Demonstrator blocks downtown traffic

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A man protesting the salvage logging of timber and burned in the 2002 Biscuit fire suspended himself from a tripod in a downtown Portland intersection Wednesday, blocking traffic for about 90 minutes.

Police pulled down the 20-foot tripod at the intersection of S.W. Second Avenue and Stark Street and carried the man to a police car.

About 30 supporters gathered outside the Northwest regional offices of the U.S. Forest Service, the same building where Michael Scarpitti, known as Tre Arrow, stayed perched on a ledge for 11 days in July of 2000 to protest logging on national forests.

The protest, by Stumptown Earth First! was over the logging of fire-killed trees on the Siskiyou National Forest in southwestern Oregon that burned in the 500,000-acre Biscuit fire.

Since logging on the Fiddler timber sale began March 7, there have been 48 arrests as demonstrators have tried to prevent logging until lawsuits challenging the project can be ruled on in federal courts. However, logging has gone on.

Logging opponents argue that removing the trees in an area intended primarily for fish and wildlife habitat will harm the regeneration of a new forest and hurt local tourism. The Forest Service and timber industry contend that selling the timber will help pay for planting seedlings, speed the regeneration of a new forest, and remove fuel for future fires.

Police identified the man on the tripod as Bryan Wiedeman, 18. He was charged with disorderly conduct.