Green Watch – March 2001

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Green Watch for March 2001 TimberLine

Police in Bangor, Maine arrested 11 university students who protested against Wickes Lumber Co. About 20 students staged the demonstration in cooperation with Greenpeace.

Several suspended themselves from 20-foot tripods erected in the roadway entry to the store. They were arrested with the help of firefighters and a ladder truck.

Illinois-based Wickes and other companies have promised not to sell products made of old-growth timber. “But they’ve been kind of dragging their feet, so we wanted to see if we could ratchet it up,” said Greenpeace activist Mike Roselle.

The protestors want Wickes to stop buying products from Interfor because it conducts clear-cuts in British Columbian rain forests.

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George Finkenstaedt, Wickes’s vice president for merchandising wood products, said that less than one-tenth of 1% of Wickes’s sales may originate with Interfor. The company does not purchase directly from Interfor, he said, although wholesalers may use Interfor products.

• A prominent environmentalist in Bloomington, Ind. pleaded not guilty to driving 10-inch spikes into trees in a state forest that had been set aside for logging. The charge against Frank Ambrose is a felony.

The Earth Liberation Front earlier claimed responsibility for spiking the trees. Richard Kammen, Ambrose’s attorney, said his client is not affiliated with the radical group.

Authorities said the spikes were only carried by one local store and that Ambrose was identified on the store’s security camera videotape as the man who bought the same type of nails.

• Three protestors were arrested on trespassing charges when they demonstrated against logging by Pacific Lumber Co. near Humboldt Redwoods State Park in California. Activists are trying to stall the timber harvest while efforts are made to buy about 3,000 acres that represent the largest unprotected stand of old-growth Douglas fir remaining in California.

• Lawyers for environmental groups filed papers in court to oppose two lawsuits that seek to overturn a new regulation to ban road construction in pristine areas of national forests.

“The delay of the rule by the Bush administration makes it all the more imperative that conservationists intervene in these lawsuits to defend the rule,” said Nathaniel Lawrence of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court in Idaho; one was filed by Boise Cascade, Boise and Valley Counties, a handful of livestock companies, and off-road vehicle groups, and the second lawsuit was filed by the state of Idaho and Gov. Dirk Kempthorne.