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Saturday, March 23, 2013

FOUR HUNDRED YEARS AGO IN OREGON

by Tricia Knoll

The Bybee Timber Sale proposes logging directly adjacent to Crater Lake National Park. Crater Lake is Oregon's only National Park and the backcountry forests that surround one of the purest lakes in the world should not be subject to the harmful effects of logging.

The Bybee logging project would log 1,300 acres in the proposed Crater Lake Wilderness. This would effectively cut off several intact wildlife corridors with logging and road building.  The project includes 12 miles of new roads. The logging would be enough to fill 7000 log trucks, which, if parked end-to-end, would stretch 73 miles from Medford to the boundary of Crater Lake National Park.

Not only would the Bybee Timber Sale imperil the fragile ecosystems of the park, but much of the logging would occur in the headwaters of the world famous Rogue River. The gushing, narrow canyons of the Upper Rogue should not be polluted by the sediment and logging debris from the Bybee Timber Sale.


People moved across this land, hunting,
blessing the roaming prey, practicing
plant wisdoms and reciting
chains of lineage. Fireside stories
from before the gathering of time
told of Llao from the
underworld and sky god Skell -- the battle
of their rising and falling, of Mount
Mazama and the cratered lake.

In that wildness of trees, rain, waves,
and crystal creeks, the people called themselves
the Bannock, the Chasta, the Chinook, the Kalapuya,
the Klamath, the Mollalla, the Nez Perce, Takelma
and Umpqua. Many journeyed to Celilo Falls
for the great trading, before
the dam and the rocks walls
that bore their picture stories
of ocean, gods and volcanos at war
slipped under the floodwaters.
Spaniards sailed the rocky coast,
never venturing to find that caldera
of water bluer than skies, or trees
rounding battleground of gods, scoured by fire,
scrabbling in rock, lifting to Skell
and rooting to Llao

before the people became ill
or furs traded out for hats and coats,
two hundred years before Meriwether,
the Oregon trail, railroads, statehood,
and or telling the people falsehoods.
Today: the men come to fell trees sprouted
in that long ago -- trees ten times the girth
of the human belt. Skell and Llao,
forces of below and above,
watch, the old war yet undone,
this battle of up and down,
over and over again. 


Oregonian Tricia Knoll knows that four hundred-year-old trees in Oregon are really BIG.