MCKENZIE BRIDGE, Ore. -- It's been nine days of tree sitting for Cascadia Forest Defenders who are hoping to stop the proposed Flat Country Timber Sale.
Up to 10 members of the group have hoisted themselves 113 feet up into the trees. They say they have no intentions of coming down unless the sale is called off.
According to the organization, the sale would threaten thousands of acres of old growth and mature forest in the McKenzie watershed.
The project area is located approximately eight miles east of McKenzie Bridge.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, treatments include commercial thinning, shelterwood with reserves, fuels reduction treatments, meadow enhancement, and early seral creation through gaps. This will require temporary roads, road maintenance and road decommissioning.
Officials told KEZI logging is still a year or more away. But Cascadia Forest Defenders member Sara James said they went up early to launch the movement.
"The tree sit is to spread the word about old growth logging that is happening in the state of Oregon and to also call on decision makers such as the Biden administration," James said.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the project covers about 74,000 acres east of Highway 126. They said the purpose is to provide a sustainable supply of timber for years to come, along with other benefits.
The defenders said they are not one of those benefits.
"We would like to send a message to the companies that potentially will buy this sale that if you buy this sale, you are buying us as well," said a protester.
The forest defenders said logging old growth forests is harmful.
"It's a shame because old growth forests like this -- especially in the Pacific Northwest -- are our last and best defense against climate change," another protester said.