We — concerned college students with the University of Oregon’s Climate Justice League — oppose the use of aggressive logging, or “regeneration harvest,” in the proposed Thurston Hills “Pedal Power” timber sale. The Thurston Hills Natural Area is a beloved park that provides invaluable access to nature for many Springfield and Eugene residents and University of Oregon students.
Willamalane Park and Recreation District has spent more than $100,000 in taxpayer dollars on restoration work and building a 15-mile network of trails throughout the park. This sale would leave miles of new biking trails within clearcuts, undermining the city’s efforts to bring recreation opportunities to the community, wasting tax revenue and the almost 2,000 hours of volunteer labor provided by a wide variety of community members.
Additionally, clearcutting this area would expose local residents to increased risk of wildfire. Recent peer-reviewed studies have shown that clearcuts, and the timber plantations they create, are extremely susceptible to wildfire and burn at higher severity than older, more diverse forests.
Considering the increasingly severe wildfire seasons that we have been experiencing across Oregon, it is unacceptable to make our communities even more vulnerable to wildfire than they are already. We have seen these kinds of clearcuts in Shotgun Creek Park and across Oregon, and we understand what an ugly wildfire hazard they will bring to our community.
Will we stand up to the timber industry? Join us for a Town Hall Discussion at Springfield City Hall 6-8 pm Thursday, April 18.