A controversial logging project along the McKenzie River faces a potential lawsuit from a trio of Oregon-based environmental groups.
The so-called Goose project on the Willamette National Forest will adversely impact endangered species habitat and unnecessarily targets old growth trees along the McKenize River in addition to expanding logging operations into the Lookout Mountain area, a potential wilderness, according to Doug Heiken of Oregon Wild, which joined Cascadia Wildlands and the Western Environmental Law Center in opposition to the 2,100-acre logging project near the small community of McKenzie Bridge.
More than 5,000 people have signed a petition opposing the project since it was publicized recently, largely because of neighbors who rallied against the project, which they say was kept under wraps by the Forest Service and only scrutinized after the 45-day comment period had lapsed.
The Forest Service has since acknowledged that its notification process, which included a notice in the local paper, Eugene Register Guard and mailers to roughly 70 property owners could have been more robust. Or as McKenzie River District Ranger put it, “We dropped the ball.” The Forest Service said it has since made adjustments to the project to address the public's concerns.
Opponents including Oregon Wild say the Forest Service had a option that put more focus on restoration but opted for a more aggressive approach that shoehorns old growth logging into the plan, despite public objections.