Breaking the law for trees

With acts of civil disobedience reminiscent of the 1960s civil rights movement, some people in Missoula, Mont., have begun protesting emergency salvage timber sales. One week after President Clinton signed the salvage sales into law, 15 people occupied Montana Sen. Max Baucus' Missoula office. They refused to leave until the senator agreed to meet with them, which he said he would do, sometime in September. In addition to the office sit-in, members of the new group, Citizens Against Lawless Logging (CALL), picketed for six hours in front of Baucus' office. Three were arrested and cited for criminal trespass after they strung a banner, and themselves, from the roof of the senator's office building. CALL members are also gathering signatures on a letter to Montana's three-person congressional delegation. It asks their support for repealing the salvage law. CALL spokeswoman Marion Hourdequin says the salvage logging bill, which nullifies environmental laws, targets every tree for cutting since it defines salvage timber as any tree "imminently susceptible to fire or insect attack." CALL can be reached at 406/728-5733.