EUGENE, Ore. — A federal judge put a halt to a controversial logging project near McKenzie Bridge.
Cascadia Wildlands says they’re with the judge’s decision because the Forest Service didn’t factor in the environmental impact, but the Forest Service stands by their claim.
“When we look at a landscape level for treatment of units and, and trying to do what’s right for the landscape as a whole that doesn’t necessarily constitute going into plantations that we’ve been in previously that also means we look at some of those natural stands to see where we can do the most benefit for the eco system,” said Terry Baker, Forest Service Ranger.
When the Forest Service originally looked into the logging sale by the McKenzie Bridge it says it didn’t ignore the environmental impact. The Forest Service argues preserving wildlife and plants was part of its plan.
“There’s a lot of effort that’s taken into looking at not just producing a forest product but really trying to address all the natural system issues that are going into making a good project,” Baker said.
But people from Cascadia Wildlands feels different and made their voices heard in May with a lawsuit. They say the logging is too much of threat to historic forests.
“The Forest Service went out on a limb and proposed logging in a potential wilderness area, in older forests that are critical for the survival of a host of different species on the brink of extinction,” said Terry Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands Campaign Director.
Cascadia says it doesn’t stop there: That the Forest Service didn’t communicate with the public until it was too late.
“A lot of them first heard about the timber sale when there was timber sale flags around their property with logging units proposed to be cut. They felt like they were never properly notified about the project and essentially left out of the public process,” Laughlin said.
But the Forest Service says it did all it could to include the public.
“One of the big points for me is the statement that the only public announcement was the legal ad that was placed in The Register-Guard. Actually, it was published in the River Reflections, which is the local newspaper in McKenzie Bridge area, an entire front-page spread on a field trip saying this is the project. This is the project area. It’s adjacent to private land,” Baker said.
Both sides agree that moving forward the community will be more involved in the discussion.