180511-nrr-loggingfolo-01

Lone Rock Logging Manager Brennan Garrelts walks through a section of Bureau of Land Management land that lies between two sections of land owned by Lone Rock Timber Management Company in the Susan Creek area east of Idleyld Park in April. Orange streamers mark a path to be cleared to make way for a road that will connect the two sections of forest land owned by Lone Rock Timber.

Lone Rock Timber Management Company has started work on the 1,440-foot-long road through forested land east of Roseburg in order to access its own plantation.

Conservationists have expressed disapproval of the logging that the road entails, as the area is home to old-growth timber and, according to a Bureau of Land Management wildlife report, is a potential habitat for the endangered northern spotted owl.

Christopher Pond of Dillard called the logging the worst abuse of a right-of-way agreement that he has seen.

“You cannot grow back 400-year-old trees on a 40- to 100-year rotation or the creation of a permanent road,” Pond said.

Cheyne Rossbach, a spokesman for the Roseburg BLM, said that all of the trees BLM had marked with wildlife tags are still standing and have not been cut as of Wednesday.

The O&C Logging Road Right-of-Way Agreement was set up in the 1960s to allow landowners to cross each others’ land to get to their own. In this case, Lone Rock is acting in accordance with the agreement with the construction of the road through public land in the Susan Creek area managed by the Roseburg Bureau of Land Management, according to Rossbach.

According to a contract, Lone Rock harvested more than 130 thousand board feet of timber on the BLM land and paid the BLM nearly $67,400.

Toby Luther, CEO of Lone Rock Timber, declined to say how many board feet of timber Lone Rock plans to harvest from its own plantation.

According to call logs posted by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, an unidentified caller said a group of people threatened to burn Lone Rock to the ground in response to the logging Thursday evening.

Luther said right-of-way projects like this are very routine and allow landowners to safely access their properties, so he doesn’t see why this project is getting attention.

“The path across the BLM land is quite clear and our team worked with the agency to design a road that leaves the least amount of impact to resources,” Luther said. “That’s something that is very important to us as good stewards and neighbors.”

The company began logging trees in the area on May 4, and Luther said he expects work on the road will continue for a few more weeks.

“Since Lone Rock doesn’t operate a sawmill, the wood will, in turn, be sold to a mill at fair market value as well,” Luther said. “What that means is that there is no real economic benefit nor incentive to our company to harvest and sell any more logs than necessary to build the road.”

Pond said he doesn’t believe Lone Rock’s statements made previously to The News-Review about avoiding the cutting of old-growth trees where possible. Pond said he took photos of large trees that were cut down for the road.

“They knew exactly what they were cutting and used gates and secrecy in hopes of keeping the public in the dark,” Pond said.

In order to access the BLM-managed property, the public needs to get permission to go through a gate owned by Lone Rock.

Pond said despite misconceptions, he and the other conservationists who are against the road do not want to lock up old growth and walk away.

“Active forest management can promote old-growth ecosystems and allow them to flourish, just not when they are cutting down the existing old trees,” Pond said. “A little transparency would be nice too.”

Reporter Emily Hoard can be reached at 541-957-4217 or ehoard@nrtoday.com. Or follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

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Business, Natural Resources and Outdoors Reporter

Emily Hoard is the business, outdoors and natural resources reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4217 or by email at ehoard@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @hoard_emily.

(8) comments

Old Tobi

Why did the NR not show the destruction that has folks so upset? Why did you not show the stump of a four-hundred-year old tree, a tree that grew here before white settlers from the east came to destroy the forest for private profit, so folks can see what was actually destroyed?

ralpho

The timber companies have been in league with real estate developers forever. Once the roads are in, a few of the rich will build lavish castles in the woods. As usual, any explanations remotely connected to reality will be suppressed. America is rapidly approaching complete domination by criminals.

Forester353

First of all if we are calling things like they are, the opponents of this legal activity are environmentalist/preservationist, not conservationist. Second, The previous photos made public by the group on Facebook, in opposition were illegally taken, since they had to trespass on private property to get to the location.
Many members of the group in opposition were strong supporters of the Home Rule Charter and members of various extreme environmental groups, which they denied during the last election cycle, when the Home Rule Charter went down in flames, and is likely why the routine activity is getting so much attention now.

S

The only thing extreme in Douglas County is the unscrupulous use of a political manipulation for personal gain by the timber elites. . .

Creeksend

You sir a dirty tool of corporate timber...an industry which gives NOTHING back to local communities. You moved here after logging another state to the ground.@FORESTER353 aS a LIFETIME employee of the timber industry, Mr. Gil Dehuff is a shill for non tax paying Corporations, Plum Creek and Weyerhaeuser as well as an employee for Riverwood International and has a degree in Quantative (quantity)Forest Management. He is A Corporate biased and retired in 2009. He is experienced in factory plantation and lease divesture. In other words he farms trees for Wall Street. He has no interest in true "forestry" and I object to his use of the terms "forest management" wnen he really refers to are single aged, monoculture biosterile orphan tree plantations for quick profit. He is not a voice for the people, unless you own a Timber Investment Management Trust kind of people, like the ones investing in the opposition to Home Rule. Oregon Corporastions pay the lowest Corporate taxes in the nation, leaving our working class nothing to boot.
Investing in automation and shipping unprocessed goods overseas.
Ask gil (forester353) how he feels about reinstating Harvest taxes on Big Timber...
He is probably the genius behind the "Extreme environmentalist" signs to which he keeps referring.
Home Rule Charter had to do with a form of government and had zero to do with logging. Or guns.

scole

Based on a satellite image of the area captured May 7th, approximately 6 acres of the original 19 acres remain unlogged. That means Lone Rock was able to log 68% of the site without the use of this "necessary" road through BLM land. Furthermore, in Lone Rock's original submittal to the BLM when they sought approval for their road, their own map showed an "overgrown road" that would have provided direct access to the remaining 6 acres. This was logging by loophole. Period.

Creeksend

Why are there no current pictures of the site Emily Hoard? The public has photos available to show what has already been done. Not some soft foreplay shots of the impending plan. This area was logged completely before the nrtoday published this. Are we going to be subject to continued "processed for industry approval" news stories under Ian Campbell?
Lone Rock lied and misled the public and the newspaper and Ian Campbell will not publish a retraction. The area to be logged was not 40 acres..it was a tiny remainder of 19 acres. Why the lies and and misrepresentation...Because the News Review is Now a timber industry tool.

smedleyb

Good comment. Thank you.

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