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Protecting the Communities and Environment of the Columbia River Gorge

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jul 02, 2015.

Please join Earthjustice at the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River on July 23, 2015, from 5:30-7:30pm to discuss their current efforts to curb transportation of crude oil and coal-by-rail. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

Protected: Oregon Rain (a guest blog)

By Kate Taylor from Beyond Toxics. Published on Jul 02, 2015.

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

The post Protected: Oregon Rain (a guest blog) appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

EV Fest 2015

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jul 02, 2015.

EV Fest is a festival promoting and celebrating environmentally-friendly, domestically-powered electric vehicles. Come see cars that don't need gas or oil, speak with the everyday people who drive these silent vehicles, and learn how this clean technology is changing people's lives, and changing the world, for the better. Free and open to the public, in Portland's living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square, August 15th, 9am-5pm.

TRK is Still Fighting to Protect Cooper Mountain Wetlands

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Jul 02, 2015.

Last night Beaverton Planning Commission voted 4-2 to allow the Beaverton School District to fill almost 3 acres of wetlands and construct South Cooper Mountain High School pending approval of the US Army Corps of Engineers and Oregon Department of State Lands.  The decision flies in the face of the Cooper Mountain Community Plan adopted […]

Safety Audit Reveals “Shocking” Deficiencies on SW Barbur

By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 02, 2015.

The results are in! We have pored over data from our mock “Road Safety Audit” on SW Barbur and have reached an unsettling conclusion: SW Barbur […]

Rail Bridge Inspections: Volunteers Needed!

By Lorri from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jul 01, 2015.

Riverkeeper needs your help to inspect Columbia River rail bridges that carry crude oil trains.  We need volunteers to look for deteriorating infrastructure and dangerous bridges.  Neglected bridges pose a threat to communities and the river (listen to NPR story here).  The easiest way to take a look without trespassing (which we definitely don’t want to [...]

Breaking Clean Tour Comes to Hood River 7/13

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jul 01, 2015.

What’s it like to live in a coal town? What does it feel like to breathe coal dust every day at work? Here in the Gorge, we don’t know firsthand the answers to those questions. But, Nick Mullins, fourth generation coal miner, does – and he’s coming to Hood River on Monday, July 13, 2015, to tell you all about it.

Oregon as Grizzly Country

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jul 01, 2015.

A Brief History of the Great Bear in the Beaver State

by Ethan Shaw

In this three-part series, we’ll explore what’s known about the grizzly bear in Oregon—its historical distribution and its extirpation—and muse on its potential life history in the Beaver State. First up: an overview of just where the griz once roamed.

“The end of the bear as a physical presence coincides with the end of a human way of being at peace on the earth.”

                                                                        —Paul Shepard, Encounters With Nature

 

Grizzly tracks in Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

Once upon a time, Oregon was grizzly country. Perhaps we should say that, once upon a time, Oregon was the dominion of the grizzly bear (or the co-dominion, anyway, shared with American Indian peoples), for few beasts anywhere hold such swaggering sway over their habitat as Ursus arctos horribilis. The great bear—he of the long claws and boxy head and silver-tipped coat—is gone now from the Beaver State (where once he undoubtedly tore up the lodges of more than one beaver family). It’s easy to imagine, though, that Oregon’s mountains and valleys are only just now getting accustomed to his absence. And, to paraphrase a famous quote by John Murray, those mountains and valleys seem just a bit smaller in stature given they’re now grizzly-free.

Not much has been written about the Oregon grizzly, so it seems appropriate—especially given the current National Park Service review of the feasibility of reintroducing grizzlies in the North Cascades to supplement their beleaguered population—to review what we know about the story.

I’ll say at the outset that this survey is woefully scant on the ethnographic side of things, reflecting almost exclusively on the slim Euro-American historical record. The indigenous perspective on the grizzly in Oregon deserves its own in-depth treatment, as there’s no question that the thousands of years informing it easily trump the gun-powdered century or so that white settlers meaningfully overlapped with the “Old Man in the Fur Coat” here. The Cayuse, Klamath, Molalla, Kalapuya, Umpqua, Chinook—these people shared salmon streams and huckleberry patches and oak groves for many generations with irascible grizzlies, while Euro-Americans considered the bear only rather incidentally as they shot him out.  

"The Old Man in the Fur Coat" (National Park Service)

It’s also worth mentioning, here at the outset, that the grizzlies of California anchor a very rich lore (the definite inventory of which remains Tracy Storer and Lloyd Tevis, Jr.’s California Grizzly): their great heft, their arena battles with bulls (and, at least once, an African lion), their frequent encounters with miners, trappers, and mountain men—including Grizzly Adams, who ultimately toured the country (including Oregon) with a ragtag menagerie of wild-caught Golden State grizzlies and various other beasts1. Every once in awhile, that lore spills across the Oregon line—especially in the tale of Old Reelfoot, which we’ll get to—and the bioregional kinship that links the two states suggests the knowledge we’ve inherited about grizzlies in the northern Sierra Nevada, the Great Central Valley, the Klamaths, and the California Coast Ranges sheds some light on the ghost bears of Oregon, especially west of the Cascade Crest.

All that said, let’s kickoff this exploration of the silvertip in Oregon with a pertinent legend from the Molalla people of the eastern Willamette Valley and Cascade foothills.2 Off to create the world, they say, Coyote ran into Grizzly Bear near Mount Hood. Challenged to a fight, Coyote proposed a contest of swallowing red-hot rocks, then outwitted his opponent by downing some strawberries instead. The scalding stones that Grizzly consumed killed him, and Coyote, upon skinning the carcass, tossed the bear’s heart toward the country of the Molallas, thereby sanctifying their hunting grounds—and enshrining the grizzly bear in the indigenous mythology of Oregon.

The Grizzly’s Historical Oregon Range

Vernon Bailey's map of the grizzly's historical distribution in Oregon, from his Mammals and Life Zones of Oregon (1936)

Our picture of the historical (that is, pre-contact) range of the grizzly bear in Oregon is not ironclad. Considered together, several maps made over the last century suggest the bear’s native geography in the state as well as some of the gaps and contradictions in our collective knowledge. On the earlier end of things—but, lamentably, not early enough to have been inked at a time when the silvertip occupied anything close to its original Oregon dominion—are C.H. Merriam’s hand-drawn 1922 map of grizzly distribution in the U.S. at that time; Ernest Thompson Seton’s map of the bear’s pre-contact range in all of North America, published in Lives of Game Animals (1926); and Vernon Bailey’s map of original Oregon grizzly country, from his 1936 monograph Mammals and Life Zones of Oregon.3

Seton’s map excludes much of Oregon from the grizzly’s native geography, save for the southern half or so. In Lewis and Clark Among the Grizzlies, Paul Schullery uses Seton’s map, the accounts of the Corps of Discovery, and some early Washington State records to suggest that most of Oregon north of the Klamaths (and southwestern Washington) was basically devoid of grizzlies, possibly because of dense indigenous populations in the greater Columbia Basin.4 This assertion—and Seton’s map—appears to fall somewhat short of the real picture.

Bailey’s survey of Euro-American grizzly observations (which also include a few nuggets of Indian knowledge) paints a substantially broader distribution. He shows grizzlies in the Klamaths, the western interior valleys, the Cascades, the Blue/Wallowa Mountains, and an arc of Southeast Oregon’s Great Basin and Snake River Plain. In a 2002 paper in Conservation Biology, David J. Mattson and Troy Merrill produced a map series depicting grizzly-bear range in the lower 48 circa 1850, 1920, and 1970, an effort that delivers perhaps the best available chart of Oregon’s original grizzly distribution.5 It agrees closely with Bailey’s 1936 map.

(Bailey, following the intricate, rather wacky, and now-obsolete taxonomic scheme C. H. Merriam proposed for the North American grizzly in 1918, referred to three subspecies in Oregon: the Klamath grizzly, U. klamathensis, of the Cascades, Klamaths, and Pacific Slope valleys; the Idaho grizzly, U. idahoensis, of the Blue/Wallowa Mountains; and the Yellowstone Park grizzly, U. mirus, of the Great Basin ranges and the Snake River Valley of southeastern Oregon. Modern taxonomists lump all these supposed races (and nearly all the rest of Merriam’s 80-odd varieties) as one subspecies of brown bear: U. a. horribilis.)

Grizzly bones have been uncovered in some wide-scattered corners of Oregon: a tooth from South Ice Cave near Newberry Volcano, a skull in the bed of Malheur Lake (along with those of bison and elk), a radius near the mouth of the Umpqua River. A grizzly limb bone discovered in Oregon Caves in the Klamath Mountains may be more than 50,000 years old, which would rank among the earliest brown-bear fossils found in North America.6 The caves also show a number of scratch marks thought to have been made by the claws of bears.

Grizzlies in the Western Valleys

As late as the first half of the 19th century, grizzlies were still to be found in the Willamette Valley; they persisted somewhat longer, it seems, in the Umpqua and Rogue valleys to the south. In these lowlands, Oregon grizzlies inhabited similar habitats to their counterparts in California (and, to a lesser extent, the Southwest): mosaics of prairie, oak savannas and parklands, riverine gallery forests, marshes, swamps, and heavier foothill woodlands.

In Bailey’s review, he mentions reports of “extremely ferocious” grizzlies in the Willamette in the early 1810s, and he cites Charles Wilkes, who, when overnighting in Champoeq during his far-traveling expedition of the early 1840s, heard that grizzlies were well known in the area and “that their flesh was esteemed for food.”

A 1900 article in The Quarterly of the Oregon Historical Society7, documenting the “reminiscences” of 82-year-old Louis Labonte, mentions his observations of two grizzlies in French Prairie, “one of which was in connection with a hunting party one foggy morning”; these sightings probably happened in the early 1830s. The piece further suggests an archaic indigenous origin for a Chinook term for grizzly, eshayum (compared with the black bear, itch-hoot), and thus concludes “grizzlies were a well recognized species in the Willamette Valley during the period of Indian occupation.” (Many vintage Chinook dictionaries give the trade jargon’s moniker for grizzly as si-am.8)

The pioneering botanist David Douglas recorded a few rather dramatic observations of grizzlies as he trekked up the Willamette and then the Umpqua in 1826—partly in search of the sugar pine, the supersized cones of which had intrigued him9. At dusk on October 1, somewhere in the mid-Willamette, he came across a yellow-jacket nest that had been downed by bears; soon after, one of his party’s hunters, John Kennedy, saw a big grizzly enter a “small hummock of low brushwood” not far from Douglas. Given the failing light, the two left the bear alone. Several days later, near modern-day Albany, a grizzly chased Kennedy into an oak tree and tore at his clothes. By that time, incidentally, Douglas had acquired a sleeping robe made from grizzly hide.

Meadows near Bulldog Rock in the Umpqua National Forest (Robin and Gerald Wisdom)

A few weeks later, Douglas finally found his in situ sugar pine up on what’s now called Sugar Pine Ridge, on the margin of the Umpqua Valley just west of Roseburg. The following day, he tracked down a grizzly sow and her two cubs near his camp; they had accosted his American Indian guide while he had been torch-fishing the night before. Finding the grizzlies eating acorns in an oak grove, Douglas shot one of the young dead and wounded—mortally, he thought—the mother, who had reared on her hind legs at his approach. Douglas ended up paying his guide with the carcass of the grizzly cub; the Indian, he wrote, “seemed to lay great store by it.”

 

Coastal Bruins?

A grizzly bear in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve scavenges a washed-up baleen whale. Prior to their extirpation, California grizzlies also were known to feed on beached whales; the same may well have been true for coastal Oregon bears (National Park Service)

Several vintage Euro-American sources claim the grizzly was basically absent from the Oregon Coast Range, at least north of the maritime Klamaths. Bailey’s and Seton’s maps depict the Pacific coast as grizzly-free. In The Natural History of Washington Territory & Oregon10—a report on 1853-1857 surveys exploring the Northern Pacific rail route between the Mississippi and the Pacific—George Gibbs notes that grizzlies (“white bears”) were numerous in the North Coast Ranges and the Klamaths of California, but that “[m]ore to the northward they become scarce near the coast. I have never heard of them on the Coast range between the Willamette and the sea.”

This certainly doesn’t mean grizzlies didn’t inhabit the Coast Range; in fact, as grizzly expert Doug Peacock told me, it would be quite surprising if they didn’t, at least to some extent, given how they prosper in the spruce-hemlock rainforests of coastal British Columbia and southeastern Alaska (and how they once prospered along California’s northern coast). There is that grizzly radius from the Umpqua estuary, discovered (along with black-bear remains) by R. Lee Lyman during excavations at an archaeological site.11 And while the heavy timber of these mountains might be generally better habitat for black bears, the Oregon Coast Range did offer some irresistible grizzly resources: historically prodigious salmon and steelhead runs; late-summer berries (salmonberry, thimbleberry, evergreen huckleberry, currants, gooseberries, salal, etc.); the lush herbaceous groundcover in the redcedar and alder swales of the mountains or the spruce-pine strand swamps of the coast; the grazing and rooting grounds of the scattered mountaintop balds; and the seafood riches of the beachwrack.

Coast Range grizzlies perhaps were harder to detect because of the environment or because of a naturally sparse population; or perhaps they simply died off earlier.

Sky Island Bears

Certainly among the more farflung corners of the grizzly’s Oregon empire was Steens Mountain, that great 10,000-foot fault-block whaleback marooned in the Great Basin steppe and semidesert. Grizzlies once inhabited the mountain’s aspen woods and glacier-plowed gulfs, which also—despite their isolation from other high-country habitat—used to shelter wolverines. Bailey writes:

 Grizzly bears used to roam the high country of Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon. (Sarah West)

In 1916 William F. Schnabel sent the Biological Survey some notes from an old Piute chief, Yakima Jim, who told him that long ago there were so many bears in the Steens Mountains that the Indians did not dare go into the mountains alone, but always two or more together. In 1896, when Merriam and the writer were first in the Steens Mountains, and since then, it has been impossible to learn of any trace of grizzly bears there, and they were probably killed out at an early date.

The grizzly skull retrieved from the Malheur Lake bed also attests to the silvertip’s use of this region. And grizzlies skirted southeastern Oregon’s semiarid plains elsewhere, too—around the Klamath Lakes and Swan Lake Valley, for example, as well as in the volcanic highlands east of the Cascade belt, including Newberry Volcano and Yamsay Mountain.

Next time: Retreating in the face of Euro-American persecution and land-use changes, Oregon grizzlies make their last stand in the southwest and the northeast. Plus, the story of Old Reelfoot, likely Oregon’s best-known bruin, and grizzly place names.

 

 


[1] Storer, Tracy I. and Lloyd P. Tevis, Jr. California Grizzly. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1955.

[4] Schullery, Paul. Lewis and Clark Among the Grizzlies: Legend and Legacy in the American West. Gilford, Connecticut: Falcon, 2002.

[10] Suckley, George and James G. Cooper. The Natural History of Washington Territory and Oregon. New York: Balliere Brothers, 1860.

[11] Lyman, R. Lee. Prehistory of the Oregon Coast. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc., 2009.

 

Confluence Collaborates with the Wapato Valley School, Courses for Adults

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jul 01, 2015.

Our friends over at Confluence are working in collaboration with the Wapato Valley School and many other organizations to launch a project that aims to transform identities and relationships through place-based, experiential education. For those unfamiliar with Confluence, their organization works to connect people to place and each other through art and education.

BTA and Bikes 4 Humanity Spring 2015 Bike Drive

By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 01, 2015.

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance Education team partnered with Bikes 4 Humanity on June 6 and 7 to donate 40 bikes, helmets, sets of lights, bells, and U-locks […]

DeFazio, Huffman, Wyden, Merkley Praise Temporary Ban on Mining Projects in Southwest Oregon Watershed Protection Area Covered By Their Bills in House and Senate

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jun 30, 2015.

Seeking to protect a celebrated collection of world-class salmon and steelhead rivers of the south Kalmiopsis region, U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio and Jared Huffman , as well as Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, applauded the temporary ban on new mining projects in an area covered by a bill the Congressmen and Senators introduced, the Southwest Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act.

For Every Kid Campaign Update: Rides, Farmers Markets, and Petitions, Oh My!

By LeeAnne Fergason from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jun 30, 2015.

We are making some serious progress in the fight to secure dedicated funding to make safe routes to school for every kid a reality. Enjoy the following June highlights […]

$150,000 awarded to The Freshwater Trust for restoration work in Oregon’s John Day River Basin

By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jun 30, 2015.

June 29, 2015 — The Freshwater Trust has received $150,000 from the Bella Vista Foundation for restoration work in Oregon’s John Day River Basin. The river restoration nonprofit is working with a diverse group of public and private partners committed to addressing the needs of the basin. The Trust will use awarded funds to aid […]

Now Hiring! SAGE Garden Camp Instructor

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Jun 30, 2015.

Do you enjoy working with children in the garden? Would you like to spend time developing your outdoor education skills? The Corvallis Environmental Center is hiring temporary full-time (35-40 hours per week for 2 weeks) SAGE Camp Educators with the Edible Corvallis Initiative. SAGE Camp Educators will be responsible for assisting with SAGE Summer Camps for TWO WEEKS: Week 1 July 27th-31st, Week 2 August 2-7th. One paid training day to be scheduled. Must be available 8:15am-3:30pm with the possibility ...

Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 29, 2015.

Summertime is often the season that invokes many memories and stories because of the adventures we take. Whether it’s camping, hiking, neighborhood picnics, bike rides, swimming, going to camp, taking a road trip to see family, friends, and historical places,… Read More!

The post Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

National News: June 29, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jun 28, 2015.

Discontent with 4FRI contractor, White Mountain Independent
Village at Wolf Creek faces hurdle - Environmentalists want court to halt Forest Service land swap, Durango Herald

“Oil terminal protest staged in downtown”

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 26, 2015.

The Columbian. June 25, 2015.

Congress Moves to Safeguard Oregon Wildlands and Wild Rivers

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jun 26, 2015.

Oregon’s Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced a bill today to add protections from some of the state’s most pristine areas. The bill known as Oregon Wildlands would designate wilderness, national recreation areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers in Western Oregon, including protections for the Wild Rogue River in southwest Oregon.

Novick on Climate, Bikelash, and What’s Next

By Gerik Kransky from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jun 26, 2015.

The following is an opinion piece by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Advocacy Director, Gerik Kransky.  While I’ve been focused on the intense politics of transportation issues the […]

News from Salem: Can we just adjourn already?

By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jun 25, 2015.

Well, we’re nearing the end of the 2015 session of the Oregon Legislature, and I think it’s fair to say it’s going to shake out as a disappointing session for the environmental community. Sierra Club staff have been closely tracking bills and meeting with legislators in Salem to advocate for clean, renewable energy, wildlife protection, […]

Pacific Power Blue Sky customers fund $121,500 worth of habitat restoration

By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jun 25, 2015.

June 24, 2015: In 2015, Pacific Power and The Freshwater Trust, a river restoration nonprofit, will award more than $120,000 to four on-the-ground restoration projects across Oregon, thanks to customers choosing Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Habitat Fund. Through an automatic $2.50 monthly donation, more than 4,300 Pacific Power customers have had a direct hand in […]

Exploring East Portland by Bike

By Elizabeth Quiroz from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jun 25, 2015.

This past Saturday the Bicycle Transportation Alliance hosted a Policy Ride in East Portland to highlight active transportation projects that will be constructed in the near […]

The Wilson River Corridor – A Little Something for Everyone

By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jun 25, 2015.

Oregon’s renowned public lands offer Oregonians a unique and special lifestyle and provide our state with a  natural legacy–picturesque beauty, diverse wildlife, wild rivers, snow-capped mountains, lush forests–that is the envy of many. Public lands are one of the defining aspects of this great state, and iconic national forests and parks are often the go-to […]

Anti-Displacement Coalition improves Portland’s Comprehensive Plan

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jun 25, 2015.

20150625
Pam Phan

Since January, 1000 Friends of Oregon has been working with a growing number of community based organizations, housing, public health, and equity advocates to ask ‘how will Portland develop in the next 20 years? Who gets to call Portland home in the future?’ This ad hoc coalition advocates to include anti-displacement tools that will help make Portland neighborhoods stable, especially for those, as Portland grows, living in the city and who bear the brunt of the loss of affordable choices. 

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Leadership Spotlight: Westside Transportation Alliance

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jun 25, 2015.

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Sam Diaz

This month, 1000 Friends of Oregon’s turns its attention to Washington County.

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Tree Forte

By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on Jun 25, 2015.

Treehouses are awesome. Up off the ground, surrounded by shade, away from everything a child wants to avoid – siblings, bullies, parents and all earthbound responsibilities. For some of those reasons, treehouses are pretty awesome for adults too and the last few years treehouses have elevated (sorry) their game. No longer scrap 2 x 4’s […]

Communities and Small Businesses are Uniting Against Big Oil

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 25, 2015.

Today at Hoesly Eco Auto & Tire a group called Vancouver 101 with small business leaders call on Governor Jay Inslee to reject the proposed Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in Vancouver.

Land Use Summer Reading List

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jun 25, 2015.

20150625
Jason Miner

If you are taking off in July or August, three books hitting the shelves this summer may give you a deeper appreciation for the work of land use planning in Oregon.
 

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Global Teamwork Critical for Solving Ivory Crisis

By Mark Tercek from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Jun 25, 2015.

Global Teamwork Critical for Solving Ivory Crisis

Enjoy the Hood River Waterfront? Speak Up for Clean Water

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 24, 2015.

Do you kiteboard along the Hood River waterfront? Enjoy wading with your kids at the Waterfront Park beach? Join Riverkeeper at a public hearing on July 7, 2015, and send a strong message to state regulators: Hood River cares about clean water.

Throwback Thursday: Hells Canyon

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 24, 2015.

By Teresa Connolly

An entire Wild Oregon newsletter dedicated to one area must indicate a noteworthy place. And as the deepest river gorge in North America, Hells Canyon is definitely worth writing about. 

Carved by the Snake River, the 10 mile wide canyon is part of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area (NRA). This NRA, which lies on the borders Northeastern Oregon and Western Idaho, is filled with scenic vistas, a rich history that can be seen in the artifacts of tribes and early settlers, abundant wildlife, and an incredible variety of vegetation that create some of the finest grasslands. From hiking and camping, to boating along the river, the Hells Canyon NRA is an incredibly vast and picturesque Wilderness.

As is the case for many wild places in Oregon, Hells Canyon endured countless threats before it was able to obtain its official status as a National Recreation Area. On New Year’s Eve of 1975, Congress enacted a bill that created the 660,000 Hells Canyon NRA, which included 194,000 acres of Wilderness. Advances were made in 1984 when expansions to the Hells Canyon and Eagle Cap Wilderness were designated. Currently, Hells Canyon wilderness contains over 216,000 acres of land. 

But as this 1986 Wild Oregon issue covers, conservationists’ long and difficult battle to protect Hells Canyon did not come to an end with the establishment of the NRA, or the subsequent Wilderness expansions. As one of the articles written by Oregon Natural Resource Council (ONRC) staff describes, timber-related activity and mining continued to close campgrounds and cause disturbances on the rivers for many years after the Wilderness bill was passed. It wasn't until 2003 that the final Comprehensive Management Plan was published, prioritizing conservation and restoration in the Hells Canyon NRA. 

In addition to highlighting the continued threats to Hell's Canyon, the newsletter shared the rich history of the area. It relayed the narratives of a captain in the 1800s navigating a ship over Copper Ledge Falls, and the adventures of fur traders through Hell’s Canyon. The article brought to life individuals who had long ago traversed the area and the struggles they would have faced. Hells Canyon has an incredible history, which only adds to its value and need for continued preservation.

Protecting an area doesn’t stop with the passing of one legislative bill. There will always be more work to be done, new interests that want to take advantage of the resources, and environmental disturbances. This thirty-year-old newsletter reminded me that conservation is an ongoing project, with new developments and potential threats waiting to strike. Even places already designated as Wilderness or a National Recreation Area still need our attention to ensure they are able to provide habitats for the wildlife and unparalleled recreational opportunities for generations to come. 

Photo Credits: 
Photos by Octaviano Merecias (right) and Beth Kerschen (bottom)

ACTION ALERT: Legislature Considers Diverting Renewable Energy Funding

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jun 24, 2015.

In their rush to put together a transportation package in the waning days of the session, the legislature is proposing re-directing $14.8 million away from efficiency in schools and investments in small-scale renewable energy projects like solar and geothermal

Top Picks: Columbia River Beaches

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 23, 2015.

Warm weather and sunshine have us thinking about cooling off in the river! We have compiled our top picks for lower-river beaches in six different categories. Check out our favorite beaches and use the Swim Guide app to get up-to-the-minute water quality updates.

Fighting Fossil Fuel on the Columbia River

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 23, 2015.

The Columbia River is threatened with unprecedented fossil fuel export terminals. Coal, oil, and propane companies would send dirty products by trains, and then transfer to ocean-going supertankers. A Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal would receive fracked gas via a large new pipeline. We have the choice to move to clean and renewable energy now: building large, new fossil fuel infrastructure today locks in dirty energy production and consumption for decades.

June Member Spotlight: Michael and Steve Calhoun

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 23, 2015.

Together with dozens of their friends, neighbors, and local leaders, Michael and Steve Calhoun, take on LNG in Vernonia, Oregon. The father and son duo spearheaded the creation of a new local group–Vernonia Against LNG–and led an effort to persuade the Vernonia City Council to pass a resolution opposing LNG.

Meet Our Wilderness Outreach Intern Lisa

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 23, 2015.

By Lisa DiNicolantonio

Hello! My name is Lisa and I am the Wilderness Outreach Intern at the Oregon Wild Portland office. In the fall, I will be heading into my final year at the University of California, Davis studying Environmental Science and Management with an emphasis in Natural Resource Management. When I’m not busy advocating for or conserving wilderness, I can be found exploring the many beautiful aspects of nature, with an emphasis on Oregon this summer as I learn more about this state that is practically new to me.

Growing up in the Bay Area, with a view of Mount Diablo from my front window, my love of nature developed instantly. After exploring more areas of California, such as Lake Tahoe, Point Reyes, and the wonderful Yosemite National Park, I realized just how magical these natural places can be and what makes them so important to protect and preserve for years to come. With time, these places became so much more than pretty places with minimal amounts of concrete. Every summer, my dad and I embark upon a father/daughter backpacking trip to Yosemite to escape reality and refresh our minds for a week. From this trip, I have realized that a shared love of wilderness is a fantastic way to bond with anyone, and is an easy way to form a relationship with someone that you’ve known forever, or for just a few days. The incredible feeling of relaxation I get from disconnecting from civilization has made me extremely passionate about caring for natural resources and the multitude of benefits they have to offer. 

Being a California transplant, I had many ideas about how “green” Oregon is in comparison to California, but have quickly learned that not all of these are true. Within my first few days in Oregon, I learned that Crater Lake is the only National Park in the state, when California has 9 National Parks. I also learned that only 4% of the state of Oregon is designated as Wilderness but 15% of California has received this designation. These numbers were astounding to me, especially the Wilderness deficit and made me realize how much work there is to do in Oregon. The designation of an area as Wilderness provides it with the ultimate protection, and ensures that its beauty and resources will be maintained in their purest form.

I was super enthusiastic about working on the Crater Lake Wilderness campaign as soon as I discovered the internship opportunity, but after taking environmental policy and law courses this past quarter, my excitement grew. These courses allowed me to understand more about the policies to protect environmental resources and the amount of debate that can be associated with them. Crater Lake is an incredible place, not just to the state of Oregon, but the entire nation and I hope to help it get the designation and recognition it deserves. 

This summer, I am looking forward to learning more about the wonderful state of Oregon and strengthen my knowledge of the wildlands, wildlife, and waters of the state. The scenery of California is very different from Oregon and I am excited to expose myself to new sites and wonders. I know that spending time getting to know everyone involved with Oregon Wild will help guide me in the right direction in terms of nature exploration, and will ensure that I am able to make the most of my summer in Oregon.

                                

Join Us July 7th: Tips for Success When Using an NWEI Ebook

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 23, 2015.

NW Earth Institute recently released our latest discussion course ebook, Change Is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions, a five-session discussion course that offers up inspiration on taking action to increase resilience and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Many of… Read More!

The post Join Us July 7th: Tips for Success When Using an NWEI Ebook appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Summer Pruning Class

By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on Jun 23, 2015.

This Announcement comes from our friends at Portland Fruit Tree Project. They do great work, join them if you can…  June 27th 10am-1pm – SW Portland Maplewood Neighborhood In this hands-on workshop you will learn the basics of summer pruning in order to increase the health and abundance of local fruit trees! Summer Pruning is a great time to de-invigorate […]

Summer Lovin’

By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jun 22, 2015.

Show some love for Opal Creek this summer! With bridges, bees, and bands, here’s how. FIRE BAN […]

Stand with us for every kid. Sign the petition!

By LeeAnne Fergason from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jun 22, 2015.

Stand with us for every kid. Sign the petition! You can improve the health of local kids by urging Metro Council to invest in safe routes to school […]

10th Annual Citizen Science Marbled Murrelet Survey

By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Jun 22, 2015.

Join the 10th annual Marbled Murrelet citizen science survey on a spectacular stretch of Oregon’s coast near Yachats, Oregon. Come help scientist track the nesting success of this robin-sized, diving seabird that feeds primarily on fish and invertebrates, and nests in forest stands up to 50 miles inland. Oregon State University ornithologist and Marbled Murrelet

We are being INVADED!

By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Jun 22, 2015.

As spring transitions to summer and our gardens are in full bloom, it is a good time to take stock and make sure you aren’t accidently growing some of Oregon’s worst invasive species!  Invasive species can sometimes seduce and fool you with their beautiful and showy flowers. Unfortunately, these pretty invasives can distribute thousands or

The ‘SEEDs’ of Change

By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Jun 22, 2015.

After two years of volunteering with TWC, Mt Hood Community College SEED (Scholarships for Education and Economic Development) students are returning to their home countries. These students, from around the world, have worked with TWC land stewards Megan Garvey and Kaegan Scully Engelmeyer as part of their program studying natural resource management. For many of

I Want to Join!

By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Jun 22, 2015.

Membership Update TWC could not exist without it’s members.  You haven’t heard from us in a year, but it has been a year of growth and change and we are excited to start fresh with new and better communication for our members. For thirty five years, member support has enabled us to buy and protect

SAVE THE DATE: WETLANDS AND WELLIES 2015

By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Jun 22, 2015.

September 19th at DuckRidge Farm This year, Wetlands and Wellies, will take us to Oregon’s largest private garden, just 20 minutes from Portland.  Join us for an evening of small plates prepared by local award-winning chefs, paired with Oregon wines, beers and spirits.  In true Oregon style, you can mingle with the people who grow,

6 Tips on Working for Peace, Justice and Sustainability

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 19, 2015.

Just this week, NWEI completed its first-ever online discussion course where 45 people (several from other countries!) journeyed with us for an online exploration of the intersections between peace, justice and sustainability – drawing from NWEI’s Seeing Systems: Peace, Justice… Read More!

The post 6 Tips on Working for Peace, Justice and Sustainability appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

freshwater Talk episode 12: Mark Edlen, community developer and green builder

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jun 19, 2015.

The concept “20-minute living” was created by Portland-based firm Gerding Edlen and has become widely used nationwide. Mark Edlen, my 12th “podguest” serves as managing partner and driving force behind one of the nation’s leading real estate investment...

Low-wattage legislators dim the lights on forestry practices reform

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Jun 18, 2015.

A year ago the editors of the Register Guard urged Oregon legislators to “shine a light on forest sprays.” Our low-wattage legislators did the opposite. Today aerial forest spraying continues unabated. Communities sprayed with poisons remain in the dark while chemical lobbyists hold sway in the offices and back rooms of our legislature. The response... Read more »

The post Low-wattage legislators dim the lights on forestry practices reform appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Rolling with the Aloha Business Association

By Lisa Frank from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jun 18, 2015.

It’s summertime, and that means we’re doing lots of fun community rides throughout the region! Last Saturday, we took to the streets of Aloha in unincorporated […]

From herbicide drift stories to Oregon Wild summer adventures

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 18, 2015.

Hello! My name is Marla Waters and I’m Oregon Wild’s Conservation and Outreach Intern at the Eugene Office. I’m going into my senior year at the University of Oregon and double majoring in Political Science and Environmental Science with a minor in Business Administration. When I am not in the office I am either exploring Oregon’s beauty with friends or working with fellow classmates to fight environmental justice issues relating to aerial herbicide spraying.

I moved to Silverton Oregon at the mere age of 3 and since then I have always identified as an Oregonian. Growing up on a 40-acre farm nestled at the base of Silver Falls State Park, I fell in love with nature at a young age. Whether it was exploring the sparkling streams that ran through my backyard, caring for the farm animals on our property or exploring the rolling hills of the national park I always valued nature as equal to myself. The ocean has always fueled my passion for the environment. Feeling the sand between my toes, hearing the roar of the waves and tasting the salt gives me a sense of peace and power. But the forest is where my heart lies and that is why I am passionate about Oregon Wild and the mission that this organization stands for.

In my junior in college I had the privilege of being a part of the UO Environmental Leadership Program, through this program I learned about the deep-seeded issues engrained in our timber industry. I am talking specifically about the use of aerial herbicides to control vegetation in recently clear-cut private timberlands. During this program I worked with a team to create a short documentary - "Drift: A Community Seeking Justice" - about a spray incident in Cedar Valley in 2013. This documentary set a small fire under the timber industry and has developed into a tool much larger than we expected. We aired this documentary at the Public Environmental Law Conference, and at Advocacy Day at the State capital as well as held panel discussions in Tillamook, Gold Beach and Eugene. This summer we plan on hosting over five more panel discussions in different communities along the coast.

After creating a documentary, my class went on to create a website documenting several women, who have been involved in the fight against aerial herbicide spray.  This experience has influenced my vision of change and reminded me why I got involved with environmental work in the first place.

To learn more about the project, view the profiles or watch the documentary visit http://juststories.uoregon.edu.

With my work at Oregon Wild, I will be focusing largely on helping to protect public lands and wilderness areas in Oregon. This year the US Forest Service is looking at revisions to the Northwest Forest Plan, which is there to keep balance between logging and wildlife habitat. This management plan has allowed for the restoration of old growth forests that had previously been devastated by unsustainable logging. It is important that we keep fighting for the protection of public lands to ensure improved water quality and salmon health.

This summer I look forward to exploring Oregon on the many hikes that Oregon Wild administers, as well as getting to know members of the community who are passionate about the Oregon Wild mission during our events! 

Throwback Thursday: The Salt Caves Dam

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 18, 2015.

By Teresa Connolly

Before 1980, the stretch of the Klamath River between the John Boyle and Copco Dam flowed freely for seventeen miles. The remote beauty of the Klamath River Canyon formed a tranquil environment that supported many species of wildlife. Not only was the area surrounding the river home to a diverse selection of plants, it provided fisherman with access to the native wild trout and locals with the opportunity of exploring the Klamath River through whitewater rafting.

But Gail Gredler, the author of a 1981 article from ONRC’s Wild Oregon Newsletter, described how this stretch of the river was on the verge of destruction. Over thirty years ago, Pacific Power and Light (PP&L) and the city of Klamath Falls put into motion a proposal for another dam along the Klamath River. At the time, PP&L had initially applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a permit that would establish priority to build the Salt Caves Dam just 27 miles southwest of Klamath Falls. 

If the application had been approved and the Salt Caves Dam built, there would now exist a 120 foot high and 380 foot long earthen filled dam which would have diverted the water into 22,000 foot long concrete canal, or in simpler terms, a structure that would have damaged the spectacular and undisturbed Klamath River Canyon. 

A dam at this site would have had serious repercussions for the existing flora and fauna. At the time of the proposal, there were two federally endangered species in the area of the proposed site. Both the Peregrine Falcon and the Bald Eagle were present in the Klamath River Canyon and construction could have easily destroyed nesting sites, rendering another habitat unlivable for two already struggling species. The surrounding trees, shrubs and even one plant, a candidate for an endangered status, would have suffered greatly from construction of the dam. As a key habitat for a number of species of trout and even a prime location for whitewater rafting, it is no wonder that conservationists took action against this proposal in an effort to protect the Klamath River. Several hundred acres of wildlife habitat was at stake and the Salt Caves Project would only have meant destruction of this area.  

Due to the hard work of conservations and concerned citizens, the Salt Caves Dam never left the proposal stage. But the Klamath River is still home to six other dams, blocking over 300 miles of salmon habitat and causing many other challenges for the Klamath Basin. What once used to be the third largest salmon and steelhead producer, the Klamath River has steadily lost its ability to provide a quality habitat for these species of fish. Oregon Wild stands behind propsoals to remove these dams, actions that will restore the Klamath River to its former glory and allow the Klamath Basin to find balance. 

Want more information on restoring the Klamath Basin? Click here!

Photo Credits: 
Photos from Steve Pedery and Oregon Wild

What do you love about the Tualatin River?

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Jun 17, 2015.

We’d love to hear your story of what you love about the Tualatin River in the format of a 30 second to 1 minute video from your smart phone or video cam. WhatDoYouLoveAboutTualatinRiver from Tualatin Riverkeepers on Vimeo. What do you love about the Tualatin River? Share your short video about what you love about […]

Action Alert: Move Oregon to Vision Zero. Urge legislators to pass HB 2736-A.

By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jun 17, 2015.

We need Vision Zero now. Your Voice Matters. Tell your legislators to pass HB 2736-A. Please join us and ask the Oregon Legislature to support a […]

7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Bats

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 17, 2015.

By Teresa Connolly

Using only the most scientific of terms, bats are super cool. As we glide steadily into the summer, you might just be lucky enough to glimpse one of the many species of bats in Oregon darting about in the night sky. If you’ve ever wondered how bats manage to catch their prey in the pitch black, or if all bats really do eat blood, then here are seven interesting things you probably didn’t know about Bats!

 

  1. An adult bat eats about 1,000 insects every hour.

While bats in other parts of the world feed on fruit, fish, and even blood, the bats that can be found in Oregon only eat insects. Oregon bats also happen to feed on a number of pests, such as spruce budworm moths, tussock moths, mosquitoes, pine bark beetle moths and gypsy moths. 

  2. Bats are the only flying mammal.

In addition to having hair, being warm blooded and feeding their babies milk, bats usually fly between 20 to 30 mph and can travel more 100 miles in just one night.

  3. Baby bats are called pups.

Baby bats are born with curved claws that allow them to cling to their mother. This enables the mother to be able to fly with her babies attached. But the mother doesn’t need to fly with her babies for very long since they can begin to fly on their own between three and five weeks of age.  

  4. Bats belong to the order Chiroptera, which means hand-wing.

A bat’s wings are made up of long finger-like bones covered in two thin layers of skin. Bats also have small thumbs on the tops of their wings that can be used for climbing and grabbing things. So how big can their wings get? Well, the Hoary bat is the largest bat that can be found in Oregon and has a wingspan of nearly 16 inches!

  5. Bats use sound to navigate and hunt.

As nocturnal animals, bats make high-pitched sounds when flying about at night and then listen to the echo of the sounds, allowing them to hunt for food, navigate in the dark, and communicate with other bats. This nifty ability is called echolocation.

  6. Some bats are known as shouters.

Take the Big Brown Bat for example, which can be found all throughout Oregon. This species produces sounds at about 110 decibels or about as loud as a fire alarm! Luckily, majority of the sounds bats emit are outside the range a human ear can pick up.

  7. There are 15 species of bats in Oregon.

Unfortunately, most of these bats are considered Sensitive Species by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, including one very sensitive species called Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat (pictured right). This species is particularly vulnerable to human disturbances, so make sure to never disturb this bat if you come across it!

 

Want to know where and when you can see bats in Oregon?

Luckily, a number of species of bats can be found all throughout Oregon, such as the California Myotis, Fringed Myotis, or the Big Brown Bat. The forests around Oregon can also be a good place to see bat activity, including one species, the Silver-Haired Bat, which often flies very low to the ground. Since bats are nocturnal, activity takes places at night. But not all species wait until it is pitch black to start hunting. The Canyon Bat, found mostly in Eastern Oregon, and the Long-Legged Myotis, found all throughout Oregon, prefer to fly earlier in the evening, so you might just catch a glimpse of these two before all daylight is lost! If you happen upon a bat in your attic this summer, it might just be the Little Brown Myotis, a species that prefers to roost in attics in maternity colonies. 

Now that you possess some new knowledge about these creatures, it is also important to know how to live safely around bats. Follow these tips from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to help keep the bat population in Oregon thriving!

  • In winter, avoid places where bats hibernate, because awakening a bat depletes energy reserves. A bat can lose 10 to 30 days worth of fat reserves from being awakened and then is at risk of starvation before spring arrives. 
  • In summer, avoid disturbing nursery caves or roosts. Frightened mother bats may drop or abandon their babies.
  • Bats need open water. Support efforts to preserve, create and enhance marshes and wetlands.
  • If a bat flies into your house, remove pets and children and close the room and closet doors. Open the windows and quietly watch the bat until it leaves. The bat is most likely lost, young and eager to leave. Watch it to be sure it leaves.
  • Never touch or pick up a bat. It may bite in self-defense like any other wild animal. A bat you or your pet can catch outside is probably sick and should be left alone. Do not handle dead bats. Less than 1/10 of 1 percent of all bats are believed to carry rabies. Infected bats are rarely aggressive and soon die of the disease. Nonetheless, always avoid contact with any bat. If you are bitten or scratched by a bat, report it to your doctor and local health authority immediately. 

Sources: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

 

 

Tags: 
Photo Credits: 
Photos (in order) from Wikimedia Commons, Flickr Creative Commons, Wikimedia Commons

BTA Testifies in Support of Vision Zero Resolution at Portland City Council

By Rob Sadowsky from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jun 17, 2015.

Update: Portland City Council unanimously passed the Vision Zero Resolution with our recommended amendment #1 on racial profiling (listed below). The Executive Director of the Bicycle […]

Action alert: Join Audubon's cormorant call-in day June 17

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Jun 17, 2015.

June 15, 2015: Help stop the slaughter of East Sand Island cormorants! On Wednesday, June 17, please call the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and tell them to stop scapegoating cormorants for salmon declines caused by the Corps’ refusal to increase river flows through the modification of dam operations.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approves slaughter of Double-crested Cormorants

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Jun 16, 2015.

April 14, 2015: On Monday, April 13, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued depredation permits to allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to shoot up to 3,489 double-crested cormorants, 105 Brant’s cormorants and 10 pelagic cormorants, and to destroy 5,870 double-crested cormorant nests during the 2015 nesting season.

Valuing Nature: Q&A with Gretchen Daily

By Mark Tercek from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Jun 15, 2015.

Valuing Nature: Q&A with Gretchen Daily

Lessons Learned by Communities for Communities

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Jun 15, 2015.

There is a shout out to the CEC’s very own Carly Lettero, Program Director of Energize Corvallis, in the EPA list of thank you’s below.
Here is the EPA’s Local Climate and Energy Program release of several new resources for local climate and energy program staff:

Local Climate Action Framework: A Step-by-Step Implementation Guide


Effective Practices for Implementing Local Climate and Energy Programs Tip Sheets


Local Climate and Energy Program Model Design Guide

This latest ...

Audubon calls on U.S. Army Corps to stop the killing of cormorants

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Jun 15, 2015.

May 27, 2015: The Audubon Society of Portland is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop the killing of Double-crested Cormorants on East Sand Island until legal issues can be resolved.

NWEI’s Executive Director on How to Create a Better World

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 15, 2015.

Recently the Grouptrail Blog interviewed NW Earth Institute’s Executive Director, Mike Mercer. Read on to get a peek into how NWEI’s small team is “leveraging big ideas to create a better world.” For the full interview, click here.  Over the… Read More!

The post NWEI’s Executive Director on How to Create a Better World appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Join us June 26-28 for the 17th annual SolWest Fair in Eastern Oregon

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jun 15, 2015.

Join us for the 17th annual SolWest Fair June 26-28 at the Union County Fairgrounds in beautiful La Grande. Presented by our community partner in Eastern Oregon, Oregon Rural Action, SolWest is opportunity to learn about energy efficiency, solar and wind energy, alternatively fueled vehicles, local food and more.

5 Reasons to Take Action for Your Backyard Forests

By chandra from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 15, 2015.

Everyone loves a good "Top 5" list, and this one couldn't be more important! As you know, a lot is at stake with the draft Resource Management Plan for the 2.6 million acres of BLM-managed forests: Here are 5 good reasons (and ways) to get involved!

#1) Public Participation is Good!
Long, technical documents can discourage many people from participating in public processes, but input from people like you is going to help determine the future of our backyard forests. Don’t be intimidated! We’ll help you break down the big document and make it easy to write your own comments.

#2) It’s Not Really That Complicated
Last week, I hosted an online training to help break down the BLM’s 1,500 page management proposal. I’ve also put together this handy summary sheet that outlines the good, the bad, and the ugly of the draft plan for Western Oregon forests.
 

You can download the summary, watch the video or download the presentation here

 

#3) They Are Coming to a Community Near You
At the bottom of this list, you’ll find a number of workshops hosted by the BLM across Western Oregon. Next week will feature an informational open house in Portland, workshops in Salem, Medford, and Grant's Pass, with more workshops in Salem and Eugene later this month. Please consider attending one of these events and letting BLM officials know why you value Oregon’s backyard forests. It’s as easy as that!

#4) These are YOUR Backyard Forests
Some of the forests and streams affected by this plan might be places where you love to hike, mushroom hunt, fish, or bike. Recreation is a big deal on public lands, and shouldn’t take a back seat to management in direct conflict with your favorite activities – like clearcut logging. Find out more about how your favorite place might be impacted by checking out the BLM’s interactive map or attending an upcoming recreation workshop. (NOTE: As of the publishing of this blog, BLM's website appears to be running very slowly)

#5) Oregon’s Old Growth Trees, Wildlife, and Waters Need You
The BLM’s plan ramps up clearcut logging, threatens endangered species and clean water, and puts some of our few remaining old growth stands at risk. Download my summary of the BLM plan, or take a look at my presentation for the details. It’s important for everyone who appreciates our backyard forests, whether as the places you love to recreate, or as habitat for fish and wildlife, to speak up and get involved.

BLM Public Meetings:

June 15th, Portland
Open House

June 16th, Salem
forest management and wildlife

June 17th, Medford
forest management and wildlife

June 18th, Grants Pass
recreation workshop

June 23rd, Salem
recreation workshop

June 24th, Eugene
recreation workshop

June 25th, Eugene
riparian workshop

June 30th, Salem
public meeting

Photo Credits: 
Photos by Chandra LeGue

Logging Industry Lawsuit Demanding Aggressive Cutting Thrown Out By Federal Court

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jun 15, 2015.

A logging industry lawsuit that sought to force the Bureau of Land Management to increase logging on public lands in southwest Oregon was thrown out today by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling vacates a 2013 decision that would have forced the Bureau of Land Management to sell timber even when those sales would have harmed salmon and had detrimental impacts on water quality and recreation.

National News: June 15, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jun 14, 2015.

Selling Off Apache Holy Land, New York Times op-ed
Zinke Forest Bill Would Require Cash Bonds to Sue - National Forest Collaboration Incentive Act would reduce timber-sale analysis, Flathead Beacon
Pioneering forest reform, U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke op-ed

Much at stake in LBL forum, Kentucky New Era

Grow Your Own Forest, Longevity magazine
Walnut twig beetle's origin and spread revealed in genetic studies, USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station at Eurekalert
MLB must ban maple bats now , Indiana Gazette op-ed

Is Barbur Safe? Find out on Monday!

By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jun 12, 2015.

Last month, in response to petitions submitted by the BTA and Friends of Barbur, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) committed to conducting a “Road Safety Audit” […]

Help Us Get to Vision Zero on Outer Powell Boulevard

By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jun 12, 2015.

“#1 in crash frequency and severity!” is not a desirable superlative for an intersection, but SE 122nd and Powell holds it. In 2012 it saw more […]

Throwback Thursday: The Middle Santiam

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 11, 2015.

By Teresa Connolly

Flipping through the faded pages of an old Wild Oregon newspaper, from a time when Oregon Wild was still the Oregon Natural Resource Council, I see pictures of lakes and streams, maps of hiking trails, and initiatives to protect the wildlands from destruction. The stories featured date back thirty plus years and yet I can’t help but notice that the topics these articles are covering seem all too similar to the conservation issues Oregon faces today. As I continue reading, I stumble across an article that catches my eye, covering a then imminent threat to the Middle Santiam. 

John Potter, the author of the story and a member of the Middle Santiam Wilderness Committee, begins by painting the scene of the majestic Middle Santiam, with its incredible old growth trees and miles of pristine river. But the image of untouched wildlands is overshadowed by an upcoming timber sale, a move that would have destroyed yet another of Oregon’s undisturbed wildlands.

In 1980, when conservationists found themselves laboring to protect this land, three proposed timber sales threatened to destroy nearly 2,000 acres of the Middle Santiam. Arguments in favor of the sales indicated trees were falling down and the forest was falling apart, statements that simply didn’t carry any weight. If the timber sales had gone through and logging of these wildlands had begun, the soil instability of this area could easily have caused land slides and the inevitable soil erosion would have damaged the clear flowing water of the Middle Santiam River. It wasn’t until four years later when Congress passed the Oregon Wilderness Act that, thankfully, nearly 9,000 acres of land in the Middle Santiam became protected wilderness.

Flash forward thirty years. Because of this Act, we can now respectfully enjoy the beauty that is the Middle Santiam Wilderness. Hikers, campers, and fishers can all venture into the area and see what the Middle Santiam has to offer.

In these upcoming summer months, consider exploring the Chimney Peak, the Gordon Peak, McQuade Creek, or Swam Peak Trail all of which take you through the Middle Santiam Wilderness. Just remember to respect the hard work that went into protecting these lands and do your part by following the wilderness regulations listed here

Check out the Forest Service’s website for more information on these hikes!

As I finished reading the 30-year-old story, it brought to mind all the issues that still need resolving and how the fight to protect Oregon’s wildlands is not over. There are still many areas that need protection if we want to ensure that old growth trees remain, rivers stay clean and clear, and Oregon’s wildlife is able to thrive. The Crater Lake Wilderness proposal is one example of a campaign moving towards its goal of gaining wilderness protection, just like the Middle Santiam over thirty years ago. With the nearly 500,000 acres both inside and outside of the park, this proposal would give Crater Lake National Park, one of the few National Parks without wilderness designation, another level of protection. Reaching this goal would safeguard the headwaters of some of Oregon’s well-known rivers and preserve dwindling numbers of old growth trees. If you, like all those at Oregon Wild, want to support the creation of the Crater Lake Wilderness, take a moment to sign the petition in support of this campaign and like the Facebook page to stay updated on other ways you can stay involved!

So if you get a chance to explore one of the hikes through the Middle Santiam this summer, take a moment to look at the trees, streams, and wildflowers that surround you and think back to before the area was protected. It is hard to imagine what would have happened if the area had not become a protected wilderness. Thankfully, the Middle Santiam is one more protected wildland that Oregonians will be able to explore and enjoy for years to come.  

Photo Credits: 
Photo courtesy of U.S. Forest Service Website

Encouraging Enforcement, Discouraging Profiling

By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jun 11, 2015.

Vision Zero is a traffic safety program with the goal to eliminate all road fatalities through road design remediation, education, and enforcement. The program is based […]

Supper at SAGE Call for Artists

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Jun 10, 2015.

Supper at SAGE is recruiting original art pieces for our silent auction as well as en plein air artists to paint in the garden during the Supper at SAGE benefit on September 12, 2015.  Supper at SAGE celebrates and raises funds for SAGE garden and our Farm to School programs.  More information on our programs is HERE.
Call for Original Art
Artists are invited by the Corvallis Environmental Center to submit an original piece of work inspired by the theme: ...

Sometimes It's the Destination, Not the Journey

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 10, 2015.

By Phil Brown

Here at Oregon Wild, we love to share and talk about all things wild. One way we do this is by providing reviews for some of the hikes our members and staff take in various parts of the state.

This past weekend I took a trip to northeast Oregon, so I happily agreed to write a review of the North Fork Umatilla River trail, which I planned to hike. As you’ll see, things didn’t go according to that plan, and I didn’t get to write that review. Looking back, though, I’m not sure I would trade the experience I had for the one I had in mind.

It all started when I borrowed a copy of “100 Hikes / Travel Guide: Eastern Oregon” by William Sullivan. I leafed through the pages, looking for a hike that would be close to my campsite, would be on the easy side of things (the first year of law school in New York City had not been kind to my figure), and would preferably be long enough for a full day of exploring. I eventually settled on the North Fork Umatilla River trail, located in the heart of the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness.

 

 

I wasn’t exactly sure how to get to the trailhead, but I knew its general location and figured I could just drive around the area until I saw a sign pointing me in the right direction. Traveling down Highway 204, I saw what I thought to be just such a sign.

The Travel Guide had indicated that the trail started right from the highway, so when I turned onto a surprisingly well-kept dirt road, I was a little confused. I reasoned that the trail must break out from the road, just a little bit further. A little bit further became further and further until I was sure I had missed the trail. But, whenever the road forked, I saw signs urging my car and I onward, offering a guiding arrow and the simple yet tantalizing “N. Fork Umatilla Trail” (notice, as I do now, that the word “River” is conspicuously absent).

After what must have been miles, the road opened into a large circle, surrounded on all sides by forest. I was finally here. The beginning of my first hike was about to commence. I turned off my car, hopped out, and eagerly walked up to the weathered Forest Service bulletin board, hoping to get directions to the start of the trail.

Uh oh.

As I read the sun-bleached board, I realized that it didn’t point the way to any trailhead. It signaled the end of the line, and cautioned against going into the “wilderness” ahead unprepared. Without even realizing it, I thought I had just driven the full length of what was to be my hike for the day. 

Hesitation has never been my strong suit, however, so I jumped back in my car, drove those same miles back to Highway 204, found a place to park, and before I could convince myself otherwise, began walking down that wide, well-kept dirt road.

When at long last I came to the familiar, sun-bleached bulletin board, two things came to mind.

First, driving uphill is a whole lot easier than walking it.

Second, I had just walked down a path I had already been on – nothing too exciting there, but now I had come as far as I had ever been. The forest beyond that circle of dirt road presented a whole new adventure.

I was still somewhat bitter from having hiked down a road – a road I had already driven, no less – but all of that was about to change.

As I started on a barely-visible path into the trees, I looked up for the first time that day. Walking on the road, there were blue skies above me; nothing to sneeze at, but common nonetheless. Here, when I tilted my head back I finally saw what I had been craving since my first thin slice of New York pizza: tall, tall trees on all sides. 

Swaying branches, sun-mottled greens and grays, chittering squirrels and the quick, blurred movements of small birds. I breathed deep and didn’t want to let go of that lungful of pine-fresh air. I realize now that the dirt road I had so unhappily trudged along was only a few dozen feet behind me. At the time, though, it was already miles away.

My pace quickened. I was moving through the trees faster than I had moved on flat dirt, and just as quickly as I had forgotten about that open road, I came into another kind of opening.

Several small meadows with somewhat steep (although not unsafe) drop-offs line the edges of Coyote Ridge, offering wonderful views across a valley to the south. The remnants of a horse walker – a device used to exercise or cool down horses – dot one of these meadows, but it doesn’t feel like simple trash. It’s a reminder that once we’re gone, the world keeps on going, tossing and turning the things we leave behind until they are slowly but surely returned to the fold.

It would be days before I learned that the road I drove, then walked, wasn’t the North Fork Umatilla River trail at all. The bulletin board I read really did mark the end of the trail, but from the other side. The destination I found really was Coyote Ridge, the planned end of my hike, even if my path wasn’t what I thought it would be. When I first learned this, I had a fleeting sense of defeat, that I had somehow failed my first attempt at hiking in Oregon.

I choose to believe that I didn’t fail, though, because the feelings those trees evoked were still real, and the view from Coyote Ridge still left me awestruck. It just goes to show that sometimes, it’s the destination that counts, not the journey.

Photo Credits: 
Photos by Phil Brown

Solar Now! University 2015: Sprinting Ahead

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jun 09, 2015.

What can you do to help get more solar built in the Northwest? How can we get 10,000 more installations built in the Pacific Northwest in 2015-16? Find out at this year’s Solar Now! University conference, in Oregon City, Oregon on Thursday, September 3rd.

Volunteer Spotlight: Joanie Beldin

By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on Jun 09, 2015.

Joanie Beldin was volunteering with Friends of Trees within two weeks of moving to Portland, “When I moved here and found an organization devoted to trees, it was a no brainer!” In the intervening four years, Joanie has literally done it all. She’s a Green Space Crew Leader, planting native trees to restore natural areas, […]

A Substitute Plan To Rejuvenate Forest After Fire

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jun 09, 2015.

A century of fire suppression has left forests overcrowded with dense stands of flammable conifers. After fires last year in Klamath National Forest, plans were made to salvage as much timber as possible. Members of the Karuk Tribe have offered a substitute plan instead of salvage logging.

Sustainable Ocean Development Is Possible

By Mark Tercek from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Jun 09, 2015.

Sustainable Ocean Development Is Possible

4 Simple Actions You Can Take For World Oceans Day, June 8th

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 08, 2015.

Today is World Oceans Day, a United Nations-recognized day of ocean celebration and action. Did you know that oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 percent of the Earth’s water, and represent 99 percent of the living space… Read More!

The post 4 Simple Actions You Can Take For World Oceans Day, June 8th appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Land Use Victories in Salem

By craig from The Latest. Published on Jun 04, 2015.

20150604
Jason Miner

Today was another busy day in Salem – we're excited to share three legislative updates with you: 

read more

Let Me Introduce Myself

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 03, 2015.

By Phillip Brown

Hi there!

My name is Phillip Brown and I am Oregon Wild’s legal intern for the summer of 2015. I’m currently a law student at New York University School of Law, and I am originally from the tiny farming town of Emmetsburg, Iowa.

You may be wondering what someone born and raised in corn country and currently living in New York City would be doing all the way out in Portland, Oregon. My home state of Iowa has one of the most altered landscapes on the planet, and my home for the last year has been in the heart of that sea of concrete known as Lower Manhattan – so I know just what is at stake when the wildlands, wildlife, and waters of Oregon are threatened. When I learned about Oregon Wild and their mission, I jumped at the chance to travel across the country and be involved with such a great organization.

I’ve always had a passion for natural landscapes and wildlife, and I was fortunate enough to have had that passion cultivated by some wonderful leaders on my way to becoming an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. I continued my love of everything wild as an undergraduate at Iowa State University, studying biology with an emphasis on wildlife and environmental systems.

I also found an affinity for the law and politics at Iowa State, earning a second degree in Political Science.  Along with my commitment to public service, my interests in law and conservation make Oregon Wild and the Pacific Northwest a natural place for me to grow and learn.  

This summer I hope to be involved in as many projects as possible, but I am especially looking forward to helping protect and nurture Oregon’s small but growing wolf population. So far, it looks like the main projects I’ll be working on are the fight to keep wolves listed as an endangered species in Oregon and advocating for wildlife corridors to ensure that the wolves we do have here can take advantage of their full habitat range. I also expect to be spending much of my time working on the legal side of the effort to protect the integrity and health of the Klamath Basin. 

Oregon is a new place to me, and I’m excited about spending as much time as possible out in the forests and wild places that are so unlike anywhere else in the world. I’m sure that spending a summer exploring the state’s landscapes will only nurture my desire to see them protected. I’m equally sure that spending a summer getting to know the wonderful people associated with Oregon Wild will only bolster my dedication to the conservation of some of our nation’s most treasured natural areas.

Photo Credits: 
Klamath Falls photo by Connie Willmon

Learn more about Oregon Desert Trail tips and gear from ONDA, REI experts at “Trail Mixer” event

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jun 03, 2015.

The Oregon Natural Desert Association and REI Bend are teaming up to host an event that will offer Oregon Desert Trail skills and information, celebrate volunteers who helped create the trail and provide a grand finale to ONDA’s Oregon Desert Trail Matching Challenge.

Just Looking At Nature Can Help Your Brain, A New Study Finds

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 03, 2015.

  A new study, published by the Journal of Environmental Psychology and highlighted in a recent Washington Post article, reveals that even short “green micro-breaks” while simply looking at nature improves focus (and also offers many other health benefits). We couldn’t… Read More!

The post Just Looking At Nature Can Help Your Brain, A New Study Finds appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

An open call for Neighborhood Coordinators

By Randi Orth from Growth Rings. Published on Jun 02, 2015.

You may have heard that Friends of Trees plants thousands of street and yard trees each year in the Portland-Vancouver metro area. It’s kind of our thing. It’s cold, wet, muddy business and in the heart of winter, no less! But did you know that even before we get out our shovels and gloves, there’s […]

Re-Imagining “50 Hikes in the Tillamook State Forest”

By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jun 01, 2015.

The Sierra Club will be publishing a new version of the iconic 50 Hikes in the Tillamook State Forest which is now out of print and out of date. Hopefully this version will include several new hikes, including some in the Clatsop State Forest. We’re very excited to take a new look at all of […]

NWEI’s Newest Discussion Course Ebook is Here! Change Is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 01, 2015.

“All we can do to prepare rightly for tomorrow is to do the right thing today.” – Wendell Berry This week brings big news and new opportunities from the NW Earth Institute! Our newest discussion course ebook is here! Change… Read More!

The post NWEI’s Newest Discussion Course Ebook is Here! Change Is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

SAGE Camp Update

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on May 29, 2015.

SAGE’s Pizza Pie camp is so popular, and filled so quickly, that we’ve decided to cancel our Buzz about Bees camp (sorry!) and replace it with Pizza Pie. It’s scheduled for Aug 10th – 14th. If you had your eye on the Pizza Pie this is your chance!
For more information click here.

Spring for SAGE 2015

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on May 29, 2015.

Everyone needs to eat, but not everyone has access to nutritious food. You can make a difference in Corvallis by donating just a few dollars to ensure healthy food gets to those who need it most.
We need your support to grow 3 tons of vegetables to feed families in our community. SAGE, a 1-acre garden in Starker Arts Park, grows fresh vegetables for those in our community who cannot afford them. Food from SAGE is delivered year-round to local food ...

Introducing Food for Families

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on May 29, 2015.

A new low cost gardening and cooking class series


The Corvallis Environmental Center’s Food for Families program is now offering a series of low-cost gardening and cooking classes.  Classes are held each Wednesday from 5-7pm, May through October.  Classes are a $3-10 sliding scale fee, with no one turned away for lack of funds. Participants can take individual classes, or register for the whole series.
Gardening Basics:  1st Wednesday of the month, 5-7pm
Learn the basics to start growing your ...

Action Alert: Solar Water Heating Bill

By joshb from Daily News. Published on May 28, 2015.

The Solar Water Heating Bill, known simply as HB 3344, will put the installation of solar water heaters on the same footing as installing solar panels to generate electricity (photovoltaic or PV). Please contact your state legislators and ask them to support this important piece of solar legislation.

The Place

By Brian O'Neil from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on May 27, 2015.

I envy those newts who so intimately entwine themselves in the scrumptious looking moss, swimming their […]

Court permits cormorant slaughter to move forward

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on May 27, 2015.

May 11, 2015: On Friday afternoon, Federal District Judge Michael Simon denied a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop cormorant killing in the Columbia River Estuary before the court rules on a lawsuit to permanently stop the killing filed by Audubon Society of Portland, Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Friends of Animals and Wildlife Center of the North Coast. It is expected that the federal government will initiate the slaughter of several thousand birds and an additional several thousand active nests within days.

Clean Water Rule Finalized!

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on May 27, 2015.

NWEI’s First Online Discussion Course Begins June 3rd!

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on May 27, 2015.

It isn’t too late to register for NWEI’s first-ever online discussion course, beginning next week on Wednesday, June 3rd at 12pmPST/3pmEST! Over the past few years we have been offering online versions of our discussion courses for organizations and now we’re excited… Read More!

The post NWEI’s First Online Discussion Course Begins June 3rd! appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

11 Elements of a Water Quality Trading Program

By Danielle Dumont from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on May 26, 2015.

Check out this informative infographic of the 11 key elements for setting up a water quality trading program in your watershed consistent with the Clean Water Act, TMDLs, and other regulations.   Download PDF version of infographic. Access full text documents: “Regional Recommendations for the Pacific Northwest on Water Quality Trading.”

4 Bowling Lanes. 2 Organizations. 1 Winner.

By from The Latest. Published on May 26, 2015.

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Sam Diaz

The month of May brought a unique challenge to 1000 Friends of Oregon’s Land Use Leadership Initiative (LULI): a bowl off against Oregon Environmental Council’s Emerging Leaders Board (ELB).

read more

Action alert: Please help stop SB 412, the Port of Portland dumping bill

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on May 26, 2015.

May 6, 2015: The Port of Portland is trying to weaken existing state law to create a special exception for ports when they want to dump dredge materials – which are defined as solid waste – into the environment at upland sites.

National News: May 26, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on May 25, 2015.

Coalition fights LBL timber sales, Murray Ledger & Times

Sen. Murkowski: Forest Service is Morphing into Emergency Fire Service, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Cantwell to Introduce Wildfire Legislation - Senator Seeks Better Coordination for Wildfire Management and Emergency Response, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Always Wanted to Customize an NWEI Course? Here’s How!

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on May 22, 2015.

Earlier in 2015 we announced several new ways to work with us – and we’re excited to expoud upon these opportunities as we head into Summer and Fall. Many of you have been contacting us with ideas for customized courses for… Read More!

The post Always Wanted to Customize an NWEI Course? Here’s How! appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Grant to help discover restoration opportunities for California’s Russian River

By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on May 22, 2015.

May 22, 2015 — The Freshwater Trust received $124,875 from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to expand a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based methodology known as StreamBank® BasinScout™ to assess and prioritize potential conservation opportunities in California’s Russian River basin. “The BasinScout methodology was designed to give communities, conservation funders and restoration partners a road […]

Agricultural Business Owners Thank Merkley For Protecting Oregon Caves

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on May 20, 2015.

Over twenty southern Oregon agricultural businesses spoke up thanking Senator Jeff Merkley for his work to protect public lands in Oregon at the Senator’s town hall meeting in Cave Junction this morning. The small business owners expressed their gratitude for Merkley’s recent efforts to successfully expand the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve.

20 Southern Oregon Farms Support Public Lands Protection

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on May 20, 2015.

Family farms from across southern Oregon asked Senator Wyden at his January 17 Grants Pass Town Hall to put conservation on equal ground with resource extraction. The farms asked that Wyden support continued investment in local public lands, through full and permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which uses revenues from oil and gas revenue to protect local and national parks and forests. Pilot Rock and the Pacific Crest Trail are local gems that have been helped by the LWCF.

Changemaker Interview: A Former NWEI Intern Shares Inspiration & Advice

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on May 20, 2015.

We are honored to work with some of the best and brightest interns – people who are just beginning their journey working for a more sustainable world. Today we are picking back up our Changemaker Interviews with former NWEI intern Nancy Nordman, who served… Read More!

The post Changemaker Interview: A Former NWEI Intern Shares Inspiration & Advice appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Keep Your Tree Healthy in the Heat

By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on May 19, 2015.

It’s been a long, dry spring and winter, but we all know the real heat begins after school is out for the summer. Your newly transplanted tree is growing through the process of photosynthesis. At its most basic – this scientific process that turns the energy from the sun into food for plants requires three […]

Beers Made By Walking

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on May 19, 2015.

Beers Made By Walking Brewers to create drinkable portraits of protected lands Beers Made By Walking, a program that invites brewers to go on nature hikes and make beer inspired by plants found on the trail, is partnering with McKenzie … Continue reading

freshwater Talk – episode 11: George Hawkins, general manager of the DC Water and Sewer Authority

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on May 18, 2015.

- A summa cum laude graduate from Princeton. A cum laude graduate from Harvard Law. A senior leader with the Environmental Protection Agency. An advisor to Al Gore. The manager of one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in the country.

Leadership Awards Luncheon May 13, 2015

By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on May 18, 2015.

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish recently presided over ceremonies at Friends of Trees’ Leadership Awards Luncheon. Our eighth annual gathering, held at Multnomah Athletic Club, overlooking the Timber’s playing field at Providence Park, is organized to publicly acknowledge FoT’s supporters and bestow our Community Partner Awards.  The Awards are an opportunity to shine the light […]

Important Notice – Restricted Access for Hikers – UPDATED 6/8

By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on May 18, 2015.

Construction begins on the Gold Creek Bridge on Wednesday, May 20, which will result in restricted […]

Scholfield Creek Wetlands Conservation Area

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on May 14, 2015.

Public Meeting: Scholfield Creek Wetlands Conservation Area Tuesday, May 26th at 6pm Reedsport City Hall, 451 Winchester Ave in Reedsport Summary: Please join us to learn more about a proposed land conservation project along Scholfield Creek near the city of … Continue reading

New Training Opportunity: The Building Blocks of an Exceptional Board

By dtoledo from What's New at River Network. Published on May 12, 2015.

Lawsuit filed to stop cormorant slaughter by federal agencies

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on May 12, 2015.

April 20, 2015: Five conservation and animal welfare organizations initiated a lawsuit today against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and USDA Wildlife Services to stop the slaughter of thousands of Double-crested Cormorants in the Columbia River basin. According to the lawsuit, the agencies are scapegoating the native birds for salmon declines while ignoring the real threat to salmon: mismanagement of the federal hydropower system. Unless stopped, the agencies will kill more than 15 percent of the entire population of Double-crested Cormorants west of the Rocky Mountains.

A visit to the edge of East Sand Island

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on May 12, 2015.

April 24, 2015: Yesterday, Audubon Society of Portland conservation director Bob Sallinger visited the edge of East Sand Island by boat with Al Jazeera America, which is covering the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan to kill nearly 11,000 Double-crested Cormorants and destroy more than 26,000 Double-crested Cormorant nests on the island.

Portland says "NO" to giant propane export facility

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on May 11, 2015.

May 7, 2015: This morning Mayor Charlie Hales announced he was no longer supporting the proposal to build a giant propane export facility at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6. The Audubon Society of Portland applauds Mayor Hale’s leadership on this issue. The decision to not support an environmental zoning change necessary for this facility to move forward sends a strong message that Portland intends to remain a leader nationally and internationally on addressing global climate change. Audubon and its members have been opposing this facility since it was first announced this September.

Protect Critical Old Growth in the Clatsop State Forest

By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on May 10, 2015.

The “Homesteader” timber sale in the Clatsop state forest calls for the clearcutting of some of the best old growth forest habitat remaining on Oregon’s north coast. The sale features trees over 130 years old and over 200 feet high–relative monsters in a region that has been logged and burned over. Click here to ask […]

Sutton Mountain Wilderness sent to Congress

By Ben Gordon from Press Releases. Published on May 07, 2015.

Senator Jeff Merkley introduced legislation to designate Sutton Mountain Wilderness, a 58,000-acre proposal in the John Day River Basin. This bill has the strong support of Wheeler County and the City of Mitchell, which expect the new wilderness to be a win for economic development and conservation. The Oregon Natural Desert Association has long backed permanent protection for Sutton Mountain.

Overspray

By Tom Titus from Beyond Toxics. Published on May 05, 2015.

Preface by Lisa Arkin Dr. Tom Titus was a guest speaker at the Legislative Briefing Day for SB 613. SB 613 was introduced as the Public Health and Water Resources Protection Act in the 2015 Legislature. His presentation on amphibians and herbicide exposure was so informative that we asked him to submit his thoughts for... Read more »

The post Overspray appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

National News: May 4, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on May 03, 2015.


Can drones plant trees? Former NASA scientist says yes - BioCarbon Engineering hopes to plant 1 billion trees each year in order to counter deforestation, CS Monitor

The Forest Service shouldn't pat itself on the back yet - Our View: The Forest Service has made some good progress, but it's time to start cutting down trees before it's too late, Arizona Republic editorial
Proposed resort development seen as big threat to Grand Canyon National Park - Forest Service eyes plan for road, infrastructure improvements around Tusayan, Ariz., Summit Voice
Colorado firefighters speak out on climate change - Short documentary film explores links between global warming and growing wildfire danger, Summit Voice

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission votes to allow dangerous and environmentally destructive Pembina Propane facility to move forward

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Apr 30, 2015.

April 9, 2015: On April 7, the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission voted 6-4 to approve changing the environmental zoning at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6 to allow Pembina Propane to build a huge propane export facility.

Local Developer Eli Spevak Promotes Small Spaces with Character

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Apr 30, 2015.

20150430
Karli Petrovic

When it comes to building a compact, affordable city, the sticking point often tends to center on aesthetics. Sure, “density” is somewhat of a dirty word, but the dirtiest phrase is often “high-rise apartment building.” Many a neighborhood group has organized around banning this development option in their communities.

read more

It's Official: March 22 is Tom McCall Day in Oregon

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Apr 29, 2015.

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At 1 pm on April 29, 2015, Governor Kate Brown signed SB 333 into law in the Governor's ceremonial office. From this day forward, March 22 will be Tom McCall Day in Oregon. Tom McCall Jr. attended the signing.

read more

A Tribute to Hector Macpherson Jr., a Land Use Hero

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Apr 29, 2015.

20150429
Jason Miner

I didn't know Hector Macpherson Jr., so some might say I'm an odd choice to write a tribute to him.

Everyone who loves Oregon, however, owes tribute to Hector Macpherson Jr., who, as noted in obituaries and honors across the state, passed away on March 21, 2015. In fact, many farmers wrote to us to share what Hector meant to them (and we share one of those memories in the images below). This is especially pointed considering what our co-founder Henry Richmond said of the farming community:

read more

Housing Opportunity Day and the Fight to Fund Long-Term Housing

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Apr 29, 2015.

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Karli Petrovic

By all accounts, the Oregon Housing Alliance’s Housing Opportunity Day was a success. On March 11, 2015, more than 250 advocates participated in the day-long event that began at the First United Methodist Church of Salem and ended at the Capitol. Throughout the day, participants met with more than 50 legislators and covered the Capitol’s steps with 20,000 socks that participants collected to draw attention to a startling statistic: 20,000 children and youth experienced homelessness in 2014. And they aren’t the only ones.

read more

Welcome Home Coalition Mobilizes Local Housing Movement

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Apr 29, 2015.

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Karli Petrovic

As Oregon continues to weather an affordability crisis, we need all hands on deck to find solutions. Welcome Home Coalition, a Portland Metro-based housing opportunity organization, understands the problem. That’s why the group is leading the local movement to advocate for dedicated resources.

read more

HRVRC Organizes to Support Inclusionary Zoning Legislation

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Apr 29, 2015.

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Karli Petrovic

As the Oregon Senate considers the bill to repeal the ban on inclusionary zoning—a housing tool that helps local jurisdictions provide affordable housing options in their communities—it’s important to celebrate the 34-25 vote in the House of Representatives and the groups that helped the bill pass. One of these groups was the Hood River Valley Residents’ Committee. HRVRC, a 1000 Friends of Oregon affiliate group, was particularly effective in organizing and getting the city council to pass a resolution in support of HB 2564.

read more

#NoFastTrack Events – Update Your Calendar!

By trailrunner1991 from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 28, 2015.

Fast Track legislation was introduced two weeks ago and our opposition movement is growing! Here is a list of upcoming events, please attend as many as possible! We are channeling our efforts toward Reps. Bonamici and Schrader, as neither of them have committed to a position yet. Please call their offices to express your concern […]

Legislative Update on our 2015 Priorities

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Apr 28, 2015.

20150428

We're at the halfway mark of the Oregon 2015 Legislative Session, which is a significant milestone. Any bill that did not pass out of a policy committee in its chamber of origin is now dead. [Well, it's probably dead. There are ways to revive a dead bill, but it's infrequent and difficult to do.] 

read more

$350,000 Rockefeller Foundation grant awarded for water budgeting prototype in California

By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Apr 28, 2015.

The Freshwater Trust, a nonprofit river restoration organization, was recently awarded a $350,000 grant from The Rockefeller Foundation for a research project that could model sustainable allocation of freshwater resources. The grant is part of a larger effort by The Rockefeller Foundation to encourage the development of more sustainable and equitable freshwater management practices. The […]

Living with the lichen

By Maysa Miller from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Apr 27, 2015.

Pulling garden weeds on a sunny day behind cabin 9, one of the original buildings from […]

Help Washington County's Transportation System

By from The Latest. Published on Apr 27, 2015.

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If you live or work in or near Washington County and care about the county's future transportation choices, please participate in the “Online Open House.” 

Washington County is embarking on a $1.5 million study to evaluate current transportation conditions and explore what sort of transportation options the county should have over the next 50 years. The county wants to know what you value in a transportation system.

read more

freshwater Talk – episode 10: Paul Brest, author, innovator and philanthropist

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Apr 27, 2015.

freshwater Talk host Joe Whitworth interviews Paul Brest, author, philanthropist and leader in problem-solving in the latest episode.

Fast Track Introduced – What’s in it and what do we do next?

By trailrunner1991 from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 23, 2015.

For the last few months, the Sierra Club, along with environmental and labor allies, have escalated pressure in opposition to fast track legislation. We succeeded in pushing back the introduction of fast track by a number of weeks, raising our voices to ask Senator Wyden to step away from negotiations with Senator Hatch (R-UT). However, […]

News from the Oregon Legislature

By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 22, 2015.

Whew! We’ve just crossed the midpoint of the 2015 session of the Oregon Legislature, and it’s been a whirlwind of a session. Sierra Club staff have been closely tracking bills and meeting with legislators in Salem to advocate for clean, renewable energy, wildlife protection, and our state forests. So here, halfway to sine die and […]

Paddler’s Pollution Report Leads to $8,400 Fine

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Apr 21, 2015.

On July 5, 2014, a paddler noticed a dark discharge entering the Tualatin River from a ditch in the Farmington-Scholls area. Using his smart phone, he shot photographs, video and recorded the GPS coordinates of the site. He contacted Tualatin Riverkeepers (TRK) for help in reporting the problem to the proper authorities. TRK helped him […]

National News: April 20, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Apr 19, 2015.

Our Land, Up for Grabs, New York Times op-ed

Will the Northwest Forest Plan come undone? - The Forest Service and BLM embark on revising the iconic plan and may allow more logging, High Country News

Thanks to Bundy, Nevada is a joke, Reno Gazette-Journal op-ed
Will public-lands ranchers pay more for grazing? - An Obama administration proposal would more than double fees, High Country News
Westerners need to stand up for public lands, HCN Writers on the Range at Summit Daily
Federal public land transfers get a Congressional boost - Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and a majority of her colleagues signal support for the pro-transfer movement, High Country News
Business parks: Feds sell naming rights to iconic public lands - Agencies seek corporate revenues in the face of fiscal woes, April 1st: High Country News
Alaska's Ancient Yellow Cedars Clear Hurdle Toward Endangered Species Act Listing - Tongass Trees Threatened by Climate Change, Logging - Would Be First Alaska Tree Ever Given Federal Protection, Center for Biological Diversity

Judge affirms ruling favoring wildlife on Klamath refuges

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Apr 17, 2015.

April 16, 2015: Yesterday, a U.S. District Judge issued a ruling ordering the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to complete the long overdue “Comprehensive Conservation Plan” for Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges. These plans, mandated by a 1997 law, require the USFWS to ensure commercial activities on refuge lands do not harm wildlife. The order by U.S. District Judge Owen Panner in Medford adopted a preliminary recommendation issued on March 5 by U. S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clark. The USFWS must now complete the plan by August 1, 2016.

Chilling … public health ignored

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Apr 15, 2015.

Over the past year, the issue of exposure to toxic soups of herbicides and other chemicals from aerial helicopter sprays has spurred an outpouring of public indignation! Cases of outright poisoning or suspected harm have been reported in Lane, Curry, Tillamook and Douglas counties. Poisonings of law-abiding Oregonians, innocent by-standers really, were covered by top... Read more »

The post Chilling … public health ignored appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

2015 Spring Star Parties in Oregon State Parks

By OSPF from . Published on Apr 15, 2015.

Want to see where stars are born? This is your chance! Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has teamed up with OMSI and Rose City Astronomers to offer star parties at several state parks this spring. These free viewing parties are a great way to see stars, planets and other celestial sights through telescopes and binoculars of [...]

OSPF Works to Expand Bike Shelter Network in Oregon State Parks

By OSPF from . Published on Apr 15, 2015.

Following a successful 2014 pilot project to construct new bike shelters for cyclists in state park campgrounds and day-use areas, the Oregon State Parks Foundation is currently working with state park managers, local companies and community volunteers to expand the state park bike shelter network and help build Oregon’s reputation as a premier cycling destination. [...]

Tree Across Tualatin River 200 Yards Upstream from Fields Bridge – West Linn

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Apr 15, 2015.

Jeff Kohne reports: I noticed this morning that a large tree has fallen into the Tualatin River, nearly spanning the entire river making navigation unsafe. It is about 200 yards upstream from Fields Bridge (where Willamette Falls Drive crosses the river in West Linn). If you see hazards to navigation, please fill out our online […]

Senators join in Oregon Caves dedication

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Apr 14, 2015.

The dignitaries who spoke at Friday's celebration of the expansion of Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve painted a colorful portrait of "The Marble Halls of Oregon." U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, who began working on the expansion nearly 20 years ago, seemed relieved. About 50 people were in attendance, including Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.

It’s time to play at Nadaka Nature Park

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Apr 13, 2015.

March 31, 2015: Nadaka Nature Park will host a grand opening on Saturday, April 4, to celebrate completion of the park and community garden as well as the unusual and uplifting partnerships that brought down the barbed wire around an urban forest and reclaimed it – and improved it – for the public.

Nadaka: A Model for Renewing East County’s Parks?

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Apr 13, 2015.

March 27, 2015: On Saturday, April 4, Gresham residents will celebrate the opening of the new Nadaka Nature Park and Garden. This innovate community park project represents a huge accomplishment in the face of declines in public park investment the last 15 years. The Nadaka experience is a potential model of how we can work together to renew public investment in parks and create healthier and stronger communities in East County. From our vantage point, three ingredients were critical to Nadaka’s success.

Help us solve a mystery.

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Apr 13, 2015.

Do you have any thoughts on what these could be?  We’ve seen about 100 of them at the Springhill Intake over the last few months.  Our current theory is that a box of them was dropped into the river and are slowly moving downstream.  Any thoughts you might have would be helpful. Help us track […]

Year one results of Egg Mass surveys in Portland Metro Area and Coos Bay

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Apr 13, 2015.

Our amphibian citizen science program shows that amphibians love our preserves, both in the Portland Metro area, and on the coast. Preliminary results showed the presence of more than 1,000 egg masses…and we’re still counting! Portland Metro Area: After classroom and field training, 15 citizen volunteers worked with TWC land steward Megan Garvey, and resident amphibian

Thank you spring 2015 volunteers!

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Apr 13, 2015.

This spring, one hundred and thirty volunteers helped plant 3,850 native trees and shrubs including pacific willow, elderberry, ninebark, and thimbleberry. Our volunteers were as busy as beavers removing mats of invasive reed canarygrass and woody-rooted yellow flag iris as well as taking out more than 2 cubic yards of litter at our Nyberg, Cedar Mill,

Celebrate American Wetlands Month: Explore! Learn! Take Action!

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Apr 13, 2015.

This May marks the 24th anniversary of American Wetlands Month, a time when federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private sector organizations celebrate the importance of wetlands. The month long recognition provides a great opportunity to discover and learn about the important role and benefits wetlands provide — improved water quality, increased water storage and

National News: April 13, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Apr 12, 2015.

Will the Northwest Forest Plan come undone? - The Forest Service and BLM embark on revising the iconic plan and may allow more logging, High Country News

Thanks to Bundy, Nevada is a joke, Reno Gazette-Journal op-ed
Will public-lands ranchers pay more for grazing? - An Obama administration proposal would more than double fees, High Country News
Westerners need to stand up for public lands, HCN Writers on the Range at Summit Daily
Federal public land transfers get a Congressional boost - Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and a majority of her colleagues signal support for the pro-transfer movement, High Country News
Rare Truce in Land-Use Wars in Utah - Legislation in the works in Congress would set aside some areas for wilderness, others for energy use, Wall Street Journal
Business parks: Feds sell naming rights to iconic public lands - Agencies seek corporate revenues in the face of fiscal woes, April 1st: High Country News
Alaska's Ancient Yellow Cedars Clear Hurdle Toward Endangered Species Act Listing - Tongass Trees Threatened by Climate Change, Logging - Would Be First Alaska Tree Ever Given Federal Protection, Center for Biological Diversity

Volunteer Spotlight–Thank You Heather Chapin!

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Apr 09, 2015.

TWC simply could not run without our volunteers.  Every person has something special to give, whether that be planting trees, serving beer at a fundraising event, or serving as a student liaison for their school.  Each year, hundreds of volunteers donate their time to TWC in the form of restoration, event planning, science, monitoring, and

Family Wetland Bird Walk

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Apr 08, 2015.

Opening day Natural Areas Week.
Wildbird Wetland Walk
Saturday May 2nd from 1 – 4pm.
Registration Preferred –
Click here to register
Join us for a family fun bird adventure along an easy boardwalk trail that includes hands on stations for bird ID, nest building, food gathering and wetland habitat Investigation (bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair at welcome table).
Bring the whole family and see what birds our local urban wetland has to offer. 

 
Explore birds along a ...

Illinois, Rogue, and Smith Rivers Among America’s Most Endangered Rivers

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Apr 06, 2015.

American Rivers named southern Oregon’s Illinois and Rogue Rivers and the Smith River in California among America’s Most Endangered Rivers® of 2015 today, shining a national spotlight on nickel mining proposals that threaten a wonderland of wild rivers, clean water, rare plants, and outdoor recreation.

California Salmon and Wildlife Win Court Protection from Old-Growth Logging

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Apr 06, 2015.

A federal court halted a logging plan in Northern California that would have harmed old-growth forests and federally protected fish and wildlife species. The court’s decision means that Fruit Growers Supply will not be given a blank check to harm struggling salmon populations, destroy endangered species habitat, and decimate old-growth forests.

Senate Bill 716 Threatens Rural and Urban Lands Statewide

By karli from The Latest. Published on Apr 03, 2015.

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UPDATE: Thank you for helping defeat SB 716!

read more

Experience the amazing Owyhee Canyonlands at ONDA’s High Desert Lecture Series on May 14th

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Apr 03, 2015.

Learn more about what makes the Owyhee Canyonlands special on Thursday, May 14, when the Oregon Natural Desert Association hosts its fourth installment of its inaugural High Desert Lecture Series. In this edition, ONDA Owyhee Coordinator Corie Harlan discusses one of the most spectacular and least-known places in Oregon: the Owyhee Canyonlands.

Portland takes big step forward to protect pollinators, birds, salmon and children from dangerous pesticides

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Apr 01, 2015.

April 1, 2015: The Portland City Council took a big step forward today in protecting Portland’s wildlife and park users by passing an ordinance to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on lands owned by the city.

Action alert: Please help us stop the imminent slaughter of cormorants on the Columbia River

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Apr 01, 2015.

April 1, 2015: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to slaughter more than 11,000 Double-crested Cormorants — 15 percent of the entire western North America cormorant population. Cormorants will be shot out of the sky with shotguns as they search for food over the Columbia River Estuary, or shot with rifles at close range as the birds tend to their nests on East Sand Island. In addition, more than 26,000 Double-crested Cormorant nests will be destroyed by either oiling of eggs or intentional starvation of orphaned nestlings.

Portland joins Eugene as one of America’s Most Bee-Friendly Cities!

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Apr 01, 2015.

Beyond Toxics’ idea to ask local governments to ban neonicotinoids started in Eugene with our proposal to the City Council. You remember…Eugene became “America’s Most Bee Friendly City!” in the early part of last year. Then the idea spread to Seattle, Spokane and Sacramento, as well as towns in Alaska, Minnesota and other states. And... Read more »

The post Portland joins Eugene as one of America’s Most Bee-Friendly Cities! appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Action alert: Portland should say “NO!” to Pembina Pipeline’s propane export terminal

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Mar 31, 2015.

March 31, 2015: On April 7, the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission will decide whether to allow a massive propane export facility to be built at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6 along the Columbia River. This facility will put our communities and our environment at risk. We need your help to send a strong message to the Planning and Sustainability Commission that it should reject the Pembina Pipeline Propane Terminal.

Tualatin Riverkeepers Asks Corps of Engineers to Deny Cooper Mountain Wetland Fill Permit

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Mar 31, 2015.

In a letter to Colonel Jose Aguilar, Tualatin Riverkeepers requested that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deny a permit to Beaverton School District to fill 2.5 acres of wetland on Cooper Mountain. The wetland in question was identified in Beaverton’s South Cooper Mountain plan as having the “highest preservation priority”. Beaverton School District has […]

freshwater Talk – episode 9: Jon Waterman, National Geographic Explorer

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Mar 30, 2015.

Jonathan Waterman, National Geographic Explorer, photographer, author and conservationist, joins freshwater Talk host, Joe Whitworth, to discuss his work and his first-hand insight into what is truly going on in the world of water.

National News: March 30, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Mar 29, 2015.


Court showdown likely in Wolf Creek land swap battle - Under pressure from billionaire developer, Forest Service keeps digging itself into a deeper hole, Summit Voice
County doesn't want state takeover of federal lands - Local economy depends on federal lands, county leaders say, Telluride Daily Planet
Walden: County payments extension in Medicare bill - Wyden says he's glad House 'stopped playing politics' on 'safety net', KTVZ

Under Secretary Highlights Forest Restoration Effort in Testimony before Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee - Pace and Scale of Restoration Efforts Increased, Sustainable Timber Harvesting Promoted, Fire Budget Threatens to Sap Maintenance, Recreation Programs, USFS
Full Committee Hearing - U.S. Forest Service's FY2016 Budget, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Bark Beetles Are Decimating Our Forests. That Might Actually Be a Good Thing - They gobble up trees and send politicians into a frenzy. But do the bugs know more about climate change than we do?, Mother Jones
Judge Rejects "Eco-Forestry" Clearcutting on O&C Lands - Controversial "variable retention regeneration harvest" clearcuts in White Castle timber sale declared illegal; conservationists win on all counts, Oregon Wild
West coast log and lumber exports decreased in 2014 - Drop in Chinese demand slows exports, year-end analysis finds, USFS PNW Research Station
Long-term changes in dead wood reveal new forest dynamics - Research has implications for balancing habitat and wildfire management, USFS PSW Research Station

A Decade in the Tall Trees

By katie from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Mar 26, 2015.

March 2015 marks ten years in my tenure with Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center.  I was […]

B-Line Sustainable Delivery Proves Good Land Use is Good for Business

By karli from The Latest. Published on Mar 25, 2015.

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Karli Petrovic

When Franklin Jones founded B-Line, a sustainable bike delivery and advertising company, he drew on a wealth of experiences. From his background as a bike and pedestrian planner and then as a sixth-grade humanities teacher to his bike travels through Japan, Europe, and other places abroad, Jones was exposed to the fabric of many cities.

read more

Each of us can demand protections from aerial sprays!

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Mar 24, 2015.

On March 12th, Beyond Toxics and our partners in the Oregon Conservation Network hosted the first ever Oregon Legislative Briefing on Herbicides and Health. Over fifty Oregonians came from communities across the state to talk to their legislators about gaps in the Oregon Forest Practices Act that leave homes, schools and drinking water unprotected from... Read more »

The post Each of us can demand protections from aerial sprays! appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Demand for Watershed Solutions on the Rise: The Freshwater Trust Opens New Office in Idaho

By Danielle Dumont from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Mar 24, 2015.

The Freshwater Trust, a nonprofit river restoration organization based in Portland, Oregon, is expanding its operations by opening a new office in Boise, Idaho. The move is the organization’s first office outside of Oregon. With a mission to restore freshwater ecosystems, The Freshwater Trust advances conservation solutions to fix more rivers faster. By creating and […]

8th grade scientists in Coos Bay love their amphibians

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Mar 23, 2015.

Master Watershed Stewards from Marshfield High School spent two afternoons this winter learning about amphibians and being trained to identify and monitor their presence based on adults and egg masses surveyed in the wetland. Many thanks to our partner, the Coos Watershed Association for leading this study on our Matson Creek Preserve in Coos Bay, Oregon.  Check

Earth Ball 2015: An All Species Masquerade & Celebration

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Mar 19, 2015.

Join us at this year's Earth Ball on the rooftop of Sky High Brewing!

Become a Volunteer Garden Educator at SAGE-apply now!

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Mar 18, 2015.



At our Starker Arts Garden for Education, kids learn to plant, tend and harvest food.  Over 1,000 students will visit SAGE this year and learn to connect the food in the garden to the food on their plates. SAGE Farm Field Trip Educators help make this happen!  If you like working with children and you believe all kids should know where food comes from, consider joining our team of SAGE Field Trip Educators and help teach the groups of K-3rd grade students who will visit SAGE this ...

Botany and geology intertwined: Learn more about high desert plants at High Desert Lecture Series on April 7

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Mar 17, 2015.

Bend plant expert Stu Garrett will share more about how the region’s geological past continues to echo in the plant life today in the third installment of ONDA's popular High Desert Lecture Series.

An Evening for Opal Creek tickets on sale now!

By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Mar 17, 2015.

Get ready to celebrate your support for wilderness education at the best Opal Creek-hosted fundraising gala […]

Third Thursday Potluck & Presentation: Environmental Impacts of Trade Promotion Authority and the TPP

By trailrunner1991 from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 16, 2015.

Third Thursday Potluck & Presentation Join us for a potluck and presentation on the environmental impacts of Trade Promotion Authority, also known as Fast Track, and the TransPacific Partnership.  WHEN: March 19th at 6:00pm  WHERE: Oregon Chapter Sierra Club office (1821 SE Ankeny St. Portland OR)  WHY: Meet, eat, and learn how Congress, the United […]

National News: March 16, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Mar 15, 2015.

Touring the US Forest Service's Modern New Digs - Sidney Yates Building renovated, Rosslyn employees relocated, NextGov
Nevada representatives propose anti-Babbitt bill, Elko Daily Free Press editorial
Sportsmen rally in Denver for public lands - Hunters, anglers protest efforts to transfer federal lands to state control, Cortez Journal

What Would Sensible Recreation Fee Legislation Look Like?, Western Slope No-Fee Coalition at NCFP
Forest Service finalizes national snowmobile rules - New policy requires designation of motorized winter use, Summit Voice

No Answer, FSEEE

Development Director Position Announcement

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Mar 06, 2015.







The Corvallis Environmental Center is hiring a Development Director (DD) to spearhead development efforts as our organization continues to grow. As new position in the organization, the DD will have the opportunity to build the organization’s development function. The DD reports to the Board of Directors and works in partnership with the Co-Directors of the CEC. For a pdf of the job description click here







Responsibilities

Develop and execute ...

McKenzie floodplain forest will be home to fish and wildlife forever

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Mar 05, 2015.

Because of you, the abundant fish of the lower McKenzie River will thrive. Another critical piece of their habitat is protected! Continue reading

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 05, 2015.

Hello, I’m Andy Maggi, the new Chapter Director of your Sierra Club here in Oregon. Its an honor to have this opportunity to introduce myself. A little over a month ago I was honored to be chosen for this position. You, like me, know just how important the Sierra Club is when it comes to protecting public […]

Dirty Secrets: Trade Promotion Authority and the TransPacific Partnership

By trailrunner1991 from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 04, 2015.

Upcoming trade legislation is poised to wash away our human and environmental rights around the globe! Oregon contributes dynamically to international markets – producing technology, wine and agriculture, and manufactured goods for export. It is imperative that we improve and maintain these good-paying jobs which support our local economy and utilize higher environmental standards rather than trade […]

The Oregon Chapter in the 2015 Oregon Legislature

By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 02, 2015.

The 2015 session of the Oregon Legislature Session is in full swing, and Sierra Club staff are closely tracking proposed bills and meeting with legislators in Salem to advocate for clean, renewable energy, wildlife protection, and our state forests. For starters, as members of the Oregon Conservation Network, we are advocating for the Priorities for […]

ODF Proposes Massive Clearcuts for Oregon’s State Forests

By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 02, 2015.

The Oregon Department of Forestry recently presented a timber-centered vision for the new Forest Management Plan on the Tillamook & Clatsop state forests. Under the proposal, north coast watersheds like the Trask, Nehalem, Salmonberry, Kilchis, and Wilson (below) would be clearcut extensively: Key proposals included: Devoting 70% of the forest to industrial clear cutting and pesticide […]

Reflections on two years in Jawbone Flats

By Jess from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Feb 23, 2015.

There are at least a thousand different colors of green, and they all occur in the […]

Tualatin Riverkeepers Challenges Silicon Forest Businesses to Plant an Actual Forest

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Feb 20, 2015.

So what exactly do trees have to do with the health of the river? A lot in fact, said Mike Skuja, Director of Tualatin Riverkeepers. “Trees help stabilize the soil, filter toxins out before they hit the river, reduce erosive storm water run-off, and provide a safe haven for numerous animals from beavers to herons […]

Tualatin Riverkeepers Challenges Silicon Forest Businesses to Plant an Actual Forest

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Feb 20, 2015.

Tualatin, OR – February 19, 2015:  So what exactly do trees have to do with the health of the river? A lot in fact, said Mike Skuja, Director of Tualatin Riverkeepers. “Trees help stabilize the soil, filter toxins out before they hit the river, reduce erosive storm water run-off, and provide a safe haven for […]

Next installment of ONDA’s High Desert Lecture Series shares journey on the Oregon Desert Trail

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Feb 18, 2015.

In the second installment of its new High Desert Lecture Series, the Oregon Natural Desert Association on Wednesday, March 11 will welcome Shane Von Schlemp, an adventurer who last summer completed the entire 800-mile Oregon Desert Trail.

Trips and Tours Program Assistant – Seasonal Position Jun – Sep, 2015

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Feb 18, 2015.

Trips & Tours Program Assistant Job Type: Full-time, 40 hrs/wk, Temporary (June-September) $12/hr Mission Tualatin Riverkeepers (TRK) is a community-based organization working to protect and restore Oregon’s Tualatin River system. TRK builds watershed stewardship through education, public access to nature, restoration and advocacy. Position Description TRK inspires conservation of the Tualatin River and its watershed […]

National News: February 16, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Feb 15, 2015.

Hunters and anglers organize against land transfers - Sixty-nine percent of hunters in the 11 Western states rely on public lands for the sport, High Country News

National forests to decide where snowmobiles are welcome - A new rule requires the government to specify areas for winter motorized users, High Country News

Showdown at Wolf Creek Pass - Colorado ski resort development wars flare up again in the San Juans, Colorado Independent
Rural counties dealing with loss of fed dollars - Faced with federal subsidy cuts, counties are chopping services and clamoring for logging money, High Country News
Study: Small trees key to long-term forest survival - Study shows many treatments in western dry forests are misguided, Summit Voice

Judges want LBL plan changed, Eddyville Herald Ledger

Hope for sufferers from herbicide drift: Sensible legislation promotes health in forestry practices

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Feb 10, 2015.

Today, the announcement was made that the Oregon Legislature will take up a bill to address forestry chemical use. Two courageous Oregon legislators, and seven other co-sponsors, filed a bill to protect the health of rural Oregonians living near industrial forests and farm land. When I first read the text of SB 613, the Public... Read more »

The post Hope for sufferers from herbicide drift: Sensible legislation promotes health in forestry practices appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

New Training: Monitoring That Guarantees Measurable Results

By dtoledo from What's New at River Network. Published on Feb 03, 2015.

OCN Announces the 2015 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon

By Derek Richardson from OLCV News Archive. Published on Jan 30, 2015.

Author: 
OLCV
Date: 
January 15

Today, the Oregon Conservation Network – a coalition of environmental advocates from across Oregon coordinated by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters –together announced their 2015 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon.

“These priorities are the next steps Oregon must take to protect our natural legacy,” said Christy Splitt, OCN coordinator and Oregon League of Conservation Voters External Affairs Director. “Together, OCN will advocate for crucial legislation on a host of issues, from climate change to protecting wildlife and wild places.”

read more

Battle Axe Bridge Reopens

By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jan 30, 2015.

After many months of detoured hikers, students, and Jawbone staff, we are so excited to announce […]

Meet our new registrar, Janelle!

By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jan 29, 2015.

Janelle Hammerstrom joined the Opal Creek team at the beginning of 2015 and we’re so excited […]

Nature Day Camp Intern Counselors

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Jan 28, 2015.

Position: Nature Day Camp Intern Counselor Open positions: 2 Compensation: $10.50/hr Time commitment: ~ 270 hrs. Includes training, camp planning, and camp sessions. Program Dates: June 22-26, July 6-11, July 20 -24, July 27-31, August 10-14, August 17-21 + June trainings Sessions take place at: Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Dirksen Nature Park in Tigard, […]

Envision for who? Environmental justice in urban planning

By Joel Iboa from Beyond Toxics. Published on Jan 26, 2015.

According to the government website Poverty in America, Lane County is the second most economically disadvantaged county in Oregon. Lane County’s poverty rate is 22.1%. It is important to note that, out of 8 possible tiers of poverty in the US, Lane County is in the 7th tier, only one percent away from being in... Read more »

The post Envision for who? Environmental justice in urban planning appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

ONDA releases its 2015 calendar of guided restoration trips

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jan 26, 2015.

More than 20 trips with the Oregon Natural Desert Association into Oregon’s high desert – from rafting expeditions to stewardship projects to hikes with experts – will open for registration on Friday, Feb. 13.

National News: January 26, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jan 25, 2015.

Century old law returns to fund forest communities - • Juneau to get fraction of $729K received last year • Payments to Alaska to go from $14M to $535K in 2015, Juneau Empire
Agencies, Want a New Website? Talk to GSA - WoodsyOwl.gov -- a website for the Forest Service’s anti-pollution mascot appears to have been shuttered, Nextgov

What 'our forests' really means, Coeur d' Alene Press op-ed
Contractor Takes New Step Forward For Historic Forest Plan - Partnership to produce 60,000 pounds of compost annually, Payson Roundup

Group to file suit over large timber sale in Kootenai National Forest, The Western News

The 2015 Extreme Fire Behavior Webinar Series, New Century of Forest Planning blog
The Battle for the Soul of Conservation Science, Issues in Science and Technology
H.R.5893 -- Ansel Adams Act, Library of Congress

Public sounds off on gas pipeline

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jan 23, 2015.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality fielded questions Thursday night about a controversial natural gas pipeline proposed for southwest Oregon. Residents opposed to a natural gas pipeline through southwest Oregon begged state and federal officials to deny permits for the project on the grounds it would harm waterways, hurt the public interest, increase pollution and contribute to global warming.

3 Examples of Substantial, Stable, and Long-Term Funding for Restoration

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Jan 16, 2015.

3 Examples of Substantial, Stable, and Long-Term Funding for Restoration

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Jan 16, 2015.

USDA Announces Regional Conservation Partnership Project Selections

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Jan 14, 2015.

USDA Announces Regional Conservation Partnership Project Selections

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Jan 14, 2015.

Opal Creek is hiring!

By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jan 13, 2015.

Wilderness lovers take notice! Opal Creek is hiring both seasonal and year-round positions for our on-site […]

Kickoff to ONDA’s High Desert Lecture Series to explore world of monarch butterflies

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jan 09, 2015.

The Oregon Natural Desert Association will kick off its new High Desert Lecture Series on Monday, Jan. 26 with "Monarchs and Milkweed: An Evening with Tom Landis." Landis is an expert on the monarch butterfly – an insect known for its bright-orange wings and its amazing migrations of up to 3,000 miles between Canada and Mexico.

Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club Announces New Director

By orchapter from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jan 07, 2015.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  January 7, 2015 Portland, Ore. – The Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club is pleased to announce that Andy Maggi will be taking on the Chapter Director role for the organization starting January 12th, 2015. bringing with him a strong dedication to Oregon’s environmental movement. Maggi most recently worked on Senator Jeff […]

9 Tools to Help Nonprofit Staff Implement New Year's Resolutions

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Dec 31, 2014.

9 Tools to Help Nonprofit Staff Implement New Year's Resolutions

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Dec 31, 2014.

My wish for the New Year: No More Bee Kills!

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Dec 30, 2014.

By now, the whole world knows that seven documented bumble bee kill incidents happened in Oregon during 2013-2014. These bee slaughters were caused by applications of neonicotinoid insecticides. I described how the ground was littered with the convulsing bodies of bumble and honey bees. The total kill count, upwards of 100,000 bumble bees, did not... Read more »

The post My wish for the New Year: No More Bee Kills! appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

8 Feel-Good Water and River Stories from 2014

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Dec 23, 2014.

8 Feel-Good Water and River Stories from 2014

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Dec 23, 2014.

Salmon: Closer to home than you might think!

By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Dec 09, 2014.

For most people, “salmon” is an expensive, unnaturally pink piece of fish at the grocery store. It is a potential meal, detached from its context by thousands of miles. Even those of us who are lucky enough to live in the Pacific Northwest often have only a distant relationship to these iconic fish. However, there […]

#GivingTuesday Resources

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Dec 01, 2014.

#GivingTuesday downloads Want to help spread the word on #GivingTuesday? Here are some graphics you can share on social media and email to your friends. Click here to read the story of Julia and Hugo.      

A generous gift protects an oak woodland

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Dec 01, 2014.

The newest protected area in the Umpqua River Watershed Dale Carey had no idea oak trees would be such a big part of his life. Dale and his wife Joyce Machado retired to 62 acres of oak woodlands on Pollock … Continue reading

#GivingTuesday

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Nov 29, 2014.

Julia looked around cautiously. The sun gleamed over the hilltop above the Coyote Spencer Wetlands. It looked safe. But Julia was wary; she knew there were people nearby. Julia reared up and sniffed the air, balancing her 170 pounds of … Continue reading

Count that Grouse

By Matt Miller from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Nov 17, 2014.

Counting Grouse

Action! Clean Water Protection Rule Comment Tools and Help

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Nov 11, 2014.

Action! Clean Water Protection Rule Comment Tools and Help

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Nov 11, 2014.

Training Opportunity: A Recipe for Effective River and Watershed Organizations

By dtoledo from What's New at River Network. Published on Nov 10, 2014.

Needed: New Stories About Clean Water

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Nov 10, 2014.

Needed: New Stories About Clean Water

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Nov 10, 2014.

Local governments back wilderness for Sutton Mountain

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Nov 07, 2014.

Wheeler County and the City of Mitchell have unanimously backed wilderness for the Sutton Mountain area, a 58,000-acre proposal in the John Day River Basin. It's considered a win for economic development and conservation. The Oregon Natural Desert Association has long backed permanent protection for Sutton Mountain.

Conservation & Durability

By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Nov 06, 2014.

A parcel of forest only needs to be clearcut once to destroy most of its ecological value for decades and decades. On the other hand, conservation requires constant, long-term, robust protection. That is why, as the Board of Forestry writes a new plan for managing the Tillamook & Clatsop state forests, conservation commitments need to be real–long-lasting, appropriately […]

Watershed and River Community Comments on the Clean Water Protection Rule

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Nov 06, 2014.

Albuquerque Wilderness 50 Celebration – Take-Aways

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Nov 04, 2014.

I was privileged to attend the Albuquerque 50th Anniversary celebration of the signing of the Wilderness Act by President Johnson. There were two days of local area field trips or a pre-conference training at the Rio Grande Nature Center, followed by four days of panels, keynote speeches, and exhibits at the downtown Hyatt Regency Conference […]

Wild Desert Calendar exhibit features best eastern Oregon imagery

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Nov 04, 2014.

ONDA's 2015 Wild Desert Calendar will debut in a reception on Nov. 21 in Sunriver Resort's Betty Gray Gallery.

Webinars abound on clean water and wetland issues!

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Oct 31, 2014.

OREGON CHAPTER SEEKS NEXT CHAPTER DIRECTOR

By orchapter from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Oct 22, 2014.

In 2008, Brian Pasko joined the Oregon Chapter as our Chapter Director. After more than a decade of employment with the Sierra Club he will be leaving the Chapter around the end of 2014.  In preparation for his departure, the Oregon Chapter is actively recruiting our next Chapter Director. This is an opportunity to work […]

Herbicides and Health Conference comes at the one-year anniversary of Oregon pesticide poisoning

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Oct 21, 2014.

One year ago, on October 16, 2013, people living near the town of Cedar Valley in Curry County could not have known that a helicopter pilot and a forestry consultant would carry out an aerial herbicide application above their homes.  The pilot loaded his tanks with a concoction of 2,4D and triclopyr, two potent herbicides... Read more »

The post Herbicides and Health Conference comes at the one-year anniversary of Oregon pesticide poisoning appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Geek Reading: Navigating to New Shores

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Oct 16, 2014.

Waters of the US Rulemaking: Refresher Course for Those Commenting

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Oct 16, 2014.

Beers Made By Walking tasting set for Oct. 15

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Oct 08, 2014.

Beer lovers will have the opportunity to try new beers inspired by hikes around the Central Oregon Backcountry, part of a project by ONDA, Beers Made by Walking, Deschutes Brewery, Worthy Brewing and Crux Fermentation Project.

Pacific Power has you hooked on coal

By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Oct 07, 2014.

  By Amy Hojnowski Over two-thirds of the energy Pacific Power supplies to their half-a-million customers in Oregon comes from out-of-state coal.  Recently the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) issued a final order on the long-term energy mix of PacifiCorp, operating as Pacific Power in Oregon. Their final decision was clear: no more business as […]

Vote Yes on Measure 88

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Oct 07, 2014.

The Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club has joined dozens of other organizations in endorsing a YES position on Measure 88. Voting yes on Measure 88 will mean that residents of Oregon, regardless of their citizenship status, will have the option to obtain a driver’s card so they can legally drive to work, take a […]

We need your comments

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Oct 06, 2014.

McKenzie River Trust Land Trust Accreditation Renewal Open for Public Comment until November 21, 2014 Did you know that land trusts can become accredited, just like colleges and universities? Accreditation recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national standards for excellence, … Continue reading

Refresher Webinar to Help Watershed Groups Comment on Waters of the US Rulemaking

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Oct 06, 2014.

Refresher Webinar to Help Watershed Groups Comment on Waters of the US Rulemaking

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Oct 06, 2014.

What’s in a Plan?

By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Oct 01, 2014.

The Oregon Board of Forestry continues to explore new Forest Management Plans that will both provide financial viability to the Department of Forestry and improve conservation outcomes on the Tillamook & Clatsop state forests. On September 29th, the Board weighed two options developed by ODF. A “Land Allocation” proposal suggested putting at least 30% of the forest into a […]

From the Executive Director: 2014 Progress Report

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 30, 2014.

The Foundation is still recovering from a busy 2014! Board and staff have been working overtime to enrich the visitor experience in your Oregon state parks. The beginning of the new year creates a wonderful opportunity to take a moment and share updates about recent Foundation progress, as well as a look at what’s next [...]

Smith Rock State Park to Host Oregon Archaeology Lecture Series in October

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 29, 2014.

Smith Rock State Park will host its annual Oregon Archaeology Celebration lecture series on Fridays in October. The theme of the 21st annual series is “Oregon or Bust,” and the program will highlight U.S. expansion and settlement of the West. Presentations will be at 7 p.m. in the Smith Rock State Park Welcome Center facility at 10087 NE [...]

Discovery Season Camping Discounts Begin October 1, 2014

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 29, 2014.

Discounts make camping even sweeter. Discovery Season is in effect from October 1 to April 30 at Oregon State Parks, which means discounted rates on regular campsites, deluxe yurts and deluxe cabins for those ready to enjoy the outdoors. Fall is a great time to camp if you’re prepared and don’t mind a few occasional raindrops, [...]

Thanks to you, wetlands are protected!

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Sep 26, 2014.

Wetlands and oaks near Fern Ridge will be a home to wildlife and fish, forever. We Continue reading

Flushing for fish

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Sep 26, 2014.

Restoration of the gravel pits on Green Island is all about working with the water we have. You Continue reading

Leadership Development Institute - Building Effective Organizations

By dtoledo from What's New at River Network. Published on Sep 17, 2014.

Clean Water Protection Rule (aka WOTUS) Roundup

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Sep 15, 2014.

Clean Water Protection Rule (aka WOTUS) Roundup

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Sep 15, 2014.

Want to Learn/Connect About Ways to Strengthen Tribal Water Protections? Tell Us What You Need!

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Sep 14, 2014.

Want to Learn/Connect About Ways to Strengthen Tribal Water Protections? Tell Us What You Need!

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Sep 14, 2014.

Thunderclap for Clean Water!

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Sep 11, 2014.

Thunderclap for Clean Water!

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Sep 11, 2014.

McKenzie River Trust member’s passion evolves into Oregon’s first published field guide for dragonflies

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Sep 10, 2014.

Member spotlight: Steve Gordon Continue reading

Geek Reading...River Republic: The Rise and Fall of America's Rivers

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Sep 08, 2014.

Geek Reading...River Republic: The Rise and Fall of America's Rivers

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Sep 08, 2014.

Announcing the North American River Prize!

By nsilk from What's New at River Network. Published on Sep 04, 2014.

For high desert outdoor adventures, ONDA’s new tool offers info for eastern Oregon & the Oregon Desert Trail

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Aug 27, 2014.

Exploring Oregon’s high desert and the roughly 800-mile Oregon Desert Trail just became easier, as the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) has unveiled a new area of its website devoted to trip reports.

2015 Founders Circle Grant Challenge

By OSPF from . Published on Aug 21, 2014.

The Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund has extended its generous $50,000 challenge grant to help establish our Founders Circle. The first 25 donations of $1,000 in 2015 will be matched dollar for dollar by the MCM Fund. Help us meet the challenge!

OSPF Receives Founders Circle Challenge Grant from Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund

By OSPF from . Published on Aug 21, 2014.

The Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund has issued a generous $50,000 challenge grant to the Oregon State Parks Foundation to help establish our Founders Circle.  Between now and December 31, 2014, the MCM Fund will match the first 25 donations of $1,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis to support our mission of enriching the Oregon state parks [...]

Join ONDA for Wilderness Weekend, Sept. 18-20

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Aug 14, 2014.

ONDA is putting on three events for Wilderness Weekend in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act: the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, the 27th Desert Conference and the WilderFest Block Party.

New resource showcases Sutton Mountain

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Aug 07, 2014.

The Painted Hills -- one of Oregon's Seven Wonders -- is undoubtedly amazing, but right next door is a place brimming with similar beauty and ample recreation opportunity: Sutton Mountain. Discover here The Seven Wonders of Sutton Mountain, the perfect complement to the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

Learn to wield the power of the Clean Water Act in your watershed!

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Aug 05, 2014.

Learn to wield the power of the Clean Water Act in your watershed!

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Aug 05, 2014.

Change comes to the forest.

By Matt Miller from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Jul 25, 2014.

Change Comes to the Eastern Forest

What is a Forest Plan…why is it being revised…and why should you care???

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jul 30, 2014.


By David Mildrexler and Veronica Warnock

A Forest Plan is a document that guides the overall land management direction of a National Forest for a period of about 15 to 20 years.  It is a strategic document that establishes Management Areas (MAs), and develops goals, objectives, standards, and guidelines for resource management within each of these MAs.  A Forest Plan can be likened to a zoning plan that establishes the various approaches to land use on our private lands.  Just as the zoning of private lands is critical to protecting Oregon’s incredible natural heritage and rural areas from unchecked development, the zoning of our National Forests is equally important for protecting the precious natural resources they provide, and biodiversity they support.  At the end of a Forest Plan’s life, these documents are out of date.  For example, on issues like climate change, watershed protection and restoration, and wildlife corridors, science can inform management much different today than it did 20 years ago.  Likewise, a growing human population and technological advancements are placing more and different pressures on our National Forest Lands.

While a description of a Forest Plan might come across as a little dry, let me add these key words to the description; Wild and Scenic Rivers, old growth forests, wildlife corridors and connectivity, Wilderness areas, roadless forests, native fisheries, research, scenery, restoration economy, and the application of best available science to restore our National Forests.  The Forest Plan is the time and place to advocate for the things you love and would like to see on your National Forest.

The Forest Service is combining the Forest Plan Revision for three National Forests within the Blue Mountains, the Wallowa-Whitman, the Umatilla, and the Malheur.  Together these forests span 5.5 million acres, approximately 2.5 times the land mass of Yellowstone National Park. 
The Proposed Action was released in 2010 for public comment.  The Forest Service took those comments and developed six alternatives that are now out for public review.
The time is now to advocate for the protection of our last stands of old growth forests. We need standards and guidelines that maintain healthy and productive soils, protect riparian areas and water quality, and end post fire logging.  It is time for management that protects all of the plants, fish and wildlife that call our beautiful National Forests home.  This is your chance to talk about the big picture issues.  Don’t hesitate and don’t be intimidated.  Express your voice to reflect your issues! 

Attend one of HCPC’s House Parties and learn how to write effective comments!
La Grande - Wednesday July 30th             
Portland -  Thursday August 7th (date change)
For more information about the house parties, check out our website or our HCPC FaceBook page! 


Here are some suggested points to include in your letter:

The Forest Plans Need to Include More Enforceable Standards and Guidelines: The proposed forest plans contain very few standards and guidelines; instead, they are driven by non-enforceable aspiration desired conditions, goals, and objectives.  Incorporating standards and guidelines into forest plans is essential. Standards are the only planning component that are measurable, binding and enforceable thus ensuring environmental protection and planning efficiencies. 

Alternative C Best Addresses the Issues of Access; Economic and Social Well-Being; Livestock Grazing; Old Forest; Recommended Wilderness; and Ecological resilience: The Forest Service is analyzing alternatives A through F, with A being the “no action” alternative – it continues with the forest plans currently in place. Alternative B is the proposed action that was sent out for public scoping in 2010. Alternative C was developed to address conservation concerns and is the most environmentally responsible alternative. Alternative D was developed to address comments received from the timber industry, county governments and motorized interests. Alternative E is the Forest Service’s “preferred alternative” (the one they are leaning towards adopting). Alternative F is very similar to Alternative E –the only difference being the amount of timber outputs produced annually.

While Alternative C responds to many of our concerns, it is not perfect - it still needs to incorporate standards instead of aspirational language. For Example, the road densities within Alternative C should be standards instead of desired conditions. 
Ask for a Balanced Approach to Access: Motorized access to our public lands should not come at such a cost to riparian health, elk security and other wildlife considerations. Reduction in maintenance costs, disturbance to wildlife, and sediment traveling to our streams and rivers will not occur without the adoption of enforceable and measurable standards. 

Current Grazing Management is Unsustainable and Must be Addressed by the Proposed Forest Plans: The Preferred Alternative retains the same number of cattle across the three forests. Current management levels and practices have degraded public rangelands and riparian areas; destroyed water quality; and negatively impacted many threatened and endangered fish, wildlife and plants. More than 80 percent of wildlife species in the West depend on riparian areas. These areas make up roughly only 1.5 percent of public lands and are disproportionately affected by livestock grazing.  The time is now to rethink how we manage livestock grazing across the Blue Mountains. 

Old Forests Deserve Enforceable and Measurable Protections: The current forest plans for the Blue Mountains were amended to include the “21” rule”. The rule prohibits the logging of trees ≥ 21” dbh. The plans also designate specific old growth forests as areas where commercial logging is prohibited.
The proposed plans do away with old growth management areas and replace the 21” rule with a non-enforceable guideline. Specifically, the guideline states that management activities within “old forest stands should generally emphasize retaining live trees with certain old tree characteristics…tree characteristics and old age many vary by species and site.”
The Blue Mountains are deficient in both old and large trees; trees that provide important habitat values and are fire resiliency. Old trees and old forest must be protected. 

The Preferred Alternative Does not Recommend Enough Wilderness: HCPC and our conservation partners have identified 1.8 million acres of potential new Wilderness on public lands in northeast Oregon, including Joseph Canyon, the birthplace of Chief Joseph. These lands form an irreplaceable web of habitats and wildlife corridors connecting three giant eco-regions—the Northern Rockies, the Northern Basin and Range, and the Pacific Northwest. Think wolves, lynx, moose, bighorn sheep, sockeye salmon, bull trout, and someday even the magnificent California Condor with its 9-foot wingspan.  Despite this incredible opportunity to safeguard these remaining roadless lands, under the preferred alternative the Forest Service is only willing to recommend roughly 5 percent of lands with Wilderness potential to Congress for Wilderness designation. Five percent is not enough! 

Comments on a draft version of forest plans for the three forests can be submitted through August 15, 2014. 
Electronically at: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/BlueMountainForestPlanRevisionComments 
Via Mail: Blue Mountains Plan Revision Team, P.O. Box 907, Baker City, OR 97814 
Or via Fax: 541-523-6392


Go Behind the Scenes at Oregon State Parks with OSPF Insider Field Trips

By OSPF from . Published on Jul 14, 2014.

You’re invited to join the Oregon State Parks Foundation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff for exclusive insider tours at your state parks. Two exciting field trips remain in the summer series; these FREE excursions are family-friendly and designed to provide unique experiences most park visitors don’t have. Capacity is limited to 25 people [...]

Let’s Go Program Offers Low-Cost, Hands-On Recreation This Summer

By OSPF from . Published on Jul 14, 2014.

Looking for an outdoor adventure this summer? Do you and your family want to try something new? If you’ve ever thought about kayaking, camping or birding but didn’t know where to start, there’s no need to wait any longer. Attend a Let’s Go event in Oregon State Parks! Offered at various state parks throughout Oregon, [...]

2014 Marks the 20th Anniversary of Yurts in Oregon State Parks

By OSPF from . Published on Jul 14, 2014.

Time flies! When two yurts were installed at Cape Lookout State Park back in 1994, Oregon became the first state park system in the country to provide campers with these round slices of heaven. In the 20 years since then, state park yurt rentals have become a national phenomenon, now offered in more than two [...]

Debunking Myths and Soothing Fears: Clean Water Protection Rule (WOTUS)

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Jul 14, 2014.

Debunking Myths and Soothing Fears: Clean Water Protection Rule (WOTUS)

By kbaer from What's New at River Network. Published on Jul 14, 2014.

ONDA’s Desert Conference slated for September, registration underway

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jun 19, 2014.

Registration is now underway for the Oregon Natural Desert Association’s 27th Desert Conference, which brings together scientists, ranchers, artists and others who work, think and play in the high desert. The biannual conference will take place Sept. 19-20, 2014 in downtown Bend, Oregon.

River Network’s Clean Water Act 101 Institute

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Jun 19, 2014.

Waters of the US Rulemaking: Deciding What it Means in Your Watershed (Webinar 2)

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Jun 13, 2014.

testing

By rocco from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on May 28, 2014.

Guest Blog: Mark Gorman on the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on May 27, 2014.

testing sahring

By renewables from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on May 24, 2014.

Help Us Help You Engage on the Clean Water Act Waters of the U.S. Rulemaking

By kbaer from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on May 23, 2014.

Elegy to Tim Lillebo, by Bill Fleischmann

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 19, 2014.


Somewhere in Oregon there is a corner of an office, a closet or attic space where dozens of cardboard tubes are hidden away. Each tube contains several topographical maps, many with scrawled notes about landscapes that he visited. Most of these landscapes were Roadless Areas in National Forests. On most of these maps are drawn boundaries; lines which hope to protect something precious.

Life has boundaries for all of us. Some are limited by income, others by physical impairments, mental limitations, or simply circumstances. Wilderness must be protected within boundaries because deep inside the DNA structure of all humans there is a primitive desire to greedily consume everything which is balanced by an equally primitive need to know that there are still places on maps where the disease of civilization has not yet infected and sickened the land. He understood this.

Wilderness advocates are an odd lot. We gather together reluctantly to protect the lands we love. In 1975, when a group in Bend first formed to protect Roadless Areas of the Deschutes National Forest, there was a slide show and a lecture scheduled in an auditorium on the campus of Central Oregon Community College. As attendees filtered into the room, most seated themselves as far from others as the space allowed, resulting in an audience that resembled an array of free radicals in a biochemistry graph.

If there can be such a thing as a camaraderie of solitary individuals, this room represented exactly that. Wilderness advocates value our isolation not because we crave loneliness but because we require solitude as a respite from the world of civilized chaos that swirls around us and threatens to devour peace of mind. A love of solitude and a desire to be free from the constraints of society form the basis of a desire to protect wild lands. But few individuals stay true to this cause their entire lives, devoting themselves to it. Poring over maps for forty years with a cigarette and a cup of coffee while Red Garland’s Country Little Shack plays in the background.

Tim Lillebo loved those maps. He loved a good blues tune. He loved good coffee and he loved rolling a cigarette while his eyes followed the well spaced loops in a contour line that represented a seep or a bog where elk could wallow in mud and escape biting deer flies in the middle of summer in a remote canyon near Glacier peak. He loved to follow the tight contours of ridgelines where perhaps the last lone wolverine in Oregon was spotted near Monument Rock. He loved to stand in a forest of old ponderosa pines; he called them pumpkin pines, and gaze into the rich yellow and orange hues of their puzzled barks. He loved wild land enough to devote his entire adult life to it, with little monetary reward. If good coffee and blues and a pouch of roll your own could be acquired, Tim was happy. Saving and protecting wild land kept his soul fed. And Oregon will forever benefit from his efforts.

Over the past 40 years most of us wandered away from the cause, nipping at the edges in our respective habitats by signing a petition here, writing a letter to congress there. We had families to raise, careers to chase, dreams to follow. But Tim stayed at it, working every day to draw some protective boundaries around land that is always threatened. One man’s passing does not stop a cause as deeply rooted in the human psyche as Wilderness advocacy, but it certainly sent a tremor wave throughout this odd camaraderie of solitary souls who still seek the solitude of wild places.

Somewhere, in an office or a closet or an attic are dozens of cardboard tubes of topographical maps which should be protected so that future generations can unroll them and study the work of one man who stood for something greater in a world that seems to only reward wealth and power. We should teach those after us to follow those contour lines. Because land will endure long after human effort passes away.

Documentary Film DamNation Comes to Bend’s Tower Theatre

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on May 09, 2014.

The award-winning documentary film DamNation will show at the Tower Theatre in Bend on Thursday, June 12 at 7pm. The screening—hosted by a collaboration of conservationists and river enthusiasts including the Western Environmental Law Center (WELC), the Oregon Natural Desert Association, the Bend Casting Club, and American Whitewater—will feature a panel discussion with audience Q&A; and a raffle. Tickets are $7.

Pupfish: Mojave Desert Survivor

By Matt Miller from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on May 09, 2014.

Pupfish: Mojave Desert Survivor

Kitzhaber: “It is time once and for all to say NO to coal exports from the Pacific Northwest."

By Christy Splitt from OLCV News Archive. Published on May 07, 2014.

Author: 
Doug Moore of Portland, Oregon. Doug is the executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters.
Date: 
April 14
Source: 
From Blue Oregon

Last week, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters held its Annual Celebration for the Environment. Known as Ecoprom, it’s an Earth Day tradition that brings together over 900 people who care about Oregon’s Natural Legacy.

This year, our featured speaker was our own Governor John Kitzhaber. In a speech bookended by a thoughtful remembrance of legendary Oregon Wild advocate Tim Lillebo, the Governor made a statement on coal exports that was nothing short of historic big news.

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Preserve Parent

By Dayna Gross from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Apr 17, 2014.

Preserve Parent

Featured Post

By Matt Miller from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Mar 31, 2014.

Plight of the Bumble Bee

Big plans for a green spring

By sschroeder from All News. Published on Mar 20, 2014.

Our supporters share their tips for the home and office

Lose the Memory, Lose the Fish

By Matt Miller from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Mar 11, 2014.

Lose the Memory, Lose the Fish

End of the Hemlocks, A Lament

By Randy Edwards from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Feb 21, 2014.

End of the Hemlocks, A Lament

Missing Tim Lillebo

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Feb 17, 2014.


Hells Canyon Preservation Council recently lost a great friend when Tim Lillebo passed away.  Tim went out to shovel snow at his home in central Oregon on Saturday, February 8 and apparently died of a heart attack or another sudden critical health problem.  Along with Tim’s family and many friends, we are mourning his loss and celebrating the bright spirit of Tim Lillebo.

In many ways, Tim was a living symbol of the forests of eastern Oregon.  He was born and raised here and he devoted his career to protecting and restoring old growth forests, clean waters, and habitat for fish and wildlife.  Back in the 1970s, Tim was hired by the Oregon Wilderness Coalition which later became Oregon Wild.  He worked there continuously until his recent death.  Tim was a man with strong principles and a deep land ethic.  He also had a unique ability to connect with people and work through difficult issues with people who disagreed with him.  And somehow, he was able pull this off with a twinkle in his eye.

In the early days, Tim successfully worked to gain Wilderness protections for some of the last remaining wild and roadless National Forest lands in eastern Oregon.  He also fought logging projects that were cutting down some of the last remaining old growth trees left on public lands.  Here at the HCPC office, we have a photo of Tim walking around the base of a huge old ponderosa pine tree marked with blue paint, indicating that the tree was marked to be cut.  This pine tree looks to be over five feet across at the base and it would have been centuries old.  I don’t know if Tim was able to save this particular tree, but he loved big old pines with thick, yellow plated bark and he devoted much of his life to saving them.

During the past several years, Tim worked to protect and restore the forests by working with collaborative groups for the National Forests of eastern Oregon.  Membership in these groups includes timber industry, logging interests, and local county commissioners.  As you may imagine, there are significant differences of opinion within these groups, but Tim was exceptional in his ability to sit down and talk respectfully with people of many different viewpoints. 

Tim grew up in John Day and La Grande and his grandfather was a logger.  These experiences helped him relate to people in the collaboratives, but I think that more importantly he was a genuinely caring person.  He worked to find solutions that would truly benefit the forests as well as the people and communities nearby.  He made sure that projects described as forest restoration would in fact restore forest conditions and reverse the effects of past logging and fire-exclusion.  He stuck to his principles but he gave respect to others and he received it in kind.

I really got to know Tim over the past several years while we worked together as members of the collaborative groups for the Umatilla and the Wallowa-Whitman National Forests.  I’m really grateful for the many conversations that we shared, for the time that we spent together and for the work that we were able to accomplish together in partnership. 

When Tim and I would speak on the phone he would greet me by saying, “How ya doin’, rascal?”  Well, right now, the honest answer is that I miss Tim terribly and it feels like there’s a hole as big as Hells Canyon left behind where he used to be.  Tim had the courage of a bear, a heart the size of a mountain, and the brilliant flash of a red-tailed hawk.  He taught me a lot about conservation work.  He left behind a legacy of accomplishments to benefit the public lands, forests and people of the Blue Mountain region.  All of us here at HCPC will use this legacy as an inspiration to motivate our conservation work into the future.

Tim and I attended a collaborative meeting together on the day before he died.  As I left the meeting and walked across the snowy parking lot, I heard him call my name and I looked over to see him smiling and waving broadly over his head.  I waved back.  Good-bye, Tim.  Well miss you. 

- Brian Kelly, Restoration Director, Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Funding eco-activism like the United Way

By sschroeder from All News. Published on Feb 13, 2014.

Goodbye to a key forest advocate and our friend

By sschroeder from All News. Published on Feb 10, 2014.

The Oregon environmental community lost a true icon this weekend with the untimely death of Oregon Wild’s Tim Lillebo.

Your Comments Needed NOW

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Feb 07, 2014.

Please help protect the Joseph Canyon area--an important part of your National Forest lands and waters. 

You can submit scoping comments on the Lower Joseph Creek Forest Restoration Project until Monday, February 10 at 5 PM.

Comments should be sent to John Laurence, Forest Supervisor, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, at comments-pacificnorthwest-wallowa-whitman@fs.fed.uswith reference to Lower Joseph Creek Forest Restoration Project.

HCPC has been participating in collaborative groups to encourage the Forest Service to include important protections into the project design.

The Lower Joseph Creek Forest Restoration Project has the potential to align with sound forest management principals if important protections are included.

These protections include:

  • Protect all old trees, large trees, old growth forests, and previously un-logged forests from logging.
  • Protect all roadless areas and potential wilderness areas from logging.
  • No construction of new roads or temporary roads should be allowed.
  • Roads that are unneccessary or harmful to fish and wildlife habitat should be closed and restored.
  • Wildlife habitat should be protected and improved.
  • Aquatic restoration projects to improve fish habitat and water quality should be included in the project.
  • Two new Research Natural Areas should be created.

The Forest Service has been receiving comments from people who want to keep ALL of the roads open, want MORE logging, and want MORE roads.

This is your opportunity to comment on behalf of old growth forests and fish and wildlife habitat.

Here is a description of the proposed action
Click here for maps and more information.
 




OCN announces 2014 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon

By Christy Splitt from OLCV News Archive. Published on Jan 27, 2014.

Date: 
January 14
 
SALEM - Today, the Oregon Conservation Network, a coalition of 40 groups across the state, released their shared Priorities for a Healthy Oregon for the 2014 legislative session.
 
“In this short session, we want to focus on just a few issues that really bring together our community and all Oregonians,” said Christy Splitt, coordinator of the Oregon Conservation Network. “Addressing climate change is at the top of that list.”
 

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Wildlife Watchers Field Report for 2013

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jan 17, 2014.

From HCPC Restoration Director Brian Kelly:

We were hoping that by the middle of last June that we’d be able to drive up to Dunns Bluff.  The bluff is an impressive rock outcrop near the edge of the Eagle Cap Wilderness.  But as we climbed higher and higher on the rough Forest Service road, we found ourselves busting through deeper and deeper snowbanks.  The back of the four-wheel drive pickup truck was loaded with wildlife cameras, meat for bait, trapper’s lure for attracting wildlife, cables, locks, tools and an assortment of hardware.  All of this bounced around in the back of the pickup making enough racket to scare away just about any wild animal within a mile.  At the time, it seemed like a strange way to attract wildlife, but we knew that once things quieted down, we’d get some good wildlife photos.  Finally, we had to accept the fact that there was just too much snow for us to drive to our destination.  And it was too far to walk.  We turned the truck around and retreated for the day with a promise to return.

meat (bait) was placed inside metal cylinders  

Within a week, the weather turned hot and the sun made short work of those persistent snowbanks.  Soon the road was clear and we were able to drive near Dunns Bluff and then hike into the Castle Ridge Roadless Area.  Before too long, we had installed eleven motion-activated cameras in strategic locations in old growth forests of mountain hemlock, Engelmann spruce, sub-alpine fir, grand fir, lodgepole pine and western larch.

At Hells Canyon Preservation Council, we actively work to protect the important lands and waters of the greater Hells Canyon region.  Fragmentation of habitat from roads and logging can be a significant threat to the connectivity of important habitats such as old-growth forests.  During the past few years, we’ve advocated to protect the habitat of the Castle Ridge area and worked with the US Forest Service to achieve protections for habitat connectivity in this important landscape.  Castle Ridge is an 8,790 acre roadless area on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest located between the Eagle Cap Wilderness and the Grande Ronde Valley.  Through the Wildlife Watchers program, we collaborate with the US Forest Service to monitor wildlife in important habitats that are essential to the connectivity of the region.  Hells Canyon Preservation Council staff, volunteers from our membership, and Forest Service wildlife specialists work together to accomplish the many tasks that the Wildlife Watchers project entails. 

Volunteer Allan Gorthy sets up trail camera
The first order of business to start the field season was to review the available data and maps for likely habitat.  This was followed by field reconnaissance.  Then we hiked into the backcountry while packing in a variety of equipment and supplies.  When we found a good location for a camera point, we set up the camera, strapped it to a tree and locked it in place.  We set up bait in bear-proof cylinders and we applied lure to attract wildlife close to the cameras.  After installation, the cameras’ sensors snapped photos when wildlife came into view.  The cameras were programmed appropriately for each site and then they were revisited every two weeks for maintenance.  The memory cards were checked, the photos were viewed, stored and filed, and the wildlife species were identified.



The eleven cameras captured photos of northern flying squirrel, bobcat, mountain lion, black bear, mule deer, white-tailed deer, Rocky Mountain elk, Douglas squirrel, bushy-tailed wood rat and coyote.

 Three wildlife species of particular interest in the Castle Ridge area are the American marten, wolverine, and the wolf.  We were disappointed that we did not capture any photos of these species with our eleven trail cameras during the field season.  However, it’s important to note that the absence of photographs does not necessarily mean that these animals are not present or traveling through the area or utilizing the habitat during certain seasons.  

Wolverines were recently documented in the Eagle Cap Wilderness just to the east of the Castle Ridge Roadless Area.  DNA analysis of one of these wolverines showed a genetic relationship to the wolverines of Idaho and we assume that their travel corridor was through the connected habitat of the greater Hells Canyon region.  American martens were also photographed in the Eagle Caps during this recent wolverine research.  The American marten is considered to be a management indicator species because it is associated with old growth forests in northeast Oregon and so it has been a species of particular interest for the Wildlife Watchers program.  Wolves have entered Oregon from Idaho through the Hells Canyon region as well.  Since wolf recovery in Oregon is an important recent development, there is much interest in their whereabouts in the local landscape.

When wildlife travel into the Pacific northwest from the Rocky Mountain region, they often enter through the wild lands of northeast Oregon.  Moose, wolverines, and wolves have all come into Oregon this way over the past few years.  This is not surprising because the Wallowa Mountains, Blue Mountains, Hells Canyon and the Seven Devils are rich with interconnected lands and waters providing an amazing diversity of quality habitat.

The snow returned to Castle Ridge in October.  After hiking in through a few inches of fresh new snow, we removed the cameras for the season.  It had been a successful field season of collaboration with the Forest Service and volunteers.  We collected valuable wildlife information that will be used to inform future decisions that affect the land management of the area.  Through the Wildlife Watchers project, we are connecting people to the land while we work to protect the connections of important habitats across the landscape. 

Hells Canyon Preservation Council appreciates the efforts of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and of the HCPC volunteers who make this program possible.  We would also like to thank our funding partners—Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Mazamas, and Patagonia.

If you are interested in becoming a Wildlife Watchers volunteer in 2014, please contact HCPC  Restoration Director Brian Kelly at brian@hellscanyon.org.

COCN Announces Priority for a Healthy Central Oregon

By Nikki Roemmer from OLCV News Archive. Published on Jan 14, 2014.

Date: 
January 14

BEND — Today, the Central Oregon Conservation Network (COCN) announced its second Priority for a Healthy Central Oregon by declaring support for the protection of the Whychus-Deschutes area.

The priority and campaign to Protect Whychus-Deschutes seeks support from local elected officials and community members for permanent designation such as wilderness for the Whychus-Deschutes area to ensure that this spectacular landscape remains wild for future generations. “Whychus-Deschutes has importance for the environment, recreation and the economy,” explained Nikki Roemmer, OLCV Central Oregon Regional Director and COCN Coordinator. “Our region is growing again, and we need to seize this opportunity to protect one of the places that makes Central Oregon so special.”

Winding through rugged canyons, Whychus Creek is one of Central Oregon’s most important waterways. It provides prime spawning habitat for salmon and steelhead and is crucial winter range for mule deer and other wildlife. Whychus Creek and the Middle Deschutes River to the east are popular recreation destinations, with thousands of visitors fishing, hiking and exploring the canyons each year. In spite of the importance of Whychus Creek and the Deschutes River to our region, the confluence of these two waterways lacks permanent protection. “Confluences are critical for wild fish populations and this location is vitally important for native redbands and recently reintroduced steelhead and Chinook salmon.” said Darek Staab, with Trout Unlimited, adding, “We are excited to help protect this important area for our future and I'm thrilled that our Central Oregon Conservation Network members also support this as a priority."

To learn more about the Protect Whychus-Deschutes campaign, join OLCV for a presentation at its monthly gathering, Pints and Politics, on Thursday, January 16th. Gena Goodman-Campbell of the Oregon Natural Desert Association joins us for a presentation about this spectacular area needing protection. Come to learn, ask questions and find out how you can get involved. Thursday, January 16th from 7 pm – 9 pm at Broken Top Bottle Shop, 1740 NW Pence Lane #1 in Bend. Details at www.olcv.org.

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters Education Fund coordinates the Central Oregon Conservation Network (COCN), a growing coalition of 9 local organizations that work with elected officials and community members to protect the region’s environment and natural legacy. COCN sets Priorities for a Healthy Central Oregon each spring and fall.

Learn more about COCN, Protect Whychus-Deschutes and other priorities at www.centraloregonpriorities.org.

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters Education Fund works to increase the political effectiveness of Oregon's environmental community by educating, training, and coordinating citizens and organizations. www.olcveducationfund.org.

 

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The Forest Connection

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jan 13, 2014.


An excerpt from Michael Pollan's  recent New Yorker article "The Intelligent Plant."
The most bracing part of Mancuso’s talk on bioinspiration came when he discussed underground plant networks. Citing the research of Suzanne Simard, a forest ecologist at the University of British Columbia, and her colleagues, Mancuso showed a slide depicting how trees in a forest organize themselves into far-flung networks, using the underground web of mycorrhizal fungi which connects their roots to exchange information and even goods. This “wood-wide web,” as the title of one paper put it, allows scores of trees in a forest to convey warnings of insect attacks, and also to deliver carbon, nitrogen, and water to trees in need.
When I reached Simard by phone, she described how she and her colleagues track the flow of nutrients and chemical signals through this invisible underground network. They injected fir trees with radioactive carbon isotopes, then followed the spread of the isotopes through the forest community using a variety of sensing methods, including a Geiger counter. Within a few days, stores of radioactive carbon had been routed from tree to tree. Every tree in a plot thirty metres square was connected to the network; the oldest trees functioned as hubs, some with as many as forty-seven connections. The diagram of the forest network resembled an airline route map.
The pattern of nutrient traffic showed how “mother trees” were using the network to nourish shaded seedlings, including their offspring—which the trees can apparently recognize as kin—until they’re tall enough to reach the light. And, in a striking example of interspecies coöperation, Simard found that fir trees were using the fungal web to trade nutrients with paper-bark birch trees over the course of the season. The evergreen species will tide over the deciduous one when it has sugars to spare, and then call in the debt later in the season. For the forest community, the value of this coöperative underground economy appears to be better over-all health, more total photosynthesis, and greater resilience in the face of disturbance.
In his talk, Mancuso juxtaposed a slide of the nodes and links in one of these subterranean forest networks with a diagram of the Internet, and suggested that in some respects the former was superior. “Plants are able to create scalable networks of self-maintaining, self-operating, and self-repairing units,” he said. “Plants.”
As I listened to Mancuso limn the marvels unfolding beneath our feet, it occurred to me that plants do have a secret life, and it is even stranger and more wonderful than the one described by Tompkins and Bird. When most of us think of plants, to the extent that we think about plants at all, we think of them as old—holdovers from a simpler, prehuman evolutionary past. But for Mancuso plants hold the key to a future that will be organized around systems and technologies that are networked, decentralized, modular, reiterated, redundant—and green, able to nourish themselves on light. “Plants are the great symbol of modernity.”

Senator Wyden’s O&C proposal is a positive step forward

By kalei from Press Releases. Published on Nov 26, 2013.

Senator Wyden’s O&C; proposal is a positive step forward

2013 Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey Results

By admin from OLCV News Archive. Published on Oct 22, 2013.

Author: 
Oregon Values and Beliefs Project
October 22, 2013

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2013 Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey Results

By Andrew Hogan from OLCV News Archive. Published on Oct 22, 2013.

Author: 
Oregon Values and Beliefs Project
Date: 
October 13
Source: 
http://oregonvaluesproject.org/findings/top-findings/

The Oregon Values and Beliefs Project has released the results of three statewide surveys they conducted in April and May of this year. The results highlight the Oregon values and beliefs that we share.

In particular, there are three environmental issues that many Oregonians care deeply about:

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SB863 passes both the House and Senate

By Andrew Hogan from OLCV News Archive. Published on Oct 02, 2013.

Author: 
Andrew Hogan
Date: 
October 13

This afternoon, both the Oregon House and Senate passed SB863, which bars local governments from regulating GMOs. SB 863 passed the House 32-22, and the Senate 17-12. For more information on the bill and how votes were cast, click here.

We at OLCV cannot say THANK YOU enough to the thousands of Oregonians who have taken action and generated phone calls and emails over the past 15 days. Our members and supporters make a difference.

A humbling hike to South Sister

By sschroeder from All News. Published on Sep 29, 2013.

Nature enthusiast, EarthShare employee and contributor Meghan Humphreys finds danger and gratefulness in the wild.

Big Win for Wildlife

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Sep 25, 2013.



Antelope Ridge Energy Project Has Been Stopped

The proposed Antelope Ridge wind power project has been stopped.  Citing current market conditions, developer EDP Renewables withdrew its application with Oregon Department of Energy to build wind turbines and a new road system in important wildlife habitat adjacent to the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area.  

This is very good news for local wildlife.  Hells Canyon Preservation Council strongly supports energy conservationand responsible renewable energy development.  However, it's essential that renewable energy projects must be located on appropriate sites and that wildlife and their habitat are protected in the process.   

The Antelope Ridge project proposal certainly presented significant threats to local wildlife.  Hells Canyon Preservation Council actively worked to address these concerns through advocacy, education, and collaboration.  We testified at a public hearing and submitted detailed comments to Oregon Department of Energy on behalf of wildlife and their habitat.  We received sign-on in support for our comments from Oregon Natural Desert Association, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Audubon Society of Portland.  We met with Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Department of Energy, EDP Renewables, and the local grassroots group Friends of the Grande Ronde Valley as part of our efforts to protect wildlife and address the negative impacts of the proposed project.     

EDP Renewables had proposed to build 164 turbines over 47,000 acres of private land in the hills just south of the Grande Ronde Valley.  Antelope Ridge would have been built immediately north of EDP’s existing Elkhorn Valley wind facility where four golden eagles have been found dead since May 2009, presumably killed by wind turbines.  Since Antelope Ridge would be larger and located closer to eagle nesting areas, the likelihood of more golden eagle deaths would be high, according to US Fish & Wildlife Service.

According to comments from Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, “The Project is one of the first wind power projects in Oregon proposed to be sited in critical big game winter range and very productive wildlife habitat, resulting in the construction of a large industrial structure that negatively affects Oregon’s wildlife.”

Burrowing owls, Swainson’s hawk, and red-tailed hawks nest within the project area.  Four species of bats were identified within the proposed project area.  A potential sage-grouse lek is located near the southern end of the project.  The sensitive plant species Douglas clover and Oregon semaphore grass grow in the project area as well. 

Antelope Ridge would have been constructed just south of Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, northeast Oregon’s largest remaining wetland.  It would have been built about a dozen miles west of the Eagle Cap Wilderness.  Forests, sagebrush /grasslands and wetlands provide key wildlife habitat in the project area.  Wildlife travel through the project area, and it’s an important wildlife connectivity corridor.  In fact, the Washington Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Working Group has identified the area as an important habitat link between the essential habitats of the Wallowa Mountains and the Blue Mountains.  A new road system would have fragmented habitat, and birds and bats would have been killed by the blades of the turbines.  Locating a large wind power project in critical big game habitat would be harmful to elk and deer and would set a terrible precedent for future projects.

The Antelope Ridge project has been more or less on hold for the past year.  While the withdrawal of the application is welcome news, it's worth noting the following statement in the letter from the developer:

"Although current market conditions do not allow us to proceed with the application process at this time, we look forward to building upon the strong precedent that has been set in coordination with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Governor’s Office to potentially restart project permitting in the future."

So while the recent withdrawal of the application is very good news, it's possible that a new application may be developed sometime in the future.

For the time being, however, this is very good news for eagles, elk, bats, hawks, owls, deer, and other wildlife species.  It’s also good news for the protection of the Ladd Marsh wetlands and the important wildlife connectivity corridors found within the project area.  And it’s good news for people who care about wildlife.

Renewable energy is a very good thing.  The earth’s future hangs in the balance over how well we are able to conserve energy and develop clean energy production.  However, renewable energy projects must be developed on appropriate sites.   And it’s essential that we protect wildlife and their habitat in the process. 

  
Story & photo by Brian Kelly,
Restoration Director



Tell Governor Kitzhaber: No Deal on GMOs

By admin from OLCV News Archive. Published on Sep 23, 2013.

September 23, 2013

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Newsletters

By sschroeder from All News. Published on Sep 13, 2013.

Find and subscribe to up-to-date news, events and volunteer opportunities.

Conservation Leaders Urge the US State Department to Restore the Columbia River’s Ecosystem in a Modernized Columbia River Treaty

By john from Press Releases. Published on Sep 13, 2013.

Portland, Oregon – National and regional environmental organizations and fishing and recreational businesses will meet with the United States Department of State Department on Friday, September 13, 2013 to discuss the Columbia River Treaty, which the United States entered into with Canada in 1964.

OCN Priority will curb suction dredge mining permits

By Christy Splitt from OLCV News Archive. Published on Aug 13, 2013.

Author: 
Paul Fattig
Date: 
July 13
Source: 
Paul Fattig, Medford Mail Tribune

Medford Mail Tribune

July 17, 2013

Author: Paul Fattig

A measure passed by the state Legislature earlier this month aims to cut nearly two-thirds of the permits allowed for suction-dredge mining in Oregon's salmon-bearing rivers, including the Rogue River.

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Update on Bighorn Protection from Darilyn Parry Brown

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jul 28, 2013.

Hells Canyon Preservation Council is a member of a regional Bighorn Advocacy Group whose primary aim is to see wild bighorn sheep herds in eastern Idaho, northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington gain the permanent protections they need to thrive in their native habitat.  HCPC has been a key advocate for bighorn herds in the greater Hells Canyon area for nearly a decade.  Though again and again, we’ve won our battles to protect bighorns in the courts, these victories are still not secured.

When I first came on as HCPC’s Executive Director early 2012, I took the lead on HCPC’s work to ensure lasting protections for wild bighorn herds in the Hells Canyon Country.  Most recently these efforts have focused on urging the Forest Service to follow their own Record of Decision released in 2010 that closes certain domestic sheep grazing allotments in the Salmon and Hells Canyon bighorn herds’ habitats and mandates deliberate risk reduction measures be put in place on open allotments.

Wild bighorn sheep are extremely susceptible to a pathogen carried by domestic sheep. Bighorn sheep die-offs have been on-going in Hells Canyon for over twenty years.  In 1991, the Forest Service publicly acknowledged one of the first documented die-offs in Hells Canyon when ninety percent of the Seven Devils bighorn herd was wiped out.  Other documented die-offs in the region date back even further.  In 1986, a massive bighorn die-off was discovered in the nearby Wallowa Mountains within the Eagle Cap Wilderness in northeast Oregon.  This was not the first die-off, but was the most devastating.  The discovery of the diseased carcass of “Spot,” the largest bighorn ram ever found in the continental United States, and the loss of over two-thirds of the herd (66 animals) to disease in a period of a few weeks, was a tragedy that attracted substantial public attention.  The cause of the die-off was determined to be pneumonia linked to Pasteurellabacteria.  In 1992, there was another massive bighorn die-off, this time in the Hells Canyon NRA in the Sheep Creek drainage on the Idaho side of the Canyon.  The culprit was again verified as pneumonia symptoms tied to Pasteurella bacterial infection.  Other die-offs have followed since, in herds within Hells Canyon as well as other nearby areas. 

Unfortunately, the Forest Service is not implementing or enforcing meaningful risk reduction measures. During the past two grazing seasons there were numerous instances where herders and/or herd dogs were not evidently present with their bands, animals were scattered and not recovered, and observers noted sheep outside allotments - in the areas with the greatest likelihood of domestic sheep and bighorn contact. Scattering events and sheep unaccounted for contribute to increased risk of contact between wild bighorn and domestic sheep. 
In September 2012, a foraying ewe was sighted on three different occasions by hunters on the Grassy Mountain allotment that was just vacated that season due to the 2010 decision to close allotments.  Had we not challenged the Payette National Forests’ interpretation of the Simpson Rider intended to stop the implementation of grazing allotment closures just a few months earlier, there would have been domestic sheep on the allotment where the ewe forayed. This was a very narrow miss that could have proven disastrous to an entire herd of wild bighorn.     
Due to a lack of adequate “contact risk reduction” action on the part of the Payette National Forest, in March HCPC submitted a letter to Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom urging him to adopt recommendations drawn up by the Bighorn Advocacy Group that outlined a realistic set of tools for reducing risk to the Salmon and Hells Canyon bighorn sheep herds. On June 10th, Supervisor Lannom hosted a meeting in response to ours and other members of the Bighorn Advocate Groups’ letters. However, domestic sheep had already been turned out on the allotments of concern (on June 1st).  Half an hour prior to the meeting, we were provided with a hard copy of the Forests’ Response to our recommendations. 
The Forest chose not to adopt any substantive portion of the recommendations; instead, they chose to use the following rationale to comply with the 2010 ROD: “The Forest Service sets permit requirements and allows the permittee to establish the management context...”  I think it is accurate to say, HCPC and our allies in attendance, which included representatives from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Nez Perce, Western Watersheds, and The Wilderness Society, are extremely discouraged by the Forest Service’ response.
Bighorn protection is not a popular idea among the small number of permittees who utilize our public lands to support massive domestic sheep operations in Idaho.  These powerful few have lobbied hard and continue to put tremendous pressure on the Forest Service to place their interests above those of threatened bighorn sheep.  Due to this heavy pressure, the victories we’ve worked so hard on over so many years for wild bighorn are not yet fully realized and we know we have to dedicate elevated efforts to the cause. 
Since the June meeting with the Payette, Veronica Warnock, HCPC’s Conservation Director, has taken the point on HCPC’s bighorn work. HCPC remains committed to saving wild bighorn herds.  Veronica and the Bighorn Advocacy Group will keep the pressure on the Payette Forest Service—and the heavily subsidized grazing permittees—as long as it takes to gain lasting protections for these magnificent animals of the canyons.
 - Darilyn Parry Brown
Executive Director, Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Protecting Our Liquid Gold

By Nikki Roemmer from OLCV News Archive. Published on Jul 18, 2013.

Source: 
The Source Weekly

Published: July 18, 2013

We live in a desert. Water is precious. That much should be agreed upon.

Fortunately, we have a newly formed Central Oregon Conservation Network (COCN), a dream team collection of area environmental organizations, which is watchdogging how the region and regional agencies manage this resource—and, more keenly, what infrastructure is being planned and installed to manage this resource. The most recent battleground over this issue is the city of Bend's nearly $70 million Surface Water Improvement Project (SWIP).

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Snow Basin Update

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jul 28, 2013.


HCPC is seeking a Preliminary Injunction to stop the release and logging of two timber sales in the Snow Basin Vegetation Management Project.  The Skull and Empire sale areas within the project contain thousands of old growth trees and Bull trout habitat.  
On July 8th, HCPC Executive Director Darilyn Parry Brown testified in federal court to the fact the Forest Service WILL cut large old-growth trees, particularly on the Skull sale, if an injunction is not awarded.  
HCPC staff and volunteers visited old growth trees and stands in Skull in May and July provided proof the Forest Service is planning to remove many more ancient trees than it originally disclosed through the NEPA process, thus violating many environmental laws and its own decision.  
Judge Hernandez’s decision on the injunction is expected by July 18th when the Skull sale is scheduled to be released.

Humor, Facts, and Fundraising - Tom Lang's books

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jul 14, 2013.


It was at the Green Action Day in Portland, back in May, when Tom Lang walked up to the HCPC booth and introduced himself to HCPC’s Restoration Director Brian Kelly.  They got to talking, sharing interests in protecting wild places and blues music.  Tom, impressed with HCPC’s accomplishments, came up with a way he could support that work.  As an author, selling his books from his website, he could offer HCPC part of the proceeds of the sales of his books.  Their discussion continued through emails, and came up with a plan. 
Starting July 12th, 20% of the purchase price of books purchased through Tom’s website and entered with the “HCPC” code will help fund HCPC’s work to protect, restore and connect.   

This creative way to help HCPC is part of the funding “patchwork quilt” that keeps HCPC going, along with memberships, monthly River Runner donors, major gifts, bequests, grants, funding through EarthShare, and event income.  Every piece of the quilt is important, and HCPC is delighted to have Tom Lang contributing his piece.

You can read excerpts from Tom’s books below and on his website.  Tom’s personal eye view from the perspective of the animals he writes about includes a generous helping of humor leavened with detailed factual information.  He seems to find the crux of the interaction between people and the wildlife and help us look on both sides of the equation.  Anthropomorphizing? Yes, but with a point – and a very useful one.  Laughter is a way to get us outside our comfort zone – looking at ourselves, looking at others from a different place.  We mammals (and fish J) have more in common than we are usually willing to admit … and the about-face brings us closer to our connections.

Here’s an excerpt from Tom’s book “Bear”, giving us that “about-face” look:
“I’m a big, bad Alaskan brown bear and I get a little angry now and then. So shoot me. I don’t live in a fairy tale world where the worst thing that can happen is a smelly human eats my porridge and sleeps in my bed. I live in the real world. One day you’re walking down a trail smelling the flowers, the next your head’s hanging on a cabin wall and the humans are sitting on your butt in front of the fireplace.” 

Here’s a short excerpt from Tom’s book “Salmon”, showing off his skill for weaving in factual trivia -

“I’ve always been an emotional fish. My friends attribute my moods to my overly sensitive lateral lines, pores that run down my body from head to tail. These pores hook up with a canal under my skin that connects up with my brain, helping me sense minute disturbances and subtle movement. That’s how I can pick the best current, swim through murky water and maintain the tight formation of my school.
But I think my sensitivity has more to do with unresolved issues from my troubled childhood. My mother and father died when I was conceived. I lived under 6 inches of gravel in Chilkat Lake for 6 months before I emerged as a fry. I fought for a year with my 4000 brothers and sisters over cheap crustaceans and microscopic algae slop–green desmids, blue diatoms and blue-green dinoflagellates. I huddled in fear of swim-by killings when the Chars, a crazed fish gang high on zooplankton, would wipe out 90 of my siblings in one swallow.”


For a look at how Tom uses humor with great effect, here’s an excerpt from “Moose”:
“She walked into my office, all 800 pounds of sweet lean Alaskan moose sashaying my way. A light rust tint sparkled off her golden brown hair. She bent over, stripped a willow branch with her mouth and ate slow, like I wasn’t there. She looked up at me. Water lilies danced in the swampy ponds of her eyes.
“I’m Cervida and I’m missing my male.”
“I’ll bet he’s missing you, too.”
“That’s not what I mean. He’s missing. Gone.”
“How long has he been gone?”
“Three days.”
“That’s not long.”
“It is for one of my bulls. I tell my males when it’s time to be missing and when it’s time to be gone.”
   
“Look, you beautiful cow, you’re not here to give me a physical and this ain’t no restaurant. So, what can I do for you?”
“I hear you’re the best.”
“Best at what?”
“Finding things.”
“I’m not bad.”
“No, you’re not.”
She chewed the leaf slowly as we stood staring at each other.
“Are you free to find my male?”
“I ain’t free and I ain’t cheap.”
“Neither am I,” she said.
I stripped a branch from above me and chewed and stared while she chewed and stared back.
“Sure, Ms. Cervida–”
“Call me Vida.”
“Okay, Vida, I’ll graze around and see what I can find.”
I’m Al Gigas, moose detective. I’ve roamed the mean riverbeds of the Chilkat Valley for ten years and I’ve seen things no creature should ever see and I’ve seen creatures that will never see again. A missing moose is a bad sign but I didn’t mention that to Vida. She wasn’t the first ungulate to walk into my office looking for a loved one. I’ve had brothers looking for brothers, calves for mothers, mothers for calves. I find things, Vida was right about that. But what I find this time of year would be better if it stayed lost.
October was almost here.”


Enjoy a fun read, learn a lot, and support HCPC's work! 
- Danae Yurgel
  HCPC Office Administrator


July 2013 -- The Water Issue

By Meghan Humphreys from All News. Published on Jul 11, 2013.

Wildlife Watchers Project Begins New Season

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jan 13, 2014.

Despite the uncertainties of weather and the persistence of lingering snow banks, Hells Canyon Preservation Council’s Wildlife Watchers Program is up and running for the 2013 field season.  

In a partnership with the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, we’ve started the third season of documenting wildlife using motion-triggered wildlife cameras.  We are particularly interested in finding the American marten (“pine marten”) which is considered a management indicator species by the Forest Service.  After scouting out a variety of forested areas, we installed cameras in locations showing the best characteristics for marten habitat. To attract martens to the cameras, we apply a smelly, gooey substance known as marten lure.  This year, we are also hoping to entice martens to the cameras by placing chicken meat inside metal tubes cabled to a tree.  The tubes are large enough for a marten to crawl in but too small for bears and ravens to be able to access the bait.

Even though summer is officially here, the snow banks live on in the high country.  Moss Springs is above Cove, Oregon and sits at about 6,000 feet above sea level. When we drove there this year in mid-June, the snow was gone.  But as we drove north from Moss Springs toward Point Prominence and gained a bit of elevation, we soon hit snow.   It was deep enough to warrant turning around the four-wheel drive pickup while we still had the chance.  A week later, about three inches of new snow fell near the 7,000 foot level in the local mountains, just a couple of days before the Summer Solstice. Still, the weather forecasts predict 90 degree days before the end of June.

Welcome to early summer in the Blue Mountains.

After turning back to avoid the snow, we circled back and approached the area from lower elevation in the Indian Creek drainage.  We located suitable spots for the cameras and got them set up to start another season of sampling.

In 2011, the Wildlife Watchers photographed martens in the Elkhorn Mountains and also in the Mount Emily area.  In 2012, we sampled the Castle Ridge area between the Grande Ronde Valley and the Eagle Cap Wilderness boundary.  Surprisingly, we did not capture any photos of American martens there.  Interestingly, however, another old growth associated species, the northern flying squirrel was detected at almost 50% of the camera stations.     

This year, we returned to the Castle Ridge area, and are now sampling in new and different places.  We are also targeting areas where marten tracks were recorded in the past.  We hiked deeper into the Castle Ridge Roadless Area and installed cameras in some forested areas showing habitat characteristics that martens typically utilize.  We are also interested in the possibility that we may catch a photograph of wolverines or wolves moving from the Wilderness into the Castle Ridge Roadless Area.

HCPC appreciates the efforts of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and the HCPC volunteers who make this program possible.  We would also like to thank  our funding partners - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and Mazamasand Patagonia. Stay tuned for more reports!   

- Brian Kelly
  HCPC Restoration Director       

June 2013 - "Your Share" E-newsletter

By Meghan Humphreys from All News. Published on Jun 18, 2013.

Finding Common Ground on Eastern Oregon Forests

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 29, 2013.

The following letter was published as a guest editorial in the La Grande Observer newspaper:
Finding Common Ground On Eastern Oregon Forests

Oregon’s public forests provide an tremendous variety of benefits to our state; they  protect our air and water, provide core habitat for fish and wildlife, offer recreation opportunities, and support the economic health of surrounding communities. Oregon’s forests also provide a special, uniquely Oregon quality of life that we all hope remains intact for generations to come.

Unfortunately, how to best manage these public lands is often a source of conflict.  This is especially true when the Forest Service pursues poorly designed timber sales, like the Snow Basin logging project on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeast Oregon.

After a century of short-sighted management decisions, our east side forests are at a crossroads. Fire suppression and logging practices of the past have created forests significantly removed from what nature intended.  Most of our old growth trees — those most resilient to fire — have already been logged, and a tangle of roads fragment our wildlife habitat.

The good news is conservation groups like Oregon Wild and Hells Canyon Preservation Council are successfully working with other forest stakeholders, including elected officials, landowners and the timber industry, to design logging projects which support rural economies while reducing the risk of fire, and protecting the remaining old trees and un-roaded wildlands on our forests.  This common sense approach of working together to restore forests and watersheds has gained support in recent years, and is leading to enhanced trust and agreement, less controversial projects, and more forest and watershed restoration work getting done.


Unfortunately, the Snow Basin project is an example of a logging sale which fails to build on this common ground.  Instead of focusing on thinning dry forest stands and reducing the risk of fire to homes and communities, the Forest Service has chosen to rush forward with a plan that includes logging in fragile, high elevation moist forests where fire risks are low and science demonstrates intensive logging is not appropriate.  Many leaders and land managers are calling for “increased harvest” off of Eastern Oregon’s public lands.  If they are serious, they should embrace a science-based approach that focuses on areas of consensus, and recognizes that today our forests are just as valuable for clean drinking water and our tourism and recreation economy as they are for two-by-fours.  That is the only way to forge a sustainable, consensus-based path through the woods.

Now is the time to be far-sighted in our actions.  Advancing projects which strengthen local economies and forest health depends on all stakeholders working together and using science as our guide.  We must site logging projects in areas where they do not compromise the forest’s ability to respond to a changing climate, survive high-intensity fires, and support fish and wildlife.  There may be room to increase the pace and scale of restoration-based thinning in east side forests, but we must avoid the mistakes made with Snow Basin.  Any increase in logging must go hand and hand with increased protection for important environmental values.

Many leaders and land managers are calling for “increased harvest” off of Eastern Oregon’s public lands.  If they are serious, they should embrace a science-based approach that focuses on areas of consensus, and recognizes that today our forests are just as valuable for clean drinking water and our tourism and recreation economy as they are for two-by-fours.  That is the only way to forge a sustainable, consensus-based path through the woods.

Veronica Warnock, Conservation Director
Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Steve Pedery, Conservation Director
Oregon Wild

PRC Statement on Wyden Framework for O&C Legislation

By Kate from Press Releases. Published on May 23, 2013.

PRC statement responding to Wyden framework for O&C; legislation

Your phone's last call should be to a recycler

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Apr 12, 2013.

The Oregonian covers cell phone recycling. Did you know that EarthShare can help you recycle your cell phones at work? Read on to find out more.

Biophilia: This is Your Brain on Nature

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Apr 12, 2013.

Studies and articles abound showing the positive effects of natural settings on the human mind and body.

Your Share - April 2013

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Apr 02, 2013.

Burgerville Rocks!, Meet our Newest Charities & More!

Your Share - May 2013

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Apr 02, 2013.

Plastic recycling changes in the Metro area, the best hikes & lots of spring inspiration!

Burgerville Employees Pledge $22,000 to EarthShare Member Groups

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Mar 26, 2013.

Burgerville employees give generously to environmental nonprofits during their Spring workplace giving campaign.

News & Press

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Mar 14, 2013.

Get the latest updates from EarthShare and our members.

EarthShare Oregon welcomes seven new member groups

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Mar 14, 2013.

Oregon’s environmental federation expands to offer more choices for employee engagement.

Charles Jones Remembers Jack Barry

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Mar 06, 2013.



Dear Conservationists,


On Christmas evening, at his home in La Grande, Jack Barry, 87, died. With him were wife Lois, family and friends.

Jack was among the early HCPC founders, primarily a bunch of Idaho Falls (Arco) nuclear engineers who couldn't abide the thought of the proposed dam in Hells Canyon (Brock can provide more background on Jack's early involvement.)

I met Jack shortly after arriving in La Grande in 1974. He had left the nuclear industry. Lois was hired by Eastern Oregon University becoming a much respected, loved and admired English professor -- one known to never suffer inept administrators gladly.

If anyone embodied a mad-dog environmentalist, it was Jack. He was fearless, persistent, relentless. He brought a much needed brand of obnoxiousness to countless public hearings, often the perfect antidote for public officials cowered by a bunch of burly loggers and industry hacks.

At a Hatfield Senate wilderness hearing in La Grande, Jack, exercising First Amendment rights to the hilt, failed to act with expected propriety to St. Mark. The La Grande police hauled him out of the auditorium, threw him up against the foyer wall, handcuffed him, and hauled him in. Jack (without a lawyer, but with much help from Lois) sued the police and received a very substantial out of court settlement from the city.

Probably a dozen years ago, HCPC honored six venerable NE Oregon conservations, stalwart defenders of our lands and heritage, at a large banquet. Jack, Loren Hughes, Bill Obertauffer, Bill Brown were among them. The speeches on behalf of Jack were the highlight. No one was ever a better recipient of hilarious roasts and toasts as the inimitable Mr. John Barry.

As ferocious (and admittedly, at times, trying) as Jack could be in public hearings or HCPC board meetings, he was absolutely the sweetest and most gracious host or guest in any social gathering or random rendezvous. He was always interested in your doings, your life, and your well-being. He met you with a smile and left you with a laugh. You loved to meet him on the street or in the store. Jack was always interesting. Jack was fun. He was a peach of a guy.

I'm quite sure I will never meet another Jack Barry. That saddens me.

HCPC is proud to have Charles Jones on the Hells Canyon Preservation Council Board of Directors

Green Your Camping Trips!

By Meghan Humphreys from All News. Published on Mar 05, 2013.

Here are our green tips for making the most of your outdoor experience, while taking care to leave a healthy environment when you pack up and head home.

Remembering Beginnings: Brock Evans on HCPC History

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Feb 27, 2013.



My personal recollections are that the HCPC was founded in 1967... same year as I was appointed to be the Sierra Club's and Federation of Western Outdoor Club's Northwest representative (March). I believe my first meeting with them (about September, 1967), referring to their "new" formation, is in my archives at the University of Washington Library.

Although there had certainly been opposition to Brownlee, Oxbow, and Hell's Canyon dams before that time, it was not effective and except for perhaps the Idaho Wildlife Federation, not very well-organized. That doesn't mean that there weren't precursors (in the form of opposition to dams in Hells Canyon); it just means that no such entity as HCPC per se, existed.

So my understanding when I came upon the scene in 1967 was like your own, Charlie -- the dam(n) builders built the easiest Snake River ones first -- easier politically for Idaho Power as a "private company" as well as logistically... it was when they attempted a project that affected three states, that the "public power" people challenged them, here).

Many of our kind of people then were also rightly fearful of the proposed Nez Perce Dam, just a mile or so below the confluence of the Snake and the Salmon -- because it would have drowned out the Lower Salmon gorges too. Somewhere around that time, the two applicants shifted the proposed site to High Mountain Sheep, just upstream of that confluence, I recall.  Anyone who floats down the Snake past that original site now can still see those white-painted initials way way up: "PNPC, Pacific Northwest Power Company" -- the private boys.

Last time I saw that one, coming off the Salmon and floating (with Ric Bailey's crew) out onto the great living Snake, he pointed out those initials to us -- and everyone got goosebumps. My own heart leapt, jumped for joy, that that is all that was left of such a monstrous river-destroying venture -- those initials, 5-600 feet above us.

I imagined then, with a shudder -- if that dam had been built, no one ever again would know what this place was like... instead of the songs of the canyon wrens, the grand play of early-morning
light and shadow on the cliffs, the murmur and tugs of a great living river at our boats, we instead would have all been in diving suits in the gloom of 500 feet of deadness above us. 

Someday, when everything else is safe and saved, I suggest we seek to preserve those initials -- as a kind of National Monument -- a memorial to the love, passion, and courage of our small bands, willing to stand and fight for it all, despite all the money and political power on the other side..

My first connection with the issue came in May 1967, while attending the meeting of the ExCom of the Pacific Northwest chapter of the Sierra Club (then comprising all the SC members in the four NW states -- things were so tenuous and so much smaller in those times), on Hood Canal, WA. To this meeting came one Floyd Harvey, river boat operator from Lewiston. He asked the Sierra Club for help, and I was directed -- "look into this Brock," etc.

I was very gloomy because, from my previous law practice, I knew that the legal case -- of WHO got to build the new dam, public or private power, was before the Supreme Court -- and it was the only issue -- who, not whether.  So, what could be done at this late date, when all seemed so, well, impossible? Remember there were no environmental laws at all then, no NEPA, no ESA, no nuthin'.

I have told the story before (in the Falcon, some years back), but I had not yet heard anything about any specific organization like HCPC dedicated to fighting this dam, which may only mean that my information wasn't very good. And I hadn't yet visited Idaho, part of my "territory." I know i would have certainly tried to contact them had I known, even though the legal situation seemed like grasping for straws. Remember, other Idaho stalwarts had just lost the battle over Dworshak Dam on the Clearwater, not to mention Hells Canyon, Oxbow, etc.

In those days, it was dam builder heaven wherever there still existed a free-flowing stretch of river... just as it was logger's heaven, wherever there were big trees.

So I was gloomy, depressed about that directive, to "investigate and do something about it..." Then in early June I noticed a short paragraph in my daily copy of the Lewiston Tribune, to the effect that Justice Wm. O Douglas had somehow persuaded his colleagues that "we cannot decide the issue of who gets to build this proposed dam until we first decide whether it is in the public interest to license any dam at all here..."Or words -- such wonderful words! to that effect.

Heresy! The dam-building juggernaut was in full force across the whole Northwest at the time; the idea of any dammable river being allowed to flow free was utter heresy -- nonsense.

But here was an opportunity, a tiny opening -- for us, at last, to DO something!... and not to belabor the story here, I filed a Petition of Intervention before the Federal Power Commission, and much to the disgust and disdain of the dam builders we were accepted into the case that September. While I was preparing the legal documents (July-August), I tried to find plaintiffs who would have some credibility, both within the court, and also in the public arena -- for we all knew that the legal action was just a precious delay... it was in the public/political forum where we would have to finally save it...  if we could. I couldn't file such a case in my own name.

The problem was that then, in those far-off times, enviro legal actions were little understood. I had to explain to the Presidents of the Sierra Club and FWOC what a plaintiff was! And had to have someone from Idaho, to satisfy the local credibility question.. But that summer, not yet having heard of HCPC, the only group I knew of from the state who would likely respond was the Idaho Alpine Club, based in Idaho Falls. They signed on too, that August.

As things grew more and more serious, and it looked like we just might have a chance to build a real campaign, I thought to myself -- "I'd better get over there and have a look." So I first visited the Canyon in early September, was stunned by the beauty and magnificence of the place. And it was around that time that I believe I met some folks from what they told me was the newly-formed HCPC... probably including Jack, Jim Campbell, Jerry Jayne, Russ Mager, Pete Henault... all of whom, and so many more over the years -- Russ Brown, Boyd Norton, come to mind, Ken Witty... and of course Jack, a lion of a man always out front whenever the issue was raised -- assumed the grassroots political leadership, on the ground, which was so crucial to our final successes in the 70s. Especially re Congressman Al Ullman, Senator Frank Church, and Bob Packwood... and neutralizing Senators Len Jordan and Mark Hatfield.  What a grand bunch of comrades to have by anyone's side, I have always felt. 

Those were very hot and heavy times, especially in Eastern OR, where no one will be surprised to know that dam-building sentiment was higher there than anywhere else. So it took really brave people, like Jack, Ken Witty, Carmelita Holland, bless them every one, to stand up and be counted in those scary times. 

And as it turned out, those same leaders of the Idaho Alpine Club who signed my Petition of Intervention turned out to be the very core, the heart and soul of the HCPC which they had just formed, too! One of the finest and happiest results in all my campaigning experiences.

So that's my recollection of how it all began in my memory. Whatever there may have been before, the Hells Canyon Preservation Council came to be in 1967 as I have always understood it, from working with those on the ground in those times. It's possible that my archives on the Hells Canyon struggle, housed in the University of Washington Library's Special Collections, may shed more light on the matter.

Sorry for such a long tome, but I felt that some of you would enjoy the context.
Best wishes, Brock

HCPC is proud to have Brock Evans on the Hells Canyon Preservation Council Board of Directors


"We all do better when we all do better" - EarthShare Oregon

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Feb 14, 2013.

"We all do better when we all do better."
I love that quote, which I first heard from populist philosopher Jim Hightower. I think of that wisdom when we ask how to be effective in a world with so many challenges. Another way of thinking of it is "How do we love all children, of all species, for all time?" (a quote I heard on the E2 program on OPB).   
One of the great answers to that is beautifully illustrated in the children's book "Swimmy" - a simple idea - join together.
HCPC is proud to be a member of EarthShare Oregon - a joint effort by a broad range of Oregon's environmental groups.  Read about EarthShare Oregon on their website.
You can support HCPC and the other members of EarthShare Oregon by bringing EarthShare into your workplace (see below).
Imagine this beautiful, amazing and awe-inspiring earth we all love singing, in the words of classic R&R "Come together - right now - over me!"

Wishing you all a cozy Valentine's Day
      with lots of togetherness,
Danae   
Office Administrator
Hells Canyon Preservation Council  


Call on EarthShare for help with your office’s Green Team
 Do you work for a company that has a Green Team or Sustainability Committee?  Many Pacific Northwest employers have these squads of employees who are committed to improving their workplace’s environmental performance, and making the lives of all employees greener.  But once the recycling center is set up, and the copier paper has been switched to a recycled content, what can these groups do to keep sustainability in the forefront?
EarthShare Oregon can help employers with this common problem. Its dozens of local member charities work on everything from bicycle commuting to renewable power generation. Through EarthShare, these nonprofits can help your company’s green team explore new sustainability avenues. 
Contact Meghan Humphreys at EarthShare Oregon (503-223-9015) or meghan@earthshare-oregon.org) to discuss potential topics for your office’s upcoming Green Team meetings.



  

Jack Barry - Visionary Voice 1925 - 2012

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jan 04, 2013.


We at HCPC are grieving the loss of one of the visionaries who founded the organization to prevent further damming of the Snake River back in the mid-60s. Jack Barry passed away on Christmas evening following a lovely dinner with family and friends.  We are going to sorely miss his keen insight and wit. 

The obituary below was written by his wife Lois Barry:


John E. (Jack) Barry was born in Boston, 5 March 1925 to Gertrude French Barry and Walter J. Barry. He died suddenly at home on December 25.   During WW II he proudly served in General Patton’s 3rd Army, fighting through France, Germany and Austria til the war’s end. After graduating from Middlebury College, with the remainder of his GI Bill, he enrolled at the University of Innsbruck, Austria where he studied math but “majored in skiing.” Inspired by Richard Halliburton’s Royal Road to Romance, Jack became a life-long adventure traveler. During one spring break he and two friends rode their 3-speed bikes from Innsbruck, to Cairo, Egypt where he climbed the Great Pyramid at Cheops.

Reluctant to leave Europe, Jack worked in Heidelberg, Germany for the U.S. Army Education program, where he met Lois Andrews. They married in Heidelberg in 1953. After their return to the U.S., Jack worked on jet engine noise suppression at Boeing in Seattle, experimental engine programs for Beech Aircraft in Boulder, the earliest satellite communication systems for Telecomputing in Alamogordo and Philco in Palo Alto, and nuclear reactor testing for Phillips outside of Idaho Falls, Idaho where Jack and a small group of fellow scientists  formed the Hells Canyon Preservation Council in 1967 to prevent construction of further dams on the Snake River.

In 1967, never a “company man,” Jack decided to leave industry. With teaching certificates, he and Lois searched the Pacific Northwest for a perfect spot to raise their children. For a poor kid who grew up selling papers on the streets of Boston, purchasing 150 acres on the Morgan Lake Road in La Grande was a dream come true. The family immediately acquired two horses, a pony, three pigs, two steers and a hundred chickens. Soon Jack was active in successful efforts to prevent old-growth logging on the Minam and a proposed dam on Catherine Creek. Eventually Jack purchased and preserved 1,000 beautiful forested acres in Oregon.

After teaching science and math in local schools, it was time for adventure. In 1972, Jack and Lois packed up the family for two years of teaching at the American School in Tehran, Iran. As chair of the math department, Jack arranged for school buses to take students to the opera, “an important part of students’ education.” Ever a gypsy, he drove the family’s VW bus 5,000 miles in the Middle East where they camped out in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Pakistan, then drove and camped from Tehran to Copenhagen and back to Amsterdam for their return to the U.S.

While they were in Iran, a forest fire burned the family home. Using a quick sketch on a piece of notebook paper, Jack and his sons built a new house on the Morgan Lake Road. His mantras, depending on the situation, were “Everything is Transcendental” and “Attitude is Everything.”

Jack never made a reservation, often picking locations because their names (like Krk and Ybbs) interested him. He and Lois enjoyed camping all over the Western United States and Canada, and travels to Nepal, Bali, Egypt, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia, as well as frequent trips to visit friends in Europe. They also visited Newfoundland where his mother’s home place at French’s Cove is now a national historic site. There he was pleased to learn that he might be descended from pirates, which explained his love of "messing about in boats."

Jack is survived by his wife, Lois, his daughter, Kimberley Barry (Ashland), sons Brian Barry (Bend) and Peter Barry (Joseph), and his very special grandson, Kai Barry (Bend). Jack was a man of strong and consistent opinions. A committed environmentalist and unapologetic Democrat, he liked “old stuff,” especially books, and was ever curious and alive to the world. He never met a dog he didn’t like and --like Mark Twain -- looked forward to meeting his dogs (22 who adopted him over a lifetime) in their heaven. His legacy, joy in the moment and love of the natural world, is shared by his family and friends. A celebration of Jack’s life will be held in mid-June when the wild-flowers are in bloom on the Morgan Lake Road.

The Dawn of Dam Removal

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jul 06, 2012.

In honor of HCPC's inception, winning the fight to stop the final damming of the Snake River in Hells Canyon, we bring you an essay by former Secretary of Interior, Bruce Babbit.

The Dawn of Dam Removal

Bruce Babbitt
Early Fall 2012

When I began considering dam removal, the Elwha River quickly emerged at the top of my list. The river flows through the heart of Olympic National Park. It once hosted the most prolific salmon runs in the Northwest. And the tiny amount of electricity from the dams could easily be replaced from other sources.

I went to the Olympic Peninsula to take a look. Sure enough, it seemed the perfect place to begin. The two dams down near the mouth of the river appeared completely out of place in the splendor of the great old-growth forests. I convened a press conference to announce a new era of dam removal, beginning here at the Elwha River.

And then all hell broke loose. Washington State’s senior senator angrily condemned the idea, vowing, as ranking member of the Department of Interior Appropriations Committee, to put an end to such nonsense. Other members of the congressional delegation chimed in, in opposition. Newspaper editorials ridiculed the plan.

A few weeks later President Clinton took me aside, looking somewhat bemused, and asked, “Bruce, what is all this stuff about tearing down dams?”  His innocent-sounding question was really a cautionary admonition. Our administration was already caught up in a bitter and politically costly controversy over the spotted owl and logging of old-growth forests in the Northwest. Friends reminded me that cabinet secretaries who stir up too much controversy can and do lose their jobs. The Elwha project would have to go on the back burner for a while.

That public opinion was flooding in against us was hardly surprising. Back then, tearing down dams to restore rivers seemed a capricious idea dreamed up by another meddling bureaucrat. Why tear down perfectly good dams?

We quietly set about rebuilding our case. Within the Department of the Interior we began preparing an environmental impact statement loaded with cost estimates, hydrologic computations, sediment studies, fish mortality statistics and regional economic impacts. However, of all the arguments thrown up against dam removal, the most effective was simply, “It won’t work. The salmon have been gone for a hundred years. What makes you think they’ll return?”

Somehow, somewhere, we had to demonstrate that fish do come back. We needed to show and tell – with a small dam, built within recent memory, surrounded by a friendly community that actually remembered the fish runs and their importance to the community.

And finally we found a candidate, at the other end of the country on a little-known river on the Atlantic Coast of North Carolina. 

It turned out that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was already quietly at work on the Neuse River where a small diversion dam built in 1952 near the mouth had killed off one of the most prolific spawning runs of American shad, herring and stripers on the Atlantic Coast. A power company had built the Quaker Neck Dam to draw water for cooling, and it was perfectly feasible to design an alternate intake method.

On a clear winter day in 1997, we assembled on the river bank. I took a few swings at the concrete with a sledgehammer, and a wrecking ball finished the job. By springtime, fish were swarming up the river, passing through Raleigh 70 miles upstream.

The success at Quaker Neck brought national press and began to turn public opinion. Across the country local communities came up with proposals, and dams began to come down – at Kennebec in Maine, along the Baraboo River in Wisconsin, the Rogue River in Oregon, and the Butte and Clear Creeks in California.
With public opinion now moving our way, nationally and in the Northwest, we ratcheted up our efforts in Congress to finish off the Elwha dams. Slowly, at what seemed a glacial pace, funding started to flow, finally coming to fruition in the Obama administration.

In the space of two decades, dam removal has evolved from a novelty to an accepted means of river restoration. Most importantly, the concept has taken root in hundreds of local communities as residents rediscover their rivers, their history, and the potential not only to restore natural systems, but, in the process, to renew their communities as well.

I am asked, “After Elwha, what is your next priority?” That’s like asking, “What is my favorite national park?” My answer tends to vary depending on what I have been reading and where I have been hiking most recently. But my nomination would be the four dams – Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite – that have transformed the great Snake River in western Washington into a slack-water barge channel, destroying thousands of miles of salmon habitat in the Rocky Mountains and driving four salmon species to the brink of extinction.

Others will have their own compelling priorities – and there are still 75,000 dams for consideration.

Circling back to Wallowa County with HCPC

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jun 20, 2012.

After three wonderful years in La Grande, I recently moved back to Wallowa County for the summer. Now that I’m back, it’s very rewarding to see the many ways that HCPC’s work, past and present, helps to improve the lives of many people here in Wallowa County.

I recently bumped into a friend of mine that I haven’t seen for about three years on the streets of Joseph. I used to work for him when I was a naturalist/guide for Wallowa Resources Elderhostel program some years back. We were catching up and he told me that he was working as a Wilderness Ranger in the Eagle Cap and was on his way up to check Wilderness signs at a few remote trailheads. I knew that HCPC had been able to direct some money to the Forest Service in order to fund a Wilderness Ranger position in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. If you like that kind of work, it’s hard to find a better job.

There used to be a lot more Wilderness Rangers than there are today and they are sorely needed to help maintain trailheads, clear trails, and to help with restoration and invasive plant removal. HCPC was able to fund this position, with the potential to last for a decade, as a result of our settlement agreement on the Boardman Power Plant. The Boardman Power Plant burns coal and pollutes the skies of the Eagle Cap and Hells Canyon Wilderness areas, not to mention our own communities. I even heard that mercury has been found in the fish in some high elevation Wilderness lakes. HCPC’s work has helped to result in a reduction and eventual stop to this coal-burning plant’s pollution of our environment, while leveraging good jobs in our community.

It’s very inspiring and eye-opening to see how HCPC’s historic work of preventing the damming of Hells Canyon continues to change lives and create new opportunities for people. Some of my neighbors are hard at work this time of year guiding dozens and dozens of people down the areas many beautiful rivers. It amazes me to think of all the sustainable jobs generated through the rafting industry, and all the people that connect with the awesome Hells Canyon ecosystem by floating through it on the Snake River. And the river rafting industry seems more vibrant today than ever, attesting to the sustainability of rafting and the desire of people to be out in nature.

The fundamental accomplishment of saving Hells Canyon forever changed Wallowa County and it’s nowhere more evident than in the composition of the local communities. I know many of these remarkable people would not be in Wallowa County today were it not for the work of HCPC. I am really thankful that they are here.

David Mildrexler, Ecosystem Conservation Coordinator, Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Ninth Circuit Court Upholds Decision on Sierra Nevada Forest Plan

By Kate from Press Releases. Published on Jun 20, 2012.

HCPC welcomes summer intern Joshua Axelrod

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jun 08, 2012.


My family moved to La Grande in the late summer heat of 1988, rounding the bend out of Ladd Canyon and catching our first glimpse of Mt. Emily’s iconic profile dominating the distance.  Though my parents were moving to take jobs at EOSC, it was our first time in Eastern Oregon, our weary eyes looking out across the Grande Ronde Valley at the end of a cross-country adventure that took us from the rolling, humid hills of Southern Ohio, across the Great Plains, over the Rockies, and into a piece of the world we had yet to know.  Over the next 13 years, I came to know and love the hills and mountains of Eastern Oregon in ways I cannot imagine knowing any other place.  Spring was spent wandering in search of morels, summer was spent discovering the high places deep within the Wallowa Mountains or tramping through the woods in search of the ever-elusive “large” huckleberry, in fall we waited for the snow, and in the winter we slid around on skis through the silent, frozen woods near Spout Springs, around Anthony Lakes, and near Salt Creek Summit.  By the time I graduated from LHS in 2001, Eastern Oregon had left a deep imprint on my understanding and view of the world.  It had instilled in me a deep desire to protect the natural world so that future generations might be able confront it with the same sense of wonder that all of us who grew up with the Blue Mountains out our backdoor were able to do without even realizing what a gift we had so easily within our reach.

Josh (red bandana) and his dad crossing a snow bridge above Hurricane Creek, July 2011.
After high school, I spent four formative years at Middlebury College in central Vermont.  There, surrounded by the entirely different beauty of the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks looming just across Lake Champlain, my feelings about the importance of preserving the few remaining wild places left in this world occupied more and more of my thinking. Since that time, life has taken me back to Oregon where I lived and worked in Portland for two years, back across the country to Boston where I lived and worked for three years, and finally, south to Washington, DC where my wife and I decided to take the graduate school plunge together.


Josh (right), his younger brother Ezra, and his dad in the hills above La Grande, Christmas 2011.
At the Washington College of Law at American University, I am trying my best to honor my rationale for returning to school to pursue my legal degree.  I am a member of the editorial board of the Sustainable Development Law and Policy publication, a member of the Environmental Law Society, and hope to continue to focus my studies on environmental law and policy.  It is hard to believe that my legal pursuits have brought me back to Eastern Oregon to spend the summer as a legal intern with the Hells Canyon Preservation Council, but I suppose life is full of these wonderfully unexpected twists and turns.  This is the first professional experience I have ever had in a place that I feel a passionate connection to, and I hope that in the next two months I am able to make a positive and substantial contribution to HCPC’s ongoing conservation efforts in what is truly one of the most remarkable corners of the world.

HCPC and Allies Await Approval for a Settlement Agreement Requiring DEQ to Re-Examine Controversial Mining Practice

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 25, 2012.


In the spring of 2010, we urged our members to comment on the Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) new draft permit for regulating suction dredge mining throughout Oregon (the "700PM permit"). A suction dredge is a gasoline-powered vacuum attached to a floating sluice box. Miners use the vacuum to suck up the bottom of streams and rivers and run sediment through the sluice to filter out gold and then dump the sediment back into the stream.

Fishermen and clean water advocates are concerned about the negative effects suction dredge mining can have on fish and aquatic habitat quality.  This mining practice kills fish eggs and offspring thereby reducing fish spawning success, deposits fine sediment on stream bottoms, mobilizes toxic heavy metals and harms macro-invertebrate communities that are an essential part of the aquatic food web.

Because of these negative impacts, HCPC joined a coalition of other conservation groups in January 2011 to challenge DEQ's final 700PM permit in state court for violating state and federal water quality laws.  Over the past several months, however, our coalition has been working to secure a settlement agreement with DEQ that would allow us to dismiss our lawsuit by requiring the agency to re-open the discussion about this controversial mining practice to the public. 
                                                   
Last week we reached such an agreement.  If approved by the Court, our settlement would require DEQ to robustly examine ways to revise the 700PM permit to ensure compliance with water quality laws and adequately protect fish and their habitat.  Unfortunately, the Eastern Oregon Miners' Association, which intervened as a party to the lawsuit, filed questionable motions that are delaying and threaten to interfere with the Court's approval of our agreement.  We're hopeful these motions can be resolved shortly so we can continue moving forward.

Oregon’s statewide Clean Water Act permits are usually renewed on a five-year basis. The next version of the suction dredging permit should be finalized by July 2014. The settlement agreement outlines a stakeholder process beginning in December 2012 to initiate the next permit renewal.  Based on the settlement, the permit renewal process will consider prohibited areas based on water pollution, fish habitat and specially designated areas, whether to require annual reports and the cost of this activity to the state, among other items. 

The number of suction dredges in Oregon has increased dramatically in recent years.  Permits from the Department of State Lands (DSL) have increased nearly 300% from 656 in 2007 to 2,209 in 2011. DEQ permit registrations in the last two years also show that nearly 30% of suction dredge miners are coming from other states to mine Oregon’s streams and rivers.  This likely includes a sizable number of out-of-state miners that used to go to California to dredge before our neighboring state put a dredging moratorium in place until 2016.  This trend is a serious threat to our streams, rivers and fisheries.

Plaintiffs in this case were represented by the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center ("PEAC").  HCPC's co-plaintiffs include the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Rogue Riverkeeper, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Institute for Fisheries Resources, Oregon Coast Alliance and Oregon Wild.

Of Killdeer, Camas, and the Travel Management Plan

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 21, 2012.

I recently worked with a volunteer from the Birdathon, printing small photos of habitat for kids to use in one of the hands-on learning projects Birdathon volunteers offer.  I started thinking about habitat - that conjunction of space/food/water/shelter/structure that allows a species to live there.

It's hard not to notice the killdeer trying to occupy the gravel right-of-way along a back road.  They can't nest there, between the tires and the cats and dogs and horses and bicycles.  The seasonally scrubbed gravel beds along and in the river are mostly gone.  I sometimes fantasize that we could take all the flat roofs on the downtown buildings, add a shallow gravel layer with a little silt for occasional native grasses, and create some of the nesting area that is now subdivisions and streets and straight narrow ditches.  It would take creativity and commitment and a great deal of buy-in from people who probably mostly don't care about the nesting needs of killdeer. 

It would have been so much easier to keep a few gravel ridges and sandbars along the river and major creeks, instead of subverting the natural riverine shapes and patterns to the straight and narrow of the Army Corps of Engineers.  Human convenience, thoughtlessness and arrogance trumped the needs of other species.   It would now take a great deal of money and time and effort to rebuild one gravel ridge or sandbar.  

One of the reasons I support HCPC is that it works to protect the places that do still exist - public lands where wildlife can still find the habitat they need, knowing that it is so much more reasonable (and affordable)  to preserve than to have to rebuild.  And HCPC works to rebuild and restore habitat as well, knowing that we need to repair damage that has been done.  

This is clear in the recent Travel Management Plan for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.  I'm so proud of HCPC advocating for the protection of elk calving grounds from motorized disturbance, for the protection of high wet meadows from destructive and careless cross-country rutting by off-roaders, for the protection of roadless areas from new roads, and for the closure of excess old roads that were supposed to be closed down a decade ago.   

I recently followed the Mt. Emily Road, looking for wildflowers and enjoying the abundance of blooms and silence and birdsong.   It didn't take long though before I saw the terrible damage left by off-road vehicles tearing across a wet meadow.  The ruts were deep, hard set, and showed as dark brown scars bereft of any green in the midst of wildflowers.    In another case the damage went straight up a steep hillside that was now eroding badly.  There were roads around, a LOT of roads - going off both sides from the Mt. Emily road.  There was no need to go where these ruts went, in one case just cutting a corner between the main road and another side road.   

I started thinking about how long it would take for those ruts to heal.  Since we can still see the ruts from wagon wheels over 100 years ago, without our help such wounds last a long time.  Wouldn't it be better not to make them in the first place?     

                                      

Wild Places, Roads and Freedom

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 13, 2012.

From the edge of the road:  Looking into the roadless.  Photo by Brian Kelly

It’s been pretty noisy around northeast Oregon lately.  As the US Forest Service tries to deal with motorized use of public lands, objections have been heard from people who have become accustomed to being able to drive just about anywhere they please.  The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has more than nine thousand miles of roads, many of them left over from old logging projects.  Over much of the National Forest, you are currently allowed to drive off the roads and across country if you feel like it.

Some folks seem to view the Forest Service travel planning process as a restriction of their freedom and access to public lands.  Of course, when four-wheel-drive vehicles and ATVs drive unrestricted across the landscape then wildlife habitat is degraded, water quality suffers and weeds spread across the countryside.  The peaceful beauty that people seek on public wild lands can become diminished by the impacts of the users.

What about our freedom?  Well, two of America’s greatest conservationists wrote about freedom in describing their relationship with the natural world.

“What avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?”

Aldo Leopold wrote these powerful words.  While of course we all need roads to access wild places, at a certain point the presence of a road itself diminishes the very character of the wild place that we seek.  The place where the road ends and the blank spot begins is a special place indeed.   You will find wildlife, old forests, and clean waters when you find the blank spots on the map.

Here are the words of John Muir:

“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

Following his description of freedom in the mountains, John Muir added this next sentence:

“As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail.”

It’s striking to me that rather than complaining about not being allowed to drive a Model T Ford across the forest as he grew older, John Muir chose to rejoice in the enjoyment of nature.

He was a very wise man and a free man as well.

~Brian Kelly

Analysis confirms Wallowa-Whitman Travel Plan Decision leaves plenty of access

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 07, 2012.

It is very important that we use this pause in the Travel Plan Process to better understand what the now withdrawn Decision would have actually done. One of the most common claims put forth against the Travel Plan Decision was that the Forest Service was taking away access to the Forest. Some even claimed that the Forest Service was using the Travel Plan to “lock them out” of the National Forest.


If there were any truth to these claims, HCPC would be very concerned. How are people supposed to cultivate the life-long connections to the National Forestlands that are ultimately necessary to encourage and advocate for better stewardship of these ecosystems, if people can’t connect with them in the first place? So let’s take a close look and see for ourselves what this Decision would do.

With our partners, we performed a GIS analysis based on the Selected Alternative Layer (i.e. the now withdrawn Decision). All open motor vehicle roads and trails are mapped in red. We put a one-mile buffer around all open motor vehicle roads and trails so we could visually see how many places on the National Forest could be accessed in less than one-miles distance from the nearest road, a modest distance. These areas are mapped in grey. If an area is further than one mile from a road, it is mapped in light green. Wilderness is in dark green.

 
The results graphically illustrate that outside Wilderness areas, nearly the entire National Forest is within one mile of a road. The few small islands that are further than one-mile from a road are usually inside Inventoried Roadless Areas (mapped in black crosshatch). These are very small islands, and based on a visual assessment, it appears that the Decision would not leave anywhere outside designated Wilderness further than two miles from an open road. It’s important to note that the map does not show the areas within Wilderness areas that are less than one-mile from a road. If it did, you could see that much of the North Fork John Day Wilderness would be grey color, and a surprisingly large part of the Eagle Cap Wilderness as well.


These results clearly show that the Forest Service strived to provide very widespread access to the entire Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in their Travel Plan Decision. In our opinion, the Decision did not go far enough to protect roadless areas, old growth forests, critical elk habitat areas, and fragile aquatic environments from the damages of motorized vehicles. We encourage the Forest Service to use this opportunity to strengthen the Travel Plan in these key natural resource areas.

As HCPC stated in our press release on the withdrawal of the Wallowa-Whitman Travel Management Plan, and as is clearly illustrated in the analysis above, there is no validity in the claims that people will no longer have access to the Forest. Moreover, the Travel Plan is not just about access, but also about protection of natural resources and the costs of maintaining the designated road system. As I stated in my editorial
(http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/04/wallowa-whitman_national_fores.html), what’s really at stake is the quality of the National Forest's we will be accessing.

David Mildrexler, Ecosystem Conservation Coordinator, Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Of Truth and Boots

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Apr 16, 2012.

Wow. Been a very long week. Hard not to talk about the Wallowa-Whitman Travel Plan, with all the terrible misinformation going around. Reminds me of the saying that a lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on.
Truth and facts seem to be badly outnumbered by imagined outrages and fictional claims.
For the record:
No, logging will not be shut down by the Travel Plan - it will not be hampered by this Decision.
No, the forest will not be locked away - over 4,000 miles of roads will remain open.
No, the process of reaching this Decision did not shut out the public - it involved years of public participation and comments.
No, the process does not ignore different viewpoints - the Travel Plan includes new trails for off road vehicles (as much as I don't want that).
No, not all "locals" are against it. I'm local and I'm for an even stronger Travel Management Plan.
No, the Wallowa-Whitman is not a county or even a state forest - it is a National forest, held in trust not just for us locals, but for the nation; not just for this generation, but for the future as well.

The Travel Plan Decision is a compromise that addresses the concerns of all stakeholders with a moderate response to the need for travel management. It will close down some roads - mostly old, overgrown, eroded, or duplicate roads that would be too expensive to repair. It does include some protection for much-needed wildlife "security habitat" and some protection for streams with runs of native fish.

The Travel Plan doesn't go nearly as far as it needs to for wildlife, fisheries, and native plants. Still, I accept that both science and politics are at play, and the Forest Service has done the best it can to respond to all interests.

What I do not accept is the false portrayals of the issues that I see and hear in almost all venues, from town halls to local papers to neighborhood gossip.

Lies, even unintentional ones, do not make a good basis for decisions.

Now, on to the news that the seasonal progression of wildflowers is starting to unroll, bluebirds are back on Cricket Flats, and a sandhill crane was spotted out in the fields by Indian Creek (south of Elgin). Ospreys are back on the nest by Willow Creek and on Woodell Road, and curlews are in the fields north of La Grande.

Back to enjoying this wonderful place where we live -

Danae Yurgel


The Perverse Logic of Wolf Hunts

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Mar 30, 2012.

The Predator Persecution Complex

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/30/the-perverse-logic-of-wolf-hunts/

by GEORGE WUERTHNER

The hysteria that surrounds wolf management in the Rockies has clouded rational discussion. Wolves are hardly a threat to either hunting opportunity or the livestock industry.

ELK NUMBERS ABOVE OBJECTIVES

For instance, the Wyoming Fish and Game reports: “The Department continues to manage to reduce Wyoming’s elk numbers. The total population of the herds with estimates increased by 16 percent in 2009 and is now 29 percent above the statewide objective of 83,640 animals.”

Things are similar in Montana. Populations have grown from an estimated 89,000 animals in 1992 prior to wolf recovery to 140,000-150,000 animals in recent years.

In Idaho we find a similar trend. According to the IDFG 23 out of 29 elk units are at and/or above objective. Hunter success in 2011 was 20%: one in five hunters killed an elk.

Wolves are clearly not a threat to the future of hunting in any of these states.

LIVESTOCK LOSSES EXAGGERATED

Ranchers are equally irrational. In 2010 Wyoming livestock producers lost 41,000 cattle and calves due to weather, predators, digestive problems, respiratory issues, calving and other problems. But total livestock losses attributed to wolves was 26 cattle and 33 sheep!

Last year Montana livestock producers lost more than 140,000 cattle and sheep to all causes. But total livestock losses attributed to wolves was less than a hundred animals.

In 2010 Idaho cattle producers lost 93,000 animals to all causes. Respiratory problems were the largest cause accounting for 25.6 percent of the cattle lost. Next came digestive problems, accounting for 13.4 percent of the cattle deaths. Total cattle losses attributed to wolves was 75 animals.

To suggest that wolves are a threat to the livestock industry borders on absurdity.

WOLF CONTROL INCREASES CONFLICTS

Worse yet, the persecution of predators does not work to reduce even these minimum conflicts as most proponents of wolf control suggest.

The reason indiscriminate killing does not work is because it ignores the social ecology of predators. Wolves, cougars, and other predators are social animals. As such, any attempt to control them that does not consider their “social ecology” is likely to fail. Look at the century old war on coyotes—we kill them by the hundreds of thousands, yet ranchers continue to complain about how these predators are destroying their industry. And the usual response assumes that if we only kill a few more we’ll finally get the coyote population “under control.”

The problem with indiscriminate killing of predators whether coyotes, wolves, cougars or bears is that it creates social chaos. Wolves, in particular, learn how and where to hunt, and what to hunt from their elders. The older pack members help to raise the young. In heavily hunted (or trapped) wolf populations (or other predators), the average age is skewed towards younger age animals . Young wolves are like teenagers—bold, brash, and inexperienced. Wolf populations with a high percentage of young animals are much more likely to attack easy prey—like livestock and/or venture into places that an older, more experience animal might avoid—like the fringes of a town or someone’s backyard.

Furthermore, wolf packs that are continuously fragmented byhuman-caused mortality are less stable. They are less able to hold on to established territories which means they are often hunting in unfamiliar haunts and thus less able to find natural prey. Result : they are more likely to kill livestock.

Wolf packs that are hunted also tend to have fewer members. With fewer adults to hunt, and fewer adults to guard a recent kill against other scavengers, a small pack must actually kill more prey than a larger pack. Thus hunting wolves actually contributes to a higher net loss of elk and deer than if packs were left alone and more stable.

Finally hunting is just a lousy way to actually deal with individual problematic animals. Most hunting takes place on the large blocks of public land, not on the fringes of towns and/or on private ranches where the majority of conflicts occur. In fact, hunting often removes the very animals that have learned to avoid human conflicts and pose no threat to livestock producers or human safety. By indiscriminately removing such animals which would otherwise maintain the territory, hunting creates a void that, often as not, may be filled by a pack of younger, inexperienced animals that could and do cause conflicts.

INSANITY IS DOING SAME WRONG THING OVER AND OVER

We need a different paradigm for predator management than brute force. As Albert Einstein noted, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Unfortunately insanity has replaced rational thought when it comes to wolf management.

George Wuerthner is an ecologist with among others, a degree in wildlife biology, and is a former Montana hunting guide. He has published 35 books.

Counterpunch

Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Flunks on Fish

By john from Press Releases. Published on Feb 07, 2012.

Federal Court Finds Forest Service Failed to Evaluate Impacts on Fish

Federal Judge Recommends Striking Down Illegal Oregon Logging Plan

By Newby from Press Releases. Published on Sep 30, 2011.

Sandy River Hatchery Program is Illegal, Conservation Groups Say

By lauren from Press Releases. Published on Apr 16, 2011.

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio Introduce Trio of Bills to Protect Natural Resources in Oregon

By lauren from Press Releases. Published on Apr 07, 2011.

Bills Preserve 4,000 Acres of Oregon Caves National Monument; Designates Devil's Staircase as Wilderness; and Protects Chetco River from Suction Dredge Mining

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By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Jul 31, 2010.

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By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Jul 30, 2010.

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By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Jul 28, 2010.

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Court Blocks Rock Creek Mine in Northwest Montana

By lauren from Press Releases. Published on Apr 01, 2010.

PRC and allies claim victory in a suit brought to invalidate federal agency approval for the Rock Creek Mine project, which would have had devastating effects on over 10,000 acres of habitat for fragile species of bull trout and grizzly bear in Northwest Montana

Temporary Rules Filed On Business Energy Tax Credit Program

By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Nov 02, 2009.

Nine Federal Agencies Enter into a Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Transmission Siting on Federal Lands

By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Oct 29, 2009.

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Energy issues are important to daily life

By renewables from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Oct 16, 2009.

Publication Date: 
July 20, 2010
As important as energy is to our economy and quality of life, it isn't surprising that energy issues are in the news on a daily basis these days. Dependence on foreign energy suppliers and on fossil fuels - which contribute to climate change - is not a strategy that is sustainable for our needs. Ultimately, a clean, secure, homegrown energy future will be needed to revitalize our economy and sustain us for the long-term.
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