You are here: Home

News from our groups

Join Our Next Course Organizer Training Webinar September 10th!

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Aug 31, 2015.

We’re excited to announce that registration is open for our next Course Organizer Training Webinar on Thursday, September 10th at 10amPST/1pmEST. Please join us and invite others in your community who might be interested! To register, click here. As you… Read More!

The post Join Our Next Course Organizer Training Webinar September 10th! appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

There’s More: Oil Refinery Backers Seek to Add Crude-by-Rail & LPG Terminal

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Aug 29, 2015.

The Columbia River is now the most threatened river in the nation from crude oil trains and tankers. The newly disclosed terminal, called Washington Energy Storage & Transfer (WEST), would receive 164,000 barrels per day from Alberta tar sands or the Bakken formation in North Dakota, and load the crude on to ocean-going tankers to sail over the notoriously dangerous Columbia River bar.

Connecting to a New Generation: Oregon Innovation Award Update

By alyson from The Latest. Published on Aug 28, 2015.

20150828
Josie Savaria-Watson
Fri, 08/28/2015 - 1:59pm

Goal 1 in Oregon’s Statewide Planning Goals & Guidelines calls for a “citizen-involvement program that ensures the opportunity for citizens to be involved in all phases of the land use planning process.” The problem, we see now, is that underrepresented communities are unable to access decision-makers who will have real impact in these individual's lives. Initiatives and decisions are being made every day, and are lacking the input of people who have a unique and relevant perspective but may not know, or are unable, to share it.

read more

Summer Camp Recap: Native Survival

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Aug 28, 2015.

The Native Survival summer camp that Avery House Nature Center put on was all about the native Kalapuyan’s and their ways of living including their unique calendar year, summer fish camps, harvest seasons, and winter villages.
Each day was packed full of fun yet educational activities for the kids. They made many everyday items just like the Kalapuyan’s did such as cordage, bows and arrows by harvesting willow and ash, the process of knapping, shaping flint, and how to weave ...

Volunteers Needed for Habitat Restoration

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Aug 27, 2015.

With the change of the seasons comes a change in volunteer opportunities.  We need help with trash pickup, weed pulling, and tree planting.  September is the month for clean up activities.  When the wet weather returns we start planting trees.  Get involved.  Bring family and friends. Hagg Lake Clean Up September 26, 2015 10am – […]

Guest Post: Riding with Kids in Cornelius

By Lisa Frank from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 26, 2015.

This guest post is written by Russell Crispin, BTA Advocacy Intern.  “Not everybody can come on the bike ride,” I said with regret when a young […]

Wild & Scenic Film Festival brings best outdoor, conservation films to Bend on October 2

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

The Oregon Natural Desert Association is hosting the Bend stop of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival Tour on Oct. 2, with a matinee and an evening showing at the Tower Theatre. The tour highlights the best of outdoor adventure and conservation films of the year. Tickets are on sale now.

Neighborhood Greenways Step It Up

By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 26, 2015.

There has been a lot of talk about increased traffic congestion in Portland. What’s not being discussed is how much worse it would be without bicycles. No […]

Blessing of the Shared Responsibilities Totem Pole

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

Right now, carvers from the Lummi Nation House of Tears Carvers are on the road with a 22-foot long totem pole. Their journey unites indigenous peoples and other communities across the Pacific Northwest who stand in opposition fossil fuel companies’ plans to export coal and oil from our region. The carvers are delivering the totem pole to Northern Cheyenne tribal allies fighting proposed coal mines slated to supply export terminals in our region.

Volunteer Trail Clearing at Apache Bluff

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Aug 25, 2015.

This summer, with the help of volunteer outreach coordinator extraordinaire, Alicia Heitzman, 13 people gathered together to clear the community trail at the Apache Bluff wetland preserve in Tualatin. We were able to clear large, heavy fallen trees off the trail, spiky invasive blackberries, and thick invasive grasses. We are 60 meters closer to a fully

Important: LNG Hearings this September

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

September is packed with critical hearings to convince the City of Warrenton and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reject Oregon LNG. Join us to make the case for a safe, healthy river.

Tales from Crater Lake Wild Week

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Aug 25, 2015.

By Julia Haskin

Hello!

My name is Julia, and I’m a volunteer for Oregon Wild. I primarily work on the Crater Lake Wilderness campaign - the citizens-led push to add a wilderness designation inside the National Park and the lands around it. Many of the big Western parks, like Denali, North Cascades, Mount Rainier, Yosemite, and Olympic, already have wilderness designations. But Crater Lake does not.

A wilderness designation provides a greater level of protection, particularly to backcountry areas. Traditional, quiet recreation is allowed, but our influence is limited, allowing the land to recover to more natural patterns. In the case of the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal, benefits would include the creation of a 90-mile wildlife corridor, as well as the protection of 500,000 acres and the headwaters of the Umpqua and Rogue rivers.

Strangely, however, before last month not only had I never been to Crater Lake, I’d never been to a National Park, full stop. So when I heard about Oregon Wild’s Wild Week - a series of hikes in and around the park over the course of a week, led by Oregon Wild staff - I was excited to participate. Thanks to the kindness of a car-owning friend who was also keen to explore the Crater Lake area, I headed down.

My first view of the lake brought tears to my eyes and a ridiculously large grin to my face. It’s one of the few things that I’ve had a lot of pre-exposure to (you can’t avoid seeing photos of Crater Lake) that not only lived up to, but surpassed the photos. It’s so blue. The depth and vividness of the color puzzles the mind, and in some ways makes it hard to take the lake in. Some part of my brain was always processing the lake as if I were looking at a photo - an edited photo.

It is surreally beautiful.

While the grin recurred every time I looked at the lake, as I explored the area further, details appeared that underscored the need for a wilderness designation. For instance, the views from the top of Mt. Scott - one of the Wild Week hikes - were sweeping panoramas of the lake and the lands surrounding it, most of which are under the aegis of the National Forest Service. And while the lands are currently wooded, the uniformity of tree height and spacing speaks eloquently of their managed state, and of the ever-present potential for clear-cutting. (Take, for instance, the Forest Service’s Bybee logging project just to the west of the park.)

The interruption of an unseen, but not unheard, helicopter while our group was having lunch at the top of Mt. Scott reminded us how intrusive even distant activities can be in a semi-wild area. None of these ruined the experience for me, but each time, I thought how much richer the experience would be without them.

I went on two hikes with Oregon Wild during the week - one up Mt. Scott, the other along a lovely, if mosquito-y bit of the Upper Rogue River. The hikes began to show me and the wonderful people with whom I hiked just some of the variety of landscape and habitat contained in the area that is within the wilderness proposal.

I intend - and hope that they do, too - to support Oregon Wild and the other organizations and citizens in the coalition spearheading this proposal. Crater Lake truly is a “crown jewel” park, and such a jewel deserves the best setting possible - the setting of wilderness.

 

Photo Credits: 
Top photo of Julia Haskin by Paul Burdick. Crater Lake images courtesy of Julia Haskin.

Quick Tips for Bike Commute Challenge Team Captains

By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 25, 2015.

The Challenge begins September 1st! Is your team ready? Here are Five Quick Tips to Kick Start the Bike Commute Challenge! 1. Register for the Bike Commute Challenge! […]

Bike Commute Challenge Kick-Off Parties- 8/31 5-7pm

By Nicole from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 25, 2015.

T-minus seven days till 2015’s Bike Commute Challenge begins, and we’re kicking things up a notch this year with not one, not two, but THREE (Yes, THREE!) […]

In Memory of Bill Ward

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

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of our most reliable and longest-standing volunteers. William “Bill” Ward served our country in the U.S. Air Force, raised a strong family, and loved the outdoors. Bill became an Adopt-a-River volunteer in 2007, the year after our program started. Bill carefully monitored his stretch of the Columbia River for nine years and dedicated countless hours, helping to make the Columbia River clean and healthy for all. We are tremendously grateful for his time and effort, and we know the Columbia River is a better place because of him. Our condolences go out of his family and friends.

Columbia Riverkeeper 15th Anniversary Celebration & Awards

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

What: Columbia Riverkeeper 15th Anniversary Celebration & Awards When: Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 at 6-9pm Where: Axiom Custom Products located at 2424 NE Riverside, Portland, OR Tickets: $15 available online, buy today: bit.ly/columbia15

Give 100% in the Bike Commute Challenge and you could win a REN Cycles Waypoint Bike!

By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 25, 2015.

100% Commute Rate During last year’s Bike Commute Challenge, we upped the ante. Every Bike Commute Challenge participant who had a 100% commute rate was automatically entered […]

A blueprint for 21st century conservation to be released at Powell’s City of Books

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

Joe Whitworth, American author, patented inventor and president of The Freshwater Trust, will talk about his new book Quantified: Redefining Conservation for the Next Economy at Powell’s City of Books on September 18. The talk will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Joe will sign purchased books afterwards. The event is open to the public.The Freshwater Trust […]

Win Prizes Everyday with the Bike Commute Challenge!

By Kaaren Ponto from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 25, 2015.

Whether you’re a year-round bicycle commuter or a summertime cruiser, we invite you to participate in the Bike Commute Challenge. Team up with your co-workers and […]

Protecting Wild Things

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

Reflecting on a Summer with Oregon Wild

by Phil Brown, Wildlife Conservation Legal Intern

Hi there!

My name is Phil Brown and I spent this summer as Oregon Wild’s Legal Intern. Like all good things, my time with Oregon Wild had to end, but I’m fortunate to have been able to take away invaluable experiences and memories from my short time in Oregon.

I am currently a student at New York University School of Law, and originally come from Emmetsburg, Iowa, a small farming town in the rural Midwest. I studied biology and political science as an undergraduate, with the intention of practicing environmental law.

After a year in law school and a summer working with an environmental non-profit, I am more convinced than ever that I am on the right path. Conservation of the natural world has always been an interest of mine, having been introduced to the idea through hunting and groups like Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever.

To many of the activists and Oregon Wild supporters I met this summer, this might seem like quite the contradiction. How can someone enjoy hunting some wild animals yet want to protect other species from all kinds of human-caused mortality?

The short answer is that I believe we all – humans, wildlife, and plants alike – have a natural role in the world. Looking at how terribly we have devastated some wildlife like bison or whales and how terribly we’ve affected ecosystems through practices like clear-cutting and fire suppression, it can be easy to think that humans need to keep to ourselves and leave the natural world alone, totally free of our influence.

I think that would be a mistake, and my experiences this summer have only reinforced that perception.

I was lucky enough to see much of Oregon this summer. Coming from the Midwest and having lived for a year in New York City, it becomes easy to forget that there are places in our country full of environmental diversity. Oregon and the Pacific Northwest are a beautiful mix of coastal ecosystems, high desert plains, lush evergreen forests, massive river systems, and host of other, smaller biomes.

Each of these different environments offers it’s own version of natural wonder, faces its own problems, and requires a different approach in order to be adequately protected from adverse human interactions.

In many ways, the work of groups like Oregon Wild mirrors this diverse landscape.

More than just protecting different wild places and species, Oregon Wild does what it does in many ways. Lobbying state legislators in Salem, working with timber industry representatives in forest collaboratives, partnering with private businesses to protect water quality, organizing everyday activists to speak up for wildlife, leading hikes and rendezvous into the wild places of Oregon – these are just some of the ways I witnessed Oregon Wild fulfill its mission of protecting wild things, wherever and whatever they may be.

All of these different avenues for protecting the wild parts of Oregon have one thing in common, though. They require people to step up and step in on behalf of the places and beings that can’t speak for themselves. Having a wide array of these people speaking together makes for an even more powerful voice. From hunters to hikers and from birders to brewers, everyone in Oregon has a part to play when it comes to protecting the natural world.

I’m sure I’ll return to Oregon one day, perhaps even permanently. I sincerely hope that when I do, Oregon’s wildlife and wild places will be even better off than when I left. With the hard work of Oregon Wild and its supporters, I’m sure they will be.

Tags: 

In Change Lies Opportunity – Transitions at NW Earth Institute

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Aug 24, 2015.

One of our favorite phrases at NWEI is “In change lies opportunity.” It’s an adage that is as true for our organization as it is for the many people who participate in our discussion courses and EcoChallenge each year. After… Read More!

The post In Change Lies Opportunity – Transitions at NW Earth Institute appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

National News: August 24, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Aug 23, 2015.

Fire Budgets and Climate, The Antiplanner
Gold-Plated Fire Service, New Century of Forest Planning
U.S. wildfires surge to 10-year high - Feds spending $150 million per day and seek firefighting help from Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Summit Voice
Shasta County residents notice unusual odor - Experts say smell could be linked to Trinity County fires, KRCR

Researchers: Drought creating California 'ghost forests' - Survey finds 6.3M dead trees in southern Sierra Nevada, KCRA

You Gotta Tell Me What I Already Know, New Century of Forest Planning

Cormorants in the Crosshairs short documentary now available for viewing

By atakamoto from News. Published on Aug 21, 2015.

"Cormorants in the Crosshairs", a documentary by award-winning director, Judy Irving, highlights the Double-crested Cormorants nesting on East Sand Island targeted for slaughter in the name of salmon recovery.

Peak experience on Preston Peak

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Aug 21, 2015.

Preston Peak is not the highest mountain in the Siskiyous, but it is certainly the most iconic. Standing tall amidst a range of wilderness peaks and looking down on Raspberry Lake, Rattlesnake Meadows and the expansive old-growth forests of the aptly named Clear Creek Watershed, Preston is special. It offers both the macro of stunningly rugged mountain cliffs that overwhelm the landscape and the micro of botanical treasures that reward those with a careful eye.

BLESSING OF THE SHARED RESPONSIBILITIES TOTEM POLE

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Aug 20, 2015.

The 2015 totem pole journey comes at a defining moment in the collaborative effort to defeat fossil fuel export proposals in Oregon and Washington. The 22-foot long totem pole is being donated by the Lummi Nation’s House of Tears Carvers and will make stops at each of the proposed coal ports in Oregon and Washington as well as in tribal communities and places of worship. The totem pole is destined for the Power River Basin, the source of the proposed coal that would be transported across the Pacific Northwest to Montana.

LNG Warrenton Hearings – featured

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Aug 20, 2015.

This is a vital time for the fight against liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Estuary. The City of Warrenton and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will hold hearings about Oregon LNG in September. Join us to make the case for a safe, healthy River and call on our state and federal officials to reject Oregon LNG! Save the dates: 9/2, 9/21-24.

Ride-spiration Profile: Maria, Michelle, Anna (Team CLEAResult)

By Kaaren Ponto from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 20, 2015.

Maria, Michelle, and Anna work and ride together at CLEAResult, an energy efficiency consultant. Anna’s Ride-spiration is Michelle; she admires Michelle’s ability to ride her bike to work […]

Buy a Showers Pass Children’s Jacket and Support Safe Routes to School

By Lauren Hugel from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 19, 2015.

Do you know about Showers Pass? They engineer innovative and high performance bicycling gear for racers, commuters, messengers and everyday bicycling enthusiasts.  Their mission is to normalize cycling […]

Three cities, three pubs, three happy hours!

By marielle from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Aug 19, 2015.

This Thursday, August 20th, celebrate a classic Oregon brewing institution and their commitment to watershed protection across Oregon.

Having recently joined the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance, McMenamins is kicking off their partnership and pledge to keep Oregon forest watersheds pristine by hosting a three-city happy hour in Portland, Eugene, and Bend! Between 3-6 p.m., $1 per pint sold at three different pubs will benefit the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance.

Join the Oregon Wild and McMenamins crews on Thursday at the following locations:

Portland - McMenamins Oregon Brewshed® Alliance Happy Hour
Where: McMenamins Ringlers Pub, 1332 W. Burnside
When: Thursday, August 20th from 3:00-6:00 pm

Eugene - McMenamins Oregon Brewshed® Alliance Happy Hour
Where: McMenamins High Street Brewery, 1243 High Street
When: Thursday, August 20th from 3:00-6:00 pm

Bend - McMenamins Oregon Brewshed® Alliance Happy Hour
Where: McMenamins Old St. Francis School Brewery, 700 NW Bond Street
When: Thursday, August 20th from 3:00-6:00 pm

Even if you can't join us on Thursday, forward this invite to a friend via email or on Facebook. You can also support the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance and our efforts to protect Oregon's forest watersheds by:

Hope you can join us and raise a pint to Oregon brewshed® protection this Thursday!

Council Creek Trail Closer to Reality

By Ben Kahn from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 18, 2015.

After tireless planning efforts, the vision for the Council Creek Regional Trail is nearly complete. The trail – which will link Hillsboro, Cornelius, Forest Grove, and […]

Now Hiring! ECI Program Assistant

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

ECI Program Assistant
The Corvallis Environmental Center is hiring a part-time Program Assistant for its Edible Corvallis Initiative (ECI). The ECI works to support a sustainable food system in Corvallis.  The primary projects of the ECI are the Corvallis Farm to School Program and SAGE, the Starker Arts Garden for Education. The program assistant reports to the ECI Director and works closely with our Farm to School, Farm to Institution, and SAGE garden managers and coordinators to provide support for ...

A summer with Friends of Trees

By Randi Orth from Growth Rings. Published on Aug 18, 2015.

My placement with Friends of Trees this summer has been a fantastic learning experience, but in a very different, and perhaps more rewarding way than I’m used to. At all colleges (Duke University being no exception) knowledge is frequently presented abstractly. Particularly in the school of Arts and Sciences, we’re almost never challenged to work with […]

New Analysis of Oil Train Economics: Local Business View Of Jobs, Customer Demand, Economic Development

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Aug 18, 2015.

Tele press conference 8/18 at 10am: Seven business owners will hold a conference call to discuss the new community-driven cost-benefit analysis entitled “BAD FOR BUSINESS: Impact of the proposed Tesoro-Savage oil terminal on small business."

“Columbia River’s best beaches, according to the riverkeeper”

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Aug 17, 2015.

Oregonian. Aug. 16, 2015.

“Love Your Columbia happens Aug. 22 Riverkeeper seeks volunteers for a day of clean-up projects”

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Aug 17, 2015.

Hood River News. Aug. 14, 2015.

6 Ways to Connect With Earth: Our Newest EcoChallenge Action Category!

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Aug 17, 2015.

NW Earth Institute’s EcoChallenge is coming your way this October and we just launched a new action category for this year: Connect With Earth. Commit to taking more hikes, spending more time in the garden, or spending time in nature… Read More!

The post 6 Ways to Connect With Earth: Our Newest EcoChallenge Action Category! appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

freshwater Talk episode 14: Bradford Warner, Agspring

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Aug 16, 2015.

Farmers can be the most sustainable business people in the entire economy. So says my 14th podcast guest Bradford Warner. Warner works with Agspring, a company developing sustainable agriculture supply chains to feed a changing world. -

A Reinvigorated Battle Cry for the Climate by Jessie Bond

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 13, 2015.

For years, conversations around global warming have been volleying back and forth between dire predictions and outright denial. Most of the discussion has centered on scientific data and the economic impact of dealing with climate change. But the plea to protect our planet from the worst effects of rising temperatures has not fully resonated because most people have […]

Hart Mountain

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 13, 2015.

Recently, a group of 10 desert enthusiasts, led by Sierra Club High Desert Committee members, visited the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge in south-central Oregon. Hart Mountain is a conservation success story, and it was exciting to see how this area has come back to ecological health since grazing was removed  from the refuge nearly twenty […]

NWEI’s Earth Matters Newsletter is Here!

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Aug 13, 2015.

NW Earth Institute’s summer 2015 Earth Matters newsletter is here! Read on for Richard Schiffman’s thoughts on what is ultimately “Bigger than Science and Bigger than Religion” – and how we need a powerful new story that we are a… Read More!

The post NWEI’s Earth Matters Newsletter is Here! appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Take Charge!

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Aug 12, 2015.

Take Charge Corvallis believes that Every Action Matters. It highlights the idea that many hands make light work. Even the simple action of turning off a computer when not in use is a first step that contributes to reducing our overall energy consumption in Corvallis.
As a semi-finalist in the Georgetown University Energy competition, Corvallis has everything needed to win the grand prize of $5 million. The city that reduces their residential and municipal energy use the most makes it to ...

Government Documents Reveal That Killing Cormorants Won't Help Columbia River Salmon

By atakamoto from News. Published on Aug 12, 2015.

Aug. 12, 2015: Conservation groups today called for an investigation after agency documents, released last week under court order, showed that killing double-crested cormorants will not benefit salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s own biologists found that fish not eaten by cormorants would be eaten by other predators, but nevertheless authorized the killing of more than 10,000 double-crested cormorants and destruction of more than 26,000 cormorant nests on East Sand Island near the mouth of the Columbia.

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

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Aug 12, 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.

Marbled Murrelet Citizen Science Training Marks Ten Years with Record Attendance

By atakamoto from News. Published on Aug 11, 2015.

The 10th annual Marbled Murrelet Citizen Science Training had two sessions this year and drew over 100 people from across the state.

Aligning Policies and Funding for Healthier Urban Creeks and Rivers

By bmarcott@rivernetwork.org from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Aug 11, 2015.

Aligning Policies and Funding for Healthier Urban Creeks and Rivers

By bmarcott@rivernetwork.org from What's New at River Network. Published on Aug 11, 2015.

National News: August 10, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Aug 10, 2015.

Oak Flat Can Never Be Replaced, Indian Country Today
Saving Oak Flat, Camel City Dispatch op-ed
Apaches take fight for land to D.C., Santa Fe New Mexican editorial
HR2811: Save Oak Flat Act, Library of Congress
The cost-benefit analysis of aerial firefighting - Aerial firefighting is dangerous, expensive and environmentally damaging. So why do we do it?, High Country News
Forest Ethics Board Concerned About Helicopter Training on local forest lands, KOHO Wenatchee

Forest politics, Ketchican Daily News editorial
Obama signs Idaho wilderness bill, Elko Daily Free Press

USFS Firefighting Costs Soar, Spokane Spokesman-Review

Drought's legacy on trees is worth modeling, American Association for the Advancement of Science at EurekAlert
Feds: 'Music wood' poachers targeted Washington old growth maples - Quartet accused of stealing $800k in wood from Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Seattle P-I
Happy Birthday, Gifford Pinchot - The mustachioed Pennsylvania governor left his mark on our natural heritage, Post-Gazette

Behind the Scenes of the 2015 Legislative Session

By quinn from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Aug 07, 2015.

The 2015 Legislative session in Salem was a mixed bag. The State Capitol building has a well-deserved reputation as a place where lobbyists and corporate interests wield tremendous power, and they were out in force, bidding their allies in both political parties to push terrible bills, and discretely kill other conservation priorities.

Regardless of the odds against us, Oregon Wild went toe to toe with big industry campaign contributors and belligerent lawmakers, fighting for the preservation of the wildlands, wildlife, and waters that make Oregon such a special place for all of us. We didn’t win every round, that’s for certain, but we were able to stop many of the most egregious bills from advancing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to evaluate this session when it comes to conservation. The simple approach is to look at the conservation bills that made it to the floor and review who voted for what. That’s a good, solid metric -- especially in years where a wide variety of conservation bills make it to vote. But this year, there just weren’t very many conservation votes to tally. Just as we were successful in stopping bad bills, many good bills were quietly killed by anti-conservation interests. Some of them, like an important bill to protect rural Oregonians from aerial pesticide spraying, were suppressed by allies of the timber and chemical industries and didn’t even receive a public hearing.

So the real conservation story is what happened behind the scenes in committee, where many bills died before they saw the light of the House or Senate floor. There, people who voted the “right” way on the few bills that made it the floor, did some rather questionable things off the record to advance bad bills or kill good bills.

It’s pretty easy to look like a pro-conservation legislator these days by simply preventing bills from moving so you can lodge some good votes on the handful that make it to a final vote. And that’s too bad, because it obscures the hard work of the true environmental champions in the legislature, and gives anti-conservation legislators an undeserved pass.

How do you measure things like Governor Brown’s efforts to scuttle the Clean Fuels bill (after she had already signed it) to pass her transportation package? Or using Fish and Wildlife Commission appointments as political trading stock? Or the emergence of strong environmental leaders like Senator Michael Dembrow, Representative Ann Lininger and Representative Ken Helm? Or the formation of a new environmental caucus to present a unified legislative voice on conservation?

I think there is reason to be disappointed. I also think there is reason to be hopeful. Let’s take a brief look at some of our wins, losses, and draws this session.

Good bills that passed

SB 5511 -- Appropriates General Fund dollars to ODFW

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife – which is responsible for protecting all of our state’s fish and wildlife -- is faced with an unprecedented budget shortfall that compromises its existing and future conservation programs. This bill appropriates General Fund dollars to help the agency fill the gap. Oregon Wild saw this as an opportunity to refocus the agency on its conservation mission and to expand conservation work that benefits the broad public interest. We worked hard as part of a diverse coalition to support this bill and will be continuing our work with the agency to make sure its conservation mandates are fulfilled.

SB 247 -- ODFW fee increases for hunting and angling

This companion bill to SB 5511 incrementally increases or establishes certain fees related to hunting, angling and commercial fishing over a six-year period. It was an integral component of ODFW’s three-part plan to address the budget deficit: increased General Fund dollars, increased fees, and program cuts.

HB 2402 -- Establishes Task Force on State Department of Fish and Wildlife Funding

With the immediate ODFW budget crisis temporarily averted, the work is now to make sure the agency has a sustainable funding model. Putting a bandaid on the agency’s budget doesn’t do much unless there is accountability and reform moving forward. The task force will convene a diverse group of stakeholders to identify and recommended opportunities to help the agency better achieve its mission and conservation program objectives. Our priority is to ensure the task force represents Oregon’s changing demographics and ensure there is representation from a wide array of interests and potential user groups.

HB 3315 -- Allows ODFW to charge for services provided to other agencies

HB 3315 requires the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to recover costs incurred in providing services to executive department agencies. This is an important step in identifying new sources of revenue for the agency.

SB 175 -- Modifies certain penalties for wildlife law violations.

SB 175 simply restored strong penalty language for illegal poaching of wildlife which was passed in 2011 but unfortunately sunset on January 1, 2015. These penalty provisions had previously passed with strong bipartisan support and strong support from the hunting, fishing and conservation communities. Unfortunately, a more ambitious bill that would have done more to protect wildlife, especially endangered species, died in the notoriously anti-wildlife House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. #

SB 324 -- Clean Fuels for Oregon

SB 324 lifts the sunset on the Clean Fuels program, allowing the program to move forward.  The program will reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels by 10% over ten years, creating economic development opportunities and cleaner, healthier air.  

Good bills that died

SB 613 -- Protecting Rural Oregonians from Pesticides

Whereas Oregon was once a leader in forest management in the 1970’s, our state has fallen into last place amongst all the Pacific Northwest states when it comes to protecting drinking water, salmon streams, and rural community health from pesticide drift and run-off.  SB 613 would have improved the advance notice community members receive about aerial spraying and slash burning and improve peoples’ access to accurate information after a spray, as well as require the creation of science-based pesticide spray buffers to protect residences, schools, drinking water, and fish.

SB 830Regulating Suction Dredge Mining

Suction dredge mining is a practice in which riverbeds are “vacuumed up” by a large, loud, floating machine, damaging gravel beds salmon need to spawn.  SB 830 would have enacted strong protections for clean water and salmon habitat. No suction dredge gold mining would be permitted in habitat critical to native salmon, lamprey and bull trout, as well as streams already suffering from too much pollution. Site specific permitting would be required for gold mining in those watersheds to protect valuable resources downstream, and measures would be implemented to protect our state from the spread of invasive aquatic species on mining equipment, and to protect public and private investments in restoration.

HB 2401 -- Wild Bird Conservation Act, Creates an excise tax on wild bird feed

The Wild Bird Conservation Act, would have raised $2-$4 million per biennium with 50% going to promote general bird conservation across Oregon and 50% going to directly address protecting and restoring sage grouse populations in Eastern Oregon. For just a nickel a pound of birdseed, the Wild Bird Conservation Act was a creative way to fund conservation. Unfortunately, for the fourth time in a row, it was defeated. This doesn’t set a particularly good precedent for agency reform.

HB 2669 -- Creates an endangered species license plate

This bill would have created an endangered species license plate featuring an iconic Oregon wildlife species and directed proceeds from the sale of plates to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife threatened and endangered species conservation programs. Like the Wild Bird Conservation Act, we think that efforts to find new sources of revenue for ODFW should have been prioritized.

HB 2537 -- Increases monetary and criminal penalties for poaching

Rep. Ken Helm introduced this important bill that would have increased penalties for illegal taking or killing of fish and wildlife. It was ambitious and would have expanded on the provisions of SB 175 and served as an important deterrent to poaching. It died in the notoriously anti-wildlife House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

HB 3474 – Trust Lands Transfer Commission

Introduced to provide a solution that would keep the Elliott State Forest in public ownership rather than having it auctioned off to logging interests that declared their intent to clearcut it, Rep. Tobias Read’s legislation would have created a mechanism with which to transfer the Elliott to a state agency that would manage it for conservation. The Trust Lands Transfer model has been successfully implemented and utilized in Washington, and the bill was on track to passage, until a last minute vote-change by Rep. Caddy McKeown killed the bill.

Bad bills that passed

HB 3188 -- Directs agencies to report on need to create predator control districts

This bill allows landowners to petition counties to establish special tax districts in which properties would be assessed up to $1 an acre to raise funds for predator control conducted by USDA’s Wildlife Services. It also incorporates black bears, cougars, and gray wolves in the definition of "predator" and specifically expands the definition to include bears, bobcats, and red foxes. Despite tremendous opposition from activists, this bill passed nearly unanimously.

Bad bills that died

HB 3533 – Privatizing the Elliott State Forest

House Bill 3533 would have overridden a decades-old statute that prohibits selling off any parts of the publically owned Elliott State Forest. This bill would give the state unbridled authority to dispose of the Elliott whenever and however it wants to in the future. Though the State Land Board has momentarily taken privatization of the Elliott mostly off the table, such new authority would not bode well for a conservation future for the Elliott, given the Land Board's 2014 illegal sale of three parcels of the Elliott to timber companies.

HB 3515 -- Prohibits gray wolves from being included on the state’s list of threatened or endangered species

This bill would have prohibited the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission from including the gray wolf on the list of threatened or endangered species -- now, or at any time in the future. HB 3515 sought to bypass an established public process and set a dangerous precedent for involving the legislature in the management of every species in the state. Oregon Wild fought this bill and successfully killed it before it had a chance to do damage.

HB 3217 -- Artificial Beaver Dams

Who wants a story about a rich guy who called in favors with his buddies in the legislature? You do? Then read on. This bill was introduced to retroactively legalize the dams a wealthy individual installed on his property without bothering to get permits. Fortunately, this bill stalled. It could be amended to be more in line with conservation objectives. But its origin story will never get less distasteful.

HB 2050 -- Exempts counties from prohibition using dogs to hunt cougars

There were actually four nearly identical bills introduced to allow counties to excuse themselves from prohibitions on hunting cougars with dogs. Passage of these bills would have set a potentially dangerous precedent for counties exempting themselves not just from state wildlife laws, but from the laws of the state in general.

HB 2503 -- Taking Authority from Fish and Wildlife Commission

This clever bill would have restricted the right of ODFW regulate hunting ammunition and fishing gear and would vest sole authority with the state legislature. This legislation would remove authority over ammunition and fishing gear from the agency with the expertise to oversee these issues. This sets a dangerous precedent for ODFW and for other natural resources agencies. It was also a thinly veiled attempt to avert any prohibition on lead ammunition.

 

Photo Credits: 
Old growth in the Elliott State Forest

Stand up for Oregon. No Pipelines. No LNG. Call-in Days of Action! Wednesday August 12th and August 26th (All Day)

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 07, 2015.

People from all over the state are standing up to two proposed fracked gas export terminal and pipeline proposals in Oregon and we need you to join us! Last week, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a draft environmental review for the Oregon LNG terminal and pipeline near Astoria Oregon. The Environmental Impact Statement […]

25th Anniversary Member Meeting Recap – 90’s Style!

By Lauren Hugel from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 06, 2015.

Oh snap! 2015 marks our 25th anniversary and we’re mad celebrating all year long. Last night was off the hook! During our Annual Member Meeting, we […]

BTA Announces New Women’s Initiative

By Nicole from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Aug 06, 2015.

At last night’s Annual Member Meeting, we made a big announcement to our members: we are launching a women’s initiative called Women Bike, focused on getting more women in […]

Lil' Rogues

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Aug 06, 2015.

It’s been a busy last few days for Oregon’s wolves and those working to protect them, with new places, new dates, and new pups!

When I wrote to you last, it was about an important Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Commission meeting in Seaside. But there’s been a change! The agenda for that meeting has moved and the ODFW Commission will now be taking comments on whether to delist gray wolves on Friday, Oct. 9th in Florence, OR.

Please sign up to attend and testify on behalf of Oregon’s wolves. After all, they can’t testify for themselves! Feel free to email me if you have any questions.

I also shared with you a video of the Rogue Pack yearlings playing, caught by trail cam. These were Journey’s pups from last year, but it was also reported that he and his mate had produced another litter this year. Thanks to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, we have a look at these new pups -- just scroll back up to the top of this article!

California wolf (maybe?) caught on trail cam

Speaking of Oregon’s most famous wandering wolf, there is evidence that after nearly 4 years, another wolf might be following in OR7’s footsteps! The California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced this week that they were investigating reports of a “large, dark colored canid” in southeastern Siskiyou County that biologists believe to be a gray wolf. The state agency deployed trail cams and has discovered large canid tracks. If verified, this wolf would become only the second known gray wolf in California since they were extirpated in 1924.

This new California wolf likely dispersed from a pack in Northeast Oregon, but it is certainly not the only one exploring new territory. ODFW this week designated two new Areas of Known Wolf Activity (AKWA). OR25, who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack, has taken up residence in the Klamath County area, while OR30, who left the Mt. Emily Pack, is hanging around in Union County. Both wolves have been tracked by ODFW via radio collar.

This dispersal is vital to successful wolf recovery in Oregon (and California!), but so is protecting them. I hope you’ll sign up to join us in Florence and stand up for Oregon’s wolves.

If you're not able to make it to Florence, but still want to support wolf recovery, sign and share our petition or email the ODFW Commission!


Stephanie Taylor is the Wildlife Organizer for Oregon Wild

 
Tags: 
Photo Credits: 
Rogue Pups Courtesy USFWS, Trail cam wolf (?) courtesy CDFW

Action alert: Speak up for Portland's trees!

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Aug 06, 2015.

August 5, 2015: Thanks to everyone who came out to the Urban Forestry Commission Public Hearing on Aug. 4. Please continue to send emails to the City Council and ask them to support code changes that will ensure Portland continues to have large healthy trees in our neighborhoods.

Pop Up Nature Adventures

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Aug 05, 2015.

Outdoor fun before school begins for ages 5 – 13! Join us August 31st through September 4th for a stand alone adventure in nature or a full week of outdoor exploration.

Register here for Full Days, Half Days or a whole week.
Monday – Tree Line Challenge Course
Monday’s pop up adventure features obstacles and games in the oak forest. Learn climbing techniques and safety, try a slackline, and other nature challenges. There will be fun for all ability levels ...

Some things to know about the Clean Power Plan

By sierraandy from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 04, 2015.

Its here! Yesterday President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy revealed the Clean Power Plan. As McCarthy put it, it was “an incredibly wicked cool moment.” But what does it mean? In short, the plan aims to reduce carbon pollution nation wide by 32% by 2030 by putting limits on how much carbon can be […]

The Humble Bumble Gets Its Own Day of Gratitude

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Aug 04, 2015.

Have you been enjoying watching the furry bumble bees visiting your garden flowers? They seem to be out-and-about, buzzing the blossoms just at dawn, and hanging around for that last nectary drop even as the sun sets. Cherish them as they flirt with your oregano and lavender. Despite their apparent bounty in your garden, native... Read more »

The post The Humble Bumble Gets Its Own Day of Gratitude appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Applaud the Clean Power Plan: Release

By trailrunner1991 from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 03, 2015.

The Clean Power Plan is the most significant single action any President has ever taken to tackle the most serious threat to the health of our families: the climate crisis.

Join Our EcoChallenge Team Captain Webinar August 12th!

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

NWEI’s EcoChallenge is coming soon and registration is now open! To help you get ready, we’re hosting a Webinar for EcoChallenge Team Captains on Wednesday, August 12th at 11am PST/2pm EST. This short (30 minute) webinar is for you if… Read More!

The post Join Our EcoChallenge Team Captain Webinar August 12th! appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Why do we care about degraded wetlands?

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

Transformation of a Degraded Urban Wetland from Tualatin Riverkeepers on Vimeo. Some people think that degraded urban wetlands are not worth restoring. Tualatin Riverkeepers strongly disagrees. Take a look at a series of aerial photos of the Cook Park Wetland in Tigard over 20 years as it is transformed from a cow pasture to a […]

Willamette River Revival

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jul 31, 2015.

With unseasonably hot temperatures in Portland, lots of people are taking to the Willamette River for recreation and relief. Although the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality states that it “is safe for swimming and other recreational uses” except when combined sewer overflow conditions are present, the portion of the river from the Broadway Bridge to Sauvie […]

SNU 2015 Speaker Carolyn Virca: Unlocking Renewable Energy’s Potential

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jul 30, 2015.

Standing in a lab surrounded by oxygen chambers and beakers, you can understand why Carolyn Virca’s research may unlock the key to solving renewable energy storage issues and transmission gridlock. Carolyn first heard about water splitting as an undergraduate student, and since then has been interested in chemistry and its applications in solar energy conversion.

How Altruism Can Save the Planet: Q&A with Buddhist Monk Matthieu Ricard

By Mark Tercek from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Jul 30, 2015.

How Altruism Can Save the Planet

Solar Energy: Delivering Shiny Rewards

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jul 29, 2015.

Environment America’s recently released report, “Shining Rewards: The Value of Rooftop Solar for Consumers and Society,” considers the costs and benefits of rooftop solar systems.

Going Green For Clean Water

By bmarcott@rivernetwork.org from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Jul 29, 2015.

Going Green For Clean Water

By bmarcott@rivernetwork.org from What's New at River Network. Published on Jul 29, 2015.

Latino Families in Portland Join the Call for Safe Streets and Healthy Kids

By LeeAnne Fergason from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 29, 2015.

For immediate release: Latino Families in Portland Join the Call for Safe Streets and Healthy Kids Andando en Bicicletas en Cully photos to show unsafe streets […]

Bugs and Burning: Logging Beetle Killed Trees Don't Stop Forest Fires

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jul 28, 2015.

by George Wuerthner

Lodgepole pine is one of the most common trees in the Northern Rockies. For instance, 80% of the trees in Yellowstone National Park are lodgepole pine. However, it is also a common tree in the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and into British Columbia.

One of the important drivers in lodgepole pine ecology is periodic beetle kill from the mountain pine beetle.  Bark beetles are like wolves that thin an elk herd down to its carrying capacity. Typically only the older trees are suitable for attack, so mortality in lodgepole forests is usually less than 50% of trees. The remaining trees, freed up from competition grow much faster and for a while are able to resist any future beetle attacks.

Bark beetles lay their eggs in the inner layer of tree bark where their larvae develop, then eat the living layer. A fungi also enters the tree with the bark beetles. These two factors often kill the tree, leading to a common sight of red-needled trees covering hillsides.

Since beetle mortality usually occurs in a mosaic with patches of dead trees and patches of live ones, the overall ecosystem biodiversity increases. Species dependent on dead trees like cavity nesting birds benefit from beetle kill, while those that might need some live trees—say thermal cover for elk in winter—also benefit.  Thus beetles can be thought of a “keystone species” that creates habitat for many other species.  Some research suggests that beetles create greater biodiversity overall as a consequence.

BARK BEETLES DO NOT INCREASE FIRES

Bark beetle numbers surge during drought periods because trees stressed by drought are unable to cast off beetles.  One of the common assumptions behind logging/thinning projects being promoted around the West is that beetle kill will increase fire risk. Proponents of these projects argue that the solution is to log forests to preclude beetle kill by reducing densities and/or to remove existing dead trees to reduce fuels.

However, a host of studies demonstrate that beetle killed forests are no more likely to burn than green forests. Indeed, some studies suggest that for a period of time after a bark beetle outbreak, forests are less likely to burn.

A lodgepole pine fire (Forest Service)

This is easily explained by fuels. One of the big misconceptions about wildfire is that fuels drive them and the more biomass, so the thinking goes, the more likely you are to have a major fire. But the “fuels” that carry wildfires are the small flashy fine fuels like pine needles, cones, and small branches, not the boles of trees. That is why there are “snags” left after a fire. Most of the tree is not consumed or burned in a wildfire. So once a beetle kill tree loses its needles and the small branches break off in winter storms, they are actually less flammable than live green trees.

In fact, green trees, due to their abundance of resin-filled needles and branches, will burn more intensely than dead wood under extreme weather conditions of low humidity, high temperatures and high winds. These are the kind of weather conditions that drive large wildfires.

There is a nuance here, however. As the young trees unaffected by bark beetles grow up in the understory of remaining trees, they do provide more “ladder” fuel that can sometimes increase fire spread for a few decades until the canopy closes and fire risk is again reduced—assuming that conditions for fire spread exist at all during those decades and there are ignitions.

Of course, the other factor in the beetle/fire story has to do with timing of fires in lodgepole pine forests. Lodgepole pine tends to burn at long intervals of hundreds of years. That is because the right combination of wind, humidity, and ignition simply do not exist every year, and often not for decades or centuries. While beetles may kill trees, the likelihood that those particular trees will be in the path of a fire is a low probability.

LOGGING WON’T STOP FIRES

A number of studies have demonstrated that there is no greater increase in fires in beetle kill areas on average than other sites. In some cases, at least until the younger trees start to fill in the forest, fire risk is actually reduced.

Despite this evidence, the Forest Service continues to advocate logging/thinning on the flawed assumption that a reduction in beetle kill trees will preclude large wildfires. Not only is this not the case, but in reality we need large wildfires for the ecological work they do. Even if it were possible to reduce fires we would not want to do this.

PROTECT HOMES

Some 98% of all beetle outbreaks are in remote areas and the likelihood that they will encounter or threaten homes is extremely small. Nevertheless, it is well established the best way to protect homes from wildfire is not by thinning the forest, but by keeping homes from being built in the “fire plain” in the first place. For those homes already in the fire plain, reducing the flammability in the home ignition zone (200 feet is all that is need) surrounding a home is the only proven way to safeguard homes.


REFERENCES:

Area burned in the western United States is unaffected by recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks
Sarah J. Hart, Tania Schoennagel, Thomas T. Veblen, and Teresa B. Chapman
www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1424037112

The European spruce bark beetle Ips typographus in a national park: from pest to keystone species
Jo¨rg Mu¨ ller Æ Heinz Bußler Æ Martin Goßner Æ
Thomas Rettelbach Æ Peter Duelli
Biodivers Conserv (2008) 17:2979–3001
DOI 10.1007/s10531-008-9409-01

Does wildfire likelihood increase following insect outbreaks in conifer forests?
GARRETT W. MEIGS, JOHN L. CAMPBELL, HAROLD S. J. ZALD, JOHN D. BAILEY, DAVID C. SHAW, AND ROBERT E. KENNEDY
www.esajournals.org
2 July 2015 v Volume 6(7) v Article 118

Don’t Blame the Beetles
By Cally Carswell
Science
10 OCTOBER 2014 • VOL 346 ISSUE 6206

Fire severity and tree regeneration following bark beetle outbreaks: the role of outbreak stage and burning conditions
Brian J. Harvey, Daniel C. Donato, William H. Romme, Monica G. Turner
Ecological Society of America

The influence of mountain pine beetle outbreaks and drought on severe wildfires in northwestern Colorado and southern Wyoming: A look at the past century
Dominik Kulakowski, Daniel Jarvis
Forest Ecology and Management 262 (2011) 1686–1696

Management for Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreak Suppression: Does Relevant Science Support Current Policy?
Diana L. Six, Eric Biber, and Elisabeth Long
Forests 2014, 5, 103-133; doi:10.3390/f5010103

Are density reduction treatments effective at managing for resistance or resilience to spruce beetle disturbance in the southern Rocky Mountains?
Christian Temperli, Sarah J. Hart, Thomas T. Veblen, Dominik Kulakowski, Julia J. Hicks,Robert Andrus
Forest Ecology and Management 334 (2014) 53–63

Bark Beetles and Fire;: Two Forces of Nature Transforming Western Forests
FIRE SCIENCE DIGEST ISSUE 12 FEBRUARY 2012

Bark beetle outbreaks, wildfires and defensible space: how much area do we need to treat to protect homes and communities?
Glen Aronson and Dominik Kulakowski
International Journal of Wildland Fire 2013, 22, 256–265
http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WF11070

A Day in Owyhee Country

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jul 28, 2015.

The day is decidedly HOT. There is no shade save for the occasional cloud. The view is expansive to say the least. The Owyhee Canyonlands offers up unexpected surprises as well for the intrepid explorer. Pick a point on the map and say “Let’s go here”! Walk cross country past lizards, sparrow nests, sego lilys, a rattlesnake surprise… […]

2015 Oregon Legislature Wrap Up

By quinn from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jul 28, 2015.

Oregon’s State Capitol building in Salem has a well-deserved reputation as a place where lobbyists and corporate interests wield tremendous power. The 2015 legislative session proved this again, with legislators from both political parties pushing terrible bills on everything from legalizing illegally-constructed dams to stripping endangered species protections from gray wolves.  

But what was different in 2015 was the presence of a strong, pro-wildlife voice in Salem--the voice of thousands of wildlife supporters just like you! And we’re looking forward to working with you to have an even bigger impact in the coming years.

Your input needed: What are your priorities for conserving Oregon’s wildlife?

The run-down of anti-wildlife bills considered in the 2015 session is ugly.

A reckless bill to strip state endangered species protections from wolves--permanently, regardless of what happens in the future-- was given a hearing by House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Chair Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie). Four separate bills to overturn a voter-passed ballot measure banning the hunting of cougars with dogs were introduced.  And after a wealthy landowner in Eastern Oregon was caught illegally building dams on public waterways that harmed threatened red band trout, legislation was introduced to retroactively legalize his activities.

Many good bills were stopped cold by polluting industries and anti-wildlife interests. A strong measure to increase penalties for poaching was killed in committee, despite support from both hunters and conservation groups.  So were several proposals to diversify the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW’s) funding base. And Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee Chair Chris Edwards (D-Eugene) refused to give a hearing to an important bill to protect the public, rivers, and wildlife from toxic pesticides sprayed from airplanes and helicopters by the logging industry. But amid the bad news, there were some very good things too.

Some legislators do care about wildlife. Just not enough of them. Pictured here, Oregon Reps. Lininger, Keny-Guyer, and Helm.

Oregon Wild supporters like you sent in over 3000 comments to legislators and the Governor’s office and several dozen people joined us for Oregon’s first ever Wildlife Lobby Day. With your help, we killed the bill to strip endangered species protections from wolves, maintained funding for biologists and pro-conservation programs at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and recruited a new generation of pro-wildlife and pro-conservation leaders in the legislature.  An “Environmental Caucus” with 19 members was formed in the House, where rising stars like Rep. Ann Lininger (D-Lake Oswego) and Rep. Ken Helm (D-Beaverton) introduced important pro-environment bills and stopped the repeal of legislation to combat climate change.

But I won’t sugar coat it:  2015 was a tough year for wildlife, and for the environment in general, in Salem.

Now, with the legislative session over, we want to look ahead.  How do we best advocate for wildlife in future Oregon legislative sessions?  What species should we focus on?  How do we rally conservation-minded Oregonians to take on polluters and big-money special interests?

Take our poll and let us know what should we be working on in Salem in 2016 and beyond.

Oregon Wild is committed to making sure fish and wildlife get a fair shake in Salem. Your feedback is important -- and your participation is even more important. Please consider participating in our next lobby day or send a quick note to let your elected officials know that you care about protecting Oregon’s wildlife legacy for future generations.

CUB Policy Center Conference, Utility 2025: Building the Northwest's Energy Future

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

The CUB Policy Center is pleased to announce its fifth annual policy conference: Utility 2025: Building the Northwest's Energy Future, taking place on Friday, October 23, 2015, at the Downtown Portland Hilton (921 SW 6th Ave., Portland, OR 97205).

Interns and Mission Statements

By Randi Orth from Growth Rings. Published on Jul 28, 2015.

The confusion kicked in after about ten minutes of hiking Forest Park’s Wildwood Trail. I had taken the MAX, a short bike ride, and suddenly I was out of the identity-stripping hustle and bustle of city life and into a place that had startling similarities to a beautiful, remote nature preserve. To call this ‘a […]

A Big Welcome to Our Gerhardt and Duke Engage Interns!

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

20150728
Sam Diaz

Sam Diaz recently sat down with Allison Giffin and Jerry Chia-Rui Chang to get an inside scoop on this year’s Gerhardt and Duke Engage Interns. 

The Paul Gerhardt Jr. Internship

read more

The Political Education of a Wildlife Biologist

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jul 27, 2015.

by Ricardo Small

Wildlife has it made in Oregon.  Politically, that is.  Right?  Oregon voters banned hounding cougars by citizens’ initiative.  We devoted 15% of the lottery proceeds to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.  Restricting how an apex predator can be killed and using land for parks is good.  This means a majority of the Legislature and the Governor support wildlife welfare and the integrity of public land.  It must mean they do not support environmentally destructive, profit motivated objectives. 

That’s what I thought in April 2015.  Man, was I wrong!  By the middle of June, I realized that most of Oregon’s politicians wage a war on wildlife, in spite of a liberal reputation.  How could I have been so wrong?

Super majorities of Oregon’s House and Senate voted for a terrible new law (HB3188) that enables creation of predator killing districts at the county level.  Those districts will tax participating real estate at one dollar per acre.  The money will pay the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Wildlife Services to kill predators at the request of commercial agriculture and livestock operators.  Don’t confuse the USDA’s Wildlife Services with the U.S. Department of Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service, a vastly different federal agency.  This law may spread to other states.

River otters are one of many species killed as "collateral damage" by Wildlife Services. In 2014, 454 river otters were killed by the agency (DanSherwood)

The USDA’s Wildlife Services is notorious for slaughtering many species of wildlife, not just predators.  In 2014, Wildlife Services killed 2,713,570 animals nationwide, down from 4,378,456 the year before.  The 2014 kills include 570 black bears, 322 gray wolves, 61,702 coyotes, 2,930 foxes and 305 mountain lions, as well as three bald and five golden eagles. The federal trappers use cyanide capsules, neck snares and foot traps.  When I was a wildlife biology student in Arizona, my classmates and I called these trappers the “gopher chokers”.  They kill many animals unintentionally … collateral damage … including 390 out of 454 river otters in 2014.  Who knows how many pets they kill?  Pet kills are seldom reported.  The trappers follow the S-S-S mantra:  shoot – shovel – shut-up.  They shoot domestic pets caught in their foot traps, bury them and keep quiet.

Oregon’s new law (HB3188) perpetuates Wildlife Services’ egregious activities with the $1/acre real estate tax.  How could this happen in wildlife “friendly” Oregon?  It happened because people who make money from commercial agriculture and livestock operations, and who are not friendly to wildlife, organized and lobbied more effectively than environmental groups.

This was my first face-to-face lobbying in Oregon.  I lived in Arizona most of my life and moved to Oregon at the end of 2009.  On April 29th this year (2015), I attended Oregon Wild’s Wildlife Lobby Day in Salem.  During the afternoon, Gabe Wigtil and I met with our state senator, Sara Gelser, and our representative, Andy Olson.  Gabe and I were the two registered voters attending Wildlife Lobby Day from Senator Gelser’s and Representative Olson’s districts.

A week or so later, I attended Senator Gelser’s town hall in Albany and mentioned HB3188 during that meeting.  I also sent emails to her, voicing my opposition to perpetuating Wildlife Services activities in Oregon.

On May 27, 2015, I testified about HB3188 at the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources hearing in Salem.  My written testimony was twelve pages long, including opposition to another bill (HB2182) which directs the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct a statewide predator killing study.  I was only allowed five minutes to speak during that hearing.

All five members of the Committee were present:  Senators Chris Edwards (chairman), Alan Olsen (vice chair), Michael Dembrow, Floyd Prozanski and Chuck Thomsen.  A half dozen supporters of the predator killing district bill spoke first.  As the Committee’s senators interacted with the supporters, it became obvious that a unanimous vote to move HB3188 out of Committee for a floor vote with a “DO PASS” recommendation was going to happen.  During the discussion, Senator Alan Olsen joked with a rancher from southern Oregon, that Wiley Coyote visited his office the week before.  That rancher helped write HB3188 on his kitchen table.  All of them laughed, when the rancher said, “Wiley better wear an orange vest, if he comes to my ranch.”  I guess that cowboy meant he would shoot all other coyotes he saw who were not dressed in hunter orange.

Senator Gelser is the only senator who voted “NO” on HB3188.  Three representatives - Buckley, Holvey and Nearman - voted “NO” on the final version in the House.  My representative, Andy Olson, co-sponsored the predator killing bill.

After the Senate passed the bill, I sent an email, thanking Senator Sara Gelser for voting “NO”.  She answered, saying:  “I appreciated your detailed emails about the future, and I thought it was important that those concerns be recognized with my vote. Thanks again for taking time to be involved.” 

There are non-lethal alternatives that can be effectively used to deter predation.   Oregon’s new predator killing districts will continue an archaic wildlife management policy akin to paying bounties for dead predators.  Funding the USDA’s Wildlife Services killing with real estate taxes ignores modern wildlife science that demonstrates how important predators are to biological diversity.  This new law fails to recognize the ineffectiveness of slaughtering so many predators and the relatively small percentage of losses that the cattle industry experiences from predation.  According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, about 4% of the cattle industry’s losses nationwide are from predation.  Federal, state and local governments spend billions of tax dollars slaughtering predators on behalf of the cattle industry.

When coyotes are killed in large numbers, birth rates increase … sometimes three fold.  Non-lethal repellent measures allow dominant coyote family units to form territories, keeping litter sizes down, and are much better techniques than slaughtering so many of these canids.

Coyote swimming the Willamette (Ricardo Small)

Everything in nature is interconnected.  Where wolves and cougars have been wiped out, like parts of the West and most of the Eastern United States, coyote numbers increased.  After coyote numbers increased, the numbers of rabbits plummeted.  That unnatural imbalance created cascading detrimental results throughout ecosystems in all types of habitats.  Population numbers of many lower levels in the predator/prey system became skewed.  Killing so many predators modified plant communities, because herbivore numbers change.  The new composition of plant life no longer supports a natural and diverse assemblage of species.

I was surprised at so many “YES” votes for HB3188 in the Oregon Legislature.  I re-read Senator Gelser’s email:  “I thought it was important that those concerns be recognized with my vote” to diminish my disappointment. 

What if more of us attended the Oregon Legislature’s committee hearings and town halls?  What if more of us contribute time and money to receptive politicians’ campaigns?  I plan to contribute to Senator Gelser’s. 

Many wildlife issues will come up during the next session of the Oregon Legislature.  Wolves are heading for delisting from Oregon’s endangered species list.  Some people want cougars to be hounded again.  There will be an effort to stack the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife Commission with people who do not have a biodiversity priority and who will include agricultural interests. 

I hope you attend Oregon Wild’s Lobbying Day next spring.  Keeping Oregon as wild as it is today requires all of us to meet elected officials, to support receptive senators and representatives like Senator Gelser, to show our senators and representatives alternative non-lethal measures to keep predator numbers balanced, to tell the truth about the relatively small amount of predation that the commercial livestock industry actually experiences and to inform them about how valuable predators are to Oregon’s biodiversity.


Ricardo Small is a wildlife biologist with bachelor’s (1969) and master’s (1971) degrees, University of Arizona. He worked as a civilian deputy game warden at Fort Huachuca, Arizona (1968) and as the executive secretary of the Arizona Wildlife Federation (1971–73).  He worked as a real estate broker and appraiser in Tucson (1976–2009).  He is retired and lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley seven months of the year (Apr-Nov) and in Tucson for five months (Nov–Apr).  He volunteers as a photographer for Oregon Parks and Recreation and for non-profits:  Greenbelt Land Trust, Marys Peak Group of the Sierra Club, Volunteer Caregivers, Festival Latino, Sonoran Desert Conservation Coalition, Street Smarts column - Arizona Daily Star and a few others. Hobbies include photography, kayaking, bicycling and hiking.  Addictions include good books, environmental activism and two cocker spaniels – Maggie & Chula – who consider him one of their two humans.  His wife, Mary, is their other human.  Ricardo’s photo essays can be seen at www.ricardosmall.smugmug.com.  His email address is ricardosmall@comcast.net.

Your Essential Guidebook to a Wilderness Metropolis

By Caleb Diehl from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jul 27, 2015.

At population 12, in the middle of an ancient rainforest, with no police or government, Jawbone […]

Quick Tips for Success When Using NWEI Ebooks

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

Earlier this summer, NW Earth Institute 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.… Read More!

The post Quick Tips for Success When Using NWEI Ebooks appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Homes in Oregon are Out of Reach

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jul 27, 2015.

20150727
Pam Phan & Christine Corrales

Housing affordability has become a focal concern for many Oregonians. Across communities, finding a place to live that fits within a family's budget has become much more challenging in recent years. Cities throughout Oregon have reported historically low vacancy rates, a common measure for the health of the housing market. Higher vacancy rates indicate more housing options – and often lower rents as a result. While those looking to buy a home are seeing the highest list prices on record in Oregon. 

read more

National News: July 27, 2015

By mgarland@cnsp.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jul 27, 2015.

Forest Ethics Board Concerned About Helicopter Training on local forest lands, KOHO Wenatchee

Tidwell Endorses Arbitration - Forest Service seeks protection against lawsuits that delay management policies, ClimateWire at NCFP

Trees: They make our lives better, Santa Fe New Mexican editorial

Cliff-jumpers versus condors in SoCal Los Padres National Forest - Can $5,000 fines and jail time protect an endangered species from thrill-seekers?, High Country News
When lightning strikes in high places, Mountain Town News: Summit Daily
Genetic research lays foundation for bold conservation strategies - To save the greatest number of species, should we focus on the most common?, High Country News
The precious common, HCN editorial
Stop the rock-stacking - A writer calls for an end to cairns, High Country News & comments
Misdirection - more on cairns, Mountain Gazette

Metro's Chief Operating Officer: Don't Expand the UGB

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

20150724
Mary Kyle McCurdy

1000 Friends of Oregon applauds the recommendation of Metro's Chief Operating Officer that Metro not expand the regional urban growth boundary (UGB) in 2015, but instead focus on how to grow better inside the UGB. The recommendation points out that the region has enough land inside the UGB for the next 20 years' worth of population and employment growth, and then states:

"It is time for our region to move on from the land supply debate and consider actions that will:

read more

Land Use Highlights and Lowlights of the 2015 Oregon Legislative Session

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jul 24, 2015.

20150723
Mary Kyle McCurdy

The 2015 Oregon legislative session proved to be quite active on land use issues. 1000 Friends staff tracked over 300 bills and testified on dozens of them. Your financial support enabled us to be in Salem, working closely with allied groups and legislators to defend and improve the land use program. This support also meant we could keep in touch with all of you, letting you know when your voice was critically needed in Salem. Together, we were able to pass a few improvements and defeat many threats to the land use program.

read more

Throwback Thursday: Bringing 'em Back

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

By Beth Krynick

At one time, gray wolves inhabited much of Oregon. Unfortunately, by the late 1940s, a very deliberate campaign had eradicated this iconic species from the state.

It would be more than a half a century before gray wolves would return in earnest.  However, before wolves showed up on their own, the US Fish and Wildlife Service had actually considered a plan to translocate them back into the state. A spring of 1984 Wild Oregon newsletter features a summary of the proposal to re-introduce wolves along with a list of potential sites.

Three points featured in the USFWS proposal to re-reintroduce wolves in Oregon:

  • The location needed to have a low human and livestock population to minimize conflicts,
  • The need for large blocks of public land with significant ungulate populations, the size of which will help determine the carrying capacity for wolves and,
  • Public and governmental support which are a must if a re-introduction project is going to be successful.

In 1984, re-introducing wolves into the Oregon wilderness was a fairly new concept, and location, support, and reducing conflict were emphasized as necessary to provide for a success of translocation. 

In South Carolina, a similar translation experiment with red wolves had been conducted in January, 1976. The results seemed promising. Two red wolves were released onto Bull’s Island, which is a part of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina. The two wolves were seen staying together, catching prey, gaining weight, and were also thought to have given birth. Unfortunately, the pups were presumed dead because of hookworms or other parasites. 

While the results of the experiment were questionable, it successfully convinced the public and federal biologists that wolf translocations were indeed possible. This set the bar for wolf re-introduction in Oregon, where USFWS began scoping out potential sites for the wolf population. Out of dozens of potential sites, the regions chosen included Klamath Mountains Zone, Central Cascade Zone, Southern Cascade Zone, North Fork John Day Zone and Hells Canyon Zone. 

After the zones were chosen, the next logical step was to re-introduce ecological communities in order for a thriving eco-system. The plan never went forward, and Oregon would still have to wait 20 years before wolves would begin to reestablish themselves on their own.

Lois Crisler, Author of Arctic Wild, said, “Without the animals, the land is dead.” That statement holds truth, even more so today. Perhaps with the gradual return of this iconic species, our land is just a little more alive.
As of February 2015, there are 77 confirmed wolves in nine packs whose used and assumed locations can be seen on the map from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).

Click here to read more on the return of wolves to Oregon.

Want to stand up for Oregon’s wolves? Click here!

Photo Credits: 
ODFW

More Logging Won’t Stop Wildfires

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

Contrary to widespread misconceptions, large fires burn mostly at low and moderate intensities. For example, only about 20 percent of the Rim Fire was high-intensity, and only a portion of the land involved was densely forested enough to create snag forest habitat. Moreover, current science indicates that we have less, not more, mixed-intensity wildland fire in our forests now than we did historically. Allowing more fires to burn in backcountry areas will help restore our forest ecosystems.

July Wolf Update - Meet Me at the Beach!

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jul 22, 2015.

By Stephanie Taylor, Wildlife Advocate
 
The most impactful thing anyone can do for Oregon’s wolves is to speak up. Sometimes that means writing letters or meeting with legislators. Sometimes it means going to the beach.
 
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Commission will be meeting in Seaside, OR on September 4th to consider the future of Oregon’s wolves. Oregon Wild will be distributing more information as the date of the event approaches, and will coordinate testimony and carpools for those who RSVP. 
 
The public supports Oregon’s wolves. In fact, a recent poll released by Oregon Wild reinforces this fact: a majority of Oregonians, both in urban and rural communities, continues to approve of gray wolf recovery. Support for continued protections for gray wolves was polled at 66% across the state, with 60% support in rural Oregon. Unfortunately, Commission meetings can easily be overtaken by special interests committed to stripping protections away from wolves. That’s why it’s so important to make your voice heard and protect the future of this integral species.
 
Speaking of the future of Oregon’s wolves, did you see that the family of Oregon’s famous wandering wolf is expanding? Journey’s Rogue Pack reportedly has at least one new pup this year. And if you haven’t seen it already, check out OR-7’s last batch of pups, now yearlings, caught on trail cam!
 
 
Wolves are integral to functioning ecosystems, and are an important symbol of America’s wilderness. I was recently able to experience a dream of mine - -to hear a wolf howl in the wild – on Oregon Wild’s Wallowa Wolf Rendezvous (read about some of the experiences of other Wolf Rendezvousers here and here). I hope you’ll join me in Seaside to ensure a future where the next generation of Oregonians have that same opportunity. 
Tags: 
Photo Credits: 
Photos courtesy ODFW

Changemaker Interview: Why You Should Start Change Now

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

Today’s Changemaker Interview is with NWEI’s newest intern, EcoChallenge Progam Assistant Eric Elmore, who comes to us just after discovering the benefits of Voluntary Simplicity in his own life. As Eric says, “For many years I was progressively discontented, but… Read More!

The post Changemaker Interview: Why You Should Start Change Now appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

SAGE Summer Concerts

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Jul 21, 2015.

The wind was blowing and it was a little cold but that didn’t stop over 450 people from attending the first
SAGE Summer Concert of the season. People enjoyed treats from Jason’s Tropical Ice and Francesco’s Gelato while listening to music from The Maharimbas, The Crescendo Show, and Mango Django. There was also good eats from Ploughman’s Lunch and McWeenies. Guests over 21 enjoyed the beer garden that included Two Towns Ciderhouse, Nectar Creek, and Oregon Trail Brewery.
This family ...

freshwater Talk episode 13: Vanessa Keitges, CEO of Columbia Green

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jul 20, 2015.

Green roofs help manage the quality and quantity of storm water, energy use and air and water pollution. They’re invaluable and quickly growing worldwide. Vanessa Keitges, my latest guest on freshwater Talk, is leading the way in this industry.

Tualatin Riverkeepers Appeal Beaverton Wetland Decision

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

TUALATIN, OR – Tualatin Riverkeepers Board of Directors voted unanimously to appeal the Beaverton Planning Commission’s approval of a Conditional Use Permit for South Cooper Mountain High School. The Planning Commission, contrary to Beaverton’s comprehensive plan and natural resource protection code voted to allow the Beaverton School District to fill 2.5 acres of wetland for […]

Action Alert: Tell Sen. Wyden to keep solar growing in Oregon!

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jul 17, 2015.

Next week, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee will decide whether to support continued American solar industry growth. Senator Wyden’s leadership as the ranking member on the Finance Committee gives him a key role in continuing our national commitment to solar energy. Sen. Wyden could introduce an amendment to include solar in the tax extenders bill. Please call Sen. Wyden at (202) 224-5244 or email and voice your support for solar.

Better Living Through Trees

By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on Jul 16, 2015.

Visitors, In-laws, new residents – One of the first things you’ll hear newcomers to Portland talk about is how green our city is. It’s the trees (and maybe, just a little, the rain). As Portland continues to become a destination to live, work and visit, we’re going to struggle to add density and continue to […]

Kick-Start Change Today! EcoChallenge Registration is Now Open

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jul 16, 2015.

We know change can be tough, and sometimes it takes a kick-start to make it happen. Chances are there’s already something on your “to-do” list for the planet – whether it’s planting a veggie garden, installing rain barrels, getting a… Read More!

The post Kick-Start Change Today! EcoChallenge Registration is Now Open appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Elected Officials to Race in Canoes and Kayaks August 1

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

Once again, Tualatin Riverkeepers is hosting a paddle race for elected officials on the Tualatin River. This year, besides launching your canoes and kayaks, we will be launching a new Paddler’s Map and Water Trail Signage thanks to the generous support of the Washington County Visitors Association. We provide the boats, life jackets, and paddles. […]

The Bill that Should Have Passed – HB 2564: Inclusionary Zoning

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jul 14, 2015.

20150714
Mary Kyle McCurdy

Land Use Goal 10 requires that all cities provide residential land zoned to meet the housing needs of all Oregonians. During the 2015 legislative session, 1000 Friends worked with a coalition of organizations, individuals, local governments, and businesses that care about affordable housing in an attempt to pass House Bill 2564, which would have enabled local governments to use inclusionary zoning to provide housing opportunities for all, in every neighborhood. Local governments from Hood River to Lincoln County and Corvallis to Milwaukie supported HB 2564.

read more

2015 Application to the CEC Board of Directors

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Jul 14, 2015.


About the Corvallis Environmental Center:

Founded in 1994, the CEC educates, engages and inspires people to get involved in creating a healthy, sustainable community. Every year we reach more than 10,000 people through the programs and outreach activities of our current core program areas:

NATURE EDUCATION

At Avery House Nature Center we use science-based inquiry to help children and adults connect with nature and learn about our local ecosystems.

CLIMATE & ENERGY ACTION

Energize Corvallis is dedicated to helping ...

National News: July 13, 2015

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

Stop the Apache land grab and protect Native American holy land from copper mining - Sign the petition: Don't mine sacred Native American land in Arizona, Credo Action
House GOP: Use disaster fund for wildfires - Part of move to win support to target overgrown forests, Juneau Empire
Forest service - Sawing standards, Missoula Independent

Feds can't steal land they already own, Salt Lake Tribune editorial
‘Satisfaction’ as a Rolling Stone and as a tree farmer - When not promoting sustainable forestry, Chuck Leavell tickles the ivories with Mick and Keith, Portland Press Herald

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board provides funding to identify restoration sites in the Rogue

By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust » The Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jul 10, 2015.

July 10, 2015 — The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) has awarded The Freshwater Trust $24,500 to identify sites in need of restoration along rivers in the Rogue basin. Using a tool called REST — short for Riparian Extent and Status Tool — the nonprofit will survey the banks of southwestern Oregon waterways and identify […]

Tree Match Makers

By Randi Orth from Growth Rings. Published on Jul 08, 2015.

Here at Friends of Trees world headquarters, we’re in the business of helping homeowners find their perfect tree match for their space (among other things). We do this through a combination of carefully cultivated tree lists (right tree, right place, y’all) and our superhero Tree Callers who volunteer weekly to call interested homeowners and help […]

Green herons are nesting!

By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Jul 07, 2015.

Everyone knows the story of the phoenix, a bird that dies or is burned but then rises again from the ashes. It is one of the best known bird myths of the western world. But did you know that the Egyptian hieroglyph for the bird appears to be a heron or egret? What luck to

Foster Education, Create Greener Workplace Cultures & Engage Employees

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jul 07, 2015.

Workplace sustainability initiatives are most successful when employees are inspired to take action, together. We’ve offered our discussion courses in over 2,500 workplace settings, engaging employees, fostering education, creating greener workplace cultures and inspiring staff to find solutions that support organizational sustainability initiatives.… Read More!

The post Foster Education, Create Greener Workplace Cultures & Engage Employees appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Common and Free

By Simon Gray from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jul 06, 2015.

Weighing the Merits of Regulated Recreation It’s the fourth of July and I’m parking about a […]

Oregon Rain (a guest blog)

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

By Kate Taylor This blog is republished with permission from Kate Taylor. Originally published in The Cleanest Line, Patagonia. I stand at my kitchen sink, looking out the window as I fill a glass of water. I live in Rockaway Beach a coastal community of 2,500 people, renowned for all that is epic about the Oregon coast:... Read more »

The post 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 […]

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.

$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

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.

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 […]

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. 

read more

Leadership Spotlight: Westside Transportation Alliance

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

20150625
Sam Diaz

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

read more

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 […]

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.
 

read more

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

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. COMPLETE FIRE […]

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,

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.

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 […]

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.

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

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: ...

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

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

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.

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 […]

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.

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.

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.

20150526
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

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.

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.

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

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

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

20150429
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.

20150429
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.

20150429
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 […]

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 […]

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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.

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.

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.

#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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

testing sahring

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

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.

read more

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

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.”
 

read more

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.

 

###

read more

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

read more

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:

read more

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

read more

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.

read more

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).

read more

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

Contact Us header

By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Jul 31, 2010.

http://www.rnp.org/sites/default/files/RNP_CWB_421sw6th_header.jpg

Our Staff header

By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Jul 30, 2010.

http://www.rnp.org/sites/default/files/RNW-staff-Dec2014.jpg

Green Economy header

By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Jul 29, 2010.

http://www.rnp.org/sites/default/files/GreenEconomy_headergraphic.jpg

GoGreen header

By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Jul 29, 2010.

http://www.rnp.org/sites/default/files/GoGreen_NextGen_headergraphic_1.jpg

Economic Impacts header

By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Jul 28, 2010.

http://www.rnp.org/sites/default/files/SolarInstallersNorthPacBldg.jpg

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.

http://www.rnp.org/sites/default/files/press_release/upload/10-28-09-transmission-MOU%20NR.pdf

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.
Document Actions