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December 16, 2015 05:25 PM

Thursday Dec. 17 at 10 am, a patch of forest outside of Eugene goes to auction. That patch of forest, called the John's Last Stand timber sale by the Bureau of Land Management, is near the Willamette  National Forest Hiking Trail and the Hardesty Mountain unroaded area.

Preserving the Hardesty wildlands complex, a little over 20 miles southwest of Eugene, has been a campaign of the Many Rivers Group Sierra Club for several years, and Many Rivers Group is protesting the sale along with Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon Wild.

According to the BLM's sale proposal, John's Last Stand  is being sold as a "regeneration harvest." Oregon Wild says the proposal calls for leaving only six to eight trees an acre — essentially a clearcut.


Oregon Wild says the forest is 116 years old and the clearcutting will be "just a stone's throw" from a hiking trail and in a roadless area close to Eugene. The Many Rivers Group says in its campaign to preserver Hardesty as a wild area that, "on the Umpqua side of the Hardesty divide is the headwaters for Cottage Grove's drinking water supply.

In their Dec. 3 protest letter to the Eugene BLM, the three groups write, "A large amount of clearcutting has occurred on private lands in this area in recent years. BLM should no add to the cumulative effects by conducing more regen, harvest which may have significant effects on water quality, wildlife habitat, and scenic values."

The groups have asked members of Oregon's congressional delegation, including Rep. Peter DeFazio, to halt the sale.  

December 16, 2015 11:28 AM

Research out of OSU looks at ocean temperatures and their affect on young salmon, with some surprising conclusions.

December 15, 2015 02:37 PM

Local videographer Daniel Dronsfield has made a part two to his "The Sale of Kesey Square" series. Dronsfield came to the Downtown Solutions Forum at LCC's downtown campus Dec. 2 and interviewed Mayor Kitty Piercy, Councilor Betty Taylor, Senior City Planner Nan Laurence, The Barn Light owner Thomas Pettus-Czar and business owner and UO senior instructor of finance Ali Emami. See the video below the highlights. Find links to all EW's coverage of Kesey Square below the video. 

Some highlights:

Daniel Dronsfield narration: "After all these interviews and the forum, I heard a lot of things, but never did I hear anyone ardently advocate for apartments. Even the most prominent critics of the square seemed to harbor some hope for its salvation."

Councilor Betty Taylor: "Downtown belongs to everyone, it doesn’t just belong to people who have business down there."

-"We need more people to get involved. When it's gone, we can't get it back."

-"Obvsiously the city has never helped him," Betty Taylor says of Ali Emami's plan. "We've helped other businesses. I don't know why we haven't helped him do something to improve the area."

Zane Kesey: "Kesey Square is why I came and it seems like why most of the people came and boy they come up with a lot of good ideas."

Barn Light owner Thomas Pettus-Czar: "A lot of folks consider it to be very small in turns of public space. One cultural group will occupy the space and other folks don't feel comfortable sharing it." 

Senior City Planner Nan Laurence: "It’s vacant the majority of the time or used by people who have no other place to go. And it's not nessecarily a safe place to be when that's the case. Places that are active have all kinds of people."

Business owner Ali Emami: "RFEI. It's biased. It excludes people from particpation. It has a really short time span, about five weeks. If I want to put a proposal together it costs about $40,000 just to give to the architects to put a plan for you together. It's not a fair game. It's biased. As they indicated in the press, they want to start building in May. So that tells you the process.

See all our coverage of Kesey Square here:

Find all of our 2015 coverage of the Kesey Square controversy here:

12/15: "The story behind the Chamber of Commerce endorsement to privatize Kesey Square"

 12/10: "Support for Kesey Square Highlights Public Forum: Zane Kesey wants to keep square public"

12/3: "Voodoo Doughnut, Community Group want Kesey Square kept public"

11/25: "City to issue requests from private sector only for Kesey Square"

11/19: "Apathy Made Visible: The tale of one city square and the city that wouldn't save it"

11/5: "One Flew Over Kesey Square: Business owner’s plan calls for incubators and public space downtown, not apartments"

10/22: "Property Owner Offers To Open Up Brick Walls Of Kesey Square"

5/7: "Sometimes a Great Plaza: The quest to turn Kesey Square into a vibrant public space"

4/16: "Playing Offense at Kesey Square: Adapting a public space for people, not against people"

December 15, 2015 01:12 PM

The New York Times published an editorial Dec. 11 about how the U.S. arms industry is making millions off terrorism and fear.