- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 5, 2016

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A lumber mill west of Eugene has been on high alert since an online claim that an environmental group may put metal spikes inside some of its logs.

A group called SAP claimed on an Earth First! website that it revived that strategy on June 11 by placing dozens of spikes in logs at the Swanson Brothers mill in Noti, The Register-Guard (https://bit.ly/29od4f5) reported.

The mill operated as usual for two days before learning about SAP’s claim, said Swanson Brothers President Larry Konnie.

Mill workers have been cautious since then, but no one has found any spikes or evidence that someone trespassed at the mill, said Konnie.

He said workers haven’t been able to check all the logs in the yard because some are stacked as high as 50 feet, making it dangerous for people to climb them looking for spikes. He estimated that the mill has 800 to 900 truckloads of logs because it is stocking up to stay busy through winter.

“It could be next spring before we run everything,” Konnie said.

Konnie said he is worried about his workers, especially the head rig sawyer and spotter, who stay close to the logs as they pass through high-tension bandsaws. He said he’s talked to both workers and they said they want to keep doing their jobs.

Grayson Flory, editor of Earth First! Newswire, said the people behind the website don’t know who is involved with SAP.

When asked about the reported log spiking, the Cascadia Forest Defenders, an environmental activist group known for protests in the Eugene area, sent a brief email saying it “does not encourage, condone or commit acts of senseless sabotage.”

Some environmentalists turned to such tactics during logging debates in the 1990s. They would pound the spikes into live trees, making it potentially dangerous for loggers to cut them down.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, https://www.registerguard.com

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