Environment Oregon, wildlife organizations, and concerned citizens spoke out today in three cities on their way to deliver more than 10,000 public comments in opposition to the Bybee Timber Sale, a reckless logging proposal on the edge of Crater Lake National Park. In Portland, Eugene and Medford, the coalition also presented a giant postcard to the Forest Service featuring several of the over 100 photos and testimonials submitted by Oregonians of their visits to Crater Lake.
“Oregonians love Crater Lake and the wilderness that surrounds it,” said Charlie Fisher, Environment Oregon Field Organizer. “They’ve made it clear that the Forest Service’s proposal to effectively clear-cut on the edge of our only National Park is unacceptable.”
Crater Lake National Park and surrounding forests are home to some of Oregon’s most iconic species like Roosevelt elk, black bears, and bald eagles. The proposed logging project would threaten wildlife and fish, destroying critical habitat and degrading water quality in rivers and streams.
“The Crater Lake wildlands deserve better. The Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest has enjoyed great success in recent years by working collaboratively with the public to protect, instead of log, old-growth trees and wildlands,” said Morgan Lindsay, outreach coordinator for the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center. “We urge the Forest Service to build on this forward-thinking approach rather than push ahead with controversial logging in our old-growth forests and Wild & Scenic river corridors.”
The proposed Bybee Timber Sale is located within a Crater Lake Wilderness proposal—supported by Environment Oregon, Oregon Wild, Umpqua Watersheds, KS Wild, and the Crater Lake Institute—that would permanently protect 500,000 acres in and around Crater Lake National Park. In late January, Environment Oregon delivered over 12,000 petitions from around the state urging U.S. Senators Wyden and Merkley to support the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal.
According to the National Forest Service’s official Environmental Assessment, if proposed logging were to go forward, much of the Bybee area “would likely forgo future designation as wilderness.”
“We know that the best way to permanently protect this area is for Congress to designate it as a Wilderness area,” said Fisher, “but in the meantime, we have to ensure there’s still something left to protect."
Environment Oregon collected more than 10,000 public comments. They were joined in their opposition of the Bybee Timber Sale by KS Wild and Oregon Wild who have also generated public comments.