Cave Junction residents rally against local logging and clear-cutting

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — It was a moment Cave Junction resident, Diane Hailey, says she’ll never forget.

“The sound and knowing what’s happening,” she said. “I don’t even need to see it. I know what’s occurring. And I know it’s this huge blanket of death.”

Hailey is one of a number of residents living on Kenrose Lane, just outside downtown Cave Junction, who’s had enough with what she calls frequent logging and clear-cutting operations taking place in her community.

“There needs to be a balance between the needs of the timber industry and the needs of the rural community,” said Guenter Ambron, another homeowner.

The group rallied Monday morning handing out flyers and educating people on the government-funded and private logging and clear-cutting operations taking place, some just a mile away from homes.

Ambron says the operations cause a number of problems for homeowners whether it be destroying the ecosystem, lowering property values, as well as leaving homes more vulnerable to flames during fire season.

“What it does, is it dries up the moist forest,” he said. “It also opens it up to oxygen and that’s what you need for fuel.”

But a government agency behind one of the logging operations says it’ll help prevent catastrophic wildfires.

“We’re trying to reduce the stand densities, so the fire has a harder chance of tearing itself through the understory vegetation and through the canopies,” said Vince Randall, Bureau of Land Management.

Randall says the logging they do not only supplies Oregon’s timber industry but also mitigates the risk of wildfires by eliminating tree canopies.

“That’s when it will burn hot with giant flame lengths,” he said.

BLM says they have a logging project planned around the area that will be starting this summer. However, the agency says they have frequently met with the community to ease their concerns and accommodate some of their needs.

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