The sensational publicity stunt by a local group of anti-forestry activists to draw attention to Lone Rock Timber’s road construction through Bureau of Land Management land has grossly mischaracterized a very run-of-the-mill operation and put local workers in danger due to threats the company has received to “burn Lone Rock to the ground.”

Reciprocal right-of-way agreements between the BLM and private landowners have been in existence for over 50 years. There is nothing unique or illegal about this type of road construction. Because of the checkerboard ownership in this area, the only way private landowners can access landlocked areas is in partnership with other land owners. Multiple roads like this are built every year by both the BLM and private landowners. These agreements are imperative for BLM and private timberland owners to manage forestlands for access, road construction and fire suppression. Lone Rock has done nothing wrong here — in fact, they worked with the BLM to find the shortest, least impactful route possible and have followed all laws and regulations.

Lone Rock is well recognized for having a strong reputation as a careful steward of Oregon forestland. Just last month, the Oregon Society of American Foresters awarded Lone Rock the OSAF Heritage Award for sustained excellent performance and stewardship in forestry resource management and communities. Additionally, Lone Rock has been recognized by the Oregon Department of Forestry as Operator of the Year three separate times for habitat restoration and stewardship practices.

It’s unfortunate that agenda-driven activist groups with little expertise in forestry twist the truth and misrepresent facts to impugn the name of a company that follows industry best-practices and is a model for sustainability and responsible stewardship in the forestry community. It’s even more unfortunate that as a result of this publicity stunt the safety of Lone Rock’s employees could be in question.

Mark Buckbee

Roseburg

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