Tag Archives: tree-sits

Oregon House Passes Bills Targeting Tree-sitters, Environmental Activists

30 Apr

by Yuxing Zheng, cross posted from The Orgonian

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SALEM — With talk about “environmental terrorism,” the Oregon House approved two bills Monday that target tree sitters and other environmental activists who interfere with logging in state forests.

House Bill 2595, which passed 43-12, would create the crime of interference with state forestland management. House Bill 2596, which passed 51-4, would allow private contractors with the Oregon Department of Forestry to sue environmental protestors for the cost of damaged equipment, employee wages, attorney fees and similar costs. Both bills head to the Senate.

The legislation comes amid divisive efforts to increase logging in Elliott State Forest near Reedsport and proposals to increase logging in federal forest lands. Environmental activists affiliated with Cascadia Forest Defenders and Cascadia Earth First! staged protests at Elliott State Forest in recent years and at the Oregon State Capitol in May and June 2012, which led to arrests.

“They are known to overturn their vehicles on roads, chain themselves to trees, chain themselves to equipment, damage equipment, dig ditches in the roads, drive spikes in trees to cause injuries to workers, among other dangerous acts,” said Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach, who carried both bills. “This type of conduct cannot and should not be tolerated.”

House Bill 2595 would allow district attorneys “to charge these terrorists with a crime and make them accountable,” he said.

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