Today I swam in a small, clear lake surrounded by forest, huge trees of different species and an understory of wildflowers and huckleberries. I’d like to return every summer and bring my grandchildren when they are a bit older. But I was there to say goodbye.
If Forest Service plans go ahead, the lake will be next to miles of clear-cut forest: the Flat Country timber sale. More than 3,115 acres out of the 4,400-acre sale is mature and old-growth forest. This year President Joe Biden ordered his administration to save older forests for their crucial carbon storage. The importance of these forests in protecting wildlife and water is also widely acknowledged, along with their resistance to wildfire. And Flat Country’s watershed, the McKenzie, is only beginning to recover from the 230,000-acre Holiday Farm fire two years ago. So why is this Trump-era sale going ahead? More loss and devastation, damage that will last for generations, just to make money for timber companies.
There is some hope. Congressman Peter DeFazio has spoken out against the Flat Country timber sale. Ask Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden to be courageous and join him; ask the Biden administration to withdraw the sale.