is there old growth?
The short answer is: Yes! While the Oregon Department of Forestry claims that there is no old growth logging in the Elliott, sales frequently contain pockets of old growth. Most trees in the Elliott, however, are “mature growth” trees that grew back naturally after the Coos Bay settlers fire burned most of the forest to the ground in 1868.
What plants and animals live there?
The Elliott is home to a multitude of native trees, berries, lichen, and fungi. The fauna includes: cougars, bears, elk, mountain beavers, salmon, marbled murrelets (endangered), and spotted owls (endangered).
How much are they cutting?
Until this year, logging companies like Seneca Jones (Eugene) and Roseburg Forest Products clear cut up to 500 acres every year. Under a new implementation plan, which the State Land Board approved in 2011 to affect 2012, companies are allowed to clear cut up to 850 acres per year. Since summer of 2012, however, all logging of potential marbled murrelet habitat is halted under federal injunction!
What does it look like when they clear-cut?
The terrain in the Elliott is... vertical. Companies clearcut on steep slopes, leaving nothing to prevent land from sliding into the salmon-bearing streams. After a clearcut, ODF sprays herbicides to clear the land of anything that might compete with the next crop of douglas fir saplings. In the absence of other green life, elk and mountain beavers will eat the saplings. ODF puts plastic guards around the saplings and hires prison labor from Shutter Creek Corrections to trap (kill) thousands of mountain beavers every year.
The state needs the money for schools, right?
The Elliott is a tiny, tiny piece of the pie. The whole Common School Fund is worth 1.1 billion dollars. Logging in the Elliott last year contributed a meager $7.7 million to that pot. CSF dished out 50.5 million dollars to school districts in 2010, which is still pennies next to Oregon’s total spending on schools every year. The State’s projected spending on K-12 education for the next two years is nearly six billion dollars. The state does need money for schools; the majority of profits from the timber industry, however, go to the timber industry, not the school children.
Unemployment is a chronic issue in counties that rely on resource extraction. With the housing market crash and advances in technology, domestic jobs in timber are scarce. Roseburg Forest Products laid off over 200 Oregon mill workers in 2010 despite making record profits. We support truly sustainable forestry and an end to log exports. There is no reason to destroy the last fragments of unscathed forest when most of our mill jobs are exported to China and Japan.
What is in danger right now?
There are dozens of sales—all proposed clearcuts—that are set to be logged in 2011-2012. We are particularly concerned about the West Fork Millicoma watershed. There are known spotted owls and marbled murrelets nesting in this region, and the river is a popular spot for steelhead fishing. One of the last intact gravel beds for coho spawning on the Millicoma is located immediately downstream of half a dozen active and proposed clearcutting operations. The town of Allegany, immediately down river, is threatened by chemical spraying and landslides.
What are people doing about it?
|West Fork Millicoma|
Also check out Cascadia Wildlands' lawsuit to save the marbled murrelet on state lands. Just filed!
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