Daring Cascadia Forest Defenders Scale the Oregon Capital Building

CFD doing a banner drop under a golden statue of a guy holding an axe.

CFD doing a banner drop under a golden statue of a guy holding an axe.

From Facebook

Activists with Cascadia Forest Defenders is occupying the colonial space atop the Capital Building in Salem, Oregon today in protest of the privatization of public forests. Governor Kitzlogger’s legacy of selling off public land threatens massive clearcuts of old growth endangered species habitat—including the Eliot State Forest, which is among the largest contiguous coastal old growth forests in the Western United States.

Activists dropped a 30-foot tall banner from the big golden statue of a heroic lumberjack holding an axe by his side, which reads ““KITZHABER’S LEGACY: PRIVATIZING THE ELLIOTT – CLEARCUTTING FOR PROFIT.” Their Facebook page released the following statement approximately one hour ago:

“Moments ago two forest defenders scaled the golden pioneer atop the capitol building in Salem, successfully dropping a banner unveiling Kitzhaber’s legacy of privatizing our public forests for private profit. The capitol building has been locked, business as usual has been stopped! Police are onsite, but so far they seem confused on how to proceed.”

Kitzlogger has proposed a jobs plan for clearcutting as well as the notion of using revenues from timberlands for public schools—logging for schools, what a joke. The clearcuts are for the children, his plan will increase forest health (lots of “artificial meadows,” “fire lines,” “enhanced groves of trees,” “temporary green tree retention unit,” and other euphamistic greenwashing terms for clearcut).

In fact, Kitzlogger’s plan is so balanced that people are repelling off of the capital building in protest. Tax revenues for logging rarely exceed 5 percent, and more than 60 percent of logged timber from the West Coast is shipped directly to China (much of it bypassing union sawmills). Thus, the only jobs created are for drastically underpaid, seasonal loggers, whose job pool has largely evaporated, not because of environmentalists, but because of the timber barons’ endless scheming to increase machinized production at the expense of wages, health, and safety.

But don’t take our word for it. Renowned conservationist Andy Kerr was appointed by Kitzlogger to a committee on sustainable logging, but dropped out almost immediately, calling the proceeds farcical and maligning the committee for their pretense of balanced logging under constant demands to increase logging. Thanks to groups like Cascadia Forest Defenders, it is impossible for the state government to maintain the appearance of balanced forestry amidst the incessant demand to increase logging throughout the state and national forests, as well as O&C Lands.

The extraction-oriented economy appears to comprise 13 percent of Oregon’s economy, while it syphons money to the top 1% and annihilates prospects for clean water, climate resilience, habitat survival, and a livable future. Another job well done.

More updates to come…

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