Greens want to stop the
Biscuit fire salvage timber harvest and used a
smaller sale to their advantage stopping it in
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Pioneer Press, Fort Jones, California
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Page 1, column 5
Local economy hit by
* A fire
salvage timber sale was shut down by federal
Bowen, Assistant Editor, Pioneer Press, Fort
COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – Several local businesses
and many more families were affected, when
enviro groups petitioned a federal court to
stop the salvage logging on Bureau of Land
Management land in Oregon on June 9. More than
$100,000 had been invested in the project,
when a federal judge called a halt to road
Products Company in Yreka, California received
the contract to remove dead trees, burned
during the Timbered Rock Fire in 2002, near
Shady Cove, Oregon.
Johnson Construction, of Fort Jones,
California received the road rehab contract
from Timber Products. Johnson then hired
additional men and 10 trucking companies in
Northern California and Southern Oregon to
haul soil and work the project.
just two weeks into the road fixing, when
federal judge, Ann Aiken, brought it to a
screeching halt. Five enviro groups that look
to be led by Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands
Center, brought the lawsuit against BLM. The
Timbered Rock Fire was in the Elk Creek
old-growth reserve, which have been set aside
from logging. These areas are called Late
Successional Reserves or LSRs.
Environmental Impact Statement was completed
by the BLM, but Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands
Center (K-S Wild) claims that the old-growth
areas should not be harvested.
after the burn, there are no more LSR
characteristics," said Bill Turner, the timber
procurement manager for Timber Products. He
drove to Eugene, Oregon in mid-June to testify
before Judge Aiken.
taking out dead trees, so a new forest could
be established," Turner explained. It is the
Timber Products Company that is left with the
$100,000 loss on the road rehab job.
Johnson said that just his part of the
contract would have put $400,000 or more into
the local economy providing jobs. Also like
Turner, Johnson said the Timbered Rock Fire
nuked the area. Dead trees are waiting like
huge matchsticks as fuel for another fire.
Cleaning up the dead trees and brush is the
said he was perplexed when two men showed up
and began taking pictures of his equipment;
the bulldozer, excavator and dump trucks.
them if they were going to terrorize my
equipment," recalls Johnson. They responded
with a "no" and that they were only interested
in stopping logging, which had not started.
Timbered Rock salvage is small potatoes
compared to the Biscuit," said Johnson.
agrees and said that contractors will not want
to bid on the Biscuit Fire salvage, which is
nearing the end of its Environmental Impact
Statement process. The Biscuit Fire was about
100 miles east and also occurred in 2002, but
covered a much larger area. Both men believe
that the court action against the Timbered
Rock salvage is a prelude to what will happen
against the Biscuit. Logging was scheduled to
start on the Biscuit in July.
right. The opposition is not quiet. In fact,
the K-S Wild.org web site encourages everyone
to "Stop the Biscuit & Save the Siskiyous."
The site also refers to the Timbered Rock Fire
as "… a perfect wildfire."
workers for Johnson, said the Timbered Rock
did not look like a "perfect wildfire" to
them. Turner said that many areas burned
extremely hot, because of the dense vegetation
told to leave
separate salvage sale, the worldwide
Greenpeace non-profit was ordered by BLM to
pack up its Forest Rescue Station and leave
after three individuals were arrested for
blocking a logging road last week. A
Greenpeace spokeswoman said she didn’t know if
Greenpeace was going to leave or not.
As of June
24, 2004, Greenpeace has hunkered down and is
claiming protection through the Bill of Rights