WASHINGTON -- March 7 -- Today, old-growth logging began in Southern Oregon. This unfortunate move will cause irreparable damage to the world-renowned Siskiyou National Forest, the National Wild & Scenic Illinois River, and the countless fish and wildlife species that depend on the forest.
The logging of ancient trees clearly benefits special interests and is out of step with the desires of the American people. Scientists and citizens on the ground in the Northwest worked tirelessly to fashion a plan that would sensibly protect ancient forests. Todays misguided actions defy the years of effort that went into forging the Northwest Forest Plan into an agreement appropriate for all sides.
While the Northwest Forest Plan allows for a conservative amount of post-fire logging in old growth reserves, it must be neutral or beneficial to the recovery of old growth habitat. The logging that is moving forward today is anything but conservative. Scientists who have reviewed plans to log in the reserves conclude there is no rational justification for doing so.
In its zeal to tear down the safeguards of the Northwest Forest Plan and release 300-year-old trees to be logged, the Administration has again demonstrated its short-sighted agenda for Americas national forests and failed to take into account the long-term impacts of their actions. In this case, the Administration is short-changing future generations. They should have the opportunity to explore the beauty of some of this countrys oldest and most biologically diverse forests.