The Ironic Death of George Atiyeh

An Oregon environmental terrorist-turned activist named George Atiyeh is dead. United Press International reports his body remains were found Friday on his property that was swept up by the Beachie Creek Fire. That conflagration is a combination of two other fires that has been active since the early part of the month. UPI also states:

“Atiyeh was the nephew of former Oregon Gov. Vic Atiyeh, and his family owned a mining operation in the woods near Oregon’s Opal Creek.

He started his working life in the family business as a miner, then became a logger — but he joined the environmental movement when he learned the U.S. Forest Service was considering logging the old-growth forest near his childhood home.”

It was upon finding this out, Atiyeh reportedly decided to take action to stop the logging in what lead to a series of events the press would dub the Timber Wars. Consequently, Atiyeh resorted to trying to stop the logging using legal and not-so-legal methods. Again, from UPI:

“”I wasn’t very nice,” Atiyeh said in 2016. “I followed them around and pulled out their survey stakes. I stole their chainsaws and ripped down their flagging. We put snow in their gas tanks and would steal their lunch.”

After an episode in which guns were drawn and Atiyeh was arrested, he changed his tactics.”

In 1996, 34,000 acres of forest Atiyeh worked to prevent being logged was designated the Opal Creek Wilderness by the federal government thanks largely due to George Atiyeh’s spearheading lobbying efforts. Mission accomplished, right? Not exactly.

When this controversy began, George Atiyeh alleged that the federal government colluded with the logging industry in violation of a federal trust that was established to preserve the forest in question. However, there is no information to independently verify Atiyeh’s allegation.

What’s worse is George Atiyeh admitted to conducting sabotage and even used deadly weapons in the course of his deeds. He did not express remorse or even apologize for his actions, especially to the logger company employees whose lives were adversely affected resulting from his NIMBY campaign.

Even more ironic than what UPI implies, if not a moral crime, is the fire that took his life is, most likely, the result of Oregon environmentalists preventing logging efforts in nearby forests that provided the fuel for it. In short, George Atiyeh is dead because of his fellow environmentalists.

Just like George Atiyeh did not apologize for his actions, the green groups that blocked logging in forests near his home close to Oak Creek Wilderness that would have reduced the chances of a forest fire outbreak won’t either. George Atiyeh is no longer useful to them, so environmentalists have no reason to care.

PHOTO CREDIT: 2020 Wildfires in Oregon. Looking at Council Crest, OHSU, and downtown Portland along Hawthorne Blvd. By Tedder – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,