U.S. Sen. James McClure and officials of the Sierra Club, Idaho Environmental Council and Idaho Wildlife Council have joined in condemning those responsible for tree spiking on the Clearwater National Forest.

An Idaho Environmental Council leader said Wednesday conservation groups can be expected to contribute to a reward fund to help find the tree spikers."I simply don't understand people who are willing to threaten the life of another human being in order to get their way on public land management decisions," McClure said. "This latest incident of tree spiking just shows how deranged these people are and how arrogant they are in trying to push their own point of view."

"This is a reprehensible incident. It is impossible to see any logic or even sanity in actions taken to protect a tree that could also maim or wound a mill worker," said Dennis Baird, Idaho Environmental Council vice president at Moscow.

Sierra Club board member Donald Crawford of Moscow condemned the spiking as "a cowardly and stupid act."

Baird said representatives of the Sierra Club and other conservation groups will join efforts, including contributing to a reward fund, to help catch those responsible for the tree spiking.

A letter received last Thursday by U.S. Forest Service officials at Orofino said 500 pounds of spikes had been driven into trees. The letter was signed George Hayduke, the fictitious hero of Edward Abbey's book "The Monkey Wrench Gang."

Forest officials confirmed this week that the trees had been spiked.

Spiking trees in the proposed Postoffice timber sale along the Lochsa River near Powell, Idaho, made no sense, Crawford added.

"It was a well-designed sale to be logged by helicopter. It is one of many roadless-area timber sales that the Sierra Club has not opposed and is a good example of a sale developed with the cooperation of many interested parties," he added.

Kent Henderson of Lewiston, president of the Region 2 Idaho Wildlife Council, also supported prosecution of those who spiked the trees.

"The Idaho Wildlife Council, which includes many loggers in its membership, certainly decries and opposes anything that would endanger their lives and their safety," he said.

As past president of the Idaho Wildlife Federation, Henderson said, that group also would condemn the action. "I can reiterate what we have said many, many times, that we will support prosecution of whoever did this," Henderson said.

The federation had reviewed the Postoffice sale plans and had no objection to it, he said.

Baird agreed, calling it a "pretty carefully done timber sale. To have picked this one is truly strange. It was a totally non-controversial timber sale, so it's inexplicable."

McClure, who successfully backed the creation of severe penalties for tree spikers, said he wants those guilty sent to jail.