Wyden & Merkley's New O&C Act of 2015 Will Inflict Thousands of New Clear-Cuts (labeled Eco-Forestry) Upon
1+ Million Acres and Gut Protections for NW Forests and Endangered Species Habitat!
Here is Senator Wyden's Press Release from December 2014: Highlighted in bright red is the truth if one reads in-between the lines.
Timber harvest projected above 400 million board feet annually for 50 years; ( That equates to about 700 miles of loaded logging trucks parked end to end every year for 50 years! ) Bill locks in protections for drinking water and old growth; Adds more than 250 miles of wild and scenic riversThursday, November 13, 2014
Washington, D.C. – Washington, D.C. –Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden’s O&C forestry bill passed out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today, with new provisions to dramatically increase timber harvests (Clear-cutting and mature forest logging), ensure unprecedented certainty for timber sales and create the strongest legislative protection ever for Northwest old growth.
“I am proud to announce this bill is now expected to generate more than 400 million board feet every year for 50 years on O&C lands – more than doubling current harvests and creating the kind of certainty that Western Oregon mills have sought for decades,” Wyden said. “This legislation won’t make everybody happy, (NO JUST OREGON'S WEALTHIEST BIG TIMBER FAMILIES, AGENCY TIMBER PLANNERS, LOG EXPORTERS, CORRUPT POLITICIANS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ACROSS THE STATE BUT HEY ONE CAN'T PLEASE EVERYBODY!) but after years of working with stakeholders from every side of this complex issue, I’m confident this bill at last will deliver everyone in the O&C counties what they need.”
The bill now can move to the Senate floor. Wyden pledged to do everything in his power to pass the O&C Act of 2014 this year.
Crafted over the course of two years of discussions with stakeholders, a public Senate hearing, and countless drafts of the legislation, Wyden’s latest version of the bill includes new wins for forestry as well as environmental protection. Highlights include:
- Expands the land base to 2.8 million acres, up from 2.1 million in the original draft, and 2.4 million acres in the August bill.
- Increases the harvest to 400 million board feet per year over 50 years, more than doubling current O&C harvests, according to modeling by the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service. Previous drafts were expected to produce 300-350 million board feet annually.
- Provides unprecedented certainty for harvests, by allowing harvests (clear-cutting) in stands less than 80 years of age, reducing environmental review timelines by more than a year, reviewing five years’ worth of timber sales at once and putting strict limits on legal challenges to timber sales that have gone through the environmental review process.
- Allows for more intensive harvests (clear-cutting) on some stands under 85 years old that are less ecologically valuable (e.g. have already been harvested, are outside riparian areas, etc.)
- Increases protection for old growth by protecting all stands over 85 years old, and individual trees over 150 years old. (How can an Agency protect all stands over 85 years old but then be directly to only protect trees over 150 years old? Plus how does a non governmental organization prove that trees over 150 years old were cut down deliberately? War is Peace?) Previous versions of the bill protected stands over 120 years. This is the most comprehensive legislative protection for old growth in the Northwest.
(The Northwest Forest Plan and current laws or the status quo is far more protective.)
- Locks in ironclad protections for clean water, by creating legislative protections for streams and drinking water supplies.
- Protects Oregon’s treasures, by creating 87,000 acres of new wilderness and 252 miles of new wild and scenic rivers.
HERE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PRESS RELEASE IS THE LIST OF SO CALLED ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS ENDORSING THE WYDEN O&C EXTINCTION BILL:
"Conservation groups, including The Wilderness Society, Trout Unlimited, Pew’s Campaign for America’s Wilderness, the Pacific Rivers Council and the Wild Salmon Center endorsed Sen. Wyden’s bill this week."
Below are some NGOs still holding the line but not protesting very loudly (yet).
The American Fisheries Society and Society for Conservation Biology state that Senator Wyden's O & C Lands legislation increases risk of extinction for endangered salmon, and other listed species.
Act Now. The Following is what you can do to help us defeat this desperate act to prop up a failed economic system based on liquidating the biospheres principal finite resources like topsoil and petroleum.
It is up to you as a world citizen who now understands the truth and has as much to say about what is done with the last remnant stands of ancient and native forest in North America as Senators or wealthy timber families. Will we allow them to destroy these last few stands of biological refugia and massive carbon stores or act to stop these last desperate acts?
Please Consider Making Direct Inquiries to Senator Wyden and Merkley with a Call, Email, or Sending a Postcard Regarding the Billboard's Assertions. This is the best way to place pressure on Wyden and Merkley plus get the "biggest bang for the billboard buck".
Here is a link to Senator Wyden's Contact Info.
Send a tax deductible donation so we can keep running billboard on the I-5 Freeway and run radio ads in the Portland media market.
Tap Your Feet & Watch Youtube to Learn About How Our Families & Forest Homes Are Under Attack by U.S. Senator Wyden and Merkley at the Behest of Oregon's Timber Barons!
More Backgrounds and Details on Senator Wyden's Legislation.
Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden Proposes to Gut the Northwest Forest Plan (as weak as it already is).
To appease the wealthy timber barons of Oregon and big timber "welfare" dependent Oregon counties (ie. Lane, Douglas, Jackson, Coos, and Josephine) U.S. Senator Ron Wyden has publicly proposed the O & C Land Grant Act on November 26th 2013 that seeks to more than double the current logging levels upon 1 million acres of Oregon's BLM O & C Lands by adopting the "Norm Johnson and Jerry Franklin Pilot Projects" as his preferred management scheme.
The "Norm Johnson and Jerry Franklin Pilot Projects" are regeneration harvests or a sloppy clear-cut. The Orwellian term they use to describe these sloppy clear-cuts is "variable retention harvest" or "VRH". Several Norm and Jerry Show Projects have already been auctioned and awarded to Oregon's timber barons. To View pictures of a completed Norm and Jerry Pilot Project called the "Buck Rising" timber sale from May 2013.
Norm Johnson is a Oregon State University Forestry Department Economist and Jerry Franklin is a University of Washington Forestry Ecologists.
White Castle Sale is another Norm and Jerry Show Pilot timber sale that has been auctioned to Roseburg Forest Products, one of the largest tree fiber operations on the west coast that is solely owned by Allyn Ford. This timber sale is located in the headwaters of Myrtle Creek from which the town is named inside Douglas County south of Roseburg, Oregon. in June 2013 the Cascadia Forest Defenders initiated an citizens' injunction by installing a series of tree-sits throughout Unit 8. The sale was litigated in response to the controversy created by the tree sit occupation. Thanks to the pro bono work of a lawyer in Portland in early 2014, Federal courts ruled that the BLM broke the law which has stopped the White Castle Timber sale from being logged for now.
However, Senator Wyden has never mentioned the fact that nearly 1 billion board feet of timber sales on public lands remain under contract and uncut. Nor does Senator Wyden or any Oregon Democrat Congress person or Governor mention the current rampant raw log exports by the big timber elite. See details below.
In 2013 Oregon Democrats Congressman DeFazio and former Governor John Kitzhaber Proposed to Serve Up BLM Native Forests to Oregon's Timber Elite on a Gold Plated Platter which would look like this after!
In addition to the tens of thousands of log truck loads of BLM trees already auctioned to Oregon's timber barons, several key Democrats including Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio created legislation in 2012 to, in essence, privatize 1.6 million acres of O & C Lands for logging. Democrat Congressman DeFazio attached his O & C Trust, Conservation, and Jobs Act to the newly passed (8/13) House Resources Bill H.R. 1526. Democratic Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber also advocated for this federal legislation that would more or less privatize 1.6 million acres of these BLM lands in western Oregon. If their legislation ever became reality these lands would be managed under one of the nations weakest forest practices regulations called the Oregon Forest Practices Act.
Here are some pictures of what happens to lands managed under the Oregon Forest Practices Act.
Roseburg Forest Products clearcut in Oregon's Elliot State Forest, 2006
Senator Wyden has stated numerous times that he could not support the DeFazio bill. However, he has proposed his own bill to more than double logging levels on the BLM O & C lands. Several of Oregon's veteran forest defenders believe the O & C Trust Act proposed by Oregon's Congressman DeFazio was a "bait and switch" tactic to create the illusion that the "kinder and gentler clear-cuts" being offered by Senator Wyden is the balanced approach to increase logging of ancient forests on BLM O & C lands.
In 2010 Oregon's Big Timber Elite Held over 800 Million Board Feet of Federal and State Land Timber Sales in Oregon
Data purchased and attained from Timber Data Inc. for fiscal year 2010:
In 2010 Timber Data Incorporated tallies show 500 million board feet of Oregon's Bureau of Land Management timber sold but uncut. Add this to nearly 400 million feet of uncut state managed public lands timber and 1,200 million feet of sold and uncut Forest Service timber sales. That's more than 2 billion board feet of uncut publicly owned timber (forests) held under contract in the Northwest!
In a Oregonian Opinion Editorial in 2011 written by a professional timber appraiser this amount of volume was estimated to be approximately 500,000 log-truckloads of public timber sold but uncut within hauling distance of Oregon's mills. Now how is it that Oregon wood mills are "starved for timber" as politicians and the Oregon timber industry claims?
Many So-Called "Environmental Groups" Seem Willing to Allow This Travesty to Occur if They Retain Access to Democrats Politicians, Big Foundation Dollars & New Islands of Wilderness Parks as bribes.
Some environmental groups ( Wilderness Society, Trout Unlimited, Pacific Rivers Council, Wild Salmon Center, and The Larch Company) many of which are funded by the Pew Foundation and other large corporate foundations will likely trip over themselves accepting Senator Wyden, Norm Johnson and Jerry Franklin's "kinder and gentler clearcut" management scheme. Here is one such new Pew Foundation funded entity called the Coalition for O & C Lands.
For some groups like Trout Unlimited, Pacific Rivers and Wild Salmon Center their silence or quid pro quo complicity bribe would likely take the form of some new "Wild and Scenic" River designations and some "permanent" stream/riparian buffers on BLM lands. For other groups like the Wilderness Society and southwest Oregon NGOs their quid pro quo complicity may take the form of a 57,000 acre Rogue River Wilderness addition, a new 97,000 acre Rogue River National Recreation Area, and other "special area" protections.
If these groups "go along to get along" they will subsequently attempt to drown out their critics by calling this "deal" a "victory" and broadcast it as such to their members and media. In turn they will give the Democrats who created and passed such a corrupt debacle awards and rewards (in the form of campaign cash and volunteers) in the election of 2016.
Why Are Oregon Democrats Pushing to Increase the Logging of the Last Intact Ancient Forest Ecosystems on Earth?
Oregon counties that contain these BLM O & C lands by law receive 50 percent of the revenues from the logging of BLM forests which are located within that county. This is what makes the BLM Oregon and California Revested Lands (O & C Lands) a very special case. To learn much more about this go to this wikipedia site. However, because of the low demand for timber products the Oregon BLM is auctioning these new timber sales at prices nearly 4 times less per thousand board feet than they were selling timber sales 10 years ago. Thus this BLM mismanagement is actually throwing away future revenues for O & C dependent counties by virtually giving the trees to the timber barons for pennies on the dollar for what they might be worth in the future. Read a Professional Timber Appraiser's expose' of this gross mismanagement by the BLM.
Longterm Solutions for Oregon Counties and Rural Economies
A real and long-term solution would be to make Oregon's wealthiest as well as largest land owners pay their fair share of Oregon taxes to support essential services for counties and schools for which they have dodged for decades. In the Oregon 2013-2015 Tax Expenditure Report the Oregon Department of Revenue estimates that Oregon and counties will lose more than $285 million per year in tax revenues because of tax exemptions and tax deductions directly at the big timber elite (especially those who own more than 5,000 acres). If you want to know more about how Oregon's big timber elite achieved this decades long "tax holiday" as well as which Democrats enacted these tax loopholes go to our Big Timber Elite Tax Dodgers page.
Another solution to attaining some forest products as well as long-term jobs while protecting the fragile forest ecosystems would be to enact a stricter form of "Option 1" or Alternative 1 from the Environmental Impact Statement for Old Growth Forest Related Species Within the Range of the Northern Spotted Owl which is the product of the "Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team" Report. The FEMAT Report was created by hundreds of the leading Northwest forest ecosystem scientists in 1993.
The Natural Selection Alternative (NSA) would also be appropriate on federal lands where roads are deemed absolutely necessary. This allows one to remove a percentage of the dead or dying trees for fiber needs where no new roads would be built. The Medford BLM officially agreed to implement the Natural Selection Alternative for 501 acres of the South Deer Creek Project in 2005 and in doing so agreed that the NSA met the BLM's "Purpose and Need" under NEPA. However, the Medford BLM would not drop the proposed logging of native and old growth forest as part of the South Deer Project. Subsequently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife would not approve the South Deer Project because it did not protect endangered species adequately and stopped the project from being implemented.
Protect and Restore Endangered Salmon Runs throughout Oregon with Salmon Recovery Jobs
Another solution that will create jobs as well as help struggling salmon runs is the replacement or removal of fish killing culverts throughout the Pacific Northwest that act as thousands of mini dams. In this 2001 GAO report the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon BLM estimate that there were more than 5,000 fish passage blocking culverts on Federal lands in the Pacific Northwest. The report also stated that there are over 122,000 miles of logging roads on federal public land alone. However, this GAO report did not estimate how many thousands of miles of logging roads should be permanently re-contoured and abandoned all together. Most of these logging roads need to be obliterated before the era of cheap fossil fuels ends. If we do not accomplish this before fuel rationing then we will pass on the heritage of the great era of Pacific Northwest mudslides, destruction and extinction that future generations will curse us for decades to come.
We do not need to destroy one of the world's most important and still functioning but fragmented ancient forest ecosystems that are the last and best places to mitigate the extinction of salmon runs, northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet and countless other species including our own.
The destruction from logging in the Pacific Northwest over the last 20 years on federal public lands has diminished because of the adoption of the Northwest Forest Plan in 1994 to save the northern spotted owl and thousands of other at risk species. However, on Oregon's BLM O & C ( Oregon and California Railroad Revested ) lands they have already clear-cut approximately 1 million acres, most of which were the oldest fire resistant trees and forest ecosystems that had survived for thousands of years. The remaining stands and species within are barely recovering from the continuing and past logging. Now only 5% of the native forests on ancient soils remains and Oregon's timber barons want it all. They have been exporting their own trees from their private lands to China and Japan for decades. On top of this, Oregon's O & C timber revenue dependent counties especially Douglas, Lane, Josephine, Jackson and Coos which contain the greatest amount of O & C lands want to keep suckling off old growth logging welfare checks to keep paving new roads to accommodate real estate development as well as to maintain their bloated bureaucracies.
With most of its ire focused on the clear-cutting being committed by the U.S. Forest Service in the 1980's and 1990's, the environmental movement in the Northwest has let the Oregon Bureau of Land Management, or B.L.M., that manages 2.6 million acres of publicly owned federal native forests in western Oregon fly under its radar for too long. The truth is the BLM is responsible for some of the most atrocious public forest clear-cutting in the continental U.S., the bulk of which happened in the unique and fragile forests of southern Oregon. Back in 2008 at least 24,000 acres (nearly 39 square miles!) of BLM forests were on the "auction block", under the
Below is a wikipedia map of Oregon's BLM O & C Lands as well a breakdown of acres of O & C lands per county:
BLM: Oregon & California
BLM: Public domain
U.S. Forest Service
Other Federal agency
State or local government
Private or unknown
Northwest Forest Plan boundary
BLM administrative boundary
The Oregon and California Railroad Revested Lands (commonly known as O&C Lands), are approximately 2,600,000
"Boom, Bust and the BLM" intreactive DVD and Citizen Action Tool Kit
The Western Oregon Plan Revision , also known as the "Whopper," was proposed in 2006-07 by the BLM under the GW Bush Administration, which would have returned the Oregon BLM to the "good ol' days" of logging without laws on 2.6 million acres of public land in western Oregon. The BLM's WOPR would have increased old-growth clearcutting by a staggering 700%!
~In 2007, with filmmakers Tim Lewis ("Pickaxe") and Trip Jennings ("Fire Scars"), Eco Advocates NW co-produced "Boom, Bust & the B.L.M.!," a DVD project designed to defeat the W.O.P.R. "Boom, Bust & the B.L.M.!" exposes the B.L.M.'s backroom sweetheart settlement with the timber industry to log some of the nation's last 5% native forests, highlights the voices of ornery rural Oregonians who want to see their forests alive and standing for future generations, and contains a unique Citizen's Action Toolkit to help concerned citizens organize in opposition to the B.L.M.'s plans.
In July 2009 the new Head of the Department of the Interior Ken Salazer canceled the Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR). He stated that the Oregon BLM plan would not be legally defensible. We had a short lived celebration because new old growth sales in southern Oregon were also announced in the same Salazar press release.
~Since early 2007, Eco Advocates NW has played a leading role in educating the public on the WOPR, airing radio spots urging Senator Wyden and Representative DeFazio to oppose the WOPR, encouraging and facilitating citizen comment-writing in opposition to the B.L.M., collecting signatures to pressure elected officials (particularly Sen. Wyden and Rep. DeFazio) to oppose the plan, creating lobbying coalitions, co-organizing rallies, and leading hikes to forests that are threatened by the W.O.P.R.