Saturday, August 16, 2014
Barry Lopez - French Pete Rally Protest in Eugene, Oregon on November 18, 1969
Read Barry Lopez article in Outside Online titled "The Case for Going Uncivilized."
I lived in the Eugene Area and knew Barry Lopez during the late 1960s and 1970s. I was also involved with many other community members and students in the French Pete Rally Protest in Eugene, Oregon on November 18, 1969.
Barry describes this protest in the article and explains that "The Wilderness Act had stripped the Forest Service of the power it once had to designate wilderness areas, turning it over instead to Congress, where citizens had the right to actively participate in the process."
"The industry, of course, never got the timber in French Pete, but the fight against corporate greed, ethical compromise, special-interest land management, and excessive development hasn’t ended. We enlighten each other; we heal our wounds; and the young take to the walls yet again—with great courage, great effort, great faith. Then, for a few more years, we feel blessed."
I found this additional interesting quote in a book titled "Drawing lines in the forest: creating wilderness areas in the Pacific Northwest" by Kevin R. Marsh about the French Pete protest. "Protests in Eugene to preserve French Pete from logging gave that community a national reputation for environmental activism. Bob Wazeka compared Eugene's role in the wilderness movement of the 1970s to the role of Paris as the center of the Western literary world of the 1920s."