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 Trees offered from Biscuit fire
Herald and News 6/4/06

The U.S. Forest Service on Friday proposed a salvage timber sale in a roadless area hit by the 2002 Biscuit fire.

Much timber was damaged in the fire, the nation's largest wildfire of the year, and is considered in deteriorating shape. Timber industry executives have said 2006 is likely the last year any of it could be harvested profitable.

The Forest Service has considered salvage logging in two areas protected by roadless designations - Mike's Gulch and Blackberry, the second area, could be offered in the summer.

Logs would have to be removed by helicopters. That cost and the condition of the timber cast doubt on whether any companies will submit bids, an industry representative said.

"Unfortunately, the helicopter sale costs three or four times as much," said David Schott, executive vice president of the Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association. "It would well be a no-bid situation."

Environmentalists have challenged the sale and said they had hoped the Forest Service would await an appellate court decision on their request for an injunction. They say logging shouldn't proceed in a roadless area, and the work would damage the natural revegetation of the burn area.

"Unfortunately, I think we might get some bids," said Rolf Skar of the Siskiyou Project, a regional environmental group.




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