The first timber sales designed under the new Revised Management Plan (RMP) were offered at auction today at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office in Springfield. Though these were not particularly egregious cuts, Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) did not let their passing go unmarked. CFD has been tracking the RMP though its development with members making public comments particularly against the destruction of the aquatic conservation strategy of the Northwest Forest Plan and the abandonment of efforts to survey and manage key species such as the red tree vole, a staple food of the Northern Spotted Owl.
Despite massive input against increasing logging in western Oregon during the planning phase, the BLM announced it would enact the RMP increasing logging by 37% on our public land last August. 20 environmental groups immediately filed protest but the BLM is moving forward anyway.
A handful of diligent activists held banners and conversations outside the BLM as employees filed into work and bidders from timber companies went into the auction. Todays demonstration was small and amicable, just enough to let Big Timber and BLM know that we are paying attention. Future sales that implement the more destructive methods outlined in the RMP will be met with resistance.