|See the Final
The snow is beginning to filter down and cover the branches of the trees in the Children's Forest, one of the most beautiful places in the Sun Pass State Forest in Klamath County, Oregon, filled with giant ponderosa pines, white firs and sugar pines, and the creatures dependent on it like the northern goshawk. But Christmas in the Children's Forest is looking bleak. The Oregon Department of Forestry and the Division of State Lands want to cut hundreds of trees 30" and over in diameter, and thousands between 20" and 29". Why would they cut some of the last and best of our old growth forest in an area that has been decimated by their past actions, and those of Federal and private managers? They say that our children and their teachers are making them do it.
"We have had discussions with the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Division of State Lands, reaching to the highest levels, for the last year and a half," says Jim Arraj, head of the Children's Forest, an environmental education project based in the middle of the forest, close to the proposed sale, "but they won't save a single tree that they have scheduled to cut. You would imagine that they would be aware of a recent survey that showed that 75% of Oregon voters were against cutting old growth trees, or you would think they would have listened to the speeches of the Governor about eastside forests and old growth trees. They argue that they are saving more than half of these larger trees - until the next cut, anyway. But that is like you lending someone $100. Later you meet them and they have $1 left, and instead of explaining where the $99 went, they keep on waving around their last $1 and claiming they are going to save a lot of it. I simply don't know how to explain to our children how cutting these giant trees ends up creating an old growth forest."
"The real shame about all of this is that they are taking away part of our children's future and claiming that our children are making them do it because the money goes to the Common School Fund. But even here the numbers don't add up. The last time we looked, the Common School Fund had over $800 million dollars, and was aiming towards a billion, and hadn't even spent all the interest from the previous year. This sale is projected to generate $1,600,000, of which $400,000 to $500,000 will go to the Oregon Department of Forestry for administrative expenses. I would say that cutting these trees is about the money, and not the children."
You can help save these giant trees.
Please contact the Governor, and ask him to save the big
trees in the Children's Forest (Siderod Timber Sale in Klamath County):
To e-mail the Governor go to: www.governor.state.or.us