Before sunrise on Feb. 3, Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) blockaded the entrance to Gov. John Kitzhaber's (D-OR) mansion with a mound of Christmas trees. Activists held banners reading "Rally at the State Land Board Meeting Feb. 14" and "KITZHABER LIES, FOREST DIE!" One person was arrested.
On Oct. 11, 2011, Gov. Kitzhaber approved a plan to almost double the clearcut in the Elliott State Forest. Voters, expecting a green governor, are outraged at the hypocrisy of his actions. "The old Elliott State Forest management plan already allowed an appalling amount of clearcutting," said Erin Grady, a member of CFD. "The State Land Board made a 60-year commitment to this plan in 1995. And only 16 years later, they just threw the whole plan in the trash. If logging in the Elliott continues at the current rate, this forest will be gone within our lifetime."
In the past year, there has been widespread disappointment regarding Gov. Kitzhaber's decisions towards the Elliott. Forest activist Echo Lively said, "If anyone was unsure about it before, we can now be sure that Kitzhaber is in the pocket of industry in Oregon." Another forest advocate said, "The only thing green about Kitzhaber is the money." Kitzhaber has made many mistakes managing environmental issues in Oregon, but there is still time to save this crucial rainforest of the Pacific Northwest.
CFD invites any and all who are enraged with Kitzhaber and other members of the State Land Board to attend a rally at their next meeting on Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. It will be held outside the Department of State Lands located in Salem at 775 Summer St. NE. Come tell Kitzhaber that we won't let our forests be destroyed without a fight.
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