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March 30, 2014
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Editorial: The law is for thee, not the man in the tree

The anti-logging activists who perched for months in trees to stop the White Castle timber sale sure were litterbugs.

Not content with trashing the economy, the über-enviros trashed federal forestlands 35 miles east of Myrtle Creek.

Whatever happened to “pack it in, pack it out”?

With their mission accomplished, the tree-sitters pulled out but left their junk. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reported hauling away last weekend four pickup loads — tarps, ropes, wooden platforms, rotting food and human waste.

The tree-sitters discarded their post after Oregon Wild and Cascadia Wildlands in January filed the inevitable lawsuit to stop the White Castle harvest.

At White Castle, conservation groups are taking a stand against a very modest effort to increase logging on Oregon & California Railroad trust lands.

The tree-sitters left their mark, literally. But with the baton passed from obstructionist tree-sitters to lawyers, the über-enviros had no motive to stay, or pick up after themselves.

Cascadia Forest Defenders describes itself as “committed to stopping the destruction of our sacred and living earth.” Maybe the tree-sitters view a bucket of excrement and jug of urine as sacred offerings to Mother Earth.

The group portrays itself as fighting a popular battle, defending the environment against the greedy 1 percent. Never mind that Roseburg Forest Products, which bid $1.33 million to log the 187 acres, employs thousands of hourly workers. Never mind that the harvest would raise $668,000 for county services.

The mess tree-sitters left behind perfectly symbolizes Cascadia Forest Defenders’ true core value: The rules don’t apply to us.

Almost two weeks ago, Cascadia Forest Defenders warned it will not “respect” the property of any timber company that buys a parcel in the Elliott State Forest.

In a letter addressed to “Big Timber,” Cascadia Forest Defenders vowed to “blockade and prevent the extraction of timber ...”

Along with threatening to destroy property and physically stop a lawful activity, the über-enviros made clear that public debate is just an annoying prelude to getting their way.

Their letter made a whining sound: “We followed the legal avenues ... We gave public testimony ... We met with the State Land Board ... It is clear the State Land Board doesn’t care ...”

The über-enviros reverted to form. They shut down the land board’s office, rappelled off the Capitol and still didn’t get their way.

The board embraced a plan to sell timberlands in the Elliott to counteract an environmentalists’ lawsuit that has prevented the state from conducting timber sales.

Three Democrats, including Gov. John Kitzhaber, make up the land board. Winning statewide elections put them in a position to set policy.

But who cares about the law or elections?

To Cascadia Forest Defenders, democracy is rubbish.


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The News-Review Updated Mar 30, 2014 02:20PM Published Mar 30, 2014 12:04AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.