Seven environmental groups filed a lawsuit to prevent further logging in the Santiam State Forest in the wake for wildfires over Labor Day 2021. The proposed plan by Oregon’s Department of Forestry is to salvage logging dead burned trees and replanting on roughly 20% of the acres that burned. The proposal highlights that it will lead to reduced fire risk, safer roads and new green forests faster than alternatives. The department received hundreds of comments on the proposal. Despite these facts the seven environmental groups sued anyway.
The groups sued the Oregon Department of Forestry. The state forest has been closed to the public since the wildfires. Stopping the logging would jeopardize over 1,200 jobs and revenue funding for Marion, Linn and Clackamas counties.
Marion County Commissioner Kevin Cameron defended the current harvesting plan saying, “The plan that was put forward is very responsible and only accounts for a very small percentage of what was burned. It’s good stewardship to go in and use some of those salvaged logs and put them to use while supporting our community rebuilding efforts.”
The conversation groups filing the lawsuit— Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity, Oregon Wild, Willamette Riverkeeper, the Audubon Society of Corvallis, the Audubon Society of Salem, Benton Forest Coalition and John Jackson.