For more than four decades, 82-year-old Howard Purkerson carefully managed his timberland in Crow, Oregon, choosing to selectively thin the 90-acre forest instead of toppling it in a more profitable clearcut. But now almost all of the trees are gone. And Purkerson is furious.
“I didn’t want some logging company coming in and raping this beautiful parcel,” he told InvestigateWest. “If there was any way I could balance the scales, I would do it.”
Purkerson refused to sell to Lane County land developers Greg Demers, Norman McDougal and Melvin McDougal because he had heard of their well-publicized clearcutting and mining at Parvin Butte, their burning Pilot Rock landfill (which earned Demers a $792,062 state environmental fine) and their efforts to obtain McKenzie River water rights that an administrative law judge denied as water speculation.