Underground Group Says It Set Fire at Boise Cascade

MONMOUTH, Oregon, January 1, 2000 (ENS) - The Earth Liberation Front has claimed responsibility for a fire on Christmas Day, which damaged timber company Boise Cascade's regional headquarters in Monmouth, Oregon.

A statement by the Earth Liberation Front obtained by the Environment News Service said, "Early Christmas morning elves left coal in Boise Cascade's stocking. Four buckets of diesel gas with kitchen timer delay destroyed their regional headquarters."

The fire destroyed the 8,000-square-foot Boise Cascade building. No one was hurt.

The Earth Liberation Front calls itself an "underground environmental organization that uses economic sabotage to end the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment and its inhabitants."

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Boise Cascade wood products manufacturing plant (Photos courtesy Boise Cascade)
The group blames Boise Cascade for deforesting the Pacific Northwest and is acting against the company for its plans to log near Puerto Montt, Chile.

The group's statement said, "Boise Cascade has been very naughty after ravaging the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Boise Cascade now looks towards the virgin forests of Chile."

This latest action by the Earth Liberation Front comes just over a year after the group claimed responsibility for a $12 million fire at the Vail Resort in Colorado, and after the group burned U.S. Forests Industries to the ground in Medford, Oregon.

"Let this be a lesson to all greedy multinational corporations who don't respect ecosystems. The elves are watching," the group's statement warned.

Investigations of the arson are underway by Oregon state officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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A Boise Cascade ecosystem management demonstration project in the Teanaway region of central Washington
Based in Boise, Idaho, Boise Cascade has formed a joint venture with Chilean partner Maderas Condor to build an oriented strand board manufacturing plant in the Puerto Montt area of Chile. The company has received all environmental permits from the relevant Chilean government agencies. On October 7, Boise Cascade won a lawsuit brought by Chilean environmental groups in an attempt to stop the plant.

Boise Cascade says logging for the manufacturing plant will be done on private "nonindustrial native wood lots that have been harvested for many years." The company claims harvest levels to support the project can be "sustained indefinately." The oriented strand board, a building material used in the construction of walls and floors, will be exported to the western United States.

Boise Cascade owns and manages about two million acres of timberland throughout the United States.