A group that's against logging on state owned forest lands drew a crowd of onlookers at the Oregon State Capitol Thursday morning. A member of Cascadia Forest Defenders climbed a flagpole and draped a large banner that read "Schools versus Trees? We want both!”
The protester climbed down after about 90 minutes and was promptly arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. As Perry Graham was led away in handcuffs, he explained the reason for his flagpole-sitting.
"The choice between clear-cutting our forests and not funding our schools is a false one," he said. "The real answer is that we need to tax timber companies who are making private profits off extracting our public resources."
The Oregon State Land Board, led by Governor John Kitzhaber, approved a plan last year to increase logging on the Elliott State Forest near Coos Bay. Money from logging on state forests goes to fund schools. But the cash represents a very small portion of the overall state budget for education.
On the Web:
Elliott State Forest:
Oregon Common School Fund fact sheet:
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