Combustibles put in exhaust pipes after environmentalists condemned removal of large trees
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Sweet Home company contracted for what turned into a controversial logging project in the Phil’s Trail area west of Bend recently notified the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office that someone had placed combustible items in their exhaust pipes in an apparent act of attempted vandalism.
The environmental group Oregon Wild and others including the Worthy Garden Club objected to plans before the recent removal of about two dozen large trees in the area, calling them irreplaceable old-growth. The U.S. Forest Service disputed that definition and noted that an environmental process had taken place before the trees were marked for removal 2 ½ years ago, and before T2 Inc. was contracted for the project.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office confirmed recently to NewsChannel 21 that a T2 representative had called them to report the incident. “The vandalism was superficial and (they) just wanted us to have the information,” Sgt. Jayson Janes said.
Jeremy Totman of T2 Inc. provided this statement to NewsChannel 21:
“T2, Inc. is a small business based out of Sweet Home, Oregon. We have purchased many timber sales in the Deschutes County area over the last 15 years. T2 is very proud of the work we do and have done through the years. We have never seen controversy like this on any other timber sale, after we have already started the project.
“We are following the prescription that has been laid out by the Forest Service to best complete this restoration project. This specific restoration project has been planned for several years. The Forest Service determines what trees are to be cut and which trees are to stay. T2 has no say in the matter.
“It’s pretty sad when a story is reported about some controversial trees being removed, that our equipment would then be vandalized. The vandalism was intended to cause harm to our equipment, employees and potentially the forest by placing combustible garbage in our exhaust pipes.
“We continue to be proud of the restoration work we are completing in the West Bend area and the forest,” Totman concluded.