Clear-cutting in the Gorge
A new clear-cut in the Columbia River Gorge stirs controversy. The logging highlights Oregon's lax logging rules that allowed the Warm Springs and SDS Lumber to clear-cut right in the Columbia River Gorge.
Have you seen the harsh new clear-cut scar in the Columbia River Gorge near Hood River? Most of us like to think that the Columbia River Gorge is well protected, it is a National Scenic Area after all. But it appears that a recent clear cut, the result of a collaboration between the Warm Springs Tribe and SDS Lumber, has resulted in an ugly scar on one of Oregon's most treasured landscapes.
The lands that were logged are a combination of tribal lands and SDS Lumber private lands. As you may be aware, the rules for logging vary widely in the Northwest. If it's National Forest there are at least a few basic levels of protection, as well as requirements to conduct scientific analysis of the effects of logging, and to let the public know what is happening. Thanks to decades of hard work by Oregon Wild supporters and partners, clear-cutting is rare on National Forest lands. But on private lands, the rules are not so strict, and clear-cutting is often the norm.
The case of the fresh Columbia Gorge Scenic Area clear-cut highlights the need for private landowners to follow the rules, and treat our natural treasures with respect. Stronger logging rules for state and private lands wouldn't hurt either. Isn't it time for a ban on clear-cutting in the Pacific Northwest?