COOS BAY — The state of Oregon has withdrawn more than 900 acres of planned timber sales in Elliott State Forest, pending the outcome of a lawsuit filed by environmentalists.
The Oregon Department of Forestry plans instead to open 465 acres of alternative logging sites that were not named in the lawsuit, The (Coos Bay) World reported.
“It’s certainly nowhere near what was proposed in the annual operating plan,” department spokesman Kevin Weeks said.
Weeks estimated the change in plans will cost the Common School Fund about $9.85 million in income next year. But environmental groups say deferred logging means another year of protection for the endangered marbled murrelet sea bird.
The lawsuit, filed by Cascadia Wildlands and other environmental groups in May, alleges the state’s logging practices violate the Endangered Species Act.
“All the current scientific information suggests the seabirds’ population is continuing to plummet in this region,” Cascadia Wildlands spokesman Josh Laughlin said. “Clear cutting of its nesting habitat is a factor. To us, that suggests that public agencies like the Department of Forestry should take stronger measures to ensure their survival.”
Laughlin said a federal judge will hear the lawsuit sometime next year.
The state would have to drastically adjust its forest management plan if the judge decides in favor of the environmental groups.
Cascadia Wildlands wants the state to pursue a habitat conservation plan that would allow logging in certain areas and preserve other areas as habitat for endangered species. The state managed the Elliott State Forest with a habitat conservation plan for years. But it was scrapped last year because the National Marine Fisheries Service would not approve it, saying the plan did not adequately protect Coho salmon.
Currently, all areas of the state forest are open to logging if no endangered species live in the immediate vicinity.
The holiest plant of the Christmas season may be a raggedy shrub with peeling bark that seems to grow best in a dusty backyard in Tempe, Ariz. This is Boswellia sacra, better known as the frankincense tree. The shrub’s gum resin is one of the three biblical gifts that the wise men bestowed on the infant Jesus. Until recently, Americans who wished to cultivate their…
PRINEVILLE - A water-marked birth certificate and a few warped childhood photographs are all that remained of Kristina and Robert George's family possessions after a 1998 flood ravaged their downtown Prineville home. The flood swept through north Prineville on Friday, May 29, 1998, after a freak bout of rain sent water gushing over Ochoco Reservoir's spillway. The water swelled Ochoco Creek, a meandering brook that…
FRESNO, Calif. — Federal law now allows visitors to carry guns in national parks, but you can’t just slip a loaded pistol into your backpack and take a hike. Pay attention, because this is a little complicated. You will need a concealed weapons permit to carry the loaded gun in the backpack. But you don’t need any kind of permit if you just want to…
HELSINKI — Marlboro Man lit up his last cigarette on Finnish TV screens in 1978. Soon, his smokes will be out of plain sight in stores, and selling tobacco to Marlboro Jr. may land the retailer in jail. Finland will push tobacco sales under the counter in shops as a new law comes into effect in stages, starting yesterday. The Nordic nation, one of the…
Q: Why do some vegetables, such as cooked diced carrots, spark when I reheat them in the microwave?A: Microwaves work by sending out electromagnetic waves that vibrate the water, fat and sugar molecules in food, creating heat. The microwave generates an electric field, but the intensity of the electricity varies throughout the microwave. When you cut a carrot into small pieces and heat them in…