You are here: Home

News from our groups

Sixth graders of Eddyville Charter School unearth a massive mystery on a coastal TWC preserve

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Mar 02, 2015.

All of the soil on earth tells a story.  The soil at our Happ Wetland Preserve in Seal Rock, Oregon tells the story of the massive earthquake and tsunami of 1700.  Sixth grade students at Eddyville Charter School take core samples at the wetland and share their findings in this poster–check it out! tsunami poster

The Oregon Chapter in the 2015 Oregon Legislature

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

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

ODF Proposes Massive Clearcuts for Oregon’s State Forests

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

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

The Clackamas County Food System ONEStop

By karli from The Latest. Published on Mar 02, 2015.

If you've been following our work with the Rogue Valley Food System Network, you know we're committed to connecting people with fresh local produce. One of the ways this network accomplishes this goal is by connecting farmers, distributors, and other partners in order to minimize shipping costs and get food into the hands of people who need it. Now, a similar food system called ONEStop has emerged to serve people in Clackamas County. Here's a little bit about this initiative:

read more

Here’s What NWEI’s Annual Staff Retreat Looks Like!

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Mar 02, 2015.

Saturday marked the end of our annual NWEI Staff Retreat, where we gather to regroup for a few days at the base of Mount Hood near Parkdale, Oregon. Of course there is the strategic planning, along with special meetings this… Read More!

The post Here’s What NWEI’s Annual Staff Retreat Looks Like! appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Backyard Habitat Certification Program expands into Gresham and Fairview

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Mar 02, 2015.

Feb. 27, 2015: The Backyard Habitat Certification Program is moving east and we invite residents of Gresham and Fairview to join us!

Last chance to take action on protections for forage fish

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

Feb. 24, 2015: The Pacific Fishery Management Council, which sets catch levels on the West Coast for important seabird prey like anchovy and sardine, will be meeting on March 9 to take final action on the Unmanaged Forage Fish Initiative. The initiative would require the Council to consider ecosystem impacts and to review the best available science before approving new commercial fishing on seven groups of currently unmanaged forage species. Please submit comments encouraging the Council to finalize forage fish protections!

Whole Foods Tackles Global Poverty

By andym from Growth Rings. Published on Feb 27, 2015.

Our friends at Whole Foods in the greater Portland area are inviting community members to a Benefit Show on Friday, March 13th at the Portland Four Square Church at 2830 NE Flanders Street from 6:00-9:00pm. This event is part of the Whole Planet Foundation’s 2015 Prosperity Campaign to raise $5 million for global poverty alleviation. […]

Give Thanks for SEEDS!

By achesser from The Latest News. Published on Feb 27, 2015.

The Thanksgiving bounty begins with seeds.

Spring Cleaning: Get Rid of Old Vehicles or Stocks Gathering Dust

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

The buds on the trees are swelling, the first wildflowers are blooming. Are you thinking spring cleaning? Or maybe thinking of donating a vehicle or stock? Great news: Riverkeeper is now accepting stocks and vehicles. Both are great ways to make a big investment in clean water, strong salmon runs, and healthy communities.

Riverkeeper Data Used in Regional Temperature Model

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

Our citizen scientist water quality data is being utilized for regional stream temperature model coordinated by the U.S. Forest Service. Scientists determined that salmon survival requires cool water: the temperature must remain below 68°F, and this is the maximum temperature allowed by law. However, the Columbia River already regularly exceeds 70°F, and climate models predict temperatures will continue to rise. This puts salmon and steelhead under significant stress, reduces growth rates, and increases the risk of disease and predation.

Member Spotlight: Rory Gravelle

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

Rory Gravelle is a student enrolled at Portland Community College (PCC) and a volunteer with Columbia Riverkeeper. Motivated by a public health course at PCC, Rory contacted Riverkeeper’s Community Organizer, Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky, for practical applications to complement his classroom work.

Reinventing NEPA?

By pam from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Feb 25, 2015.

By Pam Hardy, Central Oregon Field Coordinator

The Forest Service has come up with a new idea on how to do NEPA.  It’s got me worried.  At its best it would mean streamlining environmental review, and getting projects we like on the ground faster.  At worst, it cuts out public involvement, makes adaptation to new science almost impossible, and sends proceeds that could be used for restoration and jobs out of the area.

NEPA is the National Environmental Policy Act.  It says that when the US Government wants to take action on public lands it has to take a “hard look” at the environmental consequences and document them in an Environmental Impact Statement.  It’s one of the most important laws wildlands defenders like Oregon Wild have to ensure that timber sales, grazing permits, mining operations, etc. aren’t destroying our public lands.

Historically, NEPA has worked on a project-by-project basis.  Every timber sale, riparian restoration project, or grazing allotment has its own analysis.  Part of that analysis is an opportunity for the public to provide supplemental science and feedback to the government.  Even better, the federal agency is actually required to read those comments and respond to them.

Under the new vision of NEPA being considered by the Forest Service, this important analysis wouldn’t occur on a project-by-project basis.  Instead, the agency would lump together many projects that they consider similar and do the analysis all at once.  For example, in Arizona in the Coronado National Forest, the Forest Service did a forest-wide analysis on planting native vegetation that would support both traditional Native American uses and pollinator species.  The project generated very little controversy. After all, who would oppose retuning native plants that have been excluded from the ecosystem?  Here in Oregon on the Malheur National Forest, they did a similar project analyzing certain types of riparian restoration techniques.  The idea is that when the Malheur analyzes a whole watershed for a timber sale, they can easily dedicate resources to riparian restoration using the income from the timber sale.

Unfortunately, not all projects that would be streamlined by this process are as non-controversial as these. A new proposal to analyze cutting timber in dry forests on over a million acres across the Wallowa Whitman, Umatilla, Malheur and Ochoco National Forests raises serious red flags.  According to verbal assurances, the logging would be for restoration purposes only and adhere to principles that local stakeholders have agreed to in the past.  As the Forest Service sees it, they’re only going after the non-controversial timber.

But there are reasons for skepticism. 

What’s wrong with this picture?

It’s true that stakeholder groups, including conservation organizations like Oregon Wild, have signed on to some timber sales because we believed they were designed to be ecologically restorative.  We came to that conclusion by getting out on the ground, looking at the particular situation, the science on healthy ecosystems, and carefully analyzing the proposed activities.  Most importantly, each agreement came with a HUGE caveat:  We signed on to projects that were small enough to be carefully analyzed before hand, and monitored after.  

Monitoring is key.  Logging based on ecological restoration look like a good idea in principle.  It’s clear that a lot of our forests are not in a natural state because they’re either recovering from past clear cuts or have had fire suppressed for decades, or both.  Science shows that eastside forests have had fires – some small ground fires, some large and intense – race through them approximately every 16 years.  

How do you recover from an unnatural state?  Our best guess is to thin small trees out of the forest that would have been taken by fire, and use prescribed burns to restart more natural processes.  This is a good guess based on good science.  But we’ve only been at this for about a decade now, and we’re pretty sure that not all the results are in.

After all, we were once certain that best management practices meant suppressing all fires in all ecosystems all the time.  We were wrong then, and it is possible that we could be wrong now.

Which brings us back to the Forest Service plan to push the big “dry forest” project on the Wallowa Whitman, Umatilla, Malheur and Ochoco forests as quickly as possible because even logging for ecological restoration can bring in money and send profitable logs to local timber mills.  But there are good reasons to take a step back, slow down, and take a proper hard look at what’s proposed here.  A few key issues emerge: 

1.    If an analysis covering logging in all the dry pine forests across over a million acres is completed to cover a period of activities lasting 10 years, there is no way to ensure that the Forest Service adapts to new science.  Some forest districts will voluntarily pick up the new science, but pressure to use the existing NEPA will likely be intense, especially if new science would result in less logging and generated income.

2.    Doing one NEPA analysis covering so much area and time means the public, including environmental groups like Oregon Wild, will only have one formal chance to weigh in on all the proposed logging and other projects – up front. As more site-specific projects are developed down the line, there won’t be any legal opportunity to  stop a poorly conceived project or insist on the inclusion of new science affecting an area.

3.    Restoration thinning often results in income to the Forest Service.  That income can be used in two ways:

  • If the project is designed as a “stewardship project” the income can be used to complete less commercially viable restoration projects like enhancing riparian areas and aspen stands.
  • If the timber sale is not done as a “stewardship project”, the money generated from logging goes to the general fund of the United States.  In short, it leaves the district.

Stewardship projects not only mean more habitat for elk, deer, birds, and salmon, but also more jobs for local forest contractors. If timber sales are implemented under this new system without a holistic look at local needs, we’ll see a lot of value leave the area.  

Not surprisingly, I have been assured by the Forest Service that my fears are unfounded, and that none of these concerns will come to pass.  But I worry about the fact that it would all be perfectly legal, that there would be little if any opportunity for meaningful public input, and there would be plenty of political pressure to log more when there’s no one watching.

Perhaps the biggest worry about this reinvention of NEPA? The push for even bigger and worse reforms than what I’ve covered here.  We’ve seen misinformation about the value and importance of NEPA spreading, and leading to proposed reforms that would significantly reduce public oversight and participation as well as the quality and rigor of the scientific analysis required by NEPA – from Senator Wyden’s O&C Lands bill, to Governor Kitzhaber’s draft recommendations to “renew” management of our National Forests. Such threats to such a foundational environmental law cannot be ignored.


Photo Credits: 
Blitzen River on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by Stephanie Ames; Ochoco Mountains by Andrew Newcomb; Twin Springs Basin on the Malhheur National Forest by Charles Reneau; Wallaowa River on the Umatilla National Forest by Pete Springer

LNG Export Walk: Make a Statement with your Feet on Saturday, March 14 in Warrenton!

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

Does this look like an appropriate place for an LNG terminal? Come see for yourself and make a statement against closing our land and rivers to the public for a dangerous, destructive LNG terminal! Join us Saturday, March 14, 2015 to see where Oregon LNG proposes to build a massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal. [...]

A fond farewell to our far-riding friend

By Rob Sadowsky from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 25, 2015.

One of our most senior board members, Susan Otcenas, announced her retirement from the Board of Directors at its most recent meeting. Susan first joined the […]

Youth Speak Out at the Youth Bike Summit

By LeeAnne Fergason from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 25, 2015.

What do a marching band, a youth-lead workshop on how to give public testimony, and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray have in common? All these things were […]

Water quality project by our international volunteer, Ana Blandon

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Feb 24, 2015.

This past Saturday marks the close of a wonderful partnership with Mount Hood Community College’s SEED (Scholarships for Education and Economic Development) program.  The students from this program have volunteered at our Gresham Meadowlands preserve five times over the past two years.  They have been hard-working, fun-loving and dedicated volunteers! The SEED program supports projects for international students–one

Take a Stand for Toxic-Free Fish

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

Do you know Washington State’s dirty little secret? For decades, polluters in Washington have benefited from some of the nation’s least protective toxic pollution standards. We can change this. Right now the Washington Department of Ecology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are asking for public input on new laws that could make it harder—or easier—to discharge cancer-causing toxic pollution to our rivers. Comment today!

Action alert: Final push to help seabirds by protecting forage fish

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Feb 24, 2015.

Jan. 26, 2015: The Pacific Fisheries Management Council, which sets catch levels on the West Coast for important seabird prey like anchovy and sardine, will be meeting on March 9 in Vancouver, Wash., to take final action on the Unmanaged Forage Fish Initiative. The initiative would prohibit new, directed commercial fishing on seven groups of unmanaged forage species without first assessing the science relating to any proposed directed fishery and considering impacts to the greater marine ecosystem.

We’re Hiring!

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Feb 24, 2015.

The Corvallis Environmental Center (CEC) is hiring a part-time Office Manager for our downtown office. This 30 hour/week position provides the day-to-day office management, accounting, and administrative support needed to ensure the CEC provides the best quality services to the community.  The Office Manager will interact with CEC staff & board, volunteers, and the public. To
read more

Easy Ways to Generate Less Waste

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

Figuring out how to generate less waste is an ongoing practice and conversation at the Northwest Earth Institute – and we even have stories from people who have reduced their waste to one garbage can a year! We recently connected with the… Read More!

The post Easy Ways to Generate Less Waste appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Riders in the Sky

By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on Feb 24, 2015.

Former FoT colleague, Toshio Suzuki is editing Northwest Passage, the magazine about BLM Lands in Oregon & Washington. He was kind enough to let us know we could reuse this article – both because the material is public domain and it’s good to be back on the blog he launched. There are more good stories […]

A Victory for Civic Engagement: Medford Bans Styrofoam

By Anonymous from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Feb 23, 2015.

by Sam Becker, Guest Blogger

During my sophomore year I adopted a 2.4-mile stretch of the Bear Creek Greenway, a pedestrian/bike path, which runs along a river that flows through the valley. I strongly believe that I have a social responsibility to make my community a more sustainable and inviting place for every organism to live in. The service I have done, and continue to do, includes picking up litter, weeding, and rescuing trees from the clutches of blackberries.

As I began to spend more time on the Greenway, I started to do research on riparian zone restoration, the use of native plants to combat the growth of invasive species, and the effects of litter on the environment. I felt that learning about these subjects provided me with an interdisciplinary understanding of the service I had been doing, and that others could benefit from this type of meaningful and informative service. So, I decided to open this opportunity to my fellow classmates. The “Greenway Club” was proliferated near the end of my sophomore year. To date, I have logged over 100 hours of service and we have collected over 350 pounds of trash.

I continuously noticed that polystyrene foam (PSF) food containers, which are commonly known as Styrofoam, detract from the beauty of the Greenway, waterways, public parks, and roads more than any other litter. When I pick it up, it can crumble into small pieces that go everywhere and are then blown away by the wind. Upon comprehensively researching PSF, I discovered that it has a wide array of adverse effects on our health, our environment, wildlife, and Oregon’s economy. Due to all of these reasons, ten months ago, I decided to spearhead an initiative in Medford, Oregon to ban PSF food containers. 

The first six months I spent hours filling out paperwork, waiting, meeting with members of the community and politicians from local and state levels, constructing an ordinance, talking with city officials from other cities, creating a committee called ECOS (the Environmental Committee to Outlaw Styrofoam), registering that committee as a business with the state of Oregon, aligning my committee under the fiscal umbrella of a nonprofit organization, and pouring in countless hours of research. After six months of waiting, I got the go ahead to petition.

In the past three months, I have spent an average of 24 hours a week for four months collecting signatures, planning, and contacting people. Realizing that this was another great way to engage my fellow classmates and the greater community in interdisciplinary learning and environmental sustainability, I invited people to help me gather signatures. Without their help and the support of my family, I would not be at the place I am at today. 

The requirement to get this initiative on the ballot is 3,218 signatures, and I gathered over 4,500 signatures. Some of them were discounted for numerous reasons, but ultimately I gathered enough to qualify it as a measure on the May ballot. However, there was a chance that the City Council would pass the initiative by itself in January, which would be optimal for me because I would not have to secure funds for political advertisements, and ask people to help me more. Therefore, I met with all of the council members, the mayor, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, Medford’s recycling coordinator, and the head of the local water reclamation facility. In those meetings, I gathered information about what their respective recommendations and concerns were. Then, I surveyed sixty Medford restaurant managers or owners to see if they would support the ordinance. In total, ninety three percent supported the ordinance, even though thirty one percent were using PSF.

On January fifteenth I gave a ten-minute presentation to the Medford City Council during a public hearing. They agreed that they might pass this ordinance, but that they would like me to present at another public hearing in which all food vendors in Medford were notified. So on February fifth, I presented my information to the City Council for the last time. After I presented, there were eight owners who spoke in favor and two owners who spoke in opposition. Ultimately, the Council unanimously passed the ordinance to ban PSF. This is the first citizen led initiative in Medford, a town of 80,000 people, since 2000, and the first successful citizen led initiative since in many more years. 

I have noticed that everyone who has helped out with my initiative, myself included, has developed a new respect for those in the community who strive to create solutions to the many anthropogenic calamities that the world is currently facing. By taking the action to make change, rather than complaining about what should or should not happen, we have proven to ourselves, and the community, that any individual or group can facilitate change with a hard work ethic and plenty of passion.




Reflections on two years in Jawbone Flats

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

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

NWEI is Hiring! Join our Team

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

The Northwest Earth Institute has a rare job opening! We are seeking an experienced administrative assistant to join our team. This part-time position will provide coordination and support of NWEI’s operations in the areas of customer service and engagement, shipping, membership support, EcoChallenge… Read More!

The post NWEI is Hiring! Join our Team appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Tualatin Riverkeepers Challenges Silicon Forest Businesses to Plant an Actual Forest

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

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

Weigh In: Powell-Division Equity Work Group

By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 20, 2015.

              What: Powell-Division equity work group Date & Time: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 from 5-6:30 p.m. Place: David Douglas High […]

Meet your 2015 Active Transportation Summit keynote speakers!

By Hatham Al-Shabibi from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 20, 2015.

  To learn more about the 2015 Active Transportation Summit, and to register, click here.    Paul Steely-White, Executive Director for New York’s Transportation Alternatives TA consists of […]

Columbia River Ship Traffic: Impact of Coal and Oil Plans

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Feb 19, 2015.

Sightline Institute report shows proposed coal and oil shipping terminals could TRIPLE major vessel traffic on the Columbia River, increasing the risk of collisions and spills.

More trees on the horizon for Vancouver!

By krisd from Growth Rings. Published on Feb 19, 2015.

Friends of Trees will be on Vancouver’s Westside on February 21st. You can plant with us and learn more about how we work with local communities to plant trees together, by visiting our volunteer page. The Port of Vancouver USA is partnering with Friends of Trees Friends to grow the Vancouver urban tree canopy. We’ll […]

FisherPoets Gathering – featured

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Feb 19, 2015.

Riverkeeper is proud to participate in FisherPoets. FisherPoets is an Astoria tradition, bringing men and women tied to the fishing industry together to share poems, stories, songs, memoirs, essays and art in celebration of the work, its people and their concerns. Join us Friday, Feb. 27 – Sunday, March.

Restore Fair Share Housing: Support HB 2564

By karli from The Latest. Published on Feb 19, 2015.

Communities across Oregon are facing a housing crisis. With your support, we can help offer housing to everyone who calls Oregon home. Here's what you need to know:
  • Today, too many Oregonians struggle to find reasonably priced housing in healthy neighborhoods. Fair share housing policies allow everyone to live in vibrant communities with access to amenities and resources. 

read more

Oil Train Derails, Stop the Madness! – featured

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Feb 19, 2015.

Recently an oil train derailed, exploded, and spilled crude oil into the Kanawha River in West Virginia. Sign our petition asking the Governors of Oregon and Washington to stand up to explosive oil-by-rail today!

Join us at the Oregon SRTS Network Annual Meeting. RSVP now!

By LeeAnne Fergason from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 19, 2015.

Join us on March 31st from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. for the Oregon Safe Routes to School Network Annual Meeting as folks interested in Safe Routes to […]


By achesser from The Latest News. Published on Feb 19, 2015.

By Sharon Selvaggio, Healthy Wildlife and Water Program Director

freshwater Talk, episode 7: Dr. Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute

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

Guest Dr. Peter Gleick, author and President of the Pacific Institute, discusses the global water crisis with host Joe Whitworth.

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

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

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

Two proposed state laws to create mandatory bike licenses? Here’s what you need to know.

By Gerik Kransky from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 18, 2015.

The Oregon Legislature is proposing bills right and left, as typical of every legislative session. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is hard at work building and maintaining support for our […]

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

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

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

Permission to Care

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Feb 18, 2015.

Today’s post by Renee Lertzman on Climate Access’s blog offers food for thought on why conversation – and listening deeply to one another around climate change is so critical in effecting change. Renee asks many of the same questions that we here… Read More!

The post Permission to Care appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Open House: Rosewood Initiative to open its own bike shop

By Hatham Al-Shabibi from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 18, 2015.

Got a flat tire or a broken chain while riding in East Portland? Help is on the way! The Rosewood Initiative, a community-based nonprofit on Stark […]

Oil Train Derails, Explodes, and Spill into West Virginia’s Kanawha River: Stop the Madness

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Feb 16, 2015.

An oil train derailed, exploded, and spilled crude oil into the Kanawha River in West Virginia. According to Reuters, two nearby towns - Boomer Bottom and Adena Village - are being evacuated. At least one home was reportedly destroyed in the fire, and oil was burning on the Kanawha River this afternoon. Downstream water agencies have been ordered to shut off their intake valves, and local residents are being asked to conserve water for essential uses only.

Speak out for Solar: Residential Energy Tax Credit Extension

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Feb 16, 2015.

The Oregon Legislature is currently considering House Bill 2447, which would extend the Residential Energy Tax Credit, which is due to expire in 2018, to the year 2022. Contact your local legislators and encourage them to support HB 2447!

Native planting season has launched!

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Feb 16, 2015.

February 7, 2015 was our very first planting day of the year!  We partnered with the City of Tualatin for a great productive work day.  About 400 live stakes of red osier dogwood and willows were placed in the soft wetland ground by about 40 people.  We also scoured the uplands for litter and huge pickup truck full

Caves expansion worth the wait

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Feb 16, 2015.

The Oregon Caves National Monument receives green light from Congress for a ten-fold expansion. The long-overdue change will fully protect the entire Caves Creek watershed and designate the River Styx, which flows underground through the caves, the nation's first underground Wild and Scenic river.

Spring amphibian surveys are underway!

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Feb 16, 2015.

This spring, with the help of amphibian expert Katie Holzer, our urban land stewards Megan and Kaegan have launched an amphibian survey program to monitor amphibian populations on six of our urban preserves.  Together, they trained and developed a dedicated amphibian survey team of about 20 people for a season-long search for the egg masses

National News: February 16, 2015

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Feb 15, 2015.

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

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

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

Judges want LBL plan changed, Eddyville Herald Ledger

Leadership Spotlight: Elemental Technologies

By karli from The Latest. Published on Feb 13, 2015.


In this month’s Leadership Spotlight, 1000 Friends caught up with Sam Blackman, CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies. As the leader of a top-notch tech firm in the Rose City, Blackman isn’t one to rest on his laurels. His passion for improving his community, city, and state is apparent in the initiatives he supports at Elemental. From volunteer hours to a Community Ambassador program, Blackman is a leader for positive change.

read more

A Fragile Recovery for Oregon's Wolves

By Anonymous from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Feb 13, 2015.

by Stephanie Taylor, Wildlife Intern

Headlines have been alerting us to the news that with the confirmation of 7 breeding pairs of wolves in Oregon, ODFW is shifting into Phase 2 of its Wolf Management Plan. Phase 2 allows livestock operators the “flexibility” to shoot wolves near grazing areas, whether actively attacking livestock or not. Interestingly enough, this transition comes about the same time as the release of an important study on the surprising effects of killing carnivores on livestock losses. 

The results from this Washington State University study, based on 25 years of government data, conclude that killing wolves and other native predators to save livestock from depredation are actually having the opposite effect. 

While shooting carnivores may seem like the most logical and direct response, the study shows that by killing wolves, wolf packs become disrupted resulting in an increase in livestock depredations. Study author Rob Wielgus, a WSU wildlife biologist, said “wolf killings likely disrupt the social cohesion of the pack. While an intact breeding pair will keep young offspring from mating, disruption can set sexually mature wolves free to breed, leading to an increase in breeding pairs. As they have pups, they become bound to one place and cannot hunt deer and elk as freely.” 

Wolf packs also provide an important educational role to their young. Each member of a pack may play a different role. Experienced wolves have important knowledge and skills they can pass on. Killing them impairs this social learning process. If the rest of the pack hasn't learned the skills necessary to effectively take on natural prey like bison or elk, they may instead turn towards easier prey like livestock. This study found that the increasing wolf killing results in increasing the odds of livestock depredations 4% for sheep and 5-6% for cattle (watch the video above for full details).

At a critical point for Oregon’s tenuous wolf recovery, we applaud ODFW's efforts in recent years to encourage non-lethal measures, increase transparency, set clear guidelines, and reduce conflict. “The success of Oregon’s wolf recovery has largely been due to the non-lethal requirements that reduced wolf-livestock conflict and made Oregon a model for the rest of the country,” says Rob Klavins, Northeast Coordinator for Oregon Wild. “However, because of the Phase 2 transition, these required measures are now in jeopardy.”  

With non-lethal measures proving critical to recovery efforts and conflict reduction in Oregon, it’s important to keep in mind that what works in one situation may not be applicable to another or for all time. “A sheep operation in the Willamette Valley is going to be a whole lot different than an open-range cattle situation in the canyonlands of Wallowa County. It's important that the right measures be used in the right situations at the right time," says Klavins. "Poorly implemented non-lethal measures can actually make problems worse and are often used by naysayers who would rather shoot first. However, where implemented earnestly and appropriately, they can work extremely well.” 

The results of this study found that killing wolves only helps protect livestock after 25% of a wolf population has been killed. Oregon residents have time and again shown that they value wolves and other native wildlife. Purposely eliminating wolves from the landscape again is not as an option in the 21st century. Despite the science, gray wolves are currently being hunted and killed in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, in part - proponents say - to reduce livestock depredations.   

Using this government data, researchers conducted similar research on livestock killed by other predators, including brown bears, cougars, jaguars, lions, leopards, and more. Each of these studies provides similar results: killing predators creates a social disruption on the stability of their families and packs which actually causes more - not less - predation.

According to 25 years of tested scientific data, it seems we are ultimately better off learning to live with rather than kill native wildlife. “Killing wolves and other native hunters is cathartic for some,” says Klavins. “It's simple. It gives the illusion of solving a problem but upon closer inspection, it seems to make the problem worse. Shooting, trapping, and poisoning are 18th century solutions. In the 21st century, we can do better.”

Related story:


Photo Credits: 
Photos courtesy ODFW

Office Happenings

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Feb 12, 2015.

2014 was a big year in TWC office land and 2015 is promising continuing growth. When we think of land protection, we conjure up incredible images of beautiful landscapes and wetlands. Protection of these special places would not happen without a lot of behind the scenes paperwork, conversations, spreadsheets, maps and stories.   The new

LightHawk Volunteer Pilot Tony Carson Flies for 2014 King Tide Project

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Feb 12, 2015.

This year the December King Tide (highest tides of the year) followed several days of big storms. On December 22, TWC GIS Analyst John Bauer, Photographer Ben Friedle and LightHawk volunteer pilot Tony Carson found a break in the storm to fly above the Tillamook, Siletz, Sand Lake and Salmon River estuaries to get an

King Tides

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Feb 12, 2015.

It was a cloudy/hazy day and the Dec 22, 2014 king tide mission was nearly aborted, but the clouds broke through and TWC staff John Bauer, photographer Ben Friedle of Outlier Solutions Inc. and pilot Tony Carson sailed down the Van Duzer corridor to document the expanse of the King Tides in the Siletz, Salmon, Neskowin,

World Wetlands Day: Wetlands for our Future

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Feb 12, 2015.

World Wetlands Day commemorates the ‘Convention of Wetlands’ an international intergovernmental treaty that was established on February 2, 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar.  The treaty was created in response to the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitats that are critical to migratory birds.  The international treaty promotes the worldwide preservation and sustainable

Goodbye Mary Anne and John!

By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Feb 12, 2015.

In December TWC said goodbye to office manager Mary Anne Sohlstrom and GIS analyst John Bauer.  Both will be missed for the skills and passion for wetlands that they brought to the organization. After more than 21 years at TWC Mary Anne Sohlstrom will spend more time doing the things she loves most, birding and

Bike Traffic Alert: Baseline Road

By Lisa Frank from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 12, 2015.

The challenges of riding on the Tualatin Valley Highway today mean that Baseline Road is the preferred route for biking between Beaverton and Hillsboro. Construction starts […]

FoodCorps is recruiting!

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Feb 12, 2015.

Join our Corvallis Farm to School team as the 2015-16 FoodCorps member, or apply to serve in any of the 130 FoodCorps positions across the nation that are helping build healthy school food environments. Application deadline is March 31.

Where Do You Want to Ride in Hillsboro? Open House Feb. 25

By Ben Kahn from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 12, 2015.

Hillsboro is in the midst of a year-long process to create a Trail System Master Plan and study future alignments and expansion of the popular Rock Creek […]

5 Signs the World is Ready for Global Divestment Day

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Feb 12, 2015.

February 13th is Global Divestment Day, with over 300 events planned on six continents. There are signs that the movement is gaining momentum, especially with last week’s announcement that Norwegian Sovereign Wealth (oil) Fund has divested from a total of 22… Read More!

The post 5 Signs the World is Ready for Global Divestment Day appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Camp Details Coming Soon!

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Feb 11, 2015.

Check back soon for some of the following additional information on this and other camps: Activities Field locations including pick-up/drop-off Lesson topics Additional transportation costs (only applies to some camps) Registration information And MORE! In the meantime, if you have questions, concerns or comments please feel free to post below or contact us at

Ninkasi fuels first bike planting of the season in Eugene

By Jennifer Killian from Growth Rings. Published on Feb 11, 2015.

By Jennifer Killian Eugene Volunteer Program Coordinator What a great day! Despite the rain (or maybe because of it), more than 70 volunteers had a great time planting in the Whiteaker and South Eugene Neighborhoods this past Saturday. Volunteers planted 26 street and 12 yard trees including Big Leaf Maple, Black Tupelo, Oregon White Oak, and California […]

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

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

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

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

Restoration of Stream Sites in Rogue River Basin Will Improve Salmon Habitat

By Danielle Dumont from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Feb 10, 2015.

In response to a Biological Opinion issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service, degraded freshwater habitats in the Rogue Valley will soon be enhanced thanks to an ambitious set of projects backed by the US Bureau of Reclamation. The project area encompasses Bear Creek, Emigrant Creek, Little Butte Creek, and South Fork Little Butte Creek. […]

Portland Audubon statement on US Army Corps of Engineers Double-crested Cormorant management plan

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Feb 10, 2015.

Feb. 9, 2015: On Feb. 6, 2015, the US Army Corps release a Final Environmental Impact Statement indicating its intent to move forward during the spring of 2015 with a four year plan to kill nearly 11,000 Double-crested Cormorants and destroy more than 26,000 Double-crested Cormorant nests on East Sand Island in the Columbia River Estuary.

Fossil-fueled economics: LNG terminal bad for fish, Columbia Riverkeeper says

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Feb 10, 2015.

Portland Business Journal. Feb. 10, 2015.

Timber’s Army gets it done

By JennyD from Growth Rings. Published on Feb 09, 2015.

We are Timbers Army We are mental and we’re barmy True supporters forever more! —Timbers Army Chant If you’ve ever been to a Portland Timbers game, you know that the 4,000 plus-strong Timber’s Army is the loudest and most loyal band of supporters a team has ever known. The same is true when they come volunteer for OUR team—planting […]

Restoring a Gem of the Columbia Slough

By JennyD from Growth Rings. Published on Feb 09, 2015.

By Dave Adamschick Friends of Trees Communications Specialist Nearly a century ago, 28+ acres tucked near the Columbia Slough caught the eye of John Charles Olmsted, the son of Central Park architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The younger Olmsted’s work is known to NWers through his designs of Washington’s Capitol grounds in Olympia, Portland’s Washington Park and his […]

BTA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration: Nominate your heroes

By Hatham Al-Shabibi from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 09, 2015.

  Let’s celebrate the BTA’s past, present, and future. Join us on May 28 at the Portland Art Museum for the BTA’s 25th Anniversary Awards and Auction. […]

Oregon's Climate Change Fighting Forests

By arran from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Feb 09, 2015.

The Oregon Wild team have been keeping a close eye on snow reports.

In addition to our conservation work dedicated to preserving Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife, and waters, throughout the year our staff and volunteers guide hikes, plant and mushroom ID walks, snowshoes, and cross country ski treks. We want to help others appreciate Oregon’s special places like we do.

And so it is a disappointment that we’ve ended up having to reschedule many of our winter snowshoe trips and cross country ski treks.


No snow.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported this month that 2014 was the hottest year on Earth over the 134 years that records have been kept, a trend primarily attributed to rising greenhouse gas levels.  Oregon has not escaped this trend and posted its second hottest year since records began in 1895.

“We had a warm summer, and now a warm winter and that’s where we got our warm year,” said Kathie Dello, deputy director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University. “We are looking at our future right now – warm winters and low snowpacks.”

The problem isn’t just the amount of precipitation; it’s that we’re not getting enough of that participation in the form of snow. With lower snowpack levels across Oregon, especially in Central and Western Oregon, the impact goes beyond cancelled snowshoe trips and closed ski areas. We rely on that snowpack to fill our reservoirs, water our crops, sustain our fisheries, quench our cities’ thirst, and dilute our pollution. Oregon could be facing a drought, which is bad news for farmers, fish, rivers and, well, everybody.

All this is to say that climate change’s rising temperatures have a pretty big influence on what’s going on in Oregon. That is probably not news to you. What may surprise you is that Oregon can also have a pretty big influence on mitigating climate change.

Top 10 Carbon Capturing Forests in the US

1 Willamette (OR)
2. Olympic (WA)
3. Umpqua (OR)
4. Gifford Pinchot (WA)
5. Siuslaw (OR)
6. Mount Hood (OR)

7. Mount Baker – Snoqualmie (WA)
8. Siskiyou (OR)
9. Tongass (AK)
10. Rogue River (OR)

You see, Oregon has a lot of forests, and great conditions for growing long-lived trees, and those forests store a lot of carbon. It’s not just live trees – carbon is also stored in dead wood, roots, and other plants. And of those forests, the older they are, the more carbon they can store. The Pacific Northwest’s temperate rainforests are among the greatest biomass stores per acre of any ecosystem on Earth! This is why, in terms of storing carbon, six of the top ten National Forests in the US are right here in Oregon!

On the other side of the coin, aggressive and unsustainable logging of those forests can contribute heavily to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Carbon stored in the logged wood for a fence or deck may last a handful of years, but if we leave that carbon in an old growth tree can stay there for hundreds of years.  The protective paint on the side of a house may stave off the elements for decades, but it’s nothing in comparison to the natural defenses of tree bark.

While logging does create young forests that absorb carbon, the process of harvesting large old growth and burning logging debris transfers most of the carbon to the atmosphere leaving a “carbon debt” that takes the growing young forest centuries to repay. Removing canopy cover also warms the soil, increasing decomposition and the release of greenhouse gases from the ground. Logging can even create greater carbon emissions than forest fires!1

Conserving our forests, especially old growth stands, is not just important as an effective way we can help mitigate climate change. These wildlands also serve as critical habitat for Oregon’s wildlife, including many threatened and endangered species. Oregon’s forests provide cool rivers and streams for salmon, and clean drinking water. And they are backdrop for the outdoor recreation opportunities that make Oregon a special place, from backpacking and horse riding to hunting and fishing.

And maybe, if we do this right and act in the best interests of the planet, we’ll still be able to do some snowshoeing.


 Wayburn, Laurie A., et al 2000 Forest Carbon in the United States: Opportunities and Options for Private Lands. San Francisco; Pacific Forest Trust.

Oregon’s Global Warming Commission report also shows that removals from logging far exceed removals from wildfire. 

 Peter Kelly 2009. A Greenhouse Gas Inventory of Oregon’s Forests. Oregon Global Warming Commission. October 20, 2009. DNV Climate Change Services. 

Photo Credits: 
Brizz Meddings

Join NWEI’s Webinar on Transformative Learning, March 11th

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Feb 09, 2015.

As many of you know, over half of NWEI discussion courses take place on college campuses each year. This Winter and Spring, we are excited to collaborate with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), who… Read More!

The post Join NWEI’s Webinar on Transformative Learning, March 11th appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Planning for Natural Hazards in Oregon

By karli from The Latest. Published on Feb 06, 2015.


To save lives and money, we ask you to support HB 2633.

In January 2010, an earthquake in Haiti killed more than 230,000 people and initially displaced 1.5 million more. Fourteen months later, an earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan claimed 15,884 lives and cost approximately $300 billion. If you think these disasters are oceans away, consider the $70 million the Oregon Department of Forestry spent fighting major wildfires in the summer of 2013 and the 43 people killed in a mudslide along Highway 503 near Oso, WA, in 2014. In addition, the effects of a changing climate are making matters worse for other natural hazards.

read more

Live the Revolution – Bike Love and Storytelling

By Brittani Garner from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 06, 2015.

Live the Revolution, the BTA’s bicycle themed storytelling event, is just around the corner. On the eve of Valentine’s Day, join us for live storytelling by […]

EarthMatters Newsletter: Winter 2015 Edition

By Kerry Lyles from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Feb 05, 2015.

The Winter Edition of our EarthMatters Newsletter is here! Click the image below to download a PDF version of the EarthMatters newsletter. Enjoy!

The post EarthMatters Newsletter: Winter 2015 Edition appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Live the Revolution Storyteller Preview: Chris DiStefano

By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Feb 05, 2015.

When did you fall in love with biking? For this Live the Revolution storyteller, it was when he was a child. This just happens to be our […]

Good News: Majority of Americans Support Government Action to Curb Climate Change

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Feb 04, 2015.

We were excited to see last week’s coverage of a recent poll finding that “a majority of Americans — 71 percent — expect that they will be personally hurt by climate change, although to different degrees.” Perhaps not the usual form… Read More!

The post Good News: Majority of Americans Support Government Action to Curb Climate Change appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

New Training: The Building Blocks of an Exceptional Board

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

freshwater Talk, episode 6: Ben Grumbles

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Feb 03, 2015.

Ben Grumbles, former President of the US Water Alliance and recently appointed Secretary of the Environment for the state of Maryland, joins The Freshwater Trust President and freshwater Talk host, Joe Whitworth for an insightful conversation about his...

Got 15 minutes to count birds? Join the Great Backyard Bird Count!

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Feb 02, 2015.

Feb. 2, 2015: The Great Backyard Bird Count is a four-day count held each February with the goal of getting a snapshot of bird numbers and distribution across the globe. This year’s count runs Feb. 13–16. As a participant, you commit to count birds anywhere for at least 15 minutes on one or more of the four count days. Tally the number of individuals of each species you see, and enter your totals at

OCN Announces the 2015 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon

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

January 15

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

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

read more

Battle Axe Bridge Reopens

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

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

Meet our new registrar, Janelle!

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

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

Join us at the Economics of Happiness Conference

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

The Economics of Happiness Conference is coming Portland February 27th – March 1st and we are excited to be a partner organization. We invite you to come join in the discussion, which will focus on discovering and devising better systems for… Read More!

The post Join us at the Economics of Happiness Conference appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

Nature Day Camp Intern Counselors

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

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

Developing Skills for Future Leaders

By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jan 28, 2015.

Every year NWEI engages over 4,000 faculty, students and staff on college campuses - offering our courses and EcoChallenge, both in and out of the classroom. NWEI’s transformative learning process aims to equip future leaders with the critical thinking and systems… Read More!

The post Developing Skills for Future Leaders appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.

GO! Solar Open House/Workshop (Goldendale)

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jan 27, 2015.

Gorge Owned is pleased to announce that, with support from Northwest Solar Communities, they will be launching GO! Solar in February 2015! GO! Solar is a Gorge-wide, community-based solarize initiative with the mission of increasing the number of residential solar electricity systems in Hood River, Wasco, Skamania, and Klickitat counties.

GO! Solar Open House/Workshop (White Salmon, WA)

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jan 27, 2015.

Gorge Owned is pleased to announce that, with support from Northwest Solar Communities, they will be launching GO! Solar in February 2015! GO! Solar is a Gorge-wide, community-based solarize initiative with the mission of increasing the number of residential solar electricity systems in Hood River, Wasco, Skamania, and Klickitat counties.

GO! Solar Open House/Workshop (The Dalles)

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jan 27, 2015.

Gorge Owned is pleased to announce that, with support from Northwest Solar Communities, they will be launching GO! Solar in February 2015! GO! Solar is a Gorge-wide, community-based solarize initiative with the mission of increasing the number of residential solar electricity systems in Hood River, Wasco, Skamania, and Klickitat counties.

GO! Solar Launch Party (Hood River)

By joshb from Daily News. Published on Jan 27, 2015.

2015 Brings Threats to Wetlands

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

With the construction economy rebounding, threats by development to local wetlands are heating up. A quarry near Sherwood, a public high school on Cooper Mountain, and two housing projects in Tigard are all proposing to fill wetlands.  Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act requires developers to avoid impacts to wetlands. Before a development […]

Envision for who? Environmental justice in urban planning

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

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

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

ONDA releases its 2015 calendar of guided restoration trips

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

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

1000 Friends Leadership Spotlight: Organically Grown Company

By karli from The Latest. Published on Jan 26, 2015.


The largest wholesaler of organic produce in the Pacific Northwest talks farmland protection, industry changes and the future of farming.

As the state’s second largest industry, agriculture is an important part of life in Oregon. Up until recently, however, organic farming wasn’t a large part of the conversation. This is changing. Organically Grown Company, the largest organic produce wholesaler in the Pacific Northwest, is proof of the transformation. Started in 1978 as a nonprofit, OGC mostly supported small-scale organic farms. It transitioned to a for-profit company in 1982, with its first dock opening a year later.

read more

National News: January 26, 2015

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jan 25, 2015.

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

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

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

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

Public sounds off on gas pipeline

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

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

Oregon Wild's New Wildlife Intern is Working for Wolves

By quinn from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jan 22, 2015.

By Stephanie Taylor, Wildlife Intern

“Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of the wolf.”
- Aldo Leopold

Greetings! My name is Stephanie Taylor and I’m Oregon Wild’s Wildlife Intern in the Portland Office. I’m currently a Senior at the Evergreen State College in Washington, majoring in Environmental Science and Wildlife Conservation. When I’m not working in the office, I’m out adventuring in the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest or volunteering for a variety of community-based organizations. My hobbies include hiking, traveling, tree climbing, rock climbing, canyoneering, white water rafting, and practicing wilderness medicine.

I’m a spawn of Southeastern Idaho (cattle country), and have lived in Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. I found home in the Pacific Northwest 13 years ago, and fell absolutely in love with the Cascadian watersheds, snow-peaked mountains, and old-growth forests creating habitat for hundreds of species of wildlife. We truly live in one of the most breathtaking regions in the US, many thanks to the organizations and community activists who fought to protect it!
My passion has always been critters of the landscape, protecting their habitat, and the science of the surrounding ecosystems. I have a deep appreciation for wildlife, wilderness, and all that is wild. With my work at Oregon Wild, I will be focusing largely on wolf protections in Oregon. This year is a critical point for the future of wolves in Oregon because the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wolf Management Plan is under revision. Thanks in large part to the management plan, wolves have made positive steps toward recovery  in our state -- you may have heard the good news about the newly established Rogue pack in Southwest Oregon -- but ODFW may revoke state protection status for wolves, which would be detrimental to the recovery process.

What we need is a large, unified, statewide voice demanding that Oregon continue to lead the recovery initiative for wolves and other endangered species. My efforts will concentrate on monitoring the revision of the Wolf Management Plan, organizing educational events, interpreting scientific data, and providing community outreach to youth and college students. I look forward to participating in Oregon Wild’s Annual Wolf Rendezvous in Eastern Oregon this summer, and I especially look forward to meeting the numerous Oregon Wild members and supporters at our events!


Corvallis Could Win $5 MILLION!

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Jan 22, 2015.

Corvallis is one of 52 communities competing for the Georgetown University Energy Prize! The Georgetown University Energy Prize is a five million dollar competition that is challenging small- to medium-size cities to work with their local governments, residents, and utilities to achieve innovative, replicable reductions to residential and municipal gas and electricity use. HOW YOU
read more

freshwater Talk, episode 5: David Chen

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

Host Joe Whitworth sits down with innovative leader in conservation finance, David Chen, about looking at the world differently to find tools or systems to drive new markets.

Meet Our MURPs!

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jan 20, 2015.


What's a MURP? Well, it's actually a person. A Masters of Urban and Regional Planning candidate at Portland State University. To give a little background, 1000 Friends works with MURPs as part of the Hub and Spoke Internship Program. 1000 Friends is the “hub” that coordinates the MURPs or “spokes.” The hub also collaborates with partner organizations, which are nonprofits representing low-income communities and communities of color.

read more

Think Traffic’s Bad Now? Fund Highway Expansion Initiatives.

By karli from The Latest. Published on Jan 20, 2015.

Karli Petrovic

There’s a reason why the statistics published in the Portland Business Alliance’s 2014 Economic Impacts of Transportation study are attention-grabbing: The possibility of spending 69 hours per year in traffic and congestion by 2040 is enough to persuade even the most ardent public transit advocate to support the construction of massive superhighways. After all, who wouldn’t want an additional $928 million in annual economic output and sales or 8,300 new jobs as a result of an improved system? These statistics were reported in the Portland Tribune’s Jan.

read more

Our Priorities for 2015

By karli from The Latest. Published on Jan 18, 2015.

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 12:12pm

The 1000 Friends of Oregon legislative and programmatic agendas for 2015 are proactive. Here’s an overview of what we hope to accomplish this year.

read more

Pembina propane facility presents potential new threat to Portland’s environment

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

The Port of Portland has announced plans for Pembina Pipeline to build a propane export facility at the Port’s Terminal 6. Among other issues, the electricity required to run the facility alone would generate about 20,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year — about 0.7% of Portland’s emissions.

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

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

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

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

Fridays in February! Eco-Film Fest 2015

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Jan 15, 2015.

Save the dates! Join us each Friday in February for a documentary followed by discussion. Doors open at 6:30 and the show begins at 7, 5$ – 10$ suggested donation. Beverages and snacks will be available to purchase from Oregon Trail Brewery and New Morning Bakery. Feb 6 Open Sesame An innovative look at the
read more

Complete Organic Gardening Course

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Jan 15, 2015.

Learn to grow your own food this April. Registration open now.

King Tide video of Yaquina Estuary

By admin from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Jan 15, 2015.

The king tide is the highest tide of the year, this year occurring in late December. Check out our video that compares the Yaquina Estuary on an average day and the inflow from the king tide.

USDA Announces Regional Conservation Partnership Project Selections

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

USDA Announces Regional Conservation Partnership Project Selections

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

Opal Creek is hiring!

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

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

A New Year for Oregon's Wolves

By rob from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jan 12, 2015.

A new year provides opportunities for reflection – and prognostication. For wolves in Oregon, 2014 was a good year. Journey finally found his mate and Oregon continued a management paradigm where killing remained an option of last resort. The result was a small but expanding wolf population and a continued decrease in conflict.

However, it’s not an understatement to say that 2015 is poised to be among the most consequential years for Oregon’s wolf recovery since the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973.

After a hard-fought legal settlement, Oregon’s fragile wolf recovery is back on track under the most progressive plan in the country. Though the plan is working for all but the most extreme voices, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) is re-igniting old conflicts by caving to political pressure and giving serious consideration to weakening basic protections for wolves.

Meanwhile in Salem, another legislative session is gearing up. Anti-wildlife interests are teaming up with their political allies to push an anti-conservation agenda. The annual attack on wildlife conservation from the livestock industry, development and extractive interests, and a handful of right-wing groups, recently earned the capital of the Beaver State attention in the New York Times as “the place wildlife go to die”.

Even so, conservationists are working just as hard. Here at Oregon Wild we are redoubling our efforts to ensure science and 21st century American conservation values get an equal hearing. Looking ahead, the biggest challenge in the year is to encourage the majority of citizens who value native wildlife to speak as loudly and regularly as those who still seem stuck in an 18th century mindset.

Prompted by an inquiry from accomplished Oregon writer Rick Lamplugh, below is a focused look on the year that was, and the one that lies ahead for Oregon’s Wolves. You can read similar reflections for wolves in other parts of the country in a pair of great summaries by Rick Lamplugh and Ashland-based writer Beckie Elgin.

Looking Back – Still in the Limelight
Yet again, Journey (OR-7) was the center of attention in 2014. His epic travels inspired an art installation, successful expedition, a movie, and even a play. He’s been a tremendous ambassador for the species and his fifteen minutes of fame hardly seems up. However he’s no longer alone in making headlines. Now he’s sharing the spotlight with his new family!

After thousands of miles and years spent looking for love in all the wrong places, love (in the form of a mysterious black female) found him.

In early 2014, collar data indicated the world’s most famous wolf had settled down and was exhibiting denning behavior. Nearby, a well-positioned trail camera snapped a photo of Journey with what appeared to be a belly-full of meat. Shortly afterwards the same camera photographed a dark wolf – just the second known in the region since Oregon’s last wolf bounty was collected just after World War II.

Finally, on June 4th, wildlife managers made history when they confirmed at least 3 pups for the pair.

The pups are the first confirmed in Western Oregon in the better part of a century! Late last week, wildlife agencies dubbed the family “the Rogue Pack”. From the news, it’s reasonable to surmise that at least two pups have survived.

Before the discovery, those same agencies seemed poised to let the batteries on Journey’s collar expire. While some saw that as a loss, others thought the time had long come. But as wolves so often do, Journey surprised us. Efforts to (re-)fit members of the family with new collars have so far been unsuccessful.

Looking Back – More than Journey
Unsubstantiated wolf reports are nothing new. However, recent years have provided meaningful glimmers of hope that more than one wolf had made its way back to the wildlands of Western Oregon.

Journey’s mate could have been the wolf who made tracks on Mt.Hood. She could have been the source of howls reported from the shores of Waldo Lake. Perhaps it was she who appeared in a tantalizing photo of a black canid on the Santiam Pass a few years ago.

We’ll never know for sure, but despite rampant conspiracy theories, genetic analysis ultimately showed OR-7’s mate shared ancestry with members of two packs from Northeastern Oregon – the Snake & Minam.

Northeast Oregon is still home to nearly all of Oregon’s 64 known adult wolves. That’s a far cry from the 1,000 plus the state could support according to the only peer-reviewed scientific study of wolf habitat in Oregon.

Outside of the majestic Wallowa and Blue Mountains in Northeast Oregon, there’s plenty of room (and food) for wolves in the Cascades , Siskiyou, and Coast Ranges. However, there are significant obstacles.

That’s why – even if it didn’t make major headlines – it was a big deal when ODFW recently announced the presence of wolves in the “Desolation Unit” near the North Fork John Day Wilderness. Several known wolves have tried to follow a western dispersal route like Journey. However many have turned back once they hit I-84. More than one made the fateful choice to instead cross the Snake River only to be killed in neighboring states.

The “Desolation Wolves” are just the second confirmed west of that imposing strip of asphalt, concrete, and semis. The news was another step in recovery that offered hope to those who value healthy, intact landscapes.
With the native hunter still only numbering in the dozens, seeing – even hearing – wolves in Oregon is still a rare opportunity. That’s why, on a personal level, it was so rewarding to lead Oregon Wild’s fifth-annual Wolf Rendezvous and possibly see a wolf trailing a herd of elk on the Zumwalt Prairie. Though even wolf experts were divided on whether or not we’d seen a wolf it was an exciting and fulfilling moment.  The very possibility of seeing a wolf in Oregon was something that would have been impossible less than a decade ago!

What’s Next
If that’s not a conservation success story, it’s hard to know what is. But it’s not over.

Most Americans have moved past a mindset when killing wildlife was the solution to every problem and the only good predator was a dead predator. But for a vocal minority, old prejudices die hard. For them, the wolf is still big and bad.

For those of us who see value in all native wildlife and prefer conservation to killing, there is still much work to do if the story is to end with “happily ever after…”.

How We Got Here
For the third consecutive year, Oregon was the only state in the nation with a meaningful population of wolves that (poaching aside) didn’t kill them on purpose.

Not surprisingly, the wolf population has grown in number and range. Meanwhile – in stark contrast to neighboring Washington and Idaho, conflict has remained remarkably low. Only 5 of Oregon’s 1.3 million-plus cows were confirmed lost to wolves last year. That’s not surprising given recent research demonstrating that while killing wolves may be cathartic to some, it actually leads to more conflict.

The Oregon paradigm didn’t happen by accident. When the state violated its own laws by killing wolves, conservationists went to court. Almost immediately, a judge issued an injunction halting Oregon’s wolf killing program.

After seventeen months of negotiations, the state increased transparency and provided clarity to ambiguous portions of its plan that called for a focus on non-lethal measures. Under the plan, killing wolves in Oregon is the option of last resort.

Though far from perfect, Oregon has the most progressive plan in the country. And it’s working - for wolves and all but the most extreme voices in the wolf debate.

Upon his recent retirement, ODFW’s director Roy Elicker was quick to take credit for and highlight Oregon’s wolf plan as his greatest accomplishment. Sadly, almost immediately upon his departure, the state began to turn back the clock and the agency he oversaw seems determined to repeat the mistakes of the past.

What’s Ahead
In the likely event that Oregon confirms 4 breeding pairs of wolves, the state will undergo a status review to evaluate whether or not wolves need continued protections. Much to the delight of those eager for a return to wolf killing, bureaucrats within ODFW have given every indication that they have predetermined wolves are no longer deserving - regardless of what the science says.

Though the settlement plan clarified ambiguity, increased transparency, and reduced conflict, some in the agency argue it is too burdensome and are eager to undo recent progress. Late in 2014, the then Chair of the ODFW Commission – who has at times acknowledged a conflict of interest due to her ties to the livestock industry – instructed her agency to give serious consideration to a proposal to share specific and timely collar location data to ranchers.

Add that to the usual attacks from anti-wildlife interests in the state legislature and Washington, DC and 2015 is setting up to be one of the most consequential for wolf recovery in Oregon since the passage of the Endangered Species Act!

Looking Ahead: More Than Wolves
Most of these proposals fail to even pass the laugh test. But sadly, despite Oregon’s green reputation, when it comes to wildlife, many of Oregon’s leaders are simply out of touch. As more and more Americans switch from hunting and fishing to observing and photographing wildlife, the agency charged with managing wildlife for all is facing a historic budget shortfall as well as a continued crisis of credibility that has led to what many observers accurately describe as a death spiral.

ODFW spends only 4% of its shrinking budget on habitat and conservation. Some of the most endangered species in the state – like wolverine and sea otters – don’t even have management plans, say nothing of the funding to carry them out.

Even as the agency asks for more money from the general public they serve, administrators seem determined to double down on the problem by shipping nearly half a million dollars to Wildlife Services (a controversial federal agency that has actively undermined wolf recovery), raising fees, and reducing funding for key conservation programs.

Wildlife are part of the public trust. They belong to all citizens regardless of their zip code, occupation, or choice in recreation. Conservationists like Oregon Wild and the Oregon Conservation Network are working hard to ensure the state honors its mission and its obligations to all Oregonians. Meanwhile others are calling for the agency to double down by running the state as a game farm, killing any animal with pointy teeth, and ignoring the majority of the public.

Looking Ahead: An Uncertain Future
For a long time we’ve said wolves returning to Oregon do so on a different ecological, social, and political landscape than places like Idaho and Wyoming.

After a rough start, wolf recovery has gotten back on track in Oregon. But it remains fragile. Now the state is at a crossroads. Will Oregon have a different conversation, informed by science and 21st century conservation values? Or will it be driven by politics, prejudice, and fear?

Poll after poll has shown that like most Americans, Oregonians overwhelmingly support native wildlife and wolf recovery. But old prejudices die hard. Anti-wildlife voices and their political allies continue to hold disproportionate power.

There’s a lot at stake in 2015 for wolves in Oregon - and across the country. The Beaver State is far from perfect, but, thanks to tireless efforts from conservationists, when it comes to wolves, it’s as good as it gets.

Other states have shown that killing does little to decrease conflict or promote conservation. Oregon’s model of prioritizing non-lethal conflict deterrence, increased transparency, and clear guidelines has show a different way forward. Oregon can – and should - do better than places like Idaho, Wyoming, Wisconsin, or Washington.

If Oregon is going to hold on to its hard fought progress and honor its conservation values, those who value wolves and native wildlife need to become as vocal as those who hate them.

Looking Ahead: What it Takes
Regardless of occupation, location, or recreational choices, wildlife appreciators need to do more than just shake their head at articles they see on Facebook.

We need to show up.

You need to get involved.

We need to support organizations that stand up for our values. We need to make phone calls, write letters and get our friends involved.   

A fatalistic look at 2015 finds plenty of reason for pessimism. But if we collectively believe that citizen power still matters and if we take action on that belief, there is no doubt Oregon can continue to be a model and show that in 21st century America there is room in our hearts - and on our landscapes - for wolves and all native wildlife.


Photo Credits: 
Public domain wolf photos courtesy USFWS & ODFW

National News: January 12, 2015

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jan 11, 2015.

Forest Service Cops Again Call For Change But Losing Hope - Official Survey Shows Law Enforcement Officers Ill-Equipped, Alienated and Adrift, PEER
What I learned from 30 years with Forest Service, HCN WOTR at Albuquerque Journal

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Water Quality, Environmental Defense Center
BLM Dumbing Down Reports On Livestock Range Conditions - Complaint Demands Restoration of Data Quantifying and Qualifying Grazing Effects, PEER

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

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

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

Benton SWCD 2015 Native Plant Sale

By michellea from News. Published on Jan 08, 2015.

Native Plant Sale

freshwater Talk, episode 4: Craig Knowles

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Jan 07, 2015.

Joe speaks with Craig Knowles who has been the Chairman of Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin Authority since 2011 and helped rework the balance of water for an entire economy.

Quarry Again Threatens to Drain Wetlands on Refuge

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Jan 07, 2015.

You can help stop this threat to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge  Tonquin Holdings is preparing permit applications to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Oregon Department of State Lands to destroy wetlands adjacent to and contiguous with the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is an […]

IAE is now Hiring!!

By michellea from News. Published on Jan 07, 2015.

Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club Announces New Director

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

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

Sea Otters Are Coming Home to Oregon!

By quinn from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jan 02, 2015.

By Eleanor Solomon, Oregon Wild Intern

Sea otters are adorable animals. With their thick fur and tiny round eyes, almost no one can resist their charm. But besides their cuteness, why are they important?

Sea otters are a keystone species. A keystone species is a species that is crucial to an ecosystem—without it other members of the ecosystem perish. Sea otters play a crucial role of maintaining the abundance of kelp in coastal ecosystems. Animals that sea otters eat, such as sea urchins, feed on kelp. Without sea otters, sea urchins can eat all the kelp, which provides habitat and food for thousands of other marine animals. Because of this, sea otters are essential to marine ecosystems.

(Photo from

The population of sea otters worldwide has been volatile. Before the arrival of Europeans to the Americas, there were an estimated 150,000-300,00 sea otters. But in the 18th and 19th century, sea otters were hunted for their fur almost to extinction, and their world population was reduced to 1,000-2,000. Because of this, in 1911, the International Fur Seal Treaty was passed, which prohibited hunting of fur-covered sea animals. Later, they were protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1977.

After the act and the treaty were passed, the population of sea otters recovered somewhat, and today there are an estimated 106,000. However, other dangers still plague sea otters. In 1989, an oil spill in Alaska killed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of sea otters. Sea otters are still classified as an endangered species, and in Oregon the situation is worse.

Though sightings have increased in recent years, Oregon does not have a single permanent sea otter resident. This seems odd, because the world population is relatively substantial. Almost all sea otters are found off the shores of Alaska and East Asia, with a fraction in California and Washington. Why is Oregon not on the list? California, Alaska, and Washington all made considerable efforts to replenish sea otter populations, and all had relative success, especially Alaska. Oregon, however, has not made much of an effort.

Much of Oregon’s coastal waters are polluted by oil and chemical spills and carbon emissions. Pathogens from sewage water runoff have also contaminated the water, and infect sea otters with deadly diseases. Among these are toxoplasmosis and sarcocystis, which are caused by kitty litter. Because of this, California has regulations about how to dispose of kitty litter because of its virulence. Clearly our coastal waters need to be improved in order to provide habitat for sea otters. In recent years, there have been increasing numbers of sea otter sightings off the Oregon coast. It's time for the state to take action.

Like I said before, sea otters are incredibly cute. But more than that, they are an important part of coastal ecosystems. I care about sea otters not only for their cuteness, but also because of their lives, and because of the marine wilderness they represent. In the last decade, endangered gray wolves have made a comeback in Oregon. I'd like to see a similar recovery for sea otters. When I'm 50, I hope to see richer, healther and more biologically diverse wilderness in our state. Sea otters are a part of that. The question is: will Oregonians make the effort to help sea otters and the coastal ecosystem that needs them?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senator Wyden, Resolve to Protect Oregon's Treasures!

By arran from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Dec 29, 2014.

Let’s make Senator Ron Wyden’s New Year’s resolution a good one: protect Oregon’s natural treasures!

Sen. Wyden has scheduled Willamette Valley town hall meetings in early January to answer questions and receive feedback from Oregonians (click here to find information on the town hall nearest you). With the most anti-environmental Congress in history waiting to be sworn in, there is no more important time to tell your Senator to stand up for Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife, and waters!

If you, your family or friends are able to attend any of these town hall events and have the opportunity to ask a question or make a comment, we urge you to thank the Senator for his time, and perhaps incorporate a quick, relatable anecdote on your personal experience with wild places, forests, or wildlife in Oregon. While it is important to make your voice heard in your own way, it is equally important to do so in an engaging, respectful manner.

Here are a few suggestions of questions Oregon Wild supporters could ask to emphasize the importance of Oregon’s fish and wildlife, clean water, recreation, scenery, and quality of life:

Questions: What are your plans to defend America’s public lands from increased logging, mining, and other development?  Will you oppose plans to aggressively clear cut public O&C lands, like those put forward by Representatives Walden and DeFazio last Congress?

Background: The new anti-environment majority in Congress has made no secret that they plan to prioritize our public lands for logging, mining, gas, and oil extraction over recreation, clean water and wildlife habitat.  Senator Wyden has a mixed record on this issue, though his past proposals to use logging of publicly-owned to bail out county politicians was less egregious than the version proposed by Representatives Walden, Schrader, and DeFazio last session.  Rep. Walden has already announced his intentions to introduce new legislation to clear-cut Oregon’s O&C lands and Backyard Forests in 2015, and chances are we will see even worse plans from other politicians. Learn more about the importance of O&C lands.

Question: Will you be reintroducing or supporting any proposals to protect additional Wilderness in Oregon in the 2015 Congress?  What about the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal in Southern Oregon?

Background: Currently Oregon protects only 4% of its landmass as Wilderness, while California protects 15% and Washington protects 10%. Even Idaho protects 8% of its land as Wilderness. There are many opportunities for designating Wilderness in Oregon, including Wild Rogue and Devil’s Staircase that Senator Wyden has introduced in the past, as well proposals for 20,000 acres of “unfinished business” on Mount Hood and the Crater Lake Wilderness. In 2014, Wyden attempted to link the Wild Rogue and Devil’s Staircase Wilderness proposals to O&C logging legislation – but they should not be used as cover for logging legislation. Learn more about Oregon Wilderness proposals.

Question: Will you oppose efforts to weaken or dismantle the Endangered Species Act, and reject the politically motivated exclusions of protections for specific species?

Background: The environmental laws that have been instrumental in protecting America’s clean water, air, and wildlife over the last 40 years will be in the crosshairs of oil, logging, and mining industry lobbyists and their Congressional allies in 2015.  Already, politicians have stated their desire to dismantle key provisions of the Endangered Species and Clean Water Acts, and restrict the National Environmental Policy Act--the law that protects the American people’s right to have a say in how our national forests, grasslands, and other public lands are managed.  Legislation passed in the final hours of Congress in 2014 blocked endangered species protection for sage grouse—substituting the judgment of oil and gas industry lobbyists for that of professional biologists.  Sen. Wyden spoke out againt this so-called "sage grouse rider," but it is very likely we will see additional attacks on other species, from gray wolves to wolverine, and on the laws that protect them. Learn more about Oregon's wildlife.

Town Hall Information

Friday, January 2, 2015
Deschutes County Town Hall
Location: Deschutes County Services Building – Barnes/Sawyer Rooms, 1300 NW Wall, Bend, OR 97701
Time: 10:00AM

Saturday, January 3, 2015
Clackamas County Town Hall
Location: Camp Withycombe, 15300 SE Minuteman Way, Clackamas, OR 97015
Time: 11:00AM

Saturday, January 3, 2015
Multnomah County Town Hall
Location: PCC Southeast Campus, Mt. Tabor Hall
2305 SE 82nd and Division, Portland, OR 97216

Time: 2:30 – 4:00PM
*Free Parking available in the PCC lot off of 82nd Ave. No Permit Required.

Sunday, January 4, 2015
Marion County Town Hall
Location: Marion County Courthouse, 555 Court St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
Time: 1:00 PM

Sunday, January 4, 2015
Washington County Town Hall
Location: Beaverton City Library (Main Branch) – Auditorium, 12375 SW 5th St, Beaverton, OR 97005
Time: 4:00 PM

Monday, January 5, 2015
Benton County Town Hall
Location: Philomath High School – Auditorium, 2054 Applegate St, Philomath, OR 97370
Time: 10:00 AM

Monday, January 5, 2015
Lane County Town Hall
Location: Sheldon High School – Auditorium, 2455 Willakenzie Rd, Eugene, OR 97401
Time: 2:00 PM

Supporters Earn 1000 Friends a Challenge Grant!

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Dec 23, 2014.

Amanda Caffall
Fri, 12/26/2014 (All day)

1000 Friends to raise $40,000 by January 1st to earn $20,000 Challenge Grant

An Update: 

Thanks to their generosity, supporters enabled 1000 Friends to earn a $20,000 grant this December. Our gratitude to the people who made this possible is without end. We are so thankful to have a community of friends, supporters, and advocates willing to help us raise $40,000 in a few short weeks. What a way to start our 40th anniversary year! Thank you to everyone who gave to 1000 Friends this year. People made 1000 Friends possibles in 1975, and people like you still power it today. Thank you!

read more

The 50 Wilderness Hikes (Personal) Challenge

By jonathan from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Dec 23, 2014.

291 miles.

43,000 feet of elevation gain.

50 Wilderness hikes.

One deeply personal journey.

With this year marking the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Oregon Wild launched the inaugural 50 Hikes Challenge, inviting supporters to hike in each and every Wilderness – existing and proposed – in the state. We created the Challenge as a fun, interactive way to raise the profile of Wilderness in Oregon while building momentum for our campaigns to permanently protect Crater Lake, the Rogue River, and Devil’s Staircase.

I decided to personally tackle the 50 Hikes Challenge, figuring that it’d be a great way to see many of the special places in Oregon that I hadn't yet crossed off my list. I was craving a new personal challenge and frankly, the checklist mentality seemed to fit my Type A/OCD tendencies. So in early May, it began with one of my close-in, staple hikes in the old-growth forest along the Salmon River in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. At that time, I couldn’t have predicted the impact this journey would have on me.

If you’ve followed Oregon Wild’s work, you already know why Wilderness is important. Wilderness provides us with clean water. It preserves unspoiled wildlife habitat. It offers world-class recreation opportunities. But perhaps the most significant reason to protect Wilderness – and I’d wager the reason that most of us do this work - is much more personal.

For me, Wilderness is where life’s peak moments happen. It’s where I go to find answers to my life's most basic and personal questions. It’s where I go to find solitude and to stem loneliness. It’s silent in all the right ways.

Wilderness is my church and hiking is my meditation. It’s where I go to escape and make sense of an increasingly insane and sometimes disheartening world. It’s where everything makes perfect sense and where life’s problems seem more manageable.

Some areas, I hiked with a friend. Many, I did just with myself and my thoughts. Some Wilderness areas required more of me - more blood, sweat, and tears – the first being a lot if I timed my hike with the peak of the mosquito season. But each one made an impression on me and gave me a story for the road.

There was the spotted owl that graciously posed for our Oregon Wild group in the Table Rock Wilderness. There was the jolly suction dredge miner named Albert who affably gave me a heads-up about bears in the area as I set up camp just outside the Kalmiopsis Wilderness – and in the next breath, matter-of-factly warned me about the recent Sasquatch activity in the area. There was the blustery false summit on South Sister which nearly blew a friend and me off our feet atop the Three Sisters Wilderness. And there were the distant midnight wolf howls that provided the soundtrack to a moonlit night in the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness.

According to the uncharacteristically poetic legislative text from 1964, Wilderness is a place “where man himself is a visitor.” But honestly, with each passing Wilderness that was checked off my list, Wilderness felt less like a place where I was a guest and more and more like a place I belonged. Like home. There were times where I hiked every day for a week. And there were times when going a mere three or four days in the city would get me feeling seriously antsy.

In truth, 2014 has been a difficult year for me. This year brought with it some significant personal challenges that have deeply tested my character and have changed me in pretty life-altering ways. The 50 Hikes Challenge helped me to cope. On some hikes, it provided me with a chance to more clearly think through the obstacles I was facing. And on many others, it granted my mind some much-needed quiet and calm.

This whole experience has taught me a lot. It’s given me first-hand knowledge about what each of these Wilderness areas look and feel like. I've learned about their ecology and the wildlife that depend on them. I’ve learned about the tireless work that went into designating them as Wilderness. But mostly, I learned a lot about myself, what’s most important to me, what I need in my life, and how to best bond with those I care about.

It also taught me that how good the beer around the campfire tastes is directly proportional to the difficulty of the hike.

With so many challenges and transitions, this year could be defined by many things for me. But I choose to think of 2014 as the Year of Wilderness. Because after all, once you've completed Oregon Wild’s 50 Hikes Challenge, isn't everything else just a walk in the woods (park)?

Photo Credits: 
Jonathan Jelen

8 Feel-Good Water and River Stories from 2014

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

8 Feel-Good Water and River Stories from 2014

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

Meet the Mazama Newt

By bridget from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Dec 17, 2014.

Mazama Newt at Crater Lake

By Taylor Rudow, Oregon Wild intern

Next time you find yourself in the basin of Crater Lake, take a few moments to examine the underside of the rocks and driftwood found along the shoreline. With luck, you will unearth a rare specimen: the Mazama Newt. The Mazama Newt (Triturus granulosus mazamae), also known as the Crater Lake Newt, is endemic to Crater Lake. It is believed that hundreds of years ago, during an especially wet period, the Oregon Newt was able to find its way over the lip of the caldera and into Crater Lake. However, the caldera walls have served as a natural isolating mechanism, so no Oregon newts have been able to make the trek since the initial colonization. This separation has allowed the Mazama Newt to evolve into what is widely believed a unique subspecies.

The Mazama Newt is strikingly similar to other Oregon newts. Dark brown backs and tails allow them to successfully blend with the muddy logs and rocks where they spend most of their time. Inquisitive, round black eyes are constantly scanning their surroundings, and adorably small webbed feet dig feverously into the mud. However, when flipped on their backs, these newts are anything but camouflaged. It is also in this area that the two subspecies are finally distinguishable; Oregon newts have an immaculate orange-yellow underside, while the Mazama Newt’s belly is a much more moderate tone. That being said, without both species present for easy comparison, it is nearly impossible to delineate between the two through looks alone.

It is their unseen differences that truly set the Mazama Newts apart from their Oregon relatives. Newts are the only land animal to contain tetrodotoxin (TTX), a potent neurotoxin produced as a defense against predation; the Mazama Newt is no exception. However, when the Mazama Newt colonized Crater Lake, they were met with a habitat free of fish and crayfish predators. Producing tetrodotoxin is extremely energy-intensive, so Mazama Newts produced less and less as they grew accustomed to their predator-free habitat. Today, Oregon newts produce 4000 times the toxin of the closely-related Mazama Newt.

While the lack of toxin-production allowed the Mazama Newt to thrive undisturbed for hundreds of years, it is also the reason that these mesmerizing creatures are now facing extinction. In 1915, non-native crayfish were introduced into Crater Lake as a food source for (ironically) the non-native fish.  Since then, crayfish populations have skyrocketed, causing the Mazama Newt, the Crayfish’s primary food source, to suffer.  Due to their lack of toxins, the only defense Mazama Newts have against these predators is to attempt to stay out of their way. Today, crayfish occupy over 80 percent of the previously newt-dominated lakeshore. In contrast, newt populations are at an all-time low, and biologists worry that extinction may be inevitable.

Though efforts to save the newt are currently in effect, they have been largely unsuccessful. Our lack of knowledge is striking in this regard; we don’t even know enough about the Mazama newt to save them. Much of their life histories in Crater Lake are a mystery to us. Once again, we are watching an animal that we barely know disappear before our eyes. It is important that we strive to save the few remaining Mazama Newts and they find ways to reclaim the pristine Crater Lake they call home. But most importantly, it is important that we learn from our mistakes, so that species will not suffer the same fate as the Mazama Newts in the future. 

Photo Credits: 
Photos courtesy of the National Park Service

Organic Plant Breeding Symposium

By achesser from The Latest News. Published on Dec 17, 2014.

Coming this Spring!

Growth in Bend: OSU-Cascades Expansion

By amanda from The Latest. Published on Dec 16, 2014.

Kathy Wilson
Tue, 12/16/2014 (All day)

If you live in Bend, you’ve probably heard pros and cons about the development of the OSU-Cascades campus. If you haven’t been following the issue, the University is planning to build on a 10-acre site to accommodate more students and then potentially expand onto an adjacent 46-acre site in the future. This has raised concerns about increased traffic, increased stress on the already stressed housing market, and the location of the campus itself - whether or not the 46-acre site is even safe or desirable to build on.

read more

Young Leaders Weigh in About Climate Smart Communities

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

Kathy Wilson
Mon, 12/15/2014 (All day)

This Thursday, December 18th, the Metro Council will hold a public hearing on the draft Climate Smart Strategy.

read more

freshwater Talk, Episode 3: Scott Hamlin

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Dec 15, 2014.

The Freshwater Trust President, Joe Whitworth interviews Scott Hamlin, founder of LOOPTWORKS. They discuss 'upcycling', utilizing excess, and creating a culture of waste reduction in the third episode of the freshwater Talk podcast.

SAGE Gift Guide

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Dec 15, 2014.

This year, make your gift matter twice as much. Click the picture to see the SAGE Gift Guide.

National News: December 15, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Dec 14, 2014.

The Great Oak Flat Land Giveaway, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Concerned Citizens and Retired Miners Coalition, Arizona Mining Reform Coalition
Cache of Legislative Bills, E&E Daily at NCFP
Packed house hears land-transfer debate, Kalispell Daily Interlake

Most residents speak against gas pipeline

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Dec 12, 2014.

The overwhelming majority of residents at a public hearing on a proposed natural gas pipeline through Southern Oregon spoke against it, but plumbers, electricians and construction workers said the project would bring needed jobs.

Audubon facilities closed due to power outage

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Dec 12, 2014.

Dec. 12, 2014: The Audubon Society of Portland lost power during yesterday's wind storm, and it has yet to be restored. The Nature Store, all offices, the Interpretive Center and the Wildlife Care Center are closed to the public. The Nature Sanctuary is open, but visitors should use caution when using trails - we are still checking for downed tree limbs.

Cape Perpetua Land-Sea Symposium 2014: Outreach, engagement, science and history

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

Dec. 9, 2014: Pounding rain and 60 mile-per-hour winds battering the coast did not keep more than 100 folks from attending the second annual Cape Perpetua Land-Sea Symposium held at the Yachats Commons. This event was hosted by the Audubon Society of Portland, Surfrider Foundation, and Cape Perpetua Foundation, and was aimed at promoting local stewardship efforts and raising awareness about current research being conducted within the Cape Perpetua near-shore and adjacent watersheds.

Salmon: Closer to home than you might think!

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

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

CEC Tote Bags

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Dec 04, 2014.

For this month only, our durable CEC tote bags will be on sale for $12. You can pick yours up at Studio 262 until December 20th. While you are there be sure to check out all the art and handmade gifts featured from 27 different local artists Purchasing our tote bags helps support CEC programs!
read more

Bill to expand Oregon Caves headed toward passage

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Dec 04, 2014.

In order to expand economic development, increase recreational opportunities, and protect the drinking water for some 80,000 visitors a year, Congress is expected to expand the Oregon Caves National Monument before the end of the lame duck session.

County calls for local control of federal lands

By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Dec 04, 2014.

Jackson County commissioners unanimously approved a proclamation calling for control of federal lands to be handed over to Western states, a proposal environmental activists dismiss as extremist.

Action alert: Attend a Dec. 9 hearing to protect Elliott State Forest

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

Dec. 2, 2014: The Department of State Lands will be presenting their findings from the Elliott Alternative Project to the State Land Board on Tuesday, Dec. 9. This will be an important opportunity for the public to weigh in on the future of the Elliott in front of the State Land Board – Governor Kitzhaber, Secretary Brown, and Treasurer Wheeler – before they decide how the Elliott will be managed in coming years.

freshwater Talk, Episode 2: Kriss Deiglmeier

By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Dec 01, 2014.

Freshwater Talk host and The Freshwater Trust President, Joe Whitworth interviews CEO of Tides and expert in social innovation, Kriss Deiglmeier in the second podcast episode.

#GivingTuesday Resources

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

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

Give the Gift of Opal Creek!

By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Dec 01, 2014.

We’ve got you covered this holiday season with an amazing slate of 2015 workshops and a […]

A generous gift protects an oak woodland

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

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

Update: Portland crow die-off

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Dec 01, 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.

National News: December 1, 2014

By (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Nov 30, 2014.

Historic Study Draws Praise, Support - 4FRI environmental assessment focuses on massive thinning, Payson Roundup
Thinning Projects Would Yield Water - Reducing tree densities could boost runoff by 20 percent, Payson Roundup
Public lands belong to all Americans, Santa Fe New Mexican op-ed
Why truffles matter,

Summer Camp Scholarships

By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Nov 30, 2014.

  At Tualatin Riverkeepers we are committed to ensuring that every child that wants to go to camp gets the opportunity! To apply for a scholarship fill out the survey below. Within a week of submitting your information you will receive an email with the status of your application and instructions on how to register for […]


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

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

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 […]

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 […]

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!  

Donate to the Edible Corvallis Initiative

By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from . Published on Nov 18, 2014.

The Edible Corvallis Initiative exists because 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.

Count that Grouse

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

Counting Grouse

freshwater Talk, Episode 1: Alexandra Cousteau

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

Host Joe Whitworth interviews filmmaker, water advocate and National Geographic Emerging Explorer, Alexandra Cousteau. They discuss her filmmaking career, her non-profit Blue Legacy and discuss her perspective on the solution to managing our water.

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.

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.

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.

New Training Opportunity: A Recipe for Effective River and Watershed Organizations

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

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

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.

Albuquerque Wilderness 50 Celebration – Take-Aways

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

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

Wild Desert Calendar exhibit features best eastern Oregon imagery

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

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

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.”

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.

Webinars abound on clean water and wetland issues!

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

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

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

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.

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

Geek Reading: Navigating to New Shores

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

Waters of the US Rulemaking: Refresher Course for Those Commenting

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

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.

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

Work would restore streambank

By Brian Kelley from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Oct 06, 2014.

Mail Tribune Stream bank restoration on Wagner Creek within the city could begin as soon as next summer if permits and property owner permission are secured. The Freshwater Trust of Portland already has funds available from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for fish habitat improvement projects in upper Bear Creek and its tributaries. Read the […]

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.

Work wold restore streambank

By Brian Kelley from The Freshwater TrustThe Freshwater Trust - We Fix Rivers. Published on Oct 03, 2014.

Stream bank restoration on Wagner Creek within the city could begin as soon as next summer if permits and property owner permission are secured. The Freshwater Trust of Portland already has funds available from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for fish habitat improvement projects in upper Bear Creek and its tributaries. Some of that money […]

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 […]

From the Executive Director: 2014 Progress Report

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 30, 2014.

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

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

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

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 29, 2014.

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

Discovery Season Camping Discounts Begin October 1, 2014

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 29, 2014.

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

Thanks to you, wetlands are protected!

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

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

Flushing for fish

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

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

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, […]

Leadership Development Institute - Building Effective Organizations

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

Clean Water Protection Rule (aka WOTUS) Roundup

By 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

read more

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.

Volunteer Appreciation

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

Please join us for a Volunteer Appreciation Event

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 […]

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

2015 Founders Circle Grant Challenge

By OSPF from . Published on Aug 21, 2014.

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

OSPF Receives Founders Circle Challenge Grant from Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund

By OSPF from . Published on Aug 21, 2014.

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

Join ONDA for Wilderness Weekend, Sept. 18-20

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

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

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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 […]

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

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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.

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.

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 […]

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.

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 […]


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.

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.

Geek Reading: Cooperative Federalism, Nutrients, and the CWA

By mfrey from River Network - River Habitat Blog. 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.

Documentary Film DamNation Comes to Bend’s Tower Theatre

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

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

Pupfish: Mojave Desert Survivor

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

Pupfish: Mojave Desert Survivor

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

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

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.

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 [...]

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 [...]

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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 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

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.”

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

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.

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

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.

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

"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.

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.

Sandy River Hatchery Program is Illegal, Conservation Groups Say

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

Wyden, Merkley, DeFazio Introduce Trio of Bills to Protect Natural Resources in Oregon

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

Bills Preserve 4,000 Acres of Oregon Caves National Monument; Designates Devil's Staircase as Wilderness; and Protects Chetco River from Suction Dredge Mining

Contact Us header

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

Our Staff header

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

Green Economy header

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

GoGreen header

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

Economic Impacts header

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.
Document Actions