Update: 27 logging site protesters arrested
UPDATED 12:51 p.m. July 9, 2009: http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/elliottstateforestprotests.shtml
During the two-day law enforcement response to a logging protest on the Elliott State Forest a total of 27 arrests were reported. Twenty-three arrests were reported by Wednesday night before troopers and deputies secured the area. There were no reported injuries and all arrested individuals were to be transported to the Douglas County Jail. A list of names and charges is not available.
One of the male protesters during the night rappelled down from his position in one of the trees. OSP MRT troopers heard the subject fleeing on foot through the forest but were unable to find him following an area search. Thursday morning, MRT troopers were returning to the area and spotted the man walking along Highway 38 about four miles from the protest site and arrested him.
Three protesters, one woman and two men, remained in their tree platforms. One of the men voluntarily came down to the ground and was arrested. The other two protesters were arrested after a truck was brought in allowing officers to reach their platforms in the trees.
Law enforcement officials at the scene in Douglas County report that all arrests were completed by 11:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
About 25 officers comprised of Oregon State Police troopers from the Mobile Response Team (MRT) and Douglas County deputies, working in cooperation with the Department of Forestry, arrested four individuals by Thursday morning that had been perched on platforms in trees at the protest site.
About 25 officers from the OSP MRT and Douglas County Sheriff's Office were brought in Thursday morning to finish with the remaining arrests. This was about half of the number that responded on Wednesday. In addition to OSP and DCSO officers, experts from the National Guard helped secure protestor lines to prevent them from falling to the ground from elevated positions while allowing for the removal of an overturned van blocking the road.
Questions regarding the timber sale and Elliott State Forest should be directed to Department of Forestry at (503) 945-7420 or Department of State Lands at (503) 986-5298.
Additional information on the Elliott State Forest and the timber sale is available at:
8 a.m., July 9, 2009: UPDATE: As of 8:30 p.m., July 8, 2009, a total of 23 arrests have been made at the site of an illegal logging protest on the Elliott State Forest in Douglas County. The area is being secured for the night and additional arrests anticipated Thursday. No more information will be released other than the update below to information provided earlier today.
July 8, 2009: Police report as many as 17 logging protesters taken into custody in Douglas County.
Approximately 50 Oregon State Police troopers and Douglas County deputies arrived Wednesday morning, July 8, 2009 at about 10 a.m. at the site of a logging protest on the Elliott State Forest on the Umpcoos Ridge No. 2 Timber Sale in Douglas County. The arrival of law enforcement officers followed Tuesday night's delivery of a letter from the Department of State Lands advising protesters that their activities were in violation of state law including, but not limited to, Interference with Agricultural Operations under ORS 164.887. Protesters were given the night to voluntarily leave the area.
When police arrived Wednesday morning protesters were provided another opportunity to voluntarily leave or they would be subject to arrest. Approximately 20 - 25 individuals voluntarily left and another 20 - 25 individuals remained on scene.
As of 2:30 p.m., of those who remained behind, 17 have been arrested and will be lodged in the Douglas County Jail. The remaining estimated 8 people are either positioned in nearby trees or immobilized by home made, improvised restraints.
Law enforcement officials on scene, working in cooperation with the Department of Forestry which manages the land under an agreement with Department of State Lands, are taking their time to complete the arrests of the remaining protesters. There has been no resistance from the passive protesters and no injuries reported.