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Update: Portland crow die-off

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Nov 27, 2014.

Nov. 27, 2014: On the morning of Nov. 26, reports of dead and dying crows began occurring at Chapman, Lownsdale and Waterfront Parks in downtown Portland. A number of agencies and organizations responded, including Multnomah County Animal Services, Portland Parks and Recreation, Portland Police, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Audubon Society of Portland. Over the course of the day, between 30-40 crows and a single gull were recovered from various locations around the downtown core. A small number of additional reports of dead crows occurred in NE and SE Portland. Most of the crows were either dead at the time of retrieval or died shortly after being recovered. Live birds all demonstrated severe neurological symptoms including seizures.

Coming together to curb controversy over city tree codes

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Nov 26, 2014.

Originally published in Outside Voices – The blog of the Intertwine Alliance Urban Forest Fire Urban forest fire Coming together to curb controversy over city tree codes By Brian Wegener, November 26 2014 More than 80 people gathered in Tualatin last week for an extended conversation about municipal tree codes. The Nov. 18 Urban Forestry […]

N. Williams Work Zone Update: Letter of concern written to PBOT

By Hatham Al-Shabibi from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 26, 2014.

We know a significant portion of our members and readers bike and walk along North Williams, and many of you have expressed concern over the construction […]

5 Tips for a Sustainable Thanksgiving

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 26, 2014.

As you know, we are big advocates of simplicity and sustainability — at the holidays and all year round. We are always trying to find ways to bring sustainability into our daily habits and practices – and that’s why we like these… Read More!

The post 5 Tips for a Sustainable Thanksgiving appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

November Member Spotlight: Don and Alona Steinke

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 25, 2014.

If you need an example of local superheros, look no further than Alona and Don Steinke. These two are part of the extremely strong backbone of citizen-led resistance to the mega-oil terminal proposed at the Port of Vancouver and coal export in Washington. Their commitment to fighting climate change and protecting their community is unparalleled and inspirational.

Support Clean Water and Healthy Communities

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 25, 2014.

Our wish for the New Year is that we all have clean water, strong salmon runs, and healthy communities. Right now our basic rights are threatened by fossil fuel exports and toxic pollution in the Columbia River.

Public Comment Period: Say No to LNG!

By jasmine from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 25, 2014.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced a critical public comment period to decide whether to issue key permits for Oregon LNG’s terminal and pipeline. Oregon LNG cannot build its terminal and gas pipeline without permits from DEQ and the Corps.

Give Thanks for SEEDS!

By achesser from The Latest News. Published on Nov 25, 2014.

The Thanksgiving bounty begins with seeds.

How to Defeat the Impulse Buy: Be Thankful for What You Have

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 24, 2014.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week and head into the holiday season, David DeSteno (a professor of psychology at Northeastern University) tells us that with holiday shopping, curbing the impulse to buy isn’t always possible with willpower alone. However, being… Read More!

The post How to Defeat the Impulse Buy: Be Thankful for What You Have appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Local Army Corps overruled by national office on coal facility, documents show

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 21, 2014.

Portland Tribune. Nov. 21, 2014.

Documents show Army Corps’ coal port consideration

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 21, 2014.

AP News. Nov. 21, 2014.

FOIA Documents – featured

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 21, 2014.

Following a recent court victory, Riverkeeper obtained internal agency documents showing why the Army Corps refused to conduct a thorough environmental impact statement for the controversial Morrow Pacific coal export terminal.

Why was Full Environmental Review of Oregon Coal Export Terminal Nixed?

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 21, 2014.

Following a recent court victory, Riverkeeper obtained internal agency documents showing why the Army Corps refused to conduct a thorough environmental impact statement for the controversial Morrow Pacific coal export terminal.

How We Get There Matters: Transportation Policy and Health Training, December 11, 2015

By Stephanie Noll from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 21, 2014.

When: December 11, 2014 (Full Day Training) Where: Metro Regional Center, 600 NE Grand, Portland, OR You see the results of inactivity in your medical practice […]

Street Fee Update: Letter to City Council from our Executive Director

By Hatham Al-Shabibi from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 20, 2014.

Many of you are already aware of Portland City Council’s proposed street fee. It aims to raise new revenues in order to complete much-needed maintenance and […]

Street Fee Update: BTA’s Executive Director testifies to City Council

By Hatham Al-Shabibi from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 20, 2014.

Today, the BTA’s executive director Rob Sadowsky testified to Portland’s City Council regarding the proposed street fee. Sadowsky’s testimony took into account the priorities of the […]

Threatened: Get to know the Pacific Fisher

By bridget from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Nov 19, 2014.

Pacific Fisher

By Taylor Rudow

The Pacific Fisher (Martes pennanti pacificais) is one of the rarest animals that inhabit the backcountry around Crater Lake. While the name immediately calls to mind a tall white bird gracefully slicing through the water to capture mackerel in its long orange beak, the real Pacific Fisher could not be more different. Three feet in length with plush red-brown fur, reflective black eyes, and feet too large for its slender body, the Pacific Fisher is arguably the most beautiful member of the weasel family.  While the innocently-shy nature and nocturnal behaviors of the Fisher make it difficult to find them in the wild, the biggest hurdle to seeing these amazing creatures is the painfully small number of them that are left alive.

Pacific Fishers start their lives in dens under fallen trees and dense canopies. Juvenile Fishers, called kits, are born blind and helpless- completely dependent on their mother’s milk and protection for the first 10 weeks of life. After three weeks, kits begin to crawl, and after seven weeks they can open their eyes. On average, it takes Fishers five to seven months to leave their den and venture beyond their mother’s territory.

Once they are out on their own, Fishers are rather solitary creatures. Hunting mostly at night, they will travel many miles in search of prey. Fishers are some of the most dynamic and successful predators in the Pacific Northwest, and can single-handedly bring down rabbits, hares, birds, and even porcupines.  Once full, they spend their days wrapped snuggly in small dens that they create in hollow trees, logs, and rock crevices. These dens are scattered throughout their territory because each Fisher’s territory can be a dozen miles in diameter, making it impossible for them to return to the same home each day.

Fishers are rather picky about the type of habitat they prefer within their territory. Fishers thrive in large areas of dense, mature coniferous or mixed forest. Thinned woods are detrimental to the Fisher’s well-being because they do not have the foliage cover they need for hunting, and the fallen logs that make natural den spaces are removed, leaving the Fishers with nowhere safe to raise their kits. As harmful logging operations and human development cut into the pristine old growth around Crater Lake, the habitat of the Fishers dwindles.

Today, only two native populations remain in the United States- one in Northern California and Oregon, and a second in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. These two populations have been physically and genetically separated for over 5,000 years. Therefore, efforts to protect these animals must focus not on one location, but on two locations, each with obstacles and threats. Pacific Fishers in the Northwest are threatened by low reproductive capacity, reduced genetic diversity, predation, disease, and habitat loss.

We know so very little about Pacific Fishers, yet these pristine mammals are quickly moving towards extinction. The question we must ask ourselves, therefore, is do we really want to kill them before we understand them? Because the things we do know about them are extraordinary.

If we decide we want to protect the remaining fragile population of Pacific Fishers in Oregon, one of the best things to do is protect the pristine forests they require for habitat. Fortunately, Oregon Wild is working to protect known habitat in and around Crater Lake in the Southern Cascades. Protecting this area from threats such as logging and human development will ensure Fishers and other threatened wildlife have the habitat necessary for survival. To learn more about this effort, or sign the Keep Crater Lake Wild petition visit the Crater Lake page here!

Photo Credits: 
Pacific Fisher courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Rough Rider Falls, courtesy of Wendell Wood.

Speak Out in Support of Portland Street Fund

By Gerik Kransky from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 19, 2014.

Now is the time for BTA members and supporters to speak out strongly in support of the new funding and new bicycle transportation projects across the […]

What’s Next for Climate? Carbon Emissions Likely to be Priced

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 19, 2014.

Today, hot on the heels of the Senate’s vote on Keystone XL, Grist blogger David Roberts shared the following post: Within two years, a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions are likely to be priced. While the Keystone XL vote is… Read More!

The post What’s Next for Climate? Carbon Emissions Likely to be Priced appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Seeds for the Sol: Giving Power to the People

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Nov 19, 2014.

In Corvallis, local partnerships are working to reduce the upfront price of solar through community wealth-sharing.

2014: A Year of Excitement and Firsts!

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Nov 19, 2014.

2014 has been a whirlwind tour around the Tualatin basin and a year full of successes for Tualatin Riverkeepers. We had our biggest season for boat rentals, getting 2,500 paddlers on the river this summer and over 500 of them were youth under 18  ̶   a major victory for inspiring the next generation of waterkeepers. We […]

Timbers goals will turn into trees Saturday

By JennyD from Growth Rings. Published on Nov 19, 2014.

Members from the Portland Timbers roster will be out along with the Timbers Army Saturday to plant 135 trees in the Montavilla and Mt. Tabor neighborhoods. What a way to kick off Friends of Trees’ 2014-2015 neighborhood planting season in Portland! The Timbers scored 83 goals in all competitions last season, and that means that […]

Biking Doesn’t Have to Hurt: Pedal PT Offers Physical Therapy For Bikers!

By Daniel Peniston from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 19, 2014.

“There’s this urban myth that pain is just a part of riding a bike,” says Kevin Schmidt, owner and founder of Pedal PT. “So many people […]

A Time to Give!

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Nov 18, 2014.

The holiday season is all about family, friends, community and of course… giving! We ask you to remember us this holiday season! In fact December 2nd is a global day TUE give – it’s #GivingTuesday. There are many different ways to get involved: Give Time! Give Money! Give Items! You can also donate to ARC,
read more

Donate to the Edible Corvallis Initiative

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Nov 18, 2014.

The Edible Corvallis Initiative exists because of people in the this community believe that a local, sustainable food system is important and everyone should have access to fresh healthy food. Support your local community’s food security today–every dollar makes a difference.

Jordan Cove LNG in Coos Bay could quickly become one of the largest greenhouse gas emitters in Oregon

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Nov 18, 2014.

A proposed liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay could quickly become one of the largest, if not the largest emitter, of greenhouse gases in Oregon, federal data shows.

Stormwater could kill salmon, but ‘rain gardens’ help

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 18, 2014.

NBC Portland. Nov. 17, 2014.

Another Reason to Reuse Your Bags

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 17, 2014.

We here at NWEI think it is important to reuse and recycle as often as possible: including clothing! That’s why we’ve partnered with Buffalo Exchange on Burnside Ave as part of their ‘Tokens for Bags’ program. You can help us by… Read More!

The post Another Reason to Reuse Your Bags appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Count that Grouse

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

Counting Grouse

Member Holiday Party

By Amanda Harrison from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 17, 2014.

It’s chilly out, so come chill with the BTA while you snack on our special member-only chili. Join us Tuesday, December 9th for BTA’s Member Holiday Party. Come […]

Daring Adventure or Nothing

By from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Nov 17, 2014.

Guest blog by Naseem Rakha

Oregon's first winter storm was predicted to hit yesterday, and oh-boy, you'd think the sky was falling. Portland metro newscasters pulled out all their doomsday-ware: "Up to the minute Doppler Radar," webcams of soon-to-be-snow covered streets, lists of school closures and delays, and a scroll of Tweets about the storm. Their overall message: Don't panic, just stay home, make some tea. Everything will be all right.

But I had my doubts about their predictions. My thermometer had settled at 37 degrees. This rain was not going to morph to snow, not where I lived at least, and probably not in Portland either. (It didn't.) So my dog Waldo and I got in my car and headed up to the mountains where I was certain I would actually see snow, not just hear rowdy rumors of its coming. And there, not far up the Santiam canyon, I found what I was looking for. Big fat flakes falling from a felt-gray sky. Pillowy clouds nestled on the shoulders of the Cascade foothills. Douglas-firs dusted like Christmas cookies. I followed the North Santiam River up to Detroit Lake, a summertime recreation area, where sailboats and jet skis slice wakes in a deep green reservoir created when the Corp of Engineers dammed (damned?) the North Santiam in 1953.

In winter, though, the 455,000 acre-foot lake is drained to make room for snow melt and runoff. In other words, instead of a reservoir, what one can see at Detroit Lake now is the old channel of the North Santiam river, and the remnants of a forest that stood at its side. It's a surreal landscape of still water and old growth stumps poking through the freezing earth like tombstones.

Waldo and I got out from the car and hiked down to this former forest. Big wind-driven flakes flattening themselves to the ground as we hiked and watched a White Tailed Kite skim the shoreline, deers huddle in a protected cove, a solitary coyote dart into the woods. After a while, the snow changed to sleet and ice began to seal our footprints. Back at the car, I poured myself tea from my battered old Stanley Thermos, gave Waldo a biscuit and we sat in the steamy vehicle listening to sleet pelt the roof: warm, comfortable, satisfied.

The day had not all gone perfectly. Before the lake hike, Waldo and I tried to get to the Stahlman Trailhead. It's located three and a half miles up Blowout Road, which is two and a half miles east of the town of Detroit. The road had not been plowed, and I did not bother putting on my chains, counting on my 4WD to get me through the six inches of wet snow. When I got to the trailhead, I tried to turn the car around so that it would be easier to leave after my hike, but my car lost its footing and began to slide sideways toward a ditch. Now I was blocking the one-lane road, and no matter what I did to try to go forward, I only made my situation worse. Finally, I got out the chains and was in the process of trying to get them on my back tires when two pick ups pulled up and out popped what I have to describe as two rather sketchy looking characters: middle aged men with long oily hair, battered beards, battered trucks, each one with a well equipped gun rack.

They approached my car and sized up the situation. Me. My over friendly dog. My sideways car. All of us far from anywhere. And then they told me to forget about the chains. "Get in the car," one of them said. "We'll get you out." And they did, each one planting themselves in the snowy ditch and pushing the rear end of my vehicle while I gingerly touched the gas and slowly moved forward. Their names were Rick and Rich, and afterwards we talked about the weather and the hills and the hike they'd just been on. I offered them tea, and they said sure, and we shared the cup from my thermos. "We saw a gray fox," Rick said. Their hair not oily but wet from being out in this storm. Out in the snow and the cold. Out in this world.

It's true, I know, I would have been safer if I stayed home. I could have worked on my novel. Washed some clothes. Read. I passed a jack-knifed semi on the way back home, and two cars planted deep in a ditch. I certainly would have been safer had I not gone up that road, and into that snow and ice—no doubt about it. But there is no way I would ever have been as satisfied.

Helen Keller once said, "Life is either a daring adventure, or it's nothing." And while my adventures may not be all that daring compared the things you see on Youtube, or read about in one of Jon Krakauer's book, they are a hell of a lot better than nothing.

-Naseem Rakha - November 14, 2014

Naseem is an award-winning author and journalist whose stories have been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace Radio, Christian Science Monitor, and Living on Earth. She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and many animals. When Naseem isn’t writing, she’s reading, knitting, hiking, gardening, or just watching the seasons roll in and out.


Photo Credits: 
Naseem Rakha

freshwater Talk, Episode 1: Alexandra Cousteau

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Nov 14, 2014.

What I do for a living enables me to meet people in a pretty cool head space because my job (conservation) is their passion (conservation).  Discussions run from the philosophical to the very applied as we figure out how to make the world a better place.

Abbott Butte trek lifts the spirit

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Nov 14, 2014.

Located amongst old-growth forests and meadows in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness, Abbott Butte is literally the dividing line between the iconic Rogue River and the Umpqua Watershed.

Why Transformative Learning is Critical

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 13, 2014.

We here at NWEI believe that creative solutions are required to solve the problems facing humanity and our planet. And we know that the way we learn and engage is critical to fostering the skills and motivation needed to rise… Read More!

The post Why Transformative Learning is Critical appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

“I raced at the first cyclocross event there when I was a kid.”

By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 13, 2014.

After years of hard work by our partners “Friends of Gateway Green,” the huge grassy tract of Northeast Portland land is finally owned by the city […]

Portland Audubon closed Nov. 13 due to winter weather

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Nov 13, 2014.

Nov. 13, 2014: The Audubon Society of Portland's main campus, located at 5151 NW Cornell Road, will be closed Thursday, Nov. 13 due to icy roads and forecasted winter weather.

Moda Health: The Perfect fit For Bicyclists

By Daniel Peniston from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 13, 2014.

Moda Health has been providing health plans for medical, dental, vision, and more for almost 60 years,and is one of Portland’s premier health plan services. It […]

Use a saddle. It’s the law.

By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 12, 2014.

A violation waiting to happen.   Oregon Revised Statute 814.470 “Failure to use bicycle seat” (1) A person commits the offense of failure to use a […]

Thank You Showers Pass for Outfitting Our Bike Safety Educators!

By Megan Van de Mark from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 12, 2014.

Our bike safety educators not only teach in all sorts of weather, they bike all over the city to get to the schools they then teach […]

Action! Clean Water Protection Rule Comment Tools and Help

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

Action! Clean Water Protection Rule Comment Tools and Help

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

Why Engaging Community Members In Conversations is Critical to Change

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 11, 2014.

As you know, the NWEI community is full of incredible changemakers – those people who have stepped up in their communities to make a difference and take responsibility for Earth. Today we are excited to share inspiration from Judy Alexander, of… Read More!

The post Why Engaging Community Members In Conversations is Critical to Change appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Alta Planning’s Secret Strategy for Bike Commute Challenge Success

By Daniel Peniston from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 11, 2014.

Alta Planning + Design, a planning and design firm that builds sustainable infrastructure for biking and walking, has all of the necessary components to win the […]

OR-7 Could Be Re-collared Next Month

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Nov 10, 2014.

Biologists plan to recapture OR-7 and replace the wolf's tracking collar — and possibly collar his mate and some of his three pups — to keep tracking Western Oregon's only known wolf family as they work their way toward pack status.

Living with wildfire

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Nov 10, 2014.

A Southern Oregon University professor has co-authored a study published this week in Nature that says people should learn to live with wildfire — much like living with earthquakes — rather than rely on fuels-reduction projects that only encourage people to build in wildfire zones

Feds say environmental and safety impacts of Jordan Cove LNG terminal in Coos Bay can be mitigated

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Nov 10, 2014.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday issued its long-awaited draft environmental impact statement for the controversial Jordan Cove Energy Project. The conclusions are similar to its previous determination when Jordan Cove was proposed as a gas import project.

Needed: New Stories About Clean Water

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

Needed: New Stories About Clean Water

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

National News: November 10, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Nov 09, 2014.

Rein in EPA and Forest Service, Reedsburg Times-Press op-ed
Public lands must be protected, Santa Fe New Mexican op-ed
Feds are the real land-grabbers, Santa Fe New Mexican op-ed

Federal agencies unveil 2020 wilderness vision - Finalizing inventories, planning for climate resilience are high on the agenda, Summit Voice

Study shows some types of beetle outbreaks may inhibit crown fires in Pacific Northwest forests - Study calls out inaccurate media reports about links between bugs and wildfires, Summit Voice
Human disturbance the key factor driving changes in eastern forests - Fire suppression, land-clearing outweigh climate factors, study says, Summit Voice
Rocky Mountain sawmills rebound - But the industry says it needs more timber, High County News

Is smart land-use planning the best way to reduce wildfire risks? - ‘Solely relying on public forest management to prevent homes burning by wildfire is simply barking up the wrong tree’, Summit Voice

Read the memo from USFS chief Thomas Tidwell - USFS schedules meetings to respond to concern over wilderness filming and photography permit proposal, The Olympian

Riverkeeper Expands Port of Vancouver Lawsuit

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 09, 2014.

Riverkeeper has called on the Port of Vancouver to revoke the oil terminal lease. “We’re moving to expand our lawsuit to show more of the port’s illegal activities. Based on our discovery, we’ve obtained documents showing additional illegal and secret meetings,” said Brett VandenHeuvel.

Riverkeeper Expands Lawsuit – featured

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 09, 2014.

Riverkeeper has called on the port to revoke the oil terminal lease. "We're moving to expand our lawsuit to show more of the port's illegal activities. Based on our discovery, we've obtained documents showing additional illegal and secret meetings," said Brett VandenHeuvel.

Come to our beer release party!

By JennyD from Growth Rings. Published on Nov 07, 2014.

Have you gotten a taste of the Friends of Trees Pale Ale in bottles yet? Here’s your chance to get a pint! Join Ninkasi Brewing Company and Friends of Trees as we release/pour the first kegs of Friends of Trees Pale Ale!!! WHEN: Wednesday, November 12, 6-11 p.m. WHERE: Oregon Public House (700 NE Dekum St, Portland, […]

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.

Portland Audubon research indicates local heron population is stable

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Nov 07, 2014.

Nov. 6, 2014: The Audubon Society of Portland has completed a six-year citizen science effort to monitor Great Blue Heron rookeries in the Portland metropolitan region, an area that is home to many such nesting colonies. The findings indicate the region’s heron population is currently stable.

Member Cabin Reservations Open November 17!

By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Nov 07, 2014.

We’re already hard at work getting things ready for next season, and we’re excited to roll […]

Conservation & Durability

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

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

Watershed and River Community Comments on the Clean Water Protection Rule

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

EcoChallenge Action Story: Student EcoChallenger Kick-Starts New Recycling Program

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 06, 2014.

As you know, NWEI just finished up two weeks of EcoChallenge action (and fun!) last week. While there are so many inspiring stories of changemaking, this one really struck us. Lewis-Clark State College student Wyatt Manyon joined the 38-member LCSC… Read More!

The post EcoChallenge Action Story: Student EcoChallenger Kick-Starts New Recycling Program appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

We're back in the Give!Guide, with even better prizes!

By JennyD from Growth Rings. Published on Nov 04, 2014.

We’re pleased to be part of the Willamette Week Give!Guide for the sixth year in a row! This means you can get FREE tasty and fun prizes just for donating $10+ to Friends of Trees and our work to grow healthier communities! The Give!Guide is a year-end guide to local nonprofits. To date, it’s raised more than $9 […]

Albuquerque Wilderness 50 Celebration – Take-Aways

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

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

Why Polystyrene is Bad for Medford

By from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Nov 04, 2014.

By Sam Becker

It destroys our environment, gives us cancer, kills wildlife, and takes jobs away from our local economy. What is it? It is polystyrene foam (PSF), which is commonly known as Styrofoam™.

My name is Sam Becker, and I am a mission to ban PSF food containers in Medford, Oregon. I’m currently a Senior at St. Mary’s High School in Medford, and this desire has been waxing ever since I adopted and started doing community service on a stretch of the local pedestrian/bike path as a Sophomore. I came to despise PSF due to the way it looks as litter in nature and the way it crumbles into smaller pieces when I try to pick it up. This sentiment drove me to do extensive research on PSF, and I discovered it has a wide spectrum of deleterious effects on the environment, humans, other organisms, and our local economy. These discoveries have led me to where I am today: spearheading a citywide initiative to ban PSF food containers.

So, why ban PSF food containers? 

PSF Harms the Environment
•    PSF, which is derived from petroleum, can take 1,000,000+ years to decompose.1
•    With very few recycling mechanisms in place (none in the Rogue Valley), only 0.2% of PSF is recycled in the US.2
•    Americans throw away an alarming 25 billion PSF cups alone each year.3
•    PSF manufacturing is the 5th largest creator of hazardous waste in the U.S.4

PSF Harms Humans
•    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services views styrene (PSF’s main component) as a likely carcinogen.5
•    The EPA has detected Styrene in the fatty tissue of every person tested. 6
•    Occupational exposure to Styrene increases risk of the following cancers: lymphoma, leukemia, lung, pancreatic, urinary bladder, prostate, and colorectal.7

PSF Harms Other Organisms
•    As PSF breaks down into smaller pieces that are commonly ingested by wildlife, which harms or kills them.8

PSF Harms Oregon’s Local Economy
•    Oregon's economy is not based on petroleum extraction or petroleum manufacturing, so the creation and purchase of PSF does not put money into Oregon's local economy.9
•    However, the use of paper food containers, when made from recycled materials or sustainably-managed forests, provides both direct environmental and economic benefits to Oregon.10

Due to these facts, over 150 cities across the U.S., including Austin, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and Medford’s neighbor Ashland have all banned PSF food containers.

The ordinance I constructed contains an economic exemption for “food vendors” that make a gross income under $300,000 and cannot find an alternative that would cost the same or less than PSF would be exempt. Also, many economically feasible and more sustainable replacements exist, such as paper, corn, and other plant based materials. 

I was given the go ahead to start petitioning from the City of Medford after months of waiting. Now, after a little over a month, the committee I set up has collected nearly 1500 signatures. However, in order to reach our goal of 4000 signatures by December 1st, we are increasing the frequency at which we petition, looking for businesses and other entities to support us, and searching for publicity through different media outlets that exist in Medford. 

I will continue to work tirelessly upon this initiative because if it passes, I believe it will encourage others, no matter their age, to get involved in the political process, learn about the dire state of the environment, and facilitate progressive changes at home and within their community.

PSF food containers characterize the shameless waste that persists within our consumer culture. I believe that making the environment subservient to economic pressures by maximizing short-term benefits at the expense of future generations is shortsighted. Unfortunately, this outlook characterizes many of the daily activities that humans partake in. Therefore, replacing PSF is a small step towards combating the larger problem that humanity MUST take.

If you can help us achieve our goal in any way, shape, or form, please contact me as soon as possible. I also invite you to contact me for any additional information, questions, or concerns you may have. 

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.


Sam Becker
Like us on Facebook at “ECOS – Environmental Committee to Outlaw Styrofoam”














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.

Action alert: Help prevent the paving over of natural areas

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Nov 04, 2014.

Nov. 4, 2014: We need your help to stop Portland from paving over critical natural areas and restricting our ability to protect and restore our urban rivers, streams and wildlife habitat. On Nov. 4, the Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold its final hearing of 2014 on the city’s Draft Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is the city’s 20-year land use plan. This is the plan that will provide the foundation for many of the city’s most important decisions over the next two decades. Unfortunately, a better name for this plan would be the “Portland Paving Plan.”

Many People Taking Action Adds Up to Real Change!

By Kerry Lyles from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 04, 2014.


The post Many People Taking Action Adds Up to Real Change! appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Update From Audubon's Board President: A Year of Transitions and Growth

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Nov 03, 2014.

Nov. 3, 2014 - by John Osborn, President, Board of Directors: In September I moved into the role of President of the Board of Directors of the Audubon Society of Portland. It’s an honor to take on this role, and a pleasure to work with the talented and dedicated colleagues who serve on the Board with me. Special thanks to David Mandell, who recently became our past Board President, for his leadership and considerable contributions to the organization.

Discovering Big Marsh

By bridget from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Nov 03, 2014.

The high altitude wetland, Big Marsh near Crater Lake

By Taylor Rudow.

Big Marsh is a must-reach destination for those wanderlust individuals looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of humanity and step into one of the pristine wonderlands that Oregon so flawlessly delivers.  Located in the backlands of the Deschutes National Forest, not far from Crater Lake, Big Marsh is one of the largest high elevation wetlands in the continental United States. At 4,700+ ft. elevation, this 2,000-acre wetland is a must-see and must-explore location, and an easy side trip for those visiting Crater Lake nearby.

Before being acquisitioned by the Forest Service in 1982, divisions were constructed within the marsh to lower the water table to allow cattle grazing throughout the summer. Following its acquisition into the Forest Service’s protection, attempts to restore the water table and end grazing brought the marsh back towards its former glory. Big Marsh was then included in the Oregon Cascade Recreation Area (ORCA), established in the Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984. Despite the protests of many conservation organizations at the time, including Oregon Wild and The Wilderness Society, ORCA was given a low protection level: on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 representing the most protected designation possible), ORCA was given a protection level of only 2.  Therefore, while Big Marsh has some protections, it is still susceptible to destructive activities such as logging and pollution.

Big Marsh plays a big role in sustaining important ecosystems in Oregon. It is home to many threatened, endangered, and sensitive bird populations, including the northern spotted owl, the great gray owl, sandhill cranes, and northern goshawks. It is also home to the largest population of the Oregon spotted frog.

With such amazing plants and animals, it’s no wonder that hikers from around the world flock to Big Marsh’s spectacular trails. While Big Marsh is far off the beaten trail, the drive is certainly worth the destination. Big Marsh is most easily reached using Highway 58, which intersects both Eugene and the Deschutes National Forest. From there, FS Rd. 5825 leads to a 2-mile loop around the marsh, from which hikers can observe the wildlife from the discretion of the trees. From FS Rd. 340, hikers can climb over the remains of the old bridge that once crossed Big Marsh Creek and explore several unique wetlands and observe expansive views of the entire marsh atop Tolo Mountain, Cappy Mountain, and Burn Butte. Finally, FS Rd. 6030 provides easy access to the marsh and several other conquerable mountain peaks.

With stunning wetlands, unique wildlife, and breathtaking views, it’s no wonder that Big March is a must-see destination in Oregon. However, it is a wonder that it is not currently protected as Wilderness. Logging operations are currently threatening the integrity of Big Marsh; operations that could be halted by designating the marsh as Wilderness under the Wilderness Act. Until this happens, this unmatched ecosystem remains vulnerable, and its future unknown.

Photo Credits: 
Top photo by Carina Fosterolla, United States Forest Service. Middle photo by Wendell Wood. Bottom photo featuring Sandhill Cranes courtesy of Douglas Beall.

Webinars abound on clean water and wetland issues!

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

Help grow the forest at Sherwood’s Woodhaven park!

By jennyb from Growth Rings. Published on Oct 31, 2014.

It’s almost here! Our return to Sherwood’s Woodhaven Park (map) after 10 years! The Pacific madrone and other species we planted 10 years ago at the park are now huge—help us continue this important restoration work November 15 and leave a lasting legacy in a few short hours. We need help planting hundreds of native trees […]

The Steens Mountain Wilderness: 14th Anniversary

By jonathan from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Oct 30, 2014.

Hiking along the Donner und Blitzen River.

Fourteen years ago today, the Steens Mountain Wilderness was signed into law by President Clinton.

We celebrate today’s anniversary because this historic act permanently protected 170,000 acres of pristine wildlands around the crown jewel of southeast Oregon, Steens Mountain. And while the designation of Oregon’s fourth largest Wilderness area was a feat unto itself, it’s especially noteworthy that grazing is banned on 100,000 of the wilderness - making it the first congressionally designated cow-free Wilderness in the country!

Steens Mountain is a geologist’s playground with over 70 different layers of lava flows that erupted some 16 million years ago. Ice Age glaciers carved four main canyons into the area: Kiger Gorge, Big Indian Gorge, Little Blitzen Gorge, and Wildhorse Canyon. And just to the east of Steens Mountain lies the Alvord Desert – one of the more unique landscapes that you’ll ever see in Oregon.

The first time I visited the Steens Mountain Wilderness was in September 2009. The aspen were the perfect bright shade of yellow, (like you’d see on a postcard) and the canyons were unlike anything I’d ever seen before – deep and wide, making me feel like I was looking at the largest painting ever created.
From near the summit, we hiked down into Wildhorse Canyon to camp near Wildhorse Lake. Rather quickly, we realized that something about this place (maybe the lack of trees, maybe the insanely beautiful scenery) was completely throwing off our depth perception. A small lake appeared to be a couple hundred yards away, but after 45 minutes of hiking toward it through sagebrush, we weren’t even halfway there.

For the next couple days, the canyon was all ours. It remains one of the quietest places I’ve ever visited. During the day, we were mesmerized by the seemingly endless areas to explore – all just within this one gorge. But at night, our focus was drawn skyward. I'm not sure if I've ever seen more stars in my entire life!

Back in June of this year, while revisiting the Steens, I felt like I was given the chance to get to know an old friend better. Snow still had the summit road closed, but we were able to explore the lower, western end of the Wilderness. Specifically, we hiked along the Donner und Blitzen River, a designated reserve for redband trout. And while “Donner und Blitzen und Mosquitoes” might be more accurate, I haven’t seen many more beautiful river canyons in my life. Yet another secret gem in a place that seems full of them.

If you’re heading out to the Steens, plan to spend at least a few days there. And if you need a little sustenance to fuel all your explorations, I’d highly recommend the milkshakes at Fields Station! The combination of sugar and dairy has never tasted so good.


Photo Credits: 
Jonathan Jelen

Our Collective EcoChallenge Impact

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Oct 29, 2014.

Today marks the last day of EcoChallenge 2014! Over the past two weeks, 207 teams and over 2,500 individuals have taken actions proving that many people taking small actions adds up to big change. New this year, we were able… Read More!

The post Our Collective EcoChallenge Impact appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

NCAP Presents 2014 Award Winners

By achesser from The Latest News. Published on Oct 29, 2014.

NCAP proudly presents its 2014 Rachel Carson Award and Karl Arne Lifetime Achievement Award Winners.

Flexing Our Citizen Muscle: AASHE Conference Highlights

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Oct 28, 2014.

Today the NWEI team is at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Conference, where some 2,000 participants have gathered for the largest gathering of higher education sustainability professionals and students in North America. Annie Leonard’s keynote… Read More!

The post Flexing Our Citizen Muscle: AASHE Conference Highlights appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Let Metro Know You Want Healthy, Livable Neighborhoods

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Oct 27, 2014.

Mary Kyle McCurdy
Tue, 11/25/2014 (All day)

Your comments still needed!

On December 18, 2014, the Metro Council will make a decision with far-reaching implications for our communities today and for generations.  Whether that decision boldly addresses climate change or is merely nice words on paper depends on each of us.  So, we are asking you to take just a few minutes now to make sure our children and grandchildren will be as thankful for the region they live in tomorrow as we are today.

read more

Appraisal Institute: Residential and Commercial Solar Valuation

By Evan from Daily News. Published on Oct 27, 2014.

This hands-on course introduces you to solar terminology, and through real-life examples and case studies, on both residential and commercial properties, shows you how to solve solar-related valuation problems. This course will focus on solar PV most commonly encountered in commercial and residential appraisal/consulting assignments.

Appraisal Institute: Residential and Commercial Solar Valuation

By Evan from Daily News. Published on Oct 27, 2014.

This hands-on course introduces you to solar terminology, and through real-life examples and case studies, on both residential and commercial properties, shows you how to solve solar-related valuation problems. This course will focus on solar PV most commonly encountered in commercial and residential appraisal/consulting assignments.

What I DIDN'T say before the Seattle City Council

By achesser from The Latest News. Published on Oct 27, 2014.

By Megan Dunn, Healthy People & Communities Program Director

Oregon Wild's New Intern Reflects on Wilderness Today

By bridget from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Oct 24, 2014.

Oregon Wild Intern Taylor Rudow

By Taylor Rudow

I’d like to start with a quick introduction: My name is Taylor Rudow, and I am the new Wilderness Outreach Intern here at Oregon Wild. I am currently a senior Environmental Policy major at the University of Portland, and I hope to use my time at Oregon Wild and my time in college to create a career in environmental conservation.

On October 7, 2014, Congressman Earl Blumenauer hosted a public forum entitled “The 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act: What’s At Stake for Oregon?” As the newest member of the Oregon Wild team, I had no idea what to expect, both from Oregon Wild and the forum as a whole.

The forum itself was a held in the Student Center at Portland State University. Members of the community, many sporting environmental slogans on green shirts, filed into the chair-lined conference room and made small talk while microphones were adjusted and pictures of Oregon’s wildlands played on the screen. Oregon Wild was there in full fashion, armed with buttons supporting Crater Lake protection and a barrage of important information.

Earl Blumenauer kicked off the event, and members of the conservation community, including our very own Bridget Callahan, spoke up about wildlands in Oregon that still needed Wilderness protection. Areas like Crater Lake, Mount Hood, and the Kalmiopsis flashed across the screens, and declarations for more Wilderness protection were met with robust rounds of applause.

I sat in the back, watching the process unfold, and felt empowered. My generation is frequently taught, by our schools and social media, that we are powerless. In a world with an uncertain future, we frequently feel like we have no voice. Even though we are concerned about the state of our planet, and desperate to do something about it, we stay in the shadows because we have been conditioned to believe that that is where we belong.

This forum opened my eyes and showed me the falsity in that belief. Staff of the delegations were present taking head counts, Congressman Blumenauer was open to difficult questions, and everyone involved was genuinely interested in what every community member had to say. Our elected officials are the ones who have the power to stand up for the wildlands of Oregon, yet they cannot do it without the support of the public.

We have a voice, and it is time it was heard. It is time to realize that we can, and should, do more. I hope to continue encouraging my generation to get involved in these events, so that they too can understand their importance in the system. Robert Swan mused, “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

I’m hopeful for the future, and excited to continue keeping Oregon green with Oregon Wild.


Photo Credits: 
Top photo by Taylor Rudow. Middle photo by Arran Robertson. Salmon River photo (bottom) courtesy of Erik Dresser

Gift Trees: A perspective from behind the lens

By andym from Growth Rings. Published on Oct 24, 2014.

By Lucia DeLisa My favorite volunteer activity is taking photos for Friends of Trees (FOT). This organization has planted over a half million trees in Portland neighborhoods and surrounding areas in the past 25 years. One of their best events is the gift tree planting in the Collins Sanctuary, a preserve adjacent to Forest Park. […]

Bridge Construction Has Begun!

By kristina from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Oct 23, 2014.

Construction on the Half Bridges a mile inside of the gate on the main road and […]


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

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

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

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

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

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

Top 5 Places to Check Out Oregon’s Fall Foliage

By arran from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Oct 21, 2014.

I would never describe summer as an unwanted party guest. Oregon summers are most certainly beautiful and, once they’ve left, I am always impatient for them to return. But, while the chillier and rainier weather has been dropping by parts of the state for some time, summer seemed to keep showing up, intruding on fall’s designated calendar months like a party goer who sticks around after the music is off and the lights go on. That changed this week. Fall has finally booted summer out the door!

And now that fall is here, most people will start turning to thoughts of cider, pumpkin pie, and Halloween costumes. With the summer crowds now focused on decorative gourds, it’s the ideal time to bundle up in layers, fill up a thermos, and hit the trails! To help guide you, Oregon Wild presents: “The Top 5 Places to Check Out Oregon’s Fall Foliage.”

Makenzie Pass-Santiam Pass

The vine maples in this area have already turned, but you may still be able to catch a bright red contrast on harsh, black lava flows or the brilliant greens and blues of Clear Lake.

Recommended Hike: Clear Lake



Columbia River Gorge

In addition to the changing leaves, fall is also the time that salmon are spawning in the rivers that flow into the Columbia. A trip to the eastern side of the Columbia River Gorge will feature groves of cottonwoods and oaks turning.

Recommended Hike: McCall Point

East Slope of Mount Hood

Another great opportunity to see bright red vine maple set against Mount Hood’s iconic, rocky façade. You'll also be able to see see the Western Larch that grow in this area. This is a rare and unique conifer tree that acts like a deciduous – every fall its needles turn yellow and fall, then regrow in the Spring.

Recommended Hike: Tamanawas Falls

Black Butte

Take a cruise near Black Butte Ranch to see the aspens turning yellow and and their leaves shimmering in the breeze.Afterward, head up Black Butte Trail to for a view of the snow covered tops along the Cascades.

Recommended Hike: Black Butte Trail

Coastal Rivers

Whether you choose the Alsea, Siuslaw, Smith or Umpqua Rivers, prepare for the giant yellow maple leaves that are falling like massive snowflakes. Fog and mist in the valleys along the way linger until late morning, offering a ghostly and mysterious beauty to the atmosphere. 


Recommended Hike: Smith River Falls Recreation Site

Looking for more? Check out Oregon Wild's Suggested Outings!

Photo Credits: 
Erik Fernandez and Arran Robertson


By rob from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Oct 20, 2014.

In recent years, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) has proven adept at concocting ill-advised proposals aimed at weakening wildlife protections and making it easier to kill wolves. So, at a recent meeting, it was no surprise when outspoken anti-wolf livestock managers and OCA reps Todd Nash and Rod Childers spent the better part of an hour asking the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to share timely and specific wolf location data with them.

But even grizzled veterans of defending wildlife were surprised when Bobby Levy, the Chair of the ODFW Commission, instructed the agency to consider the idea.

An appealing idea?
Collaring wildlife is a standard tool for wildlife researchers and managers around the world. Though sometimes controversial, the data is generally used to increase knowledge and understanding of wildlife and inform better management for the public good. For a host of reasons, the data is not shared with the general public.

Sharing timely and specific data with the public for any species would be a precedent-setting move. There’d have to be a pretty compelling reason to do it. That’s especially true if it was location data for a recovering population of an endangered species - doubly so if the information was being shared directly with members of a community that regularly argues against their recovery and some of whom openly support illegal killing.

Rod & Todd’s proposal would expand an existing program where generalized location data is shared with ranchers in areas of known wolf activity in hopes that they will use it to prevent conflict between their livestock and wolves.

Not without reservation, conservationists including Oregon Wild have stood down on the program. To the extent the program helps prevent conflict we support it. To the extent it is abused or can be used as a road map for poachers, we oppose it. Unfortunately over time there has been little to no tangible evidence it has been used for the former and plenty that it has been abused.

Location data has gone viral in communities where truck bumpers and coffee shop chatter are rife with the poachers contemptible code to “shoot, shovel, and shut up”. As often as not, the location information has been used in hopes of finding dead livestock to blame on wolves rather than for its stated purpose to prevent conflict.

One range rider funded by taxpayers is even rumored to have used the information to film a failed anti-wolf documentary. Once supported by members of the OCA, the program has already expanded in complexity and is more often used to criticize, spin conspiracy theories, ask for more wolves to be collared, and demand even more of the agency’s already scarce resources.

So that’s the upside.

Bad for wolves
Most Americans value native wildlife, but for some, old prejudices die hard. Wolves continue to be at the center of a campaign of misinformation and fear.

Often, the only thing stopping would-be poachers of Oregon’s 64-known adult wolves is that they are hard to find. Even so, poaching of wolves and other wildlife is a major and ongoing problem in the Pacific Northwest. In Oregon, despite high-profile poachings as recently as last year, no one has yet been brought to justice for killing wolves.

Many – perhaps even most – people might use the information for good. However, even a single leak could be fatal. As habitual animals, once location information gets in the wrong hands, it can be used to harm wolves for decades.

Even well-intentioned members of the community could cause harm. The premise behind using human presence as a tool to reduce conflict is the reality that, with rare exception, wild wolves want nothing to do with humans. Even if they aren’t killed, if collared wolves are harassed everywhere they go, they may become habituated to human presence and lose their fear.

Wolves may change their behavior. Pack structures and social dynamics may change if other members of a pack associate one wolf with a constant human presence. They may become less successful hunters, more likely to take risks, and more susceptible to starvation. If wolves abandon kills before they finish consuming them, it may increase the likelihood they will kill the unattended livestock they encounter.

Additional collar information is likely to lead to calls for collaring ever more animals. Even when done carefully, anesthetizing and collaring is dangerous for wolves. One of OR-7’s siblings died shortly after she was fitted with a collar - almost certainly a victim of capture myopathy.

Collaring is also expensive. ODFW is facing an historic budget crisis. Most of the agency’s limited funds already go to increasing opportunities for consumptive users and the far more abundant species they target. A scant 4% goes to conservation and habitat restoration.

The vast majority of ODFW’s wolf resources (time and money) already go to addressing the concerns of the livestock industry. As it is, a small piece of a small piece of a small and shrinking pie goes to wolf conservation, education, and research.

Coexisting with native wildlife should be a responsibility we all share. Any business model that depends on killing or harassing endangered or recovering native wildlife to turn a profit isn’t a good one for the 21st century.

One would be forgiven for thinking that it should be enough to know that one's livestock are in an area of known wolf activity for their owners to keep regular tabs on them and employ the best husbandry.

Just the day before the public hearing where the OCA made their request, the ODFW Commission met a large group of livestock operators (including Rod & Todd) in the field. They complained about a basic fact of wolf behavior: wolves are seemingly always on the move and travel great distances. It’s hard to square then, how it would be of much more help to know the specific location of a wolf at any given time if it just tells you where a wolf was.

Bad for all wildlife
Lest one think this is just another example of the usual anti-wolf voices in the livestock industry squaring off against the usual pro-wildlife voices in the conservation community, this proposal was also different for the opposition it drew.

Oregon Wild and our allies were joined by wildlife professionals and several hunting groups in questioning and opposing the proposal. Sharing collar data for any species with the public would be precedent-setting. In their letter of opposition, the Wildlife Society - an organization of professional biologists, land managers, and scientists – said providing collar data for any animal would be “contrary to professionally accepted procedures”

The Pandora’s Box was opened in 2009 when ODFW agreed to allow select members of the livestock industry to view maps in their office. The slide down the proverbial slippery slope has already begun with the agency sending out tens of thousands of text messages to livestock managers who run their animals in Oregon’s wolf country.

Sharing specific and timely data is a dangerous line to cross. ODFW’s Wildlife Division Director, Ron Anglin was quoted in the Oregonian last week saying, “if you offer it to one (interest group), you offer it to all.”

Especially on public lands, if it’s about protecting livestock, why not share the information with volunteer range riders? If it’s about protecting wolves, why not share the information with activists who want to prevent poaching?

If it’s about preventing harm to public values, why not collar livestock on public lands and share that data with restoration experts, those who want to minimize damage, or watchdog the industry?

If it’s about protecting economic interests of private citizens and industry, why not share the data with tourism outfits, photographers, or wildlife watching clubs? Why not share collar data on moose, elk, and bighorn rams to hunters and outfitters?

Reporters, hikers, students and any self-proclaimed researcher could demand the information…

If it’s broke…Fix it.
The old adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a pretty good one. It follows that the opposite is true. Rather than expand a demonstrably flawed and regularly abused program with little to no evidence of it providing positive benefits, Oregon should be looking to fix it. If it can’t be fixed, it should be scrapped.

Rather than repeat Oregon’s mistakes, states like Washington and California would do well to learn from them.

As it is, Oregon should review its current program as part of the coming 5-year review of the wolf plan. If the benefits don’t clearly outweigh the costs, the program should be scrapped. A responsible program would ensure information is strictly limited, include public transparency, be subject to periodic review, and meaningful consequences (like suspension of the program) if it is abused.

IMHO, TMI: The View From Here
I feel privileged to live in a place like Oregon. I am thrilled every time I see a herd of elk or wake to the sound of coyotes singing on our farm. I am grateful to be among the lucky few to have encountered Oregon’s wolves and met OR-7. They are among the least forgettable and most treasured experiences of my life. Having collar data would certainly make it easier to relive them.

As an innkeeper whose guests almost always ask about wildlife, I might make more money if I could promise a view of a wolf after breakfast.

As a wildlife advocate, I’d love to check up on the Imnaha Pack after hearing another blowhard brag about having carried out two of the three S’s of the poacher’s repulsive creed.

As someone who doesn’t want to see harm come to livestock or wolves, I’d like to see for myself if unattended calves and salt licks are still being placed within yards of known wolf dens and rendezvous sites.

But for all of that, I’ve never asked ODFW to tell me where the wolves are. If I did, I’d expect they wouldn’t tell me. And I sure hope they won’t tell Rod & Todd. Even if they say they mean well.


Photo Credits: 
Photos courtesy ODFW, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, ODFW, USFWS, & ODFW. Note, OR-17, the collared adult wolf in the final photo was killed after dispersing into Idaho.

National News: October 20, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Oct 19, 2014.

Congress should fund fires for what they are -- disasters, Los Angeles Times op-ed by Dale N. Bosworth, Jack Ward Thomas and Michael Dombeck

Read the letter from RMEF, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
Keep Public Lands in Public Hands - Pull back the curtain and it's pretty clear that the end game here is not to transfer public lands to the state, but to "transfer them" once and for all, to private hands, Flathead Beacon op-ed
Litigation Weekly September 2, 2014, A New Century of Forest Planning

Bicycles + Trees: a match made in Portland

By Ian Bonham from Growth Rings. Published on Oct 17, 2014.

By Ian Bonham We ride our bikes a lot here in Portland. You ride your bike to work. You ride your bike to the grocery store. You ride your bike while eating a vegan donut with cereal on top. You even ride your bike in a sea of naked people. So it only makes sense […]

Geek Reading: Navigating to New Shores

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

Calling for Classroom Food Adventure Volunteers

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Oct 16, 2014.

Assist with educational cooking projects in many of the 8 public elementary schools in Corvallis. Apply online.

Waters of the US Rulemaking: Refresher Course for Those Commenting

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

Sneak Preview: Live Auction Items

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Oct 14, 2014.

Due to the support of many businesses and individuals, the Corvallis Environmental Center has TWELVE fabulous packages for the live auction at the upcoming 20th Anniversary Dinner and Auction. These packages provide opportunities for fun occasions while supporting the work of the Corvallis Environmental Center.  By supporting our 20th Anniversary Campaign, you are contributing to the
read more

Top 5 Things You’ll Say Out Loud at “Call of the Wild”

By from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Oct 14, 2014.

Our annual Call of the Wild event is always a can’t-miss event. It’ great people, great activities, and a great cause – protecting our wildlands, wildlife, and waters.

However, this year Oregon Wild is also celebrating its 40th anniversary. We knew we had to pull out all the stops for a party 40 years in the making. As a preview, here’s a countdown of the top 5 things you’ll say out loud at Call of the Wild!

#5 “Meet me over by the bear”

There will be a photobooth and you can get your picture taken with a real live bear!

Bear! ... suit

Okay, so maybe not a real live bear, but it’s a real live person in a bear suit! That’s almost as good, right? We’ll have a camp set with costumes so you can craft the perfect scene. It’s the perfect time to be thinking about holiday cards. Imagine Aunt Millie opening your annual letter to see a picture of you being chased out of a tent by a bear!

And once you’re done sprinting from your bear scene, you’ll be able to even out your heart rate with the live music of local blues/roots guitarist Joe McMurrian! We call it finding the right balance.*

*No bears, persons in bear suits, or blues guitarists are harmed in preparation for this event.

#4 “Pass me a pint of The Wilderness”

It’s no secret that Oregon wine and beer is some of the best on the planet. When those Oregon wines are from the cellars of Duck Pond and Cornerstone, you know you’re in for a treat.

As for beer, Migration is brewing up an exclusive Northwest red called “The Wilderness” just for us! It even features three Oregon hop varieties, each representing Wilderness areas that Oregon Wild has helped to permanently protect: Mount Hood hops for the Mount Hood Wilderness, Santiam hops for the Middle Santiam Wilderness, and Cascade hops for the Three Sisters Wilderness.

Don’t miss out! Call of the Wild is the only place you’ll be able to get it.

#3 “Needs more nuts”

If you’re still not sold after the blues, beer, wine, or bear, don’t worry! We’ll have plenty of tasty treats to sample! We’ll have delicious bites from Simpatica Catering & Dining Hall, Pacific Pie Co., Tastebud, Thrive Pacific NW and more!

Need a little something for the trail, or maybe just the ride home? Trailhead Credit Union is sponsoring the trail mix station! Try your hand at creating your own secret recipe (but please, save some of the cashews for me).

#2 “I’m finally geared up for the zombie apocalypse”

Whether you’re looking for the perfect date package to take out that special someone, gear for your next adventure, or you’re prepping for the impending zombie apocalypse, you’ll be able to find what you need at the “Call of the Wild” silent auction. In addition to framed prints of the 10th annual Outdoor Photo Contest finalists, there will be rafting and adventure trips, outdoor gear and apparel, packages for hikers, photographers, climbers, fishing enthusiasts, kayakers, beer lovers, foodies, and more.

Not only that, but this year Oregon Wild is going international. Prizes include an African photo safari for two or a stay in an Italian Villa!

Check out the list of prizes here!

#1  “I love Oregon”

Announcing the winners of Oregon Wild’s 10th Annual Outdoor Photo Contest is always a treat. Each of the entries shows off how beautiful our state is and why we do what we do here at Oregon Wild!

It’s about celebrating what we love about Oregon, and why we fight so hard to make it better. It’s an opportunity to reflect on Wilderness areas and wildlands that are special to you: their calm and chaos, extremes and simplicity, places of solitude and gathering.


So pick up your tickets today! It’s going to be a great party.

“I’ll see you there.”


Resilient Design - Future Ready Buildings Symposium

By Evan from Daily News. Published on Oct 14, 2014.

part two of the event - see Oct 22 for full description

Resilient Design - Future Ready Buildings Symposium

By Evan from Daily News. Published on Oct 14, 2014.

This two-part series will explore the critical role of architects in planning and designing a resilient city. Topics include disaster recovery, designing resilient communities that reduce natural disaster impacts and designing future-ready building that adapt to our changing climate.

20th Anniversary Dinner and Auction

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Oct 13, 2014.

Celebrate 20 years of environmental stewardship. Click the picture to find out more.

Proposed Oregon Nickel Mine Fails To Secure Key Permit

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Oct 08, 2014.

It’s difficult to use water when there’s no water flowing. Or so discovered a UK-based mining company this week when Oregon regulators denied one of the many permits required before development of a nickel mine can get underway in Southern Oregon.

Portland Audubon continues to advance protections for forage fish

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Oct 08, 2014.

Sept. 25, 2014: At a Sept. 13 meeting, the Pacific Fishery Management Council took another step toward securing protections for seven species of currently unmanaged forage fish by deciding to incorporate them into existing fishery management plans. This move forwards our goal of protecting these species from unregulated fishing, and it’s great news for seabirds and other top marine predators that depend on forage fish for food.

Beers Made By Walking tasting set for Oct. 15

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

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

Pacific Power has you hooked on coal

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

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

Vote Yes on Measure 88

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

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

Action alert: Help save the Elliott State Forest

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Oct 06, 2014.

Oct. 6, 2014: The future of Oregon’s Elliott State Forest is in jeopardy. The 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest is an amazing place. It contains more than 41,000 acres of old-growth forest and some of the most productive and pristine streams for Coho and Chinook in the Coast Range. However, the State of Oregon, which owns the Elliott, is considering a variety of options for future management of the Elliott including selling the Elliott to private timber interests. In fact, more than 1,400 acres have already been sold to timber companies.

Community Habitat Celebration Event

By michellea from News. Published on Oct 06, 2014.

Join us as we celebrate becoming Oregon’s first Community Habitat

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

Great Mushroom Hunt

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Oct 05, 2014.

Family open hike and trail activities November 9th 1:00 – 3:30pm Peavy Arboretum Firefighter Pavillion Register Here! Fun fungus and mushroom activities will be set up along a short trail. Families discover, explore, and move at there own pace to find fungus and learn cool facts. Bring things found at home to show our experts
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Join Earth Share Oregon

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Oct 02, 2014.

Supporting the cause of your choice – it’s never been easier How concerned are you about the quality of air you breathe? What about the natural areas you visit – would you like to visit them 10, 20 or 50 years from now? With ongoing threats to our natural environment, we count on conservation groups
read more

Why am I weeding a watershed?

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Oct 02, 2014.

I just spent a large chunk of the day bent over patches of meadow knapweed with a sickle in my hand. Why in the heck am I spending a day swiping at an invasive weed near a river when I have plenty of weeds crying out for attention in my own yard? I do it because there is a lot at stake in one small, humble project to keep herbicides out of the Siuslaw watershed.

The post Why am I weeding a watershed? appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

What’s in a Plan?

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

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

Oregon Wild Goes to Washington

By bridget from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Oct 01, 2014.

I recently had the honor to travel to our nation’s capital and advocate on behalf of Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife and water. I had not been to Washington D.C. in over 10 years, and never in this capacity. After a turbulent plane ride (that did not help my nerves!) I was soon greeted by the familiar faces of my colleagues. We were scheduled to meet with various offices of Oregon’s delegation, the Department of Agriculture, Department of Interior, even an office directly next to the White House. I was still nervous.

Armed with my talking points I prepared in my hotel room, ready to discuss the need for protecting Oregon’s natural treasures as an enduring legacy. I practiced going through all my notes and potential questions, outlining the values of protecting our wildlands. I ran through my list quickly – clean drinking water, outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, tourism, jobs, quality of life, capturing carbon to slow climate change... As the outreach organizer on our D.C. team, I was there to demonstrate the statewide support our public lands enjoy. As a native Oregonian, I understand how much our wild landscapes are central to our identity and pride.

I was still nervous. The first morning was upon us and my team and I were escorted up the marbled stairs to our first meeting. We pitched our campaigns, the value of protection, threats to our wildlands and presented solutions. Our audience asked specifically about the public support for our proposal. It was my turn. Showing statewide support in Washington D.C. means demonstrating specific measurements. Petitions, business endorsements, number of presentations, letters to the editor, media attention. All of that matters and duly noted.

The meeting went well, and I was less nervous.

The rest of the day went by with a flurry of cabs, meetings, security checks and debriefs. Yet meeting after meeting, time and again we were asked, “Do people care about this place?” or “How many signed your petition?” and “Who’s ready to protect this area?” I was pleasantly surprised to hear a congressman’s aide discuss letters to the editor and opinion pieces he had recently read in Oregon newspapers. So they notice!

It soon dawned on me how much power citizens truly have. How much sway we garner when we are motivated to act. Our elected leaders listen when a proposal to protect an area gains in popularity. But how to decide what is popular needs to be measured and tallied. This is where public participation plays a role in the form of petitions, testimony, letters to elected officials or even government agencies. When my time was nearing an end, it was so easy to see the gears of democracy stammering along. While we act, Washington listens.

Behind every great Wilderness area is a community who worked to protect it. And while at times it is difficult to see the impact one voice or one vote can make, it adds up. It is our collective voice that makes all the difference and my time in our nation’s political epicenter made this so apparent. Indeed, democracy is much more than simply voting on election day. Every letter, every signature and testimony given moves us closer toward protecting the wild places we love. The wheels of democracy are alive and well in Washington D.C.  We only need to participate.

SAGE Garden Workparties

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Oct 01, 2014.

Every Tuesday in October: volunteer at SAGE Garden. Click the picture to find out more.

From the Executive Director: Fall 2014 Progress Report

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 30, 2014.

Fall is in the air and the Foundation is still recovering from a busy summer! Board and staff have been working overtime to enrich the visitor experience in your Oregon state parks. The changing of the seasons creates a wonderful opportunity to take a moment and share updates about recent Foundation progress, as well as [...]

Webinar: Is a Water Quality Trading Program Right for Your Watershed?

By Danielle Dumont from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Sep 30, 2014.

Water quality trading programs can bring together a watershed’s dischargers for a holistic approach to improving water quality, restoring habitat and applying public money in more cost-effective and ecologically appropriate ways. Listen to an informative presentation from Alex Johnson of The Freshwater Trust, exploring how a water quality trading program might be the right solution […]

National News: September 29, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Sep 29, 2014.

Journalists slam Forest Service over wilderness permits - Forest chief says journalists don’t need permits. On the ground, the reality has been different, Seattle Times
Forest Service rules out of line, Santa Fe New Mexican editorial
Oops - we took pictures in a wilderness area, Portland Oregonian editorial
A Backwoods Assault on a Free Press, Twin Falls Times-News editorial
The price for images of land we own - Let the people have the images of their property without paying exorbitant costs, The Spectrum editorial board

A public land swap for the rich - As a deal gets sweetened, how do you measure what's fair?, High Country News
Failure to fund the battle against wildfires, HCN Writers on the Range at Abq Journal
A Wilderness Act skeptic comes out of the closet, HCN Writers on the Range at Abq Journal

Working for fish, farmers

By Levi Schmidt from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Sep 29, 2014.

The Fifteenmile Creek Watershed Council has been recognized by state and federal agencies for innovative work to protect threatened fish runs as well as the water rights of farmers and ranchers. In the summer of 2009, the local council was spurred to improve water quality by a kill of wild steelhead due to the high […]

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

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 29, 2014.

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

Discovery Season Camping Discounts Begin October 1, 2014

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 29, 2014.

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

Local landscape 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. 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. Continue reading

Action alert: Help seabirds by protecting forage fish

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Sep 25, 2014.

Aug. 1, 2014: The Pacific Fishery Management Council will be meeting Sept. 13 to consider management options for forage fish species, a critical food source for seabirds. Please send an email urging the Council to adopt stronger protections for forage fish.

Larry and Rhett go to DC (and survive!)

By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Sep 25, 2014.

By Larry Pennington, Oregon Chapter Chair On September 14 to 17, Rhett Lawrence (our Conservation Director) and I traveled to our nation’s capital to participate in Wilderness Week, an annual lobbying effort jointly sponsored by the Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and Pew Charitable Trusts. The focus this year, of course, was celebration of the […]

Urban Forestry Summit: Creating Effective Policy for Increasing Tree Canopy

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Sep 23, 2014.

Local governments have struggled with the best ways to promote and protect trees that add diverse benefits to their communities, including stormwater runoff reduction, carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat, and cleaning the air.  Often regulations that require mitigation for tree cutting are seen as unfair and punitive, and can actually motivate clearing of urban forests before […]

Climate Science is Clear: LNG Export is NOT a Climate Solution!

By bpasko from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Sep 22, 2014.

By: Ted Gleichman National and Oregon Sierra Club teams, as members of a vibrant coalition of many of Oregon’s most important environmental groups, have now assembled the latest climate science studies to answer one of the most important questions about liquefied natural gas (LNG): We know that the proposed LNG terminals and pipelines in Oregon, […]

Action alert: Keep the City from going backwards on West Hayden Island commitments

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Sep 22, 2014.

Sept. 10, 2014: We need your help to save West Hayden Island… again.

3 Easy Ways to Support the CEC

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Sep 22, 2014.

Try one of these three ways to donate to the Corvallis Environmental Center indirectly as a part of your daily routine. Click the picture to find out more.

Chicken Processing Workshop

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Sep 15, 2014.

Cancelled: Red Bird Acres is available for personal consulting on home animal proccessing, small or large animal during fall, winter and spring. In this workshop we will perform and learn the skills necessary to harvest poultry. We will slaughter, clean and transform life to sustenance. We will do this in a fashion that is rooted in
read more

Clean Water Protection Rule (aka WOTUS) Roundup

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

Clean Water Protection Rule (aka WOTUS) Roundup

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

Goal 13 -- Energy Conservation -- and Your Home

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Sep 15, 2014.


A household energy efficiency effort to benefit 1000 Friends of Oregon.

Visit to sign up! 

read more

50 “Cheers” to Wilderness photo event, a huge success!

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Sep 15, 2014.

Venue – check Beer – check Snacks – check Music – check Twenty photographs of wilderness areas in Oregon not yet protected – check Displays and brochures from Oregon Wild, ONDA and Oregon Chapter Sierra Club High Desert Committee – check Then we waited for people to come. And they did come! The event to […]

Field Trip Pilot Project, "Loving Oregon Summer"

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Sep 15, 2014.


by Kathy Wilson, 1000 Friends Intern & Masters in Urban and Regional Planning Candidate

This summer 1000 Friends piloted a field trip series to give members and the interested public opportunities to learn about land use planning and policy issues around Portland-Metro. Field trips visited agricultural communities like Helvetia, French Prairie, and the Headwaters Farm Incubator Program, and investigated brownfields in urban Portland, as well as equity in East Portland. (A final “Ghost Freeways” walking tour is scheduled for October 16.

read more

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

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

Thunderclap for Clean Water!

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

Thunderclap for Clean Water!

By mfrey 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

Caddis Fly Angling Shop’s Annual Two-Fly Tournament Supports McKenzie River Trust

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

This post is the first in a series of profiles of McKenzie River Trust members. Have an idea for a member spotlight? Contact Jules Abbott, Membership and Outreach Coordinator: jules (at) mckenzieriver (dot) org. Member Spotlight: Chris Daughters, Caddis Fly … Continue reading

Fiscal Impacts of Development Styles and Urban Land Values

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Sep 10, 2014.


What impact do different kinds of development have on taxpayers? Can tax policies create incentives for sprawl? Can governments estimate the impact different kinds of development will have on their budgets up front? What tools are available to measure the economic impact of varying approaches to development? Join us September 25 for a presentation by a national expert, analysis of a local case study, and panel discussion by regional leaders. 


Joseph Minicozzi & Gerard Mildner Present: 

Transit Oriented Development in the Pacific NW

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Action alert: Your help needed to save Klamath birds

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Sep 09, 2014.

Sept. 9, 2014: Lower Klamath Lake has been allowed to go dry, and more than 5,000 birds have already died from related disease outbreaks. Please tell the Department of the Interior that Klamath needs water now.

National News: September 8, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Sep 08, 2014.

Forestry fandango, High Country News
A flag flies in the forest, Coeur d' Alene Press

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

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

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

By mfrey 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.

Audubon statement about Port of Portland propane gas terminal

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Sep 02, 2014.

Sept. 2, 2014: The Port of Portland has announced that Pembina Pipeline plans to build a propane gas terminal near the Port’s Terminal 6 facility; Pembina will bring propane to the terminal by train, and the Port will then ship it to Asia. When complete, the project will send a full unit train of propane a day through our community. The Audubon Society of Portland is calling for a transparent public process before the project is approved.

Volunteer Appreciation

By michellea from News. Published on Sep 02, 2014.

Please join us for a Volunteer Appreciation Event

Reflections on an internship in the Wildlife Care Center

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Aug 29, 2014.

Aug. 29, 2014: Felipe Guzman is a 19-year-old TALON Intern at Portland Audubon who is about to complete his second season in the Wildlife Care Center. Felipe started his internship with no experience with birds and has grown into an integral part of the care center team during its busiest months. In this news story, he reflects on his experiences at Audubon.

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.

Why you can’t really paddle upstream from Rood Bridge.

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Aug 26, 2014.

There is a significant logjam just upstream from Rood Bridge Park in Hillsboro. Crossing it is dangerous and the wet logs are slicker than snot. A few hundred yards upstream from the logjam is this impassible dam. If you are putting in at Rood Bridge Park, I’d recommend heading downstream.  There are some logjams downstream […]

Results of the 2014 Tualatin River Political Paddle Race

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Aug 26, 2014.

On August 23, 2014 at 8:00 am elected officials and candidates for office, together with a few friends and family members took off for the 2014 Tualatin River Political Paddle Race.  Coming in first, with a large lead were Bart Rierson and Ryan Howard of the Newberg City Council. Participants L-R: Gallegos Staff, Lacey Beatty, […]

National News: August 25, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Aug 25, 2014.

The Gila Just Got a Lot More Wild! - Historic, First Ever Voluntary Grazing Permit Retirement on nearly 50 square miles of the Gila National Forest, WildEarth Guardians
Wildfire Disaster Funding Act should not burn away - Wildfires deserves their own fund, Salt Lake Tribune editorial

2014-15 Founders Circle Grant Challenge

By OSPF from . Published on Aug 21, 2014.

The Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund has issued a generous $50,000 challenge grant to help establish our Founders Circle. The first 25 donations of $1,000 in 2014 and 2015 will be matched dollar for dollar by the MCM Fund. Help us meet the challenge!

OSPF Receives Founders Circle Challenge Grant from Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund

By OSPF from . Published on Aug 21, 2014.

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

EPA Finalizes Stronger Steam Buffers to Protect Imperiled Salmon from Pesticides

By achesser from The Latest News. Published on Aug 18, 2014.

Agreement restores reasonable no-spray zones for five toxic insecticides

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.

States Use Regional Partnership, Innovation to Protect Rivers and a Way of Life

By Levi Schmidt from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Aug 14, 2014.

The Pacific Northwest is known for its picturesque lakes, cascading streams and dramatic coastlines. The many rivers of the Pacific Northwest—the Yakima, the Snake, Snohomish, Willamette, Klamath, Boise, and others—are part of the cultural, economic and environmental foundation of the region. These waters are meaningful for local Native American Tribes, agricultural production, industries who rely […]

Pacific NW Agencies and Partners Release Recommendations for Regional Water Quality Trading

By Danielle Dumont from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Aug 14, 2014.

Water quality agency staff from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, U.S. EPA Region 10, along with the Willamette Partnership and The Freshwater Trust released draft recommendations on approaches to water quality trading in the Pacific Northwest. The recommendations are based on the group’s evaluation of policies, practices and programs across the country, which helped to identify some common principles and practices […]

2014 Desert Conference: Sept 19-20

By bpasko from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 12, 2014.

Come join desert wilderness advocates for the 2014 Desert Conference to be held in Bend on Sept. 19-20! This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and the Oregon Chapter and High Desert Committee are again pleased to help sponsor this conference as a way to educate and excite people about the possibilities […]

National News: August 11, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Aug 10, 2014.

The privatization of public campground management - All the info you need to decide whether you love or hate that the Forest Service uses concessionaires, High Country News
Forest health crisis ends with a whimper - ‘We may be cutting down the very trees we need to save the forest’, Colorado Independent

North Coast State Forest Happenings

By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 07, 2014.

Late summer is a magical time in the Tillamook & Clatsop State Forests. Refreshing swimming holes provide families fun relief from summer heat; spring chinook and summer steelhead return up the north coast rivers and streams, offering anglers young & old the opportunity for iconic pursuit; and hikers rejoice on trails to University Falls, up Kings […]

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.

15,000 Urge Federal Gov’t to Protect SW Oregon Watersheds from Mining

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Aug 06, 2014.

Today over 15,000 letters were delivered to the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to support a mineral withdrawal for public lands in critical watersheds in southwest Oregon, including the North Fork Smith River, Baldface Creek, Rough & Ready Creek, and Hunter Creek.

Environmental Justice: Air Agency’s Decisions Disproportionately Impact Minority and Low-Income Residents

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Aug 06, 2014.

We’re just fed up. Beyond Toxics has used all available channels to warn the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA) that it is ignoring its duty to protect the most vulnerable members of our community. Now we must turn to the United States Office of Civil Rights to ask for help to ensure that LRAPA follows... Read more »

The post Environmental Justice: Air Agency’s Decisions Disproportionately Impact Minority and Low-Income Residents appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

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

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

Are We Loving the Wilderness to Death?

By Simon Gray from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Aug 04, 2014.

Are We Loving the Wilderness to Death?Taking a few steps off of the Battle-Axe Bridge, I […]

The Risks of Development on Steep Slopes

By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Aug 01, 2014.

The Washington County Board of Commissioners is discussing whether or not to allow development on steep slopes in North Bethany.  The risks of development on slopes are considerable, and some of the commissioners have stated publicly their viewpoint that if developers want to take risks, the county shouldn’t stand in their way. Clearing on Bull […]

Protect birds and habitat by shopping with your Fred Meyer Rewards Card!

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Jul 31, 2014.

July 31, 2014: Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give. Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Audubon Society of Portland!

Youth Advocacy Leads to Climate Change Ordinance in Eugene

By craig from The Latest. Published on Jul 30, 2014.


Thanks to passionate advocacy by youth, the City of Eugene is moving from general goals to steadfast statute when it comes to climate change. City Councilors voted July 28 to adopt a strong climate change ordinance seeking to cut fossil fuel use to 50 percent below 2010 levels by 2030.

read more

Trail camera gets new photos of OR-7's wolf pups

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jul 28, 2014.

New photos of wolf OR-7's pups show that he and his mate have at least three offspring roaming the woods of eastern Jackson County — and maybe more.

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

New Pedestrian Footbridge is In!

By kristina from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jul 25, 2014.

Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center has installed a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Battle Ax Creek […]

The People's Coast: Reflections from our DukeEngage Intern

By craig from The Latest. Published on Jul 23, 2014.


Victoria Lim, an intern from Duke University, visited the Oregon Coast for the first time on a service project in July 2014. She shares her reaction in this reflection:


Fog. Chilly Winds. Rain.

read more

National report shows Oregon Caves brings $4.8 million to economy

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jul 22, 2014.

A National Park Service report shows that 72,717 visitors to Oregon Caves National Monument in 2013 spent nearly $4.8 million in communities near the park, supporting 70 jobs in the local area.

Executive Director search update

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Jul 21, 2014.

July 21, 2014: As announced in November 2013, Executive Director Meryl Redisch departed the Audubon Society of Portland this month after 11 remarkable years that saw the organization double in size and reach a variety of milestones. Liz Field has been appointed as Interim Executive Director.

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

By (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: 
Via Mail: Blue Mountains Plan Revision Team, P.O. Box 907, Baker City, OR 97814 
Or via Fax: 541-523-6392

Paddler’s Pollution Report Leads to State Investigation.

By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Jul 18, 2014.

A couple of weekends ago 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 TRK for help in reporting the problem to the proper authorities. We helped him file […]

Volunteers Give Oregon Chapter Garden a Facelift

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jul 17, 2014.

If you’ve been by the Oregon Chapter lately, you haven’t been able to miss the exciting things happening right outside our doors! The garden space next to the club that used to be full of garbage and invasive plants has been taken over by our volunteers. Several volunteers came out in early may to turn […]

Welcoming Michael Brune and his family to Oregon

By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jul 16, 2014.

The week of July 7 was an exciting one for the Oregon Chapter, as we welcomed national Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune to Oregon for several days. Mike and his family are currently in the midst of a Northwest roadtrip in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. After departing their home […]

Action alert: Stop the cormorant slaughter on East Sand Island

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Jul 16, 2014.

June 27, 2014: We need your help to stop the cormorant slaughter on East Sand Island.

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

By OSPF from . Published on Jul 14, 2014.

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

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

By OSPF from . Published on Jul 14, 2014.

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

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

By OSPF from . Published on Jul 14, 2014.

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

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

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

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

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

Video: What's Your Oregon Story?

By craig from The Latest. Published on Jul 09, 2014.


Every Oregonian has a unique Oregon Story--how you came here, what you think is outstanding about this place. We asked guests at our 2014 Tom McCall Gala to share their own Oregon Stories. In this video, we share some of our favorite moments. (See photos from the McCall Gala here.)

read more

Groups oppose proposed mining in Smith watershed

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jul 07, 2014.

Conservation organizations including KS Wild are attempting to derail proposed exploratory drilling that they fear could lead to a nickel strip mining operation in a remote corner of southeast Curry County that has been proposed for federal wilderness protection.

Oregon Sierra Club Volunteers Lobby for Wilderness

By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jul 07, 2014.

Oregon Chapter Sierra Club members, Jill Workman and Chris Smith recently returned from Washington D.C. where they were lobbying Oregon’s delegates on behalf of the Club in support of a good, clean package of lands bills during the 113th Congress. Despite an extraordinarily challenging partisan environment in the Capitol, Great Outdoors America Week served as […]

National News: July 7, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jul 06, 2014.

Thousands attend Rainbow Family fest, Reno Gazette-Journal AP

Fire roulette, Idaho Mountain Express editorial
Stand up for public forests or lose them, Helena Independent-Record op-ed
House panel examines federal water rules - Tipton urges action by Senate to protect private water rights, Durango Herald
Battling Goliath on Western grazing, Elko Daily Free Press op-ed

IAE is now Hiring!!

By michellea from News. Published on Jul 02, 2014.

Cornelius Area Log Jams

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Jun 27, 2014.

There is very limited access to the Tualatin River in the Cornelius area and it has been notorious for log jams. On June 13, 2014 our science intern Erin Scheibe mapped 4 logjams south of Cornelius while on an aerial survey with TRK member and pilot Richard Schmidt.  Thanks Erin & Richard! Here are the […]

Safety Zone for Paddling Under I-5 on the Tualatin River

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Jun 27, 2014.

Oregon Department of Transportation will be working on the I-5 crossing of the Tualatin River now through the Fall of 2014.  They sent us this safety advisory directing boaters to keep to the center of the river when traveling under Interstate 5.

Photos from the 2014 McCall Gala: Celebrating Oregon's Land Use Compass

By craig from The Latest. Published on Jun 26, 2014.


On June 20, we gathered with friends and Emerging Advocates at the beautiful Exchange Ballroom in Portland. Together we shared our Oregon Stories and looked to the future of Oregon--guided by its land use compass.

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Aerial Survey of Logjams on Tualatin River

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Jun 25, 2014.

In May, Washington County Marine Deputy Jerry Roley flew an aerial survey looking for logjams on the lower portion of the Tualatin River.  He found 3 logjams upstream of Rood Bridge Park, 3 between  Rood Bridge and the Farmington Road and one between The Scholls Bridge and the Schamburg Bridge. Deputy Roley provided these coordinates […]

Oregon Supports Tool to Estimate Temperature Benefits of Restoring Flow to Rivers

By Danielle Dumont from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jun 25, 2014.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently voiced its support for the Water Temperature Transaction Tool (W3T), which estimates the thermal benefit of restoring flow to Oregon’s rivers and streams. Developed by Watercourse Engineering, funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and in partnership with Willamette Partnership, Farm Stream Solutions and The Freshwater Trust, […]

OPB: Oregon Planning Agency Would Prioritize Farm, Forest Longevity

By craig from The Latest. Published on Jun 24, 2014.

Rob Manning
OPB News
Mon, 06/23/2014 - 5:00pm

The state agency responsible for governing Oregon’s local land-use plans has come up with a new plan for itself.

The Department of Land Conservation and Development, has two missions: to conserve farm and forestland, and to develop land for houses and jobs.

State law requires local governments to continually ensure they have sufficient land for houses and jobs.

read more

National News: June 23, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jun 22, 2014.

Holding BLM Accountable, Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics
Revolution by Pixels, FSEEE Spring Newsletter
Back to the Future, FSEEE Spring Newsletter
Burned Plan - Our fire problem has been a long time in the making, Science 2.0
USDA Releases State by State Impacts of Limited Wildfire Suppression In Recent Years - List Highlights How Forest Restoration, Fire Preparedness and other Activities were Postponed or Canceled Due to Lack of Adequate Fire Suppression Budget, USFS

Ski Area Water Rights on National Forest System Lands, Federal Information & News Dispatch, Inc.

Using trees to clean pollution - Scientist monitor 10,000-acre forest as industrial "scrubber" for the environment, that can remove up to 70 tons of nitrogen oxide annually, Sandusky Register
Go Wild: Celebrating the Gila Wilderness Area's 90th Birthday - June 3 marks the 90th anniversary of the world's first designated wildland, KCET op-ed

Heartbreaking Day for Bees in Eugene during National Pollinator Week

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Jun 19, 2014.

Heartbreaking Day for Bees in Eugene during National Pollinator Week Here it is summer time, when the flowers and trees are in bloom and jamborees of pollinators are busily buzzing in the flowers.  It is also National Pollinator Week, a time to celebrate what bees, butterflies and other blossom-visiting species contribute to a healthy environment.... Read more »

The post Heartbreaking Day for Bees in Eugene during National Pollinator Week appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Press Release: Living River Celebration

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Jun 19, 2014.

For Immediate Release Contact: Liz Lawrence Director of Resources 541-345-2799 McKenzie River Trust Hosts Living River Event Celebrating Green Island Conservation EUGENE, Ore. (June 19, 2014) – On Saturday, June 28, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., the McKenzie … Continue reading

River Rally 2014: A Wrap-Up

By kkasowski from What's New at River Network. Published on Jun 19, 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 mfrey from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Jun 19, 2014.

Circle Of Blue: The Good News And The Bad News About Water-Related Issues

By Levi Schmidt from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jun 18, 2014.

“Learn to love complexity. Water touches everything, so you have to be fluent in many different disciplines,” offered Brett Walton, water reporter at Circle of Blue, when asked his advice for people interested in careers in water. Walton would know. He is part of a team of journalists and researchers at Circle of Blue, a […]

From Renewables To Fish Restoration

By Levi Schmidt from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jun 18, 2014.

Eugene Weir of The Freshwater Trust discusses how using renewable energy in Oregon provides a double benefit. First, there’s the obvious benefit of using wind or solar or geothermal power instead of burning fossil fuels. Second, money from Pacific Power’s Blue Sky program goes to help restore fish habitat in key streams around the region. […]

Fox P Trade Webinar – Water Quality Trading in Oregon and Correlations

By Levi Schmidt from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jun 18, 2014.

The Freshwater Trust’s Alex Johnson discusses our water quality trading program in Oregon with the Great Lakes Commission. Alex reviews the history and timeline of trading in Oregon, specific mechanics of certain aspects of a brokered trading program and how our program correlates to the Fox River Phosphorous project in Wisconsin.

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

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

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

By mfrey from What's New at River Network. Published on Jun 13, 2014.

Little “Littles” in the Big Woods

By kristina from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jun 13, 2014.

I recently sat down with Big Brothers Big Sisters “little” and Opal Creek Expeditions veteran Tanna […]

River Rally 2014 Rocks! (video)

By rcarter from What's New at River Network. Published on Jun 12, 2014.

Call for Photos: Announcing the HDC 50th Anniversary Photo Contest

By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jun 11, 2014.

Oregon Chapter Sierra Club High Desert Committee Call for Photos Calling all photographers! Your help is needed. You’re invited to submit your best shots of Oregon’s wilderness areas for a chance to be featured in the Oregon Sierra Club High Desert Committee’s Wilderness Act 50th Anniversary Photography Exhibit this fall. Both professional and amateur photo submissions are […]

Wetland restoration resource launched

By tom from News. Published on Jun 11, 2014.

Wetland Prairie Restoration: An Online Resource is a comprehensive introduction to the history and ecology of wetland prairies in the Willamette Valley and overview of the restoration process.

Can Your Employer Help Protect Oregon?

By craig from The Latest. Published on Jun 10, 2014.


EarthShare OregonThreats to Oregon are growing, as are demands on the lands, water, food, energy and other resources Oregon needs to thrive. We need more people and businesses standing up for this great state. 1000 Friends is pleased to partner with EarthShare Oregon to make that happen.

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Three Voices, One Compass: Meet Our McCall Gala Speakers

By craig from The Latest. Published on Jun 10, 2014.


Join us next Friday, June 20, for the 2014 McCall Gala. Come to connect and commit to Oregon's future. Meet Emerging Advocates and hear from three standout Oregon innovators.

Meet our 2014 Tom McCall Gala speakers:

read more

Fish and Streams Benefit When Oregon Renewable Energy Supporters Focus On Restoration Projects

By Levi Schmidt from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jun 09, 2014.

Fish and streams benefit when Oregon renewable energy supporters focus on restoration projects Pacific Power Blue Sky customers and The Freshwater Trust restore and enhance fish habitat throughout Oregon PORTLAND, Ore. – Pacific Power customers who have chosen to support renewable energy through the Blue Sky Habitat program are directly helping restore Oregon native fish […]

Governor Kitzhaber Praises State Forest Conservation Areas

By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jun 05, 2014.

  On June 2nd, Governor Kitzhaber toured the Gales Creek area in the Tillamook State Forest. The Creek, which is surrounded by buffers newly classified as High Value Conservation Areas, is also home to several recent stream restoration projects. Oregon Department of Forestry staff and partner groups lauded the stream enhancement work, which includes extensive log […]

Battle Axe Bridge Closure

By kristina from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jun 03, 2014.

The Battle Axe Bridge in Jawbone Flats is currently closed to pedestrian traffic due to damage […]


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

Tom Brewster: Maker of Nest Boxes for Birds

By tamara from News. Published on May 27, 2014.

Tom Brewster donated endless hours to make over 100 bird boxes for students of IAE partner schools who are part of the Ever Green Riparian Stewards Program. IAE is ever grateful to Tom for his amazing contributions to our Ecological Education Program and to the lives of young people and their teachers.

Guest Blog: Mark Gorman on the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

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

Guest Blog: Mark Gorman on the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

By mfrey from What's New at River Network. Published on May 27, 2014.

National News: May 27, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on May 26, 2014.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Action to Combat Insects and Diseases that Weaken Forests, Increase Fire Risk - Vilsack Also Reiterates Need for Fire Funding Solution as Projected Cost of Fighting Wildfire Exceeds This Year's Budget, USDA News

Trees and what-not, Summit Voice
Forest Service Proposes Massive Salvage Logging Project in Rim Fire Area - Logging in Stanislaus National Forest Puts Rare Species, Forest Ecosystems at Risk, Center for Biological Diversity

State land should not be privatized, Montana Standard letter

testing sahring

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

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

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

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

By mfrey from What's New at River Network. Published on May 23, 2014.

1000 Friends Seeks Summer Interns

By craig from The Latest. Published on May 22, 2014.


1000 Friends is seeking some great interns to help us develop our membership and communicate our impact! If you're someone who loves Oregon and you want to hone your skills in communications and/or development, we'd love to meet you.

Click here to read the internship announcement, and be in touch!

Geek Reading: Cooperative Federalism, Nutrients, and the CWA

By mfrey from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on May 19, 2014.

Geek Reading: Cooperative Federalism, Nutrients, and the CWA

By mfrey from What's New at River Network. Published on May 19, 2014.

Elegy to Tim Lillebo, by Bill Fleischmann

By (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.

Summer Is Coming. Explore With Us.

By craig from The Latest. Published on May 19, 2014.


Land use is your community, your home, your street. It's where your food comes from and how you get where you're going. It's a place of possibility, if you know what to look for. This summer, we'd like to take you out to see land use in action, with our new line-up of field trips!

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Creating Lasting Connections on Social Media - May 7, 2014 webinar recording

By rcarter from What's New at River Network. Published on May 15, 2014. "Want to breathe new life into your city? Build a fence around it."

By craig from The Latest. Published on May 14, 2014.

Nathanel Johnson
Tue, 05/06/2014 (All day), a national blog devoted to "getting people talking, thinking, and taking action", takes a look at how sharpening the edge of Portland's region helped revive the city's core in a fascinating piece.

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Documentary Film DamNation Comes to Bend’s Tower Theatre

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

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

Pupfish: Mojave Desert Survivor

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

Pupfish: Mojave Desert Survivor

Report from Sutton Mountain

By bpasko from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on May 08, 2014.

  The High Desert Committee led a trip to the Sutton Mountain wilderness study area at the end of April. Located near Mitchell, Oregon and adjacent to the Painted Hills National Monument, Sutton Mountain provides a birds-eye view of the colorful striations of the Painted Hills, created by wind, time and geologic activity. After a […]

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.

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

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

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

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Ben Ross: To Fight Sprawl, Look Closer In

By craig from The Latest. Published on May 07, 2014.


It may seem that fighting sprawl is all about the edge: have a strong urban growth boundary and and the rest will fall into place. But that's only one piece of the puzzle, argues author Ben Ross. We need also need more places to live in existing communities--yet how can we build that in an age of opposition?

read more

OSPF Board Member Tim Wood Receives 2013 Governor’s Tourism Award from Travel Oregon

By OSPF from . Published on May 02, 2014.

Oregon State Parks Foundation board member Tim Wood, who recently retired as director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, has received the 2013 Governor’s Tourism Award from the Oregon Tourism Commission. The commission, also known as Travel Oregon, presented this prestigious annual award during the 2014 Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Sunriver. The state’s [...]

Speak Out For Clean Water: Make Sure Your Watershed is Protected From Pollution!

By mfrey from What's New at River Network. Published on Apr 25, 2014.

Learn! River Network Hosts Webinar on Waters of the US Rulemaking

By rcarter from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Apr 24, 2014.

Habitat Conservation Plans – A Tool for State Forests

By kimberlyfanshier from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 23, 2014.

Over the next year, the Department of Forestry will be reviewing and possibly re-writing the administrative rules that dictate management of Oregon’s state forests, defining the future of some of our state’s most vital natural spaces. Pressures to increase logging on the Tillamook and Clatsop forests is intense. Populations of marbled murrelets, spotted owls, Coho salmon, red tree voles, and […]

Happy Earth Day to Seneca Jones!

By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 22, 2014.

In the ongoing saga of the State Land Board’s decision to sell off portions of the Elliott State Forest to meet its mandates under the Common School Fund, Seneca Jones Timber Company received an early Earth Day present earlier this week. As reported in the Oregonian, Seneca Jones submitted the winning bid on the 788-acre […]

Start the Clock! Comments on Proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule Due July 21

By mfrey from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Apr 21, 2014.

Preserve Parent

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

Preserve Parent

So Long Tundra, Hello Trees

By tom from News. Published on Apr 16, 2014.

US Forest Service Plants Massive Carbon Sink in Arctic

Toxic Trespass Knows No Barriers

By Niria Garcia from Beyond Toxics. Published on Apr 15, 2014.

As an Environmental Studies major I’ve gotten very used to discussing issues of injustice and land degradation through a scholarly/objective lens, however I had never drawn these connections back to myself and how they affect me as an Oregonian. Never would I have imagined that a trip out to interview a community affected by pesticide... Read more »

The post Toxic Trespass Knows No Barriers appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Springtime Star Parties in Oregon State Parks: Lunar Eclipses and Celestial Sights

By OSPF from . Published on Apr 11, 2014.

Reach for the stars! Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has teamed up with OMSI and Rose City Astronomers to offer star parties at three state parks this spring. These free viewing parties are a great chance to see planets, lunar eclipses and other celestial sights through telescopes and binoculars of all sizes. From beginners to [...]

Tickets to An Evening for Opal Creek Now Available!

By kristina from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Apr 09, 2014.

Opal Creek turns 25 this year and it’s time to celebrate! Join us on Friday, May […]

A Failure to Protect: Oregon laws allow community poisoning

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Apr 08, 2014.

A pesticide helicopter operator was discovered lying to an Oregon rural community about what herbicides he sprayed, how much he sprayed and where he sprayed. Four months ago, Beyond Toxics filed a petition with three federal agencies claiming that not enough was being done to help more than two dozen residents of Cedar Valley, a... Read more »

The post A Failure to Protect: Oregon laws allow community poisoning appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Oil & Gas Water Quality Tool Helps You Compare State Rules

By mfrey from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Apr 07, 2014.

Join us in the High Desert this Summer!

By bpasko from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 02, 2014.

Southeastern Oregon has some of the most wild and pristine landscapes in the continental United States. Stunning rock formations, endless vistas and wild lands are waiting to be explored, most without developed trails to mark human existence. If you are the adventurous type, consider joining the Sierra Club’s High Desert Committee on a trip to […]

Extinct Wheeled Creature Discovered as Ice Recedes

By tom from News. Published on Apr 01, 2014.

Biologists ecstatic, racing to discovery site from all over the world

Become a Member

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

The McKenzie River Trust is kicking off a membership program this April. Join today! Continue reading

Featured Post

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

Plight of the Bumble Bee

Draft Rulemaking to Clarify Clean Water Act Protections!

By mfrey from River Network - River Habitat Blog. Published on Mar 25, 2014.

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

Badlands/Spring Basin Birthday Bash

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Mar 11, 2014.

On March 30, 2009, Oregon Badlands and Spring Basin became forever protected with a stroke of the president's pen. Join us on Friday, April 4, at the Oregon Natural Desert Association's Bend office to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their designation as wilderness.

Oregon Desert Trail honored in Outside magazine's annual Travel Awards

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

The Oregon Natural Desert Association's Oregon Desert Trail has been named a Best Desert Trip in Outside magazine's 2014 Travel Awards. It's one of 50 adventures honored this year in the April edition of the magazine and at

Registration Now Open for all 2014 Programming

By kristina from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Mar 03, 2014.

Spring is rapidly approaching, which means that soon enough we will be throwing open the gate […]

For bees, Oregon sets important new legislative precedents!

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Mar 03, 2014.

It started eighteen months ago, when a group of passionate and dedicated bee keepers came to the Beyond Toxics office to talk with us about the bees. They were well informed and brought published studies revealing the role pesticides play in the demise of honey bee colonies. What a true grassroots group does is listen... Read more »

The post For bees, Oregon sets important new legislative precedents! appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Floodplain ESB

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Feb 23, 2014.

Beer for Water Falling Sky Brewing has created a special beer called Floodplain ESB, brewed to support the McKenzie River Trust. Falling Sky Brewing will donate $1 for every Floodplain ESB pint to the Mckenzie River Trust. “Beer is made … Continue reading

Practical Guidelines for Wetland Prairie Restoration

By tom from News. Published on Feb 21, 2014.

One-Day Workshops Offered in Eugene on May 29 and 30, 2014

End of the Hemlocks, A Lament

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

End of the Hemlocks, A Lament

Fire for Flowers

By michellea from News. Published on Feb 19, 2014.

New video released on use of fire to manage prairies on Willamette Valley Wildlife Refuges. Features IAE's Tom Kaye and the golden paintbrush. Produced by George Gentry.

Weed Guides for Oregon Available

By tom from News. Published on Feb 19, 2014.

Three separate books cover most of Oregon from the coast to the Willamette Valley to the eastern half of the state

IAE Volunteer Expedition: Illinois Valley, Oregon 4/28-5/2/14

By tom from News. Published on Feb 19, 2014.

Join us for a multi-day service and learning trip to southern Oregon's serpentine country to monitor populations of the endangered Cook's desert-parsley.

Tom Kaye to speak at Triad Club Feb. 20

By tom from News. Published on Feb 19, 2014.

Full Time Position Available

By michellea from News. Published on Feb 19, 2014.

The Conservation Research program is hiring a full time Program Director.

The Mahi-Mahi and the Map

By Shawn Margles from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Feb 18, 2014.

The Mahi-Mahi and the Map

Missing Tim Lillebo

By (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

Featured: Behold the Babirusa

By Matt Miller from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Feb 14, 2014.

Behold the Babirusa

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.

Bees, pesticides and freedom

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Feb 09, 2014.

When I read the Oregonian’s “Editors’ Agenda 2014” editorial (1/5/2014), I felt compelled to respond. The editors urged Oregonians to pay attention to upcoming statewide issues that may either increase or decrease personal freedoms. One of the legislative bills they warn against is HB 4139, the Save Oregon Pollinators Act. Beyond Toxics is partnering with... Read more »

The post Bees, pesticides and freedom appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Sage-Grouse Habitat Restoration through Prisons

By tamara from News. Published on Feb 09, 2014.

The Snake River Correctional Institution Project

Your Comments Needed NOW

By (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.

Oregon chub makes history

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Feb 05, 2014.

A small minnow native to the Willamette Valley is the first fish proposed for removal from the Endangered Species List due to recovery. Continue reading

Oregon Desert Trail info to be released to public Feb. 4

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jan 29, 2014.

The Oregon Natural Desert Association will debut the Oregon Desert Trail guide information, including write-ups, maps and GPS data, during a free event on Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Portland. Special guests include 1859 - Oregon's Magazine Editor Kevin Max and New York Times contributor Tim Neville.

OCN announces 2014 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon

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

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

Bees by the Numbers

By John Jordan-Cascade from Beyond Toxics. Published on Jan 21, 2014.

“Bees are as important to Oregon’s agricultural sector as water and the sun.” – Alan Turanski, VP, GloryBee Foods There are a lot of reasons to be concerned about the rapid decline of many species of bees worldwide. Honey bees and bumble bees have played a crucial role in human cultures for thousands of years.... Read more »

The post Bees by the Numbers appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

Best of 2013: Our 13 Most Popular Posts from 2013

By Michael Lewis from Nature Conservancy Blogs: Conservation, Science & Green Living. Published on Jan 21, 2014.

In case you missed them, here are our top 13 most popular posts from 2013.

Wildlife Watchers Field Report for 2013

By (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

COCN Announces Priority for a Healthy Central Oregon

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

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

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

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.



read more

The Forest Connection

By (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.”

Native Plant Propagation Workshop

By michellea from News. Published on Jan 07, 2014.

Come learn at Shonnard's

‘Tis the Season

By katie from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Dec 21, 2013.

For me the holiday season is always a time of reflection and excitement; reflection on the […]

Celebrate Someone You Love This Season

By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Dec 13, 2013.

Honor a family member or friend who loves natural lands this season with a gift to the McKenzie River Trust. Continue reading

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

Bees Get Their Day at the State Legislature

By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Nov 23, 2013.

The Legislative hearing on Bee Health and Pesticide Use on November 21 was an important milestone.  Lawmakers heard from a number of panelists that pesticides are harming bees. The day started with Beyond Toxics delivering nearly 12,000 signatures to Katy Coba, the Director of the Department of Agriculture calling for a ban on a class... Read more »

The post Bees Get Their Day at the State Legislature appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

ONDA begins sage-grouse draft plan review

By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Nov 22, 2013.

The Oregon Natural Desert Association is beginning an in-depth review of a plan for managing for the Greater sage-grouse in Oregon, released by the Bureau of Land Management.

The 2013 Give!Guide is Live!

By kristina from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Nov 06, 2013.

If you haven’t yet heard the news, Opal Creek is one of 129 featured non-profits in […]

2013 Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey Results

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

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.

Oregon Values and Beliefs Project
October 13

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.

Andrew Hogan
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 (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


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.

Paul Fattig
July 13
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 (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.

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 (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 (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

Up a creek without the facts

By Nikki Roemmer from OLCV News Archive. Published on Jul 14, 2013.

Bend Bulletin Editorial

Published: July 14. 2013 4:00AM PST

If there’s a campaign to save Tumalo Creek, it’s got to be careful with the facts. Central Oregon Conservation Network’s campaign should be more careful.

The conservation network is a collection of local and state environmental organizations — Central Oregon LandWatch, Trout Unlimited, 1000 Friends of Oregon and five more. The effort is coordinated by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

read more

July 2013 -- The Water Issue

By Meghan Humphreys from All News. Published on Jul 11, 2013.

Wildlife Watchers Project Begins New Season

By (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 (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.


By Gena Goodman-Campbell from Press Releases. Published on Mar 08, 2013.

The Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) and the Audubon Society of Portland have filed a petition requesting U.S. Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, to revoke the December 2011 Record of Decision allowing industrial scale wind development on Steens Mountain.

Charles Jones Remembers Jack Barry

By (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 (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

Oregon's Senators reintroduce Cathedral Rock and Horse Heaven under the Oregon Treasures Act of 2013

By Ben Gordon from Press Releases. Published on Feb 15, 2013.

Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced legislation today in the U.S. Senate which would greatly improve public lands protection throughout Oregon including the protection of nearly 18,000 acres as Wilderness along the John Day River in eastern Oregon’s prized high desert. These areas are known as Cathedral Rock and Horse Heaven and are included under the Oregon Treasures Act of 2013.

"We all do better when we all do better" - EarthShare Oregon

By (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,
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 to discuss potential topics for your office’s upcoming Green Team meetings.


Jack Barry - Visionary Voice 1925 - 2012

By (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.

Native fish benefit from decade of dogged advocacy on John Day River

By Gena Goodman-Campbell from Press Releases. Published on Nov 28, 2012.

Steelhead trout in the John Day River can expect to see improved habitat conditions after over a hundred years of habitat degradation caused by cattle grazing in eastern Oregon's streams.

The Dawn of Dam Removal

By (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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
(, 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 (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 (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Mar 30, 2012.

The Predator Persecution Complex


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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By lauren from Press Releases. Published on Apr 16, 2011.

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By lauren from Press Releases. Published on Apr 07, 2011.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Energy issues are important to daily life

By renewables from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Oct 16, 2009.

Publication Date: 
July 20, 2010
As important as energy is to our economy and quality of life, it isn't surprising that energy issues are in the news on a daily basis these days. Dependence on foreign energy suppliers and on fossil fuels - which contribute to climate change - is not a strategy that is sustainable for our needs. Ultimately, a clean, secure, homegrown energy future will be needed to revitalize our economy and sustain us for the long-term.
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