Sitting in trees to save them may become a
costly pastime, if the Oregon Department of Forestry has its way.
Since August, protesters have prevented logging in the Tillamook
State Forest by occupying platforms in the boughs of giant trees,
and the department is considering an unusual method to deal with
them: charging protesters for the timber they cannot
"We are the managers of these forests," says
department spokesman Jeff Foreman. "If we're not able to log where
we're supposed to, it's going to cost the taxpayers of Oregon."
Charging protesters may be a way to deter them and make up lost
income, he says.
The idea of charging for lumber
lost won't discourage protesters, says Sarah Wald, a volunteer with
the Cascadia Forest Alliance, a group supporting the tree-sits. But
it would "show how determined the Department of Forestry is to put
profits first," she says.
Foreman says the idea
is only in preliminary stages. The Oregon Department of Forestry
has asked the Department of Justice to investigate the legal
grounds for billing