Remembering Warner Creek
11 month Warner Creek road blockade - photo by Kurt Jensen
This area has been the site of controversial arson fires. It appears that these fires were set to encourage salvage logging of this native forest which had previously been set aside for Northern Spotted Owl habitat. In 1991, 9,000 acres were burned in the Warner Creek late-succesional reserve set aside as habitat for the endangered northern spotted owl. A fire fighter lost his life in the effort to extinguish the forest fire. The arsonist/murderer has never been caught. A broad spectrum of citizen involvement, including letter writing, public events, hikes and (of course) an 11-month road blockade by Southern Willamette Earth First! and the Cascadia Forest Defenders brought a cancellation of the salvage plan. This short circuited a potential mandate to legitimize arson as a way to get at off-limits resources with salvage logging. Some of this area will finally become a Research Natural Area for fire ecology. The issue now is HOW MUCH of the area will be set aside for scientific study. The citizen-proposed W.A.R.N.E.R. RNA would provide 44,000 acres protected from logging. The Forest Service however, has not settled on the boundaries of the RNA.
Revenge of the Salvage Rider
Severe erosion on FS Road 5883 caused by logging activities - photo by James Johnston
Helldun is one of the first of many "Replacement Volume" timber sales in the Willamette National Forest. In 1995, Congress passed the infamous "Salvage Rider." This bill required the Forest Service to harvest timber "to the maximum extent feasible," and revoked ALL environmental laws. A few of the worst timber sales awarded during the Salvage Rider were canceled, but the rider mandated that these sales be replaced with other timber sales of equal kind an value. The Willamette National Forest must provide over 60 million board feet (approximately 13,000 logging trucks worth) of old-growth timber in spotted owl habitat to replace Salvage Rider sales canceled in old-growth marbled murelet habitat in the coast range. Independent experts estimate that the Forest Service is awarding timber companies more than three times as much timber volume as they are owed with sales like Helldun.
Last updated by Bigfoot on 12/01/98