Medford BLM, Ore. – In a peaceful protest to challenge the assault on U.S. public lands by the Bush administration, Greenpeace activists put their bodies on the line today in the ancient forests of Southern Oregon.
A three-ton cargo container with two people locked to the inside and one attached to the outside, was placed between chainsaws and some 236 acres of old-growth forest designated for a timber sale.
Jennifer Kirby, 26, of Washington, D.C., Kingman Lim, 23, of Berkeley, CA and Anthony Villagomez, 22, of Northern Oregon locked themselves to the giant container at dawn.
The forest in Oregon represents ancient forests on public lands throughout the United States that the Bush administration is fast tracking onto the chopping block. To date, 70 percent of all old growth forest has already been logged. Greenpeace is calling for a moratorium on commercial logging on public lands, and for increased protection and restoration efforts.
Earlier this month, Greenpeace opened its first U.S. Forest Rescue Station in Oregon. The station, which is open to the public, is just one that Greenpeace plans to open in endangered forests across the country.
“These beautiful, old trees are our national treasures and the lungs of the planet. But instead of protecting the last remaining forests, the Bush administration is attempting to destroy them,” said Bill Richardson, Greenpeace Campaigns Director. “If Bush continues to ignore the public’s wishes to keep their forests healthy, it will be up to the American people to rescue our public forests from this imminent danger.”
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and other federal agencies have allowed extensive logging and road building in ancient forests across the nation destroying forests and key fish habitats and costing taxpayers billions of dollars in net losses and direct subsidies to logging
corporations. Despite U.S. Forest Service findings that recreation on public lands generates more revenue and creates millions of jobs, timber sales like the one in Oregon threaten forests on public lands across the Pacific Northwest and around the country.
“The BLM has been mismanaging our public lands, ripping off taxpayers and stealing away our heritage, our forests and our future,’ continued Richardson. “Keeping forests intact and creating more protected areas creates jobs and profits. It is time to put an end to the boom-and-bust economy of commercial logging, and create family wage jobs through restoration.”
06/15/2004 Greenpeace USA, ems.org