Last night, under moonlight, our rowdy cadre of mountain beavers emerged from
the hillside and destroyed the road leading into the Dean Scholfield timber
sale in the Elliott State Forest. A three-foot deep trench now blocks the
sale’s entrance. Long lengths of rebar were cemented into three holes in
front of the trench, preventing bulldozers from easily reconstructing the
The Oregon Department of Forestry sold this old timber in February to Scott
Timber, a subsidiary of Roseburg Forest Products. Much of this 51-acre sale
has never been logged before. Dean-Scholfield borders a parcel of unsurveyed
potential marbled murrelet habitat, as well as the Hakki Ridge parcel that
Seneca Jones purchased last year, which contains swatches of old growth and
documented murrelet nesting habitat.
As Oregon’s state land board moves away from the prospect of land
privatization and large scale destruction of Marbled Murrelet habitat in the
Elliott, many will be ready to compromise– to say “go ahead, have some,
thin a lot, clear cut a little, so long as it doesn’t violate the
Endangered Species Act.” But for those of us who are intimately connected
to this land, a clearcut is a clearcut. No matter if the trees are 100 or 250
years old: the mountain beavers will be trampled, trapped and poisoned and
the coho salmon downstream will struggle to survive as temperatures rise and
silt settles on the gravel beds. The ancient myrtle that is reaching towards
the sky and watching the forest around it mature into old growth will be
carelessly thrown into a slash pile, burned as hog fuel at the mill.
Regardless of the “average dbh” or “stand age” of the timber within
Dean Scholfield, the human community down hill will breath in the drift and
drink the water contaminated by the aerial spraying of herbicides.
And so we say “No Compromise”. The destruction of never-before-logged
forest in the Elliott, the clear cutting, and the land privatization all must
come to an end. We have been labelled many things: pests, vermin, vandals,
and “eco-terrorists.” So we’ll do what we do best, and continue to gnaw
at your roads and your profits. To the Oregon Department of Forestry, the
State Land Board, Roseburg Forest Products and all others who seek to destroy
our wild and sacred forests: We won’t stop until you do.