A Talent man is taking his cause straight to the Bureau of Land Management, their parking lot even.George Sexton brought this cutting and put it on display at the Medford BLM.
"We estimate this tree is 260 years old," says Sexton. The reason: he says the BLM harvested it in October at the Cottonwood Timber sale near Little Hyatt Lake. "There are dozens of stumps like this there," claims Sexton.
The problem, Sexton says a BLM resource area manager signed documentation in Medford Federal District Court saying no trees 'with old growth character' would be cut there. "This stump here or slab is the result of some proceedings with KS Wild, so I can't comment on anything that George has said," commented District Manager Dayne Barron.
We spoke with two members of the BLM trying to find out why something like this could happen."There's several layers to the environmental analysis a lot of that has to do with how old growth is designated..." continues BLM Public Affairs Officer Jim Whittington.
"It's one thing to cut down a tree if you have a legitimate reason, but it's quite another to tell the public and court of law one thing when that's not what your doing," says Sexton.
The environmental assessment, or EA, for the Cottonwood project declares no hard and fast rule for determining old growth trees..."If old and growth have any meaning, it's both very old and very very large," says Sexton. The EA does state "Avoid the harvest of old-growth trees."