A Close Shave
The state forestry service seems to be adhering to the adage that if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around, environmentalists won't hear it. A month ago, loggers from the Oregon State Department of Forestry (ODF) hounded activist Tre Arrow, who had climbed into a tree in the coastal patch of land known as God's Valley. Protesting a recent timber sale, Arrow refused to leave his perch, so they literally cut it out from underneath him.
According to forest activists, those scare tactics have not abated since the near-catastrophe. After the well-publicized accident with the falling activist, ODF enacted a media blackout, effectively locking out reporters from the site. Even so, several activists have remained lodged in tree-sits. Those activists have provided harrowing stories, saying that the ODF has purposely been logging trees near their treesits, some falling as near as twenty feet away.
God's Valley first became a unique battlefront for local activists this past summer as the only active timber cut under the watch of the Oregon state agency. Unlike the notorious Eagle Creek stand of trees, the land in question is not controlled by the federal government. This sale is the first time activists have tussled with the state agency; and, they say, it has been a chance to see their true colors. PHIL BUSSE
Crazier Than Ever
For the Oregon Citizen's Alliance (OCA)--the right-wing group responsible for Oregon's anti-homosexual voter initiatives--karma seems to be paying a visit: They're in the doghouse financially, under extreme scrutiny by the courts, and have lost their lawyer.
In an ongoing case regarding Catherine Stauffer, a woman physically victimized by the OCA nearly a decade ago, Lon and Bonnie Mabon, the couple that governs the OCA, have repeatedly not shown up for court dates in the last few months, and recently filed to remove their case to federal court, in order to stall. Dropped by their lawyer, the Mabons are now representing themselves, and their refusal to show their faces in court could make them eligible for arrest. Meanwhile, their latest anti-abortion ballot measure--titled the "Sanctity of Life" initiative--continues to gather signatures. KATIA DUNN