A small victory for logging protesters

  Opponents of Oregon's timber industry are hoping a small court victory will energize their cause. On Aug. 5, five activists fended off federal trespassing charges stemming from protests at the Warner Creek fire sale in the Willamette National Forest (HCN, 9/2/96).

For almost a year, hundreds of protesters blockaded a Forest Service road into the sale. Then on Aug. 16, last year, the agency declared the area closed and raided the protesters' barricades.

Lane County District Court Judge Bryan Hodges dropped trespassing charges against one woman when he found she was just 17 years old when arrested. Hodges acquitted a second protester because the government failed to prove the man had been given enough time to leave the property. The remaining three defendants were convicted, but not fined.

Sierra Club activist Tim Ream called the ruling "a shot in the arm" for protesters. "They stayed on that mountain 11 months," he said. "There were hundreds of them, and the result is no one was sentenced. That's a strong statement that (the protesters) were right." - Peter Chilson

High Country News Classifieds