Burned By Weyerhaeuser

The Holiday Farm Fire in the McKenzie River watershed could have been called the Weyerhaeuser Fire if the total acreage was the basis for the name. Most of the land that burned was corporate industrial plantations, far more than federal national forests and private residences. I have copied a map showing ownerships at ForestClimate.org.

Lane County Code 10.103-60 admits tree farms are more flammable than older forests with big trees. Monoculture young firs burn hot and fast.

Fires in the Santiam watershed burned more public land, but a lot of those forests had also been converted into tree farms.

In 2005, permaculture co-originator David Holmgren visited Eugene on his first (and last) trip to the USA. He noted the importance of protecting the last of the old growth forest but also the need to change practices on second (and third!) growth toward sincere sustainability. There are a few examples of selective forestry in Oregon but not many — and none are on corporate lands with shareholders to satisfy.

John Sundquist’s letter (EW 9/24) decried SB 1602, a state bill, now law, that penalized objections to helicopter herbiciding of corporate clearcuts. SB 1602 codified an agreement made in February between 13 environmental groups, including Beyond Toxics, Oregon Wild and Cascadia Wildlands, and 13 timber companies, including Weyerhaeuser. It would be nice for EW to ask these groups why they support continued clearcuts and aerial spraying via this agreement. Read their agreement (annotated) at SustainEugene.org.

Mark Robinowitz