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“Hot water kills half of Columbia River sockeye salmon”

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jul 28, 2015.

Oregonian. July 27, 2015.

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

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

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

For Every Kid Campaign Update: Beaverton leads the way!

By LeeAnne Fergason from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 28, 2015.

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

Hot Water Crisis on the Columbia

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jul 28, 2015.

Catastrophic. Unprecedented. These are just some of the words scientists are using to describe the crisis unfolding on the Columbia. Salmon need cool water to survive. And this year’s low snowpack coupled with hot water temperatures are straining already imperiled salmon runs.

Interns and Mission Statements

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

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

A Big Welcome to Our Gerhardt and Duke Engage Interns!

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

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Sam Diaz

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

The Paul Gerhardt Jr. Internship

read more

Weigh In: Powell Blvd Safety Project Open House

By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 27, 2015.

What: SE Powell Safety Project Open House Date & Time: Thursday, July 30th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Place: Inside first floor Café at Catholic Charities, […]

The Political Education of a Wildlife Biologist

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

by Ricardo Small

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coyote swimming the Willamette (Ricardo Small)

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

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

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

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

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


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

Your Essential Guidebook to a Wilderness Metropolis

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

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

Quick Tips for Success When Using NWEI Ebooks

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

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

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

Homes in Oregon are Out of Reach

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

20150727
Pam Phan & Christine Corrales

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

read more

National News: July 27, 2015

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


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

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

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

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

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

20150724
Mary Kyle McCurdy

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

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

read more

“Federal judge: DOE needs to be held accountable at Hanford”

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

Tri-City Herald. July 24, 2015.

Riverkeeper Court Update: Port of Vancouver

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

Riverkeeper and allies were in court today to argue that the Port of Vancouver's back room deals with Tesoro for an oil terminal lease violated state law. After today's court hearing, the case is moving to a fact-finding trial. Riverkeeper looks forward to presenting our case that the Port should make decisions in a transparent manner and involve the public. The proposed Tesoro oil terminal is a serious threat to the Columbia River and our communities. For more information on online by rail, visit our website.

Land Use Highlights and Lowlights of the 2015 Oregon Legislative Session

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

20150723
Mary Kyle McCurdy

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

read more

Join us to Celebrate 25 Years and an Exciting New Initiative

By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 24, 2015.

The BTA turned 25 this year, and we’re using this year’s annual member meeting as an opportunity to celebrate and launch a new women-focused initiative. But […]

“A New Oil Terminal In Vancouver?”

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

OPB Think Out Loud. July 24, 2015.

Thank you for pedaling with purpose!

By Lauren Hugel from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 24, 2015.

We’d like to give a heartfelt high five to all of the wonderful folks that added their support for better bicycling in our region by renewing their existing or […]

OSPF Member Writes New Hiking Guide for Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail

By OSPF from . Published on Jul 23, 2015.

Anyone who’s taken even a short walk on a beach in Oregon has been on the Oregon Coast Trail. But did you know it’s possible to walk the entire 372-mile length of the coastline? More than half of the Oregon Coast Trail is on the beach, and thanks to the Oregon Beach Bill these sandy [...]

Throwback Thursday: Bringing 'em Back

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

By Beth Krynick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credits: 
ODFW

Save the Date: #SwimmableWater Weekend July 31-Aug. 2, 2015

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

We'll be celebrating swimmable waters July 31 through August 2. Take a photo of yourself recreating on the river, post it using the hashtag #SwimmableWater to enter the Waterkeeper Alliance Swimmable Water Photo Contest. Rules and prizes here.

El Programa Hispano

By Elizabeth Quiroz from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 23, 2015.

Last year, The Bicycle Transportation Alliance led bikes rides with 63 high school students from El Programa Hispano in East Portland and Troutdale. These rides were […]

Action alert: Speak up for Portland's trees!

By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Jul 23, 2015.

July 23, 2015: Please attend the Urban Forestry Commission Public Hearing on Aug. 4 and voice your support for stronger tree preservation and replanting standards in the City of Portland.

More Logging Won’t Stop Wildfires

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

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

“Pacific Northwest: Future Fossil Fuel Export Hub or Not?”

By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jul 22, 2015.

KBOO Community Radio. July 20, 2015.

July Wolf Update - Meet Me at the Beach!

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

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

Weigh In: Outer Powell Transportation Safety Project Bike Ride

By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 22, 2015.

What: Outer Powell Transportation Safety Project Bike Ride Date & Time: Saturday, August 1st from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Place: Ride begins at Ed Benedict Park parking lot […]

Changemaker Interview: Why You Should Start Change Now

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

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

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

SAGE Summer Concerts

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

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

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

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

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

Membership Spotlight: Clint Culpepper

By Amanda Harrison from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 20, 2015.

Clint Culpeppper, supervisor at PSU Bike Hub, has been a member of the BTA since 2011. Bicycling is a big part of Clint and his family’s life […]

Tualatin Riverkeepers Appeal Beaverton Wetland Decision

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

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

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

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

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

Protect the Northwest from Crude Oil-By-Rail: Tell the Army Corps and EFSEC to Deny Permits for Tesoro Savage

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

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) and Washington’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) are taking public comment on potential permits and associated environmental review for Tesoro Savage’s oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver, Washington. Tesoro Savage cannot build its terminal without permits from the Army Corps and EFSEC. Comment Deadline: August 1, 2015.

Legislators Pass Coal Subsidy

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

Washington legislators passed a transportation package that includes $84.5 million to build a controversial rail overpass that will benefit a proposed coal export terminal in Cowlitz County. Take action today to protect the Columbia River from coal export.

“Who wants to eat contaminated seafood?”

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

Seattle Times. July 16, 2015.

Better Living Through Trees

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

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

Tualatin Valley Highway Campaign Update

By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 16, 2015.

This summer, the BTA embarked on an ambitious and desperately needed campaign to raise support for a safer Tualatin Valley (TV) Highway. It’s one of our […]

Explorations and recreation in Western Oregon’s BLM Backyard Forests

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jul 16, 2015.

By Daniel Collay

I grew up just outside of Eugene on 5 acres and spent a large amount of my childhood in the outdoors, whether that be on my parents property playing in the creek or out exploring in my backyard forests, the Siuslaw and Willamette. While I thoroughly enjoyed the close proximity of these two beautiful national forests I also frequented the various BLM recreation sites and lands that dotted the landscape everywhere in between. From swimming in Whittaker Creek, to hiking and rafting the crystal clear McKenzie River, it seemed as a kid that there was limitless possibilities to get outside.

Rafting the Rogue River (Lesley Adams)

Since I have attended SOU the past three years and work for the outdoor program, I have spent a large amount of time adventuring in Southern Oregon’s great expanse of BLM land. Rafting, kayaking, and fishing on various stretches of the Rogue and Klamath Rivers are some of my favorite activities. There are also numerous hikes close to Medford and Ashland such as Table Rocks, Pilot Rock, and Grizzly Peak which all offer amazing panoramic views of the rogue valley.

Heading past Jacksonville into the pastoral Applegate Valley and hiking the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail can give you a glimpse into Southern Oregon’s history of extracting mineral resources on public land. The trail runs along a ditch that once carried water for hydraulic mining of gold in 1877. The mine was the largest hydraulic mine in Oregon at the time. One thing that I have noticed in my time in Southern Oregon is that evidence of past and present mineral extraction on public land are noticeable virtually wherever you go. Whether it is massive tailings piles on the side of the Applegate River or a multitude of collapsed mineshaft entrances, our exploitation of the environment leaves a clear and nasty scar.

There seems to be endless opportunities for recreation in Oregon but there could potentially be more depending on which alternative is chosen for the new BLM Western Oregon Plan Revisions, also known as WOPR. The plan has some amazing new recreation opportunities but they may come at a price unless swift action is taken. When it comes to the greatest number of recreation areas as well as the most acreage, alternative D is the best option. While it has lots of good recreation areas it also includes more clear cutting, reduced streamside buffers, and increased OHV use. This alternative still leaves 271,000 acres of old growth unprotected from logging which is unacceptable. Cutting streamside buffers by up to half would harm our water quality, which in turn hurts fish and other aquatic life. As a lifelong resident of Oregon and someone who enjoys our states beauty I would like to see more recreation areas designated and more facilities built but it cannot be something we trade in exchange for environmental degradation.

Oregon Wild has a comment page where you can write to the BLM and voice your opinion. Visit the BLM page for an interactive map and detailed information about the plan. The comment period ends July 23rd so now is the time to speak up for our backyard forests and expanded recreation opportunities in Oregon.


Daniel Collay is currently a Conservation and Outreach Intern for Oregon Wild, working out of the Eugene office. He will be a senior this year at Southern Oregon University in Ashland majoring in Environmental Science & Policy with a Minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. He has also worked for the Schools outdoor program as the hiking and backpacking manager.

Kick-Start Change Today! EcoChallenge Registration is Now Open

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

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

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

Ghosts of the Oregon Grizzly

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jul 15, 2015.

by Ethan Shaw

In this final installment of our three-part series, we consider the extirpated Oregon grizzly’s ecological world and briefly look at the status of the existing grizzly populations nearest the Beaver State.

Read Part 1: Oregon as Grizzly Country and Part 2: The Last Grizzlies of Oregon

The Oregon Grizzly at Home

With the extirpation of the grizzly, Oregon lost one of the creatures most capable of (and enthusiastic about) reaping its great and varied bounty—from the bulbs of the alpine meadows to the seafood litter of the strand. Though Euro-American accounts of grizzly habits in Oregon are sparse, we can infer some of the bear’s lifeway here based on what we know from California, the Northern Rockies, the rain-coast of Alaska and B.C., and other better-documented regions.1 2

Black huckleberry in the Strawberry Mountains - a grizzly delicacy. (Sarah West)

We can imagine the Oregon grizzly tracking vegetative greenup across the springtime lowlands and the summertime mountains; seeking out rank bottomland swales of horsetail, cow-parsnip, angelica, and sedges; chomping through streamside briars of salmonberry and thimbleberry; grazing in glades of bunchgrass, clover, and dandelion; excavating yampah roots and brodiaea bulbs and pocket gophers in valley prairies and on windblown mountainsides; flushing the calves of Roosevelt elk from Coast Range alder groves or stalking rut-addled wapiti bulls in the late-autumn canyons of the Northern Blue Mountains; swatting the salmon out of whitewater rivers; slurping huckleberries prospering in the mid-elevation shrubfields maintained by wildfire or aboriginal burning; clawing open the hives of yellow-jackets and the nests of western thatch ants; raiding the pine-nut caches of nutcrackers and squirrels; munching Garry and black-oak acorns in sunny parkland groves; relishing the manzanita and madrone berries and wild plums of the Klamath chaparral; and routing pumas and wolves off their bighorn, elk, or deer kills. And maybe—like her brethren in California and Alaska—a grizzly snuffling her way down to the Pacific surf might dine on the fetid carcass of a beached whale, harbor seal, or sevengill shark, or a litter of belly-up crabs, or even a heap of bull kelp. (Imagine the giant clawed tracks in the sand, the post-blubber-bonanza naps behind spruce driftwood.)

Roosevelt elk

Observations from California when that state was grizzly country highlight the importance of acorns in the bears’ diet across much of the state. The mast in the Willamette, Umpqua, and Rogue valleys and the Klamath foothills must have been a true linchpin of the Oregon grizzly’s seasonal round. Numerous California observers reported grizzlies breaking off low-hanging oak limbs to get at the nuts. And bears could be equally heavy-handed when gorging on wild fruits. A traveler along the Salmon River in the California Klamaths witnessed what grizzlies could do to a big ripe plum thicket: “a scene of devastation and ruin,” the bears having “broken and torn down every tree, smashing and destroying such fruit as they could not eat … ”

The lost Oregon grizzly’s geography is still all around us, and not just in the phenological cycles that once fed the bear and which still ripple across the landscape. We can imagine afternoon grizzly daybeds in dense groves of mountain-mahogany or foothill Douglas-fir; winter dens within black lava caves or amid the roots of hoary old mountain hemlocks or subalpine firs; beaten-down bruin trail networks through Siskiyou chaparral jungle. We can gaze over the verdant cirques of the high Wallowas or the Cascade Crest and see, in the mind’s-eye, the farflung mating grounds of vanished grizzlies. We can lightly touch the bark of centuries-old ponderosa pines, Engelmann spruces, or Pacific madrones, and wonder if a big grizzly ever scratched his mighty back upon it.

Close Quarters

A Yellowstone grizzly (Jim Peaco, NPS)

Grizzlies shared their highest-quality foodstuffs with indigenous Oregonians. Indians and bears mingled at salmon runs, mast groves, and fruiting thickets. As any hikers who’ve clapped and “Hey, bear!”-ed their way through a doghair wood in Yellowstone or an alder chute in Glacier can appreciate, the prospect of an abrupt, up-close grizzly encounter in heavy cover is mighty unsettling. Imagine entering a wall of thick manzanita, or a half-sun/half-shadow oak copse, or the rainforest briars along roaring rapids, and suddenly coming face-to-face with a griz seeking just the wild delicacies you’re after.

The Nearest Grizzlies

I’ve presented a casual overview of some of what we know about the grizzly’s historical presence in Oregon. The prospects for the bear’s future existence in the state must be addressed elsewhere (you can read one analysis here3), but let’s briefly review the status of the populations nearest the Beaver State.4

US Fish and Wildlife North Cascades recovery zone for grizzlies.

A few dozen grizzlies are thought to roam Washington’s North Cascades, which, as already mentioned, are currently being debated as a site for reintroduction. In 2010, a hiker photographed what biologists confirmed as an adult griz in the upper drainage of the Cascade River; the previous authenticated record from the U.S. portion of the sub-range came in 1996, when a sow and a cub were sighted in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.5

Another official grizzly recovery area that’s been in the news lately is the Bitterroot Mountains (aka Salmon-Selway) zone, widely regarded as some of the best remaining habitat for U.a. horribilis in the conterminous U.S. While no breeding population of grizzlies is known in the region (roughly 100 miles east of Hells Canyon), dispersing bears have been showing up there lately. In 2013, a sow grizzly (“Ethyl”) skirted the northern Bitterroots on her astonishing 2,800-mile ramble around the Idaho Panhandle and northwestern Montana.6 In 2007, a young male griz was shot in the Kelly Creek drainage of the range; DNA analysis showed he hailed from the Selkirk Mountains of northeastern Washington/northwestern Idaho and adjoining B.C., another island of occupied grizzly habitat.7

Greater Hells Canyon, where some of the last known Oregon grizzlies were killed, could conceivably serve as the portal into the Beaver State for bears dispersing from Idaho—just as it did for gray wolves.

***

The long-term survival of the grizzly depends on multiple core populations linked by habitat corridors to ensure genetic diversity and interchange. We can hope for a time when Oregon’s biggest, wildest country again contributes to the silvertip’s genepool; when grizzly mothers again introduce their cubs to the old bear-customs of the Wallowas or the Klamaths: what to eat and when, where and how to dig the winter den, what sort of timber to hole up in when a big boar—or a human being—comes over the rise.

A wolf follows a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. Hells Canyon in NE Oregon could be a gateway for grizzlies to return to Oregon, much as it has been for gray wolves.
 

[1] Hamilton, A.N. and F.L. Bunnell. “Foraging Strategies of Coastal Grizzly Bears in the Kimsquit River Valley, British Columbia.” Bears: Their Biology and Management 7 (1987): 187-197.

[2] Mace, Richard D. and Charles J. Jonkel. “Local Food Habits of the Grizzly Bear in Montana.” Bears: Their Biology and Management 6 (1986): 105-110.

Elected Officials to Race in Canoes and Kayaks August 1

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

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

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

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

20150714
Mary Kyle McCurdy

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

read more

2015 Legislative Review

By Gerik Kransky from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 14, 2015.

In the first few months of 2015 the Oregon Legislature tried to repeal Oregon’s landmark bicycle bill, require people to have license plates on their bikes, […]

2015 Application to the CEC Board of Directors

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


About the Corvallis Environmental Center:

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

NATURE EDUCATION

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

CLIMATE & ENERGY ACTION

Energize Corvallis is dedicated to helping ...

Rendezvous Reflections in Rhyme!

By rob from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jul 13, 2015.

As it has been for most of history, Oregon is once again wolf country. Even so, they and other native hunters are seen by many as novel or – worse – as dangerous forces lurking on the edge of sanitized civilization.

The first ever Wolf Rendezvous poem thanks to Linda Farmer of Eugene:

We came from the north, south, east and west
To Wallowa County where Nature's at her best.
The elusive wolf we all gathered and hiked to see,
Not knowing just when or where they would be.

Our first day out, to our surprise and delight
Two howlings were heard, with wolves out of sight.
The first howl was hearty, lusty and loud:
The second was strong and with pups in the crowd.

We continued our hike through the trail cam route,
Hoping in the meadow the wolves would come out.
The cameras picked up only deer, elk and cows
Finding a bone proved wolves had come to browse

Cows in the meadow, with silent patience we stood
A howl from our leader to call them from the wood.
We wished and we waited for them to come out
Although we never saw them we left with no doubts.

Evasive as usual, but leaving us tracks to measure,
The scat we checked out gave us such pleasure.
To know that so many were there very near.
We'll keep their spot secret so they need not fear.

Biologists years with wolves were openly shared.
Their knowledge of wildlife just can't be compared.
We saw plants and flowers and birds­ground and sky,
And Nez Perce peoples history and spirits as we drive by.

A rancher anxiously told of the cow­calf's fearful plight,
Stories of wolves and his dogs in the freezing night.
Off to fill our hungry bellies and quench quite a thirst,
Later a starlit campfire to share thoughts and mirth.

We head for home knowing more than when we came,
Pondering it all, our thoughts still stay much the same.
The wolves are our wildness, a place to live is their right.
They remain in our hearts and we will keep up their fight.

Wolves and cougars and coyotes and bears rarely make headlines on the vast majority of days when they’re simply living their lives. That – coupled with a purposeful campaign of misinformation and fear – is why the word “wolf” is too often synonymous with “conflict”. The real story of wolves is different. That’s why, with the support of Mountain Rose Herbs, we began the Oregon Wild Wolf Rendezvous.

Over the last six years, the trip has been a howling success. It’s been highlighted on everything from Oregon Business Magazine to the state’s most popular outdoor show! We’ve seen tracks and scat. We saw a wolf (?). This year, we heard the howls of the Imnaha Pack!

We’ve met biologists, ranchers, advocates, photographers, business owners, farmers, trackers, and even an elder of the Nez Perce tribe. Our participants have come from as far as Portland, Maine and as near as Portland, Oregon.

Sharing my home in wolf country and connecting with wolf appreciators for 4-days a year has truly become one of the highlights of my year. That’s why it’s always so nice to relive the experience in photos and words. Below are a few recountings of this year’s trip.

Lindsay Raber – the Coordinator of the Pacific Wolf Coalition joined the trip and shared this:

Here I am, weeks after the rendezvous, with recollections and vivid memories that trigger even more vivid images and conversations reminding me of the impact that weekend had on me, both professionally and personally. Everything about the weekend was new, exciting and meaningful…Dense forests, flowing rivers and tall mountains and canyons surrounded the highway as I made my way into Joseph. I felt that unmistakable twinge of homesickness. It felt really good to be back in Oregon. I've really missed it. 

…For the next three days of the rendezvous I was reminded of all the reasons I enjoyed living in Oregon, both for the scenery and the people. Each day's excursions and activities offered me the opportunity to learn and see something new and what often follows a new experience, is a renewed sense of curiosity and wonder. With a background in environmental education, this feeling is something I value greatly about experiential learning. There's also something incredibly powerful about learning and exploring outdoors, especially in areas that wolves inhabit once more. Exploring the Zumwalt Prairie, discussing wolf management procedures and processes with ODFW Wolf Coordinator, Russ Morgan and being invited to a rancher's home so he could share his perspective on wolf reintroduction and recovery, debriefs around the campfire - all while being outdoors - are only a few examples of the benefit of changing your physical surroundings every now and then to stimulate your body and mind.

The afternoon we heard wolves howl for us still stands out as highlight of the weekend for me. Even weeks later, I can still hear that sound, just as if I was still sitting silently in the forest, in the company of new friends, staring into the trees and looking off into the hills. In an eerie and goose-bump-raising kind of way, their howl is so distinctive and unmistakable. Could this be a sound we hear on a more regular basis as we hike the trails, fish the rivers, or camp under the stars? To answer this with a 'yes' is perhaps what fills me with the strangest sensations of overwhelming joy and nervousness - joy for the fact that thanks to the efforts of so many, this part of the natural soundscape continues once more, but nervousness that without continued work and progress these sounds may disappear once again.

The afternoon we enjoyed lunch at the Buckhorn Overlook of the Imnaha Canyon also stands out as a highlight of the weekend for me. Growing up in central AZ, I have the fondest of memories from visiting and hiking the Grand Canyon. Each visit was different and every time I gazed into the depths of the canyon, I imagined what life would have been like before planes, trains and automobiles - without development and human impact. The same thought came to me as I sat on the rocky edge of the Buckhorn Overlook, silently gazing into the depths of this canyon. What would it have been like to see wolves and grizzlies roaming the hills and forests? What would it have been like to gather food for the winter and stare into the eyes of a gray wolf as he also searched for food for his young pups? What happens now? Should I sit by and just imagine this landscape as a past reality without the presence of wildlife that once roamed freely? Absolutely not! Sitting there by myself imagining, reflecting and pondering the "What Ifs" reaffirmed for me why we do what we do - why we seek out career paths or life pursuits that focus on a topic we really care about, something that is truly meaningful. For me, the answer is pretty simple: purpose and intention. Being in the company of motivated, passionate, dedicated, compassionate and driven individuals with purpose and intention, inspires me to continue working for an environmental cause - in this case, wolf recovery throughout the Pacific West. 

Here's to continued rendezvous, in all capacities, to raise awareness and build more outreach efforts…The more conversations we share, the louder our voices become and soon our words become actions. I want to hear wolves howl and watch their packs thrive.

With gratitude to the entire Oregon Wild staff, volunteers and supporters, this is the kind of gathering that I strongly recommend continue for years to come.

And finally, Ruth Friedel shared these thoughts:

This was one of the coolest trips I’ve ever done in my life!  Oregon Wild’s promotional material said that they would give us various perspectives on the wolves that are now residing in eastern Oregon, and wow! did they deliver what they promised.

We tracked wolves in one of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in all of Oregon - we learned about wolf behavior, what they eat (what they don’t), where they have recently been seen, where they tend to live, how they travel (often very long distances!).  Some of the local trackers showed us fresh prints (and scat), and we learned how to distinguish those from those of coyotes.  We even got to hear adult wolves, and some wolf pups howling not very far from us.

In addition we talked with a state wolf biologist - he taught us about the collaring program, how wolves travel and how far, and how, when there is a kill of local cattle, a determination is made about whether or not it was a death from wolf, coyote, cougar, or other causes.

We were invited to a third generation rancher’s home where, from his front porch, he would occasionally see a wolf.  He gave us a glimpse into a ranchers’ life - the time and money and effort put into each head of cattle. I got a sense the nights he might be tending a sick animal - and the threat he feels to his lifestyle and livelihood with wolves nearby.

And then, in our “spare time,” we took a trip onto a plateau overlooking Hells Canyon, and got a mini-course on the complex geology of the Snake River gorge, the Wallowa Mountains, the volcanic activity, glacial activity, and historic movement of land masses - all of which created the stunning beauty of northeastern Oregon.

As a conservationist, I learned that it is easy for me to be idealistic from my living room in Portland, and to want to save all the natural world.  And I truly have an incredible respect for that world, and an abiding interest and fascination with animal behavior, but on this trip I also gained a broader view of some of inherent dilemmas and complexities where the human world and natural world intersect.

I came back from this trip so excited about what I experienced and what I learned that I haven’t stopped talking about it for three weeks!  And I now have some friends who are already asking when the next one will happen (next summer!).

I am considering going again - it was that cool!!!

(and if you haven’t pitched a tent in many years - don’t worry - I hadn’t either and I did just fine!)

My sincere thanks to the Oregon Wild crew who put this program together.  It was stunning!!!

Howls in the wilderness aside, wildlife don’t often get a voice in the decisions that affect them. That is, unless those of us who value them speak up. And those voices are so much more powerful when they are – as Ruth & Lindsay point out – informed by experience. It’s easy for anti-wolfers to hate the abstract “liberal elite” and call them out-of touch. It’s easy to paint every rancher as a blood-thirsty gun-toting redneck. But that doesn’t help very much.

Those of us who speak for wildlife are outnumbered in places like Washington DC and Salem. We are outspent and outshouted. We have a lot on our side – like facts and mainstream values. However constantly fighting for wildlife and against old prejudice and misinformation can be tiring. It’s easy to become desensitized.

But even for grizzled old veterans of the “wolf wars”, experiences like the Rendezvous are profound. For me, getting fresh perspectives, reading reflections like these, and seeing the faces of people as they experience the howl of a wolf or even an old paw print in the dust helps me reconnect to the passion that drives me through my day-to-day.

 These trips are made possible by Mountain Rose Herbs. With their generosity, and that of Oregon Wild supporters from across the country, like the wolves themselves, the trips have expanded to the wildlands of Crater Lake. Whether or not you choose to write a poem, I hope you’ll join us there – or next year in Wallowa County

Guest Blog: Peer-to-Peer Bicycle Sharing with Spinlister

By Lauren Hugel from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 13, 2015.

This guest blog post was written by our pals at Spinlister. Hello Fellow Bike Enthusiasts! We’re Spinlister, the world’s largest peer-to-peer bicycle sharing platform and proud […]

National News: July 13, 2015

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

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

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

Become A Member, Win Great Prizes!

By Lauren Hugel from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 10, 2015.

Become A Member, Win Great Prizes! Is it about time for a new 2-wheeled ride? What about a shirt that proclaims your love of biking and […]

Musings on Wilderness and wild-ness

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

By Marla Waters, Eugene Conservation & Outreach Intern

It was the wildest place I had ever been. Emerging from the dense forest of the Siuslaw National Forest into the clearing where Wasson Creek ran, I laid eyes on the infamous Devil’s Staircase. Crystal clear water flowed over steps of rocks and down into a stream, on either side of me were beautiful tall Douglas fir giants. However, this beautiful site wasn’t easily admired. For the 3.5 hours prior to reaching the Devil’s Staircase we hiked through the rugged terrain using landmarks and way points like "to the left of the sap tree" and "to the right of two large Douglas fir" as ways to tell our directions. Despite the lack of Wilderness title (the proposed Devil's Staircase Wilderness is still pending in Congress) one cannot deny the sense of wildness found in such an area. 

Opal Creek by Stan Newman

It wasn’t but a week later that I found myself hiking the Opal Creek trail in the Opal Creek Wilderness. Opal Creek is known for its crystal blue pool and ancient forests. This hike is full of wonders - from Sawmill Falls to Jawbone Flats - and shows another one of Oregon’s natural beauties. This hike was considerably different than the Devil’s Staircase; there were clear trails, no large ridges to slide down, and even a lodging area where you can pick up a cool drink after your hike. Although these hikes were vastly different, I found similarities in how I felt seeing the natural beauties each had to offer. 

This brought be back to a question my environmental studies teacher once posed to my class: what does it mean for a place to be wild? 

In school we were taught that wild is a state of natural, uncultivated or uninhabited land that has no human inhabitants. But after these two hikes that definition troubled me. Hiking the Devil’s Staircase we were virtually alone in the forest, whereas at Opal Creek I was just one of the many partaking in the hike. Yet I felt the same sense of wildness in both settings. Too often we define nature as separate but equal to our human lives. Is there a place where the natural world and the human world can coexist? Many people lack a developed sense of value for the natural world that has perpetuated the need for designated Wilderness areas. If more Oregonians found value in places like the Devil’s Staircase and saw themselves as a part of nature then it would not need the protection of being defined as a Wilderness area - we would just natually yearn to keep it wild.

My advice: on your next venture go out and find where you fit into the wild, wherever it may be.

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

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

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

A Wild Wolf Weekend in the Wallowas

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jul 09, 2015.

By Phillip Brown

What is now the northeast corner of Oregon has been a confluence of natural wonders since long before it was called Wallowa County. The Wallowa Mountains, themselves once home to coral reefs and later shaped by massive glaciers, stand tall above Hell’s Canyon, the deepest river-carved gorge in North America. The Zumwalt Prairie, one of the most intact grassland prairies in the United States, lies nearly encircled by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest including the iconic Eagle Cap Wilderness and unprotected areas just as wild.
In recent years, Wallowa County has become home to another intriguing contrast as the once-extirpated gray wolf (Canis lupis) returns to its former homeland, within howling distance of the introduced livestock, ranchers, retirees, artists, loggers, tree-huggers, and all of the others who now call Oregon home.

To increase awareness and understanding of these carnivores-come-home – and the issues that surround them - Oregon Wild recently led the sixth annual Wolf Rendezvous, a four-day outdoor excursion just outside of Joseph, Oregon.

The first real introduction those of us on the rendezvous had to wolves was from a retired biologist who had studied wolves during the first years of their return to Idaho. His area of expertise was the interaction between wolves and other carnivores, such as cougars – something that Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently investigating itself.

Can you identify the skulls? (Danica Swenson)

In addition to learning about differences in behavior, seeing and handling preserved skulls from wolves, cougars, and coyotes illustrated just how different wolves are from their fellow predators.

 

fter learning a bit of biology, we spent the next morning speaking with Russ Morgan, ODFW Wolf Coordinator, about how the state is dealing with wolves in Oregon. Morgan is a source of information for the political forces controlling wolf recovery – like the legislature and the agency for which he works.He also has extensive hands-on experience (quite literally) with wolves including collaring them so that their movements can be monitored. In fact, Morgan has collared OR-4, leader of the Imnaha pack, no less than four times. OR-4, has been the target of  possible  lethal control measures on several occasions. In one instance, with just minutes to spare, he was saved by a legal injunction that temporarily halted the state-sanctioned killing of wolves. He is now entering what is considered old age for a wolf in the wild and has fathered many of the pups born in Oregon.

OR-4, after an encounter with an ODFW biologist (ODFW)

Passing around a wolf-sized radio collar, we learned that not all of Oregon’s wolves are success stories. OR-18, who originally wore the collar we examined, was illegally killed in Montana back in the summer of 2014. The two-year-old male travelled to the Big Sky state, where wolves can be hunted legally with the proper licenses, after failing an attempt to cross Interstate 84.

Most of Oregon’s wolves are found in the northeast corner of the state, due in part to the barrier posed by Interstate 84. (ODFW)

Morgan also demonstrated how the traps used to immobilize wolves about to be collared work, and gave us an overview of how he and his fellow wildlife biologists go about investigating potential livestock depredations for evidence of wolf involvement.

Having sat still long enough, members of the Wolf Rendezvous were then treated to a short hike trough some of the terrain where the Imnaha pack makes its home. With a home range that has at times neared 1,000 square miles, our expectations had been appropriately calibrated. Expecting to see the occasional wolf scat and perhaps a paw print or two, we were awestruck when, not fifteen minutes after starting our trek, our hike leaders abruptly stopped the group and demanded silence.

Cutting through the mountain air was the not-so-distant howl of a wolf pack, howling together for all the forest to hear. Those of us who had never heard the sound of a wild wolf were no more amazed than the Wallowa locals, who were fortunate enough to have already experienced a lingering call from the Imnahas. 

Although the brightest highlight of the weekend had come and gone for many, our rendezvous was far from over.

The following day, we took a daytrip to the Zumwalt Prairie, where former US Forest Service biologist Ralph Anderson taught us about some of the plants that Native Americans historically foraged from the prairie. We were even treated to a taste of foraged roots, whose abundance has sadly diminished on the almost exclusively privately owned Zumwalt.

Retired biologist Ralph Anderson shared his knowledge of the Zumwalt Prairie with the group. (Quinn Read)

Thousands of elk graze on the open prairie, but our time there was during the hot hours of the day, when the herd beds down under the shade of the surrounding forests. Only livestock, mule deer, and the occasional coyote walked the Zumwalt, although the birders of the group excitedly watched as red-tailed hawks, ferruginous hawks, and one or two eagles flew overhead.

Despite its ecological importance, private owners today use the prairie more or less as a gigantic grazing plot for livestock, mostly cattle. However, the Nature Conservancy has purchased a small portion of the Zumwalt, intent on bringing conservation-minded stewardship to the high grassland.

After absorbing all we could from our short time with Anderson, we headed to the home of a local rancher, who has unfortunately lost cattle to ODFW-confirmed wolf depredation, although he believes the true number of losses attributable to wolves is actually higher than the official count.

Sitting in his well-manicured lawn and listening to his concerns, we obtained a glimpse into the complex reality of those opposed to wolf recovery. This rancher wasn’t a heartless monster, intent on killing everything with claws. He understood that wolves were here to stay, but was frustrated that unlike cougars and coyotes, he couldn’t “take care” of problem predators near his cattle if they happened to be wolves. Like some other Oregon ranchers, the man we spoke to is trying to prevent friction with wolves using non-lethal deterrents, some of which are provided by the state.

Imnaha pup (ODFW)

Putting a human face on the other side of Oregon’s wolf controversy did make many of the rendezvous participants question the way we had been thinking about the issue. However, it is important to remember that ranchers and those in the livestock industry have powerful lobbying groups, such as the Oregon Cattleman’s Association, Farm Bureau, and national organizations like Americans For Prosperity relaying their concerns to Oregon’s legislators and other decision makers. Wolves, on the other hand, don’t have direct access to the statehouse in Salem. They require concerned Oregonians who value native wildlife to take initiative and speak on their behalf.

All in all, the sixth annual Oregon Wild Wolf Rendezvous was a roaring success, but it highlighted the need for those of us who want to see wolves return to their native range in Oregon to listen and learn, but also to speak up. If we do, many more Oregonians, from Wallowa to Waldport and everywhere in between, may someday hear a far-off wolf pack raise their voices in thanks.

In addition to learning about differences in behavior, seeing and handling preserved skulls from wolves, cougars, and coyotes illustrated just how different wolves are from their fellow predators.

 

Tree Match Makers

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

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

The Last Grizzlies of Oregon

By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jul 08, 2015.

by Ethan Shaw

Last time, we considered the grizzly’s historical distribution in Oregon. Today, we’ll look at the geography of the bear’s retreat in the state; the story of a latter-day Oregon grizzly of much renown; and the bear’s ghostly presence on the landscape in the form of place names.

The Last Grizzlies

A grizzly in Yellowstone National Park, one of the few remaining populations in the contiguous United States. (FWS)

In the face of Euro-American settlement, Oregon grizzlies seemed to retreat fairly steadily in the mid- to late-1800s to three redoubts: the Klamath Mountains (including the Siskiyous), the Southern Cascades, and the Blue/Wallowa Mountains (including Hells Canyon country).

By the 1910s, grizzly sightings in Oregon had become sparse and mainly restricted to the northeastern highlands. A brief in the May 6, 1915 edition of the Wallowa Chieftain recorded the killings of some of the few remaining grizzlies in the high country bridging the Joseph Uplands and Hells Canyon, which appears to have been a real stronghold for them:

Two of the largest bear skins seen in town in many months were brought in yesterday morning by E.M. Pratt. They were of mountain grizzlies and he killed them near the head of Chesnimnus Creek … Mr. Pratt, a homesteader, started after the bears after they had killed some beef cattle. One bear was downed only a few feet from him, as it was rushing at him. The other had 12 bullet holes in its hide.

Bailey, writing in 1936, gives a lonesome inventory of the grizzly’s status over the preceding decade or so:

In 1924 and 1925 the Forest Service reported 1 grizzly bear on each of the Cascade and Siskiyou National Forests, and in 1931 2 and in 1932 1 on the Wallowa Forest, and in 1933 1 on the Willamette.

Those Forest Service estimates notwithstanding, the last officially documented grizzly bear in Oregon was killed along Chesnimnus Creek by a federal trapper on September 14, 1931. According to Jerry Gildemeister’s Bull Trout, Walking Grouse and Buffalo Bones: Oral Histories of Northeast Oregon Fish and Wildlife, however, sheepherders knew of a pair of grizzlies in the Minam drainage on the far western side of the Wallowa Mountains in 1937 and 1938; one of these bears was shot1

Hells Canyon from Hat Point: former haunt of grizzlies, and site of scattered unsubstantiated post-extirpation sightings. (Sarah West)

Of course, the very last grizzly of Oregon probably escaped the notice of humankind altogether. Whether he or she died in the remote plateau forests flanking the Northeast Oregon canyonlands or the brushy breaks of the Siskiyous—or someplace else entirely—we can only offer a vague, if heartfelt, toast.

Meanwhile, Hells Canyon country has continued to cough up the occasional grizzly rumor over the decades, although it should be noted that many of the black bears here are cinnamon-phase and thus easily confused with their heftier cousins. In Oregon Desert Guide, Andy Kerr reports an alleged sighting from 1979 along Steep Creek a few miles from Homestead2, and Gildemeister’s oral histories mention possible grizzly sign noted by a wildlife biologist in 1989 near Smooth Hollow, right along the Snake River below Hat Point.

The “Terror of the Siskiyous”

Easily the best-known grizzly in Oregon—albeit a beast shared with California—was Old Reelfoot (also called “Clubfoot”), a huge boar that roamed the Siskiyou Crest and adjoining Southern Cascades toward the close of the 19th century. By then, Euro-American alteration of the landscape was well underway and the few remaining grizzlies occasionally resorted to preying on the plentiful livestock at hand. Reelfoot’s stock-killing career in northwestern California and southwestern Oregon allegedly spanned decades, although, as Tracy and Storer note in California Grizzly, “the exploits of local grizzlies for a half century may have been ascribed to the one bear.” Those authors note his earliest mention dates back to 1846, when he “was alleged to have stampeded horses of Frémont’s expedition in southern Oregon,” though connecting that grizzly to the one killed near Pilot Rock in 1890—the one stuffed and displayed up and down the West Coast as the notorious Siskiyou Reelfoot—overstretches belief.

Old Reelfoot, 1890s (The Life and Death of Reelfoot)

Like many a “Clubfoot” bear, Reelfoot gained his name from a lame front right paw he wrenched free (so they say) from a Klamath River-area trap in the late 1850s. His injury made for a distinctive skewed track, a calling card many Ashland-area ranchers came to know well.

Though some claimed Old Reelfoot ranged as far southwest as Humboldt Bay on California’s redwood coast, most accounts seem to place his main range as the Siskiyous and adjoining portions of the Southern Cascades. A biography of Reelfoot written by George Wright—the nephew of William Wright who, with the teenager Purl Bean, finally killed the great bruin—claimed the bear’s heartland was “in the wild canyon region of the Siskiyou Mountains in the neighborhood of Pilot Rock, and thence eastward to Mount Pitt [Mount McLoughlin].” Pilot Rock, that striking knob at the eastern end of the Siskiyou Crest, appears to have been the center of Reelfoot’s territory; some believed he denned in the vicinity, as he was often observed there in the spring. (This website3, maintained by Ben Truwe, provides a wealth of information on Reelfoot.)

Foothill chaparral and woodland along the flanks of Mule Mountain in the Siskiyous; grizzlies frequented such habitats. (Ethan Shaw)

The grizzly was renowned for his massiveness and power. An Ashland-based shepherd, J.D. Williams, watched the bear attack a herd of cattle near Bald Mountain in the spring of 1882; after killing a calf and its mother, the grizzly was set upon by a big bull, which he ultimately dispatched after a fierce contest.

Reelfoot was just as infamous for his craftiness. Many hunters tried to trap or shoot him—not least after a coalition of Oregon-California cattlemen offered a bounty of $2700—but he proved relentlessly elusive. According to local lore, he rarely returned to a carcass after his initial feeding, and the general ruggedness of the Siskiyous and their heavy timber and shrublands gave the grizzly quite the fastness to hole up in.

Time finally out for Old Reelfoot ran out in the spring of 1890. In March, Wright and Bean had nearly taken the bear: They’d found where he had been dining on the carcasses of a slew of horses that had succumbed to a high-country snowstorm, tracked him down to the vicinity of Bald Mountain, and pursued him as he floundered through the heavy snowpack—but then their snowshoes gave out. Then, in early April, the two killed him a few miles from Pilot Rock; conflicting reports place the event either in Wildcat Gulch on the California side or the canyon of Camp Creek in Oregon.

Reelfoot’s death made national news. Reports credited decades of beef depredations to the bear, claimed his carcass yielded loads of bullets (“nearly a quart,” Tracy and Storer say), and marveled at his size. A Jacksonville Democratic Times report from April 17, 1890 read, “[Reelfoot] is thought to have weighed 1,400 pounds, and the hunters displayed great coolness in facing that amount of concentrated angry grizzly bear.” Other accounts put his weight at closer to 1,800 pounds—even beyond a ton. (In 1893, the Dalles Times-Mountaineer added some more fat rolls to the Siskiyou grizzly for good measure, claiming “this largest bear ever captured on the Pacific coast” tipped the scales at 3,200 pounds.) Even allowing for the exaggerations typical of those days, Reelfoot appears to have been a gloriously big bear—well representative, it seems, of the hefty proportions California grizzlies attained.

Stuffed and mounted in Ashland, Old Reelfoot was exhibited across California and as far north as Portland and the Dalles; some accounts suggest the carcass made it to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Nobody’s entirely sure what happened to the display, but indications are that it was destroyed in a fire.

Grizzly Place Names

There are more than two dozen “grizzly” place names sprinkled across Oregon. Their distribution seems to reflect historical grizzly hotspots: By a healthy margin, the majority of the locales are in the southwest, with quite a few in northeastern Oregon, too. But there’s also a Grizzly Peak (and Creek, and Flat) a few miles southwest of Mount Jefferson, a Grizzly Slough along the Lower Columbia, and a Grizzly Ridge in the central Coast Range near Cape Perpetua.

Granted, not all of these place names apparently had an actual bear as their inspiration: According to Lewis McArthur’s classic Oregon Geographic Names, for instance, Grizzly Mountain in Crook County—an Ochoco spur that’s a prominent landmark from the Deschutes-Umatilla Plateau—is so called because of its “grizzled color and not because of any adventure with a grizzly bear.”4

Grizzly Peak, named for the great Siskiyou grizzly Old Reelfoot.

Others, though, do stem from ursine lore. Grizzly Peak on the east side of the Bear Creek Valley, Ashland’s signal summit, is named for Old Reelfoot, who probably foraged on its basalt-ribbed slopes more than once. Oliver Applegate, who (Vernon Bailey relates) used to shoot bears as well as wolves and pumas from scaffolds in the Siskiyou rangelands, also killed a grizzly in December 1874 on Mountain Mahogany Ridge north of the Swan Lake Valley; since then, the ridge has been called Grizzly Butte (or Hill). Bear Flat—just east of Grizzly Ridge near Imnaha—was, according to McArthur, named “because Ben Johnson and Waldo Chase killed several bears there, among them two grizzlies.”

Some other specific locales aren’t named for the grizzly, but have some connection to it. Bailey cites a 1918 edition of Oregon Sportsman recounting a fight between two grizzlies on Hoxie Prairie near Medford, witnessed sometime in the preceding decades by one Fred Barneburg. Because of Louis Labonte, we can see spectral grizzlies in the farmland of French Prairie. And on account of the Molalla trickster tale, we can draw a mythological association between Mount Hood (Oregon’s loftiest peak) and the great bear (its mightiest carnivore).

Next up: musings on the grizzly’s former ecology in Oregon, and some final thoughts.

 

[1] Gildemeister, Jerry. Bull Trout, Walking Grouse and Buffalo Bones: Oral Histories of Northeast Oregon Fish and Wildlife. La Grande, Oregon: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, 1992.

[2] Kerr, Andy. Oregon Desert Guide. Seattle: The Mountaineers, 2000.

[4] McArthur, Lewis A. and Lewis L. McArthur. Oregon Geographic Names. Portland, OR: Oregon Historical Society Press, 2003.

 

Photo Credits: 
Header image courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service by Erwin & Peggy Bauer

Green herons are nesting!

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

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

Foster Education, Create Greener Workplace Cultures & Engage Employees

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

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

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

Yes, Suburbanites Want to Bike and Walk

By Lisa Frank from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Jul 06, 2015.

As part of a major study to examine transportation challenges and solutions 50+ years into the future, Washington County recently completed an online open house to discuss […]

Common and Free

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

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

Oregon Rain (a guest blog)

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

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

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

EV Fest 2015

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

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

TRK is Still Fighting to Protect Cooper Mountain Wetlands

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

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

Oregon as Grizzly Country

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

A Brief History of the Great Bear in the Beaver State

by Ethan Shaw

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

Read Part 2: The Last Grizzlies of Oregon and Part 3: Ghosts of the Oregon Grizzly.

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

                                                                        —Paul Shepard, Encounters With Nature

 

Grizzly tracks in Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Grizzly’s Historical Oregon Range

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grizzlies in the Western Valleys

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Coastal Bruins?

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

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

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

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

Sky Island Bears

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

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

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

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

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

 

 


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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now Hiring! SAGE Garden Camp Instructor

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

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

Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things

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

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

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

National News: June 29, 2015

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

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

Congress Moves to Safeguard Oregon Wildlands and Wild Rivers

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

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

News from Salem: Can we just adjourn already?

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

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

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

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

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

The Wilson River Corridor – A Little Something for Everyone

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

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

Anti-Displacement Coalition improves Portland’s Comprehensive Plan

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

20150625
Pam Phan

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

read more

Leadership Spotlight: Westside Transportation Alliance

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

20150625
Sam Diaz

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

read more

Tree Forte

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

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

Land Use Summer Reading List

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

20150625
Jason Miner

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

read more

Global Teamwork Critical for Solving Ivory Crisis

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

Global Teamwork Critical for Solving Ivory Crisis

ACTION ALERT: Legislature Considers Diverting Renewable Energy Funding

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer Pruning Class

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

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

Summer Lovin’

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

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

10th Annual Citizen Science Marbled Murrelet Survey

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

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

We are being INVADED!

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

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

The ‘SEEDs’ of Change

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

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

I Want to Join!

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

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

SAVE THE DATE: WETLANDS AND WELLIES 2015

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

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

6 Tips on Working for Peace, Justice and Sustainability

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

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

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

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

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

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

Low-wattage legislators dim the lights on forestry practices reform

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

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

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

What do you love about the Tualatin River?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valuing Nature: Q&A with Gretchen Daily

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

Valuing Nature: Q&A with Gretchen Daily

Lessons Learned by Communities for Communities

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

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

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


Effective Practices for Implementing Local Climate and Energy Programs Tip Sheets


Local Climate and Energy Program Model Design Guide

This latest ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Logging Industry Lawsuit Demanding Aggressive Cutting Thrown Out By Federal Court

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

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

National News: June 15, 2015

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

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

Much at stake in LBL forum, Kentucky New Era

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

Supper at SAGE Call for Artists

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

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

Solar Now! University 2015: Sprinting Ahead

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

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

Volunteer Spotlight: Joanie Beldin

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

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

A Substitute Plan To Rejuvenate Forest After Fire

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

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

Sustainable Ocean Development Is Possible

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

Sustainable Ocean Development Is Possible

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

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

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

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

Land Use Victories in Salem

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

20150604
Jason Miner

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

read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SAGE Camp Update

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

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

Spring for SAGE 2015

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

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

Introducing Food for Families

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

A new low cost gardening and cooking class series


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

The Place

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

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

Court permits cormorant slaughter to move forward

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

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

Clean Water Rule Finalized!

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

11 Elements of a Water Quality Trading Program

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

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

4 Bowling Lanes. 2 Organizations. 1 Winner.

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

20150526
Sam Diaz

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

read more

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

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

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

National News: May 26, 2015

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

Coalition fights LBL timber sales, Murray Ledger & Times

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

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

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

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

Agricultural Business Owners Thank Merkley For Protecting Oregon Caves

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

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

Beers Made By Walking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scholfield Creek Wetlands Conservation Area

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

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

New Training Opportunity: The Building Blocks of an Exceptional Board

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

Lawsuit filed to stop cormorant slaughter by federal agencies

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

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

A visit to the edge of East Sand Island

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

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

Portland says "NO" to giant propane export facility

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

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

Protect Critical Old Growth in the Clatsop State Forest

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

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

Sutton Mountain Wilderness sent to Congress

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

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

Overspray

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

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

The post Overspray appeared first on Beyond Toxics.

National News: May 4, 2015

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


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

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

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

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

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

Local Developer Eli Spevak Promotes Small Spaces with Character

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

20150430
Karli Petrovic

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

read more

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

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

20150429
Jason Miner

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

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

read more

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

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

20150429
Karli Petrovic

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

read more

Welcome Home Coalition Mobilizes Local Housing Movement

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

20150429
Karli Petrovic

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

read more

HRVRC Organizes to Support Inclusionary Zoning Legislation

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

20150429
Karli Petrovic

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

read more

#NoFastTrack Events – Update Your Calendar!

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

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

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

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

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

Living with the lichen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News from the Oregon Legislature

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

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

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

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

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

National News: April 20, 2015

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

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

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

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

Judge affirms ruling favoring wildlife on Klamath refuges

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

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

Chilling … public health ignored

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

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

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

2015 Spring Star Parties in Oregon State Parks

By OSPF from . Published on Apr 15, 2015.

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

OSPF Works to Expand Bike Shelter Network in Oregon State Parks

By OSPF from . Published on Apr 15, 2015.

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

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

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

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

Senators join in Oregon Caves dedication

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

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

It’s time to play at Nadaka Nature Park

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

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

Help us solve a mystery.

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you spring 2015 volunteers!

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

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

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

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

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

National News: April 13, 2015

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

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

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

Volunteer Spotlight–Thank You Heather Chapin!

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

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

Family Wetland Bird Walk

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

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

 
Explore birds along a ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National News: March 30, 2015

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


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

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

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

A Decade in the Tall Trees

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

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

Each of us can demand protections from aerial sprays!

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

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

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

Earth Ball 2015: An All Species Masquerade & Celebration

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

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

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

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

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

An Evening for Opal Creek tickets on sale now!

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

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

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

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

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

National News: March 16, 2015

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

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

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

No Answer, FSEEE

McKenzie floodplain forest will be home to fish and wildlife forever

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

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

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

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

Dirty Secrets: Trade Promotion Authority and the TransPacific Partnership

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

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

The Oregon Chapter in the 2015 Oregon Legislature

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

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

ODF Proposes Massive Clearcuts for Oregon’s State Forests

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

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

Reflections on two years in Jawbone Flats

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

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

Tualatin Riverkeepers Challenges Silicon Forest Businesses to Plant an Actual Forest

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

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

Tualatin Riverkeepers Challenges Silicon Forest Businesses to Plant an Actual Forest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Training: Monitoring That Guarantees Measurable Results

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

OCN Announces the 2015 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon

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

Author: 
OLCV
Date: 
January 15

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

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

read more

Battle Axe Bridge Reopens

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

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

Envision for who? Environmental justice in urban planning

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

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

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

ONDA releases its 2015 calendar of guided restoration trips

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

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

Public sounds off on gas pipeline

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

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

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

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

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

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

USDA Announces Regional Conservation Partnership Project Selections

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

USDA Announces Regional Conservation Partnership Project Selections

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

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

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

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

Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club Announces New Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 Feel-Good Water and River Stories from 2014

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

8 Feel-Good Water and River Stories from 2014

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

Salmon: Closer to home than you might think!

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

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

#GivingTuesday Resources

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

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

A generous gift protects an oak woodland

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

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

#GivingTuesday

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

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

Count that Grouse

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

Counting Grouse

Action! Clean Water Protection Rule Comment Tools and Help

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

Action! Clean Water Protection Rule Comment Tools and Help

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

Needed: New Stories About Clean Water

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

Needed: New Stories About Clean Water

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

Local governments back wilderness for Sutton Mountain

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

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

Conservation & Durability

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

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

Watershed and River Community Comments on the Clean Water Protection Rule

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

Albuquerque Wilderness 50 Celebration – Take-Aways

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

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

Wild Desert Calendar exhibit features best eastern Oregon imagery

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

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

Webinars abound on clean water and wetland issues!

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

OREGON CHAPTER SEEKS NEXT CHAPTER DIRECTOR

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geek Reading: Navigating to New Shores

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

Waters of the US Rulemaking: Refresher Course for Those Commenting

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

Beers Made By Walking tasting set for Oct. 15

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

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

Pacific Power has you hooked on coal

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

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

Vote Yes on Measure 88

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

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

We need your comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s in a Plan?

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

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

From the Executive Director: 2014 Progress Report

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 30, 2014.

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

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

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 29, 2014.

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

Discovery Season Camping Discounts Begin October 1, 2014

By OSPF from . Published on Sep 29, 2014.

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

Thanks to you, wetlands are protected!

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

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

Flushing for fish

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

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

Leadership Development Institute - Building Effective Organizations

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

Clean Water Protection Rule (aka WOTUS) Roundup

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

Clean Water Protection Rule (aka WOTUS) Roundup

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

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

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

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

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

Thunderclap for Clean Water!

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

Thunderclap for Clean Water!

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

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

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

Member spotlight: Steve Gordon Continue reading

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

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

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

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

Announcing the North American River Prize!

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

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

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

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

2015 Founders Circle Grant Challenge

By OSPF from . Published on Aug 21, 2014.

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

OSPF Receives Founders Circle Challenge Grant from Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund

By OSPF from . Published on Aug 21, 2014.

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

Join ONDA for Wilderness Weekend, Sept. 18-20

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

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

New resource showcases Sutton Mountain

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change comes to the forest.

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

Change Comes to the Eastern Forest

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

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


By David Mildrexler and Veronica Warnock

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

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

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

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


Here are some suggested points to include in your letter:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By OSPF from . Published on Jul 14, 2014.

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

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

By OSPF from . Published on Jul 14, 2014.

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

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

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

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

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

ONDA’s Desert Conference slated for September, registration underway

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

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

River Network’s Clean Water Act 101 Institute

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

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

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

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

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

testing

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

Guest Blog: Mark Gorman on the Regional Conservation Partnership Program

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

testing sahring

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

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

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

Elegy to Tim Lillebo, by Bill Fleischmann

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Documentary Film DamNation Comes to Bend’s Tower Theatre

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

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

Pupfish: Mojave Desert Survivor

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

Pupfish: Mojave Desert Survivor

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

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

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

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

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

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Preserve Parent

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

Preserve Parent

Featured Post

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

Plight of the Bumble Bee

Big plans for a green spring

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

Our supporters share their tips for the home and office

Lose the Memory, Lose the Fish

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

Lose the Memory, Lose the Fish

End of the Hemlocks, A Lament

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

End of the Hemlocks, A Lament

Missing Tim Lillebo

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Brian Kelly, Restoration Director, Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Funding eco-activism like the United Way

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

Goodbye to a key forest advocate and our friend

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

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

Your Comments Needed NOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

These protections include:

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

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

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

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




OCN announces 2014 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon

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

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

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Wildlife Watchers Field Report for 2013

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

From HCPC Restoration Director Brian Kelly:

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

meat (bait) was placed inside metal cylinders  

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COCN Announces Priority for a Healthy Central Oregon

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

Date: 
January 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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The Forest Connection

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


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

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

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

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

2013 Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey Results

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

Author: 
Oregon Values and Beliefs Project
October 22, 2013

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2013 Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey Results

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

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

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

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

read more

SB863 passes both the House and Senate

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

Author: 
Andrew Hogan
Date: 
October 13

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

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

A humbling hike to South Sister

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

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

Big Win for Wildlife

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



Antelope Ridge Energy Project Has Been Stopped

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  
Story & photo by Brian Kelly,
Restoration Director



Tell Governor Kitzhaber: No Deal on GMOs

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

September 23, 2013

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Newsletters

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

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

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

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

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

OCN Priority will curb suction dredge mining permits

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

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

Medford Mail Tribune

July 17, 2013

Author: Paul Fattig

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

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Update on Bighorn Protection from Darilyn Parry Brown

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jul 28, 2013.

Hells Canyon Preservation Council is a member of a regional Bighorn Advocacy Group whose primary aim is to see wild bighorn sheep herds in eastern Idaho, northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington gain the permanent protections they need to thrive in their native habitat.  HCPC has been a key advocate for bighorn herds in the greater Hells Canyon area for nearly a decade.  Though again and again, we’ve won our battles to protect bighorns in the courts, these victories are still not secured.

When I first came on as HCPC’s Executive Director early 2012, I took the lead on HCPC’s work to ensure lasting protections for wild bighorn herds in the Hells Canyon Country.  Most recently these efforts have focused on urging the Forest Service to follow their own Record of Decision released in 2010 that closes certain domestic sheep grazing allotments in the Salmon and Hells Canyon bighorn herds’ habitats and mandates deliberate risk reduction measures be put in place on open allotments.

Wild bighorn sheep are extremely susceptible to a pathogen carried by domestic sheep. Bighorn sheep die-offs have been on-going in Hells Canyon for over twenty years.  In 1991, the Forest Service publicly acknowledged one of the first documented die-offs in Hells Canyon when ninety percent of the Seven Devils bighorn herd was wiped out.  Other documented die-offs in the region date back even further.  In 1986, a massive bighorn die-off was discovered in the nearby Wallowa Mountains within the Eagle Cap Wilderness in northeast Oregon.  This was not the first die-off, but was the most devastating.  The discovery of the diseased carcass of “Spot,” the largest bighorn ram ever found in the continental United States, and the loss of over two-thirds of the herd (66 animals) to disease in a period of a few weeks, was a tragedy that attracted substantial public attention.  The cause of the die-off was determined to be pneumonia linked to Pasteurellabacteria.  In 1992, there was another massive bighorn die-off, this time in the Hells Canyon NRA in the Sheep Creek drainage on the Idaho side of the Canyon.  The culprit was again verified as pneumonia symptoms tied to Pasteurella bacterial infection.  Other die-offs have followed since, in herds within Hells Canyon as well as other nearby areas. 

Unfortunately, the Forest Service is not implementing or enforcing meaningful risk reduction measures. During the past two grazing seasons there were numerous instances where herders and/or herd dogs were not evidently present with their bands, animals were scattered and not recovered, and observers noted sheep outside allotments - in the areas with the greatest likelihood of domestic sheep and bighorn contact. Scattering events and sheep unaccounted for contribute to increased risk of contact between wild bighorn and domestic sheep. 
In September 2012, a foraying ewe was sighted on three different occasions by hunters on the Grassy Mountain allotment that was just vacated that season due to the 2010 decision to close allotments.  Had we not challenged the Payette National Forests’ interpretation of the Simpson Rider intended to stop the implementation of grazing allotment closures just a few months earlier, there would have been domestic sheep on the allotment where the ewe forayed. This was a very narrow miss that could have proven disastrous to an entire herd of wild bighorn.     
Due to a lack of adequate “contact risk reduction” action on the part of the Payette National Forest, in March HCPC submitted a letter to Payette National Forest Supervisor Keith Lannom urging him to adopt recommendations drawn up by the Bighorn Advocacy Group that outlined a realistic set of tools for reducing risk to the Salmon and Hells Canyon bighorn sheep herds. On June 10th, Supervisor Lannom hosted a meeting in response to ours and other members of the Bighorn Advocate Groups’ letters. However, domestic sheep had already been turned out on the allotments of concern (on June 1st).  Half an hour prior to the meeting, we were provided with a hard copy of the Forests’ Response to our recommendations. 
The Forest chose not to adopt any substantive portion of the recommendations; instead, they chose to use the following rationale to comply with the 2010 ROD: “The Forest Service sets permit requirements and allows the permittee to establish the management context...”  I think it is accurate to say, HCPC and our allies in attendance, which included representatives from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Nez Perce, Western Watersheds, and The Wilderness Society, are extremely discouraged by the Forest Service’ response.
Bighorn protection is not a popular idea among the small number of permittees who utilize our public lands to support massive domestic sheep operations in Idaho.  These powerful few have lobbied hard and continue to put tremendous pressure on the Forest Service to place their interests above those of threatened bighorn sheep.  Due to this heavy pressure, the victories we’ve worked so hard on over so many years for wild bighorn are not yet fully realized and we know we have to dedicate elevated efforts to the cause. 
Since the June meeting with the Payette, Veronica Warnock, HCPC’s Conservation Director, has taken the point on HCPC’s bighorn work. HCPC remains committed to saving wild bighorn herds.  Veronica and the Bighorn Advocacy Group will keep the pressure on the Payette Forest Service—and the heavily subsidized grazing permittees—as long as it takes to gain lasting protections for these magnificent animals of the canyons.
 - Darilyn Parry Brown
Executive Director, Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Protecting Our Liquid Gold

By Nikki Roemmer from OLCV News Archive. Published on Jul 18, 2013.

Source: 
The Source Weekly

Published: July 18, 2013

We live in a desert. Water is precious. That much should be agreed upon.

Fortunately, we have a newly formed Central Oregon Conservation Network (COCN), a dream team collection of area environmental organizations, which is watchdogging how the region and regional agencies manage this resource—and, more keenly, what infrastructure is being planned and installed to manage this resource. The most recent battleground over this issue is the city of Bend's nearly $70 million Surface Water Improvement Project (SWIP).

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Snow Basin Update

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jul 28, 2013.


HCPC is seeking a Preliminary Injunction to stop the release and logging of two timber sales in the Snow Basin Vegetation Management Project.  The Skull and Empire sale areas within the project contain thousands of old growth trees and Bull trout habitat.  
On July 8th, HCPC Executive Director Darilyn Parry Brown testified in federal court to the fact the Forest Service WILL cut large old-growth trees, particularly on the Skull sale, if an injunction is not awarded.  
HCPC staff and volunteers visited old growth trees and stands in Skull in May and July provided proof the Forest Service is planning to remove many more ancient trees than it originally disclosed through the NEPA process, thus violating many environmental laws and its own decision.  
Judge Hernandez’s decision on the injunction is expected by July 18th when the Skull sale is scheduled to be released.

Humor, Facts, and Fundraising - Tom Lang's books

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jul 14, 2013.


It was at the Green Action Day in Portland, back in May, when Tom Lang walked up to the HCPC booth and introduced himself to HCPC’s Restoration Director Brian Kelly.  They got to talking, sharing interests in protecting wild places and blues music.  Tom, impressed with HCPC’s accomplishments, came up with a way he could support that work.  As an author, selling his books from his website, he could offer HCPC part of the proceeds of the sales of his books.  Their discussion continued through emails, and came up with a plan. 
Starting July 12th, 20% of the purchase price of books purchased through Tom’s website and entered with the “HCPC” code will help fund HCPC’s work to protect, restore and connect.   

This creative way to help HCPC is part of the funding “patchwork quilt” that keeps HCPC going, along with memberships, monthly River Runner donors, major gifts, bequests, grants, funding through EarthShare, and event income.  Every piece of the quilt is important, and HCPC is delighted to have Tom Lang contributing his piece.

You can read excerpts from Tom’s books below and on his website.  Tom’s personal eye view from the perspective of the animals he writes about includes a generous helping of humor leavened with detailed factual information.  He seems to find the crux of the interaction between people and the wildlife and help us look on both sides of the equation.  Anthropomorphizing? Yes, but with a point – and a very useful one.  Laughter is a way to get us outside our comfort zone – looking at ourselves, looking at others from a different place.  We mammals (and fish J) have more in common than we are usually willing to admit … and the about-face brings us closer to our connections.

Here’s an excerpt from Tom’s book “Bear”, giving us that “about-face” look:
“I’m a big, bad Alaskan brown bear and I get a little angry now and then. So shoot me. I don’t live in a fairy tale world where the worst thing that can happen is a smelly human eats my porridge and sleeps in my bed. I live in the real world. One day you’re walking down a trail smelling the flowers, the next your head’s hanging on a cabin wall and the humans are sitting on your butt in front of the fireplace.” 

Here’s a short excerpt from Tom’s book “Salmon”, showing off his skill for weaving in factual trivia -

“I’ve always been an emotional fish. My friends attribute my moods to my overly sensitive lateral lines, pores that run down my body from head to tail. These pores hook up with a canal under my skin that connects up with my brain, helping me sense minute disturbances and subtle movement. That’s how I can pick the best current, swim through murky water and maintain the tight formation of my school.
But I think my sensitivity has more to do with unresolved issues from my troubled childhood. My mother and father died when I was conceived. I lived under 6 inches of gravel in Chilkat Lake for 6 months before I emerged as a fry. I fought for a year with my 4000 brothers and sisters over cheap crustaceans and microscopic algae slop–green desmids, blue diatoms and blue-green dinoflagellates. I huddled in fear of swim-by killings when the Chars, a crazed fish gang high on zooplankton, would wipe out 90 of my siblings in one swallow.”


For a look at how Tom uses humor with great effect, here’s an excerpt from “Moose”:
“She walked into my office, all 800 pounds of sweet lean Alaskan moose sashaying my way. A light rust tint sparkled off her golden brown hair. She bent over, stripped a willow branch with her mouth and ate slow, like I wasn’t there. She looked up at me. Water lilies danced in the swampy ponds of her eyes.
“I’m Cervida and I’m missing my male.”
“I’ll bet he’s missing you, too.”
“That’s not what I mean. He’s missing. Gone.”
“How long has he been gone?”
“Three days.”
“That’s not long.”
“It is for one of my bulls. I tell my males when it’s time to be missing and when it’s time to be gone.”
   
“Look, you beautiful cow, you’re not here to give me a physical and this ain’t no restaurant. So, what can I do for you?”
“I hear you’re the best.”
“Best at what?”
“Finding things.”
“I’m not bad.”
“No, you’re not.”
She chewed the leaf slowly as we stood staring at each other.
“Are you free to find my male?”
“I ain’t free and I ain’t cheap.”
“Neither am I,” she said.
I stripped a branch from above me and chewed and stared while she chewed and stared back.
“Sure, Ms. Cervida–”
“Call me Vida.”
“Okay, Vida, I’ll graze around and see what I can find.”
I’m Al Gigas, moose detective. I’ve roamed the mean riverbeds of the Chilkat Valley for ten years and I’ve seen things no creature should ever see and I’ve seen creatures that will never see again. A missing moose is a bad sign but I didn’t mention that to Vida. She wasn’t the first ungulate to walk into my office looking for a loved one. I’ve had brothers looking for brothers, calves for mothers, mothers for calves. I find things, Vida was right about that. But what I find this time of year would be better if it stayed lost.
October was almost here.”


Enjoy a fun read, learn a lot, and support HCPC's work! 
- Danae Yurgel
  HCPC Office Administrator


July 2013 -- The Water Issue

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

Wildlife Watchers Project Begins New Season

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

Despite the uncertainties of weather and the persistence of lingering snow banks, Hells Canyon Preservation Council’s Wildlife Watchers Program is up and running for the 2013 field season.  

In a partnership with the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, we’ve started the third season of documenting wildlife using motion-triggered wildlife cameras.  We are particularly interested in finding the American marten (“pine marten”) which is considered a management indicator species by the Forest Service.  After scouting out a variety of forested areas, we installed cameras in locations showing the best characteristics for marten habitat. To attract martens to the cameras, we apply a smelly, gooey substance known as marten lure.  This year, we are also hoping to entice martens to the cameras by placing chicken meat inside metal tubes cabled to a tree.  The tubes are large enough for a marten to crawl in but too small for bears and ravens to be able to access the bait.

Even though summer is officially here, the snow banks live on in the high country.  Moss Springs is above Cove, Oregon and sits at about 6,000 feet above sea level. When we drove there this year in mid-June, the snow was gone.  But as we drove north from Moss Springs toward Point Prominence and gained a bit of elevation, we soon hit snow.   It was deep enough to warrant turning around the four-wheel drive pickup while we still had the chance.  A week later, about three inches of new snow fell near the 7,000 foot level in the local mountains, just a couple of days before the Summer Solstice. Still, the weather forecasts predict 90 degree days before the end of June.

Welcome to early summer in the Blue Mountains.

After turning back to avoid the snow, we circled back and approached the area from lower elevation in the Indian Creek drainage.  We located suitable spots for the cameras and got them set up to start another season of sampling.

In 2011, the Wildlife Watchers photographed martens in the Elkhorn Mountains and also in the Mount Emily area.  In 2012, we sampled the Castle Ridge area between the Grande Ronde Valley and the Eagle Cap Wilderness boundary.  Surprisingly, we did not capture any photos of American martens there.  Interestingly, however, another old growth associated species, the northern flying squirrel was detected at almost 50% of the camera stations.     

This year, we returned to the Castle Ridge area, and are now sampling in new and different places.  We are also targeting areas where marten tracks were recorded in the past.  We hiked deeper into the Castle Ridge Roadless Area and installed cameras in some forested areas showing habitat characteristics that martens typically utilize.  We are also interested in the possibility that we may catch a photograph of wolverines or wolves moving from the Wilderness into the Castle Ridge Roadless Area.

HCPC appreciates the efforts of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and the HCPC volunteers who make this program possible.  We would also like to thank  our funding partners - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and Mazamasand Patagonia. Stay tuned for more reports!   

- Brian Kelly
  HCPC Restoration Director       

June 2013 - "Your Share" E-newsletter

By Meghan Humphreys from All News. Published on Jun 18, 2013.

Finding Common Ground on Eastern Oregon Forests

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 29, 2013.

The following letter was published as a guest editorial in the La Grande Observer newspaper:
Finding Common Ground On Eastern Oregon Forests

Oregon’s public forests provide an tremendous variety of benefits to our state; they  protect our air and water, provide core habitat for fish and wildlife, offer recreation opportunities, and support the economic health of surrounding communities. Oregon’s forests also provide a special, uniquely Oregon quality of life that we all hope remains intact for generations to come.

Unfortunately, how to best manage these public lands is often a source of conflict.  This is especially true when the Forest Service pursues poorly designed timber sales, like the Snow Basin logging project on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeast Oregon.

After a century of short-sighted management decisions, our east side forests are at a crossroads. Fire suppression and logging practices of the past have created forests significantly removed from what nature intended.  Most of our old growth trees — those most resilient to fire — have already been logged, and a tangle of roads fragment our wildlife habitat.

The good news is conservation groups like Oregon Wild and Hells Canyon Preservation Council are successfully working with other forest stakeholders, including elected officials, landowners and the timber industry, to design logging projects which support rural economies while reducing the risk of fire, and protecting the remaining old trees and un-roaded wildlands on our forests.  This common sense approach of working together to restore forests and watersheds has gained support in recent years, and is leading to enhanced trust and agreement, less controversial projects, and more forest and watershed restoration work getting done.


Unfortunately, the Snow Basin project is an example of a logging sale which fails to build on this common ground.  Instead of focusing on thinning dry forest stands and reducing the risk of fire to homes and communities, the Forest Service has chosen to rush forward with a plan that includes logging in fragile, high elevation moist forests where fire risks are low and science demonstrates intensive logging is not appropriate.  Many leaders and land managers are calling for “increased harvest” off of Eastern Oregon’s public lands.  If they are serious, they should embrace a science-based approach that focuses on areas of consensus, and recognizes that today our forests are just as valuable for clean drinking water and our tourism and recreation economy as they are for two-by-fours.  That is the only way to forge a sustainable, consensus-based path through the woods.

Now is the time to be far-sighted in our actions.  Advancing projects which strengthen local economies and forest health depends on all stakeholders working together and using science as our guide.  We must site logging projects in areas where they do not compromise the forest’s ability to respond to a changing climate, survive high-intensity fires, and support fish and wildlife.  There may be room to increase the pace and scale of restoration-based thinning in east side forests, but we must avoid the mistakes made with Snow Basin.  Any increase in logging must go hand and hand with increased protection for important environmental values.

Many leaders and land managers are calling for “increased harvest” off of Eastern Oregon’s public lands.  If they are serious, they should embrace a science-based approach that focuses on areas of consensus, and recognizes that today our forests are just as valuable for clean drinking water and our tourism and recreation economy as they are for two-by-fours.  That is the only way to forge a sustainable, consensus-based path through the woods.

Veronica Warnock, Conservation Director
Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Steve Pedery, Conservation Director
Oregon Wild

PRC Statement on Wyden Framework for O&C Legislation

By Kate from Press Releases. Published on May 23, 2013.

PRC statement responding to Wyden framework for O&C; legislation

Your phone's last call should be to a recycler

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Apr 12, 2013.

The Oregonian covers cell phone recycling. Did you know that EarthShare can help you recycle your cell phones at work? Read on to find out more.

Biophilia: This is Your Brain on Nature

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Apr 12, 2013.

Studies and articles abound showing the positive effects of natural settings on the human mind and body.

Your Share - April 2013

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Apr 02, 2013.

Burgerville Rocks!, Meet our Newest Charities & More!

Your Share - May 2013

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Apr 02, 2013.

Plastic recycling changes in the Metro area, the best hikes & lots of spring inspiration!

Burgerville Employees Pledge $22,000 to EarthShare Member Groups

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Mar 26, 2013.

Burgerville employees give generously to environmental nonprofits during their Spring workplace giving campaign.

News & Press

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Mar 14, 2013.

Get the latest updates from EarthShare and our members.

EarthShare Oregon welcomes seven new member groups

By kverzwyvelt from All News. Published on Mar 14, 2013.

Oregon’s environmental federation expands to offer more choices for employee engagement.

Charles Jones Remembers Jack Barry

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Mar 06, 2013.



Dear Conservationists,


On Christmas evening, at his home in La Grande, Jack Barry, 87, died. With him were wife Lois, family and friends.

Jack was among the early HCPC founders, primarily a bunch of Idaho Falls (Arco) nuclear engineers who couldn't abide the thought of the proposed dam in Hells Canyon (Brock can provide more background on Jack's early involvement.)

I met Jack shortly after arriving in La Grande in 1974. He had left the nuclear industry. Lois was hired by Eastern Oregon University becoming a much respected, loved and admired English professor -- one known to never suffer inept administrators gladly.

If anyone embodied a mad-dog environmentalist, it was Jack. He was fearless, persistent, relentless. He brought a much needed brand of obnoxiousness to countless public hearings, often the perfect antidote for public officials cowered by a bunch of burly loggers and industry hacks.

At a Hatfield Senate wilderness hearing in La Grande, Jack, exercising First Amendment rights to the hilt, failed to act with expected propriety to St. Mark. The La Grande police hauled him out of the auditorium, threw him up against the foyer wall, handcuffed him, and hauled him in. Jack (without a lawyer, but with much help from Lois) sued the police and received a very substantial out of court settlement from the city.

Probably a dozen years ago, HCPC honored six venerable NE Oregon conservations, stalwart defenders of our lands and heritage, at a large banquet. Jack, Loren Hughes, Bill Obertauffer, Bill Brown were among them. The speeches on behalf of Jack were the highlight. No one was ever a better recipient of hilarious roasts and toasts as the inimitable Mr. John Barry.

As ferocious (and admittedly, at times, trying) as Jack could be in public hearings or HCPC board meetings, he was absolutely the sweetest and most gracious host or guest in any social gathering or random rendezvous. He was always interested in your doings, your life, and your well-being. He met you with a smile and left you with a laugh. You loved to meet him on the street or in the store. Jack was always interesting. Jack was fun. He was a peach of a guy.

I'm quite sure I will never meet another Jack Barry. That saddens me.

HCPC is proud to have Charles Jones on the Hells Canyon Preservation Council Board of Directors

Green Your Camping Trips!

By Meghan Humphreys from All News. Published on Mar 05, 2013.

Here are our green tips for making the most of your outdoor experience, while taking care to leave a healthy environment when you pack up and head home.

Remembering Beginnings: Brock Evans on HCPC History

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Feb 27, 2013.



My personal recollections are that the HCPC was founded in 1967... same year as I was appointed to be the Sierra Club's and Federation of Western Outdoor Club's Northwest representative (March). I believe my first meeting with them (about September, 1967), referring to their "new" formation, is in my archives at the University of Washington Library.

Although there had certainly been opposition to Brownlee, Oxbow, and Hell's Canyon dams before that time, it was not effective and except for perhaps the Idaho Wildlife Federation, not very well-organized. That doesn't mean that there weren't precursors (in the form of opposition to dams in Hells Canyon); it just means that no such entity as HCPC per se, existed.

So my understanding when I came upon the scene in 1967 was like your own, Charlie -- the dam(n) builders built the easiest Snake River ones first -- easier politically for Idaho Power as a "private company" as well as logistically... it was when they attempted a project that affected three states, that the "public power" people challenged them, here).

Many of our kind of people then were also rightly fearful of the proposed Nez Perce Dam, just a mile or so below the confluence of the Snake and the Salmon -- because it would have drowned out the Lower Salmon gorges too. Somewhere around that time, the two applicants shifted the proposed site to High Mountain Sheep, just upstream of that confluence, I recall.  Anyone who floats down the Snake past that original site now can still see those white-painted initials way way up: "PNPC, Pacific Northwest Power Company" -- the private boys.

Last time I saw that one, coming off the Salmon and floating (with Ric Bailey's crew) out onto the great living Snake, he pointed out those initials to us -- and everyone got goosebumps. My own heart leapt, jumped for joy, that that is all that was left of such a monstrous river-destroying venture -- those initials, 5-600 feet above us.

I imagined then, with a shudder -- if that dam had been built, no one ever again would know what this place was like... instead of the songs of the canyon wrens, the grand play of early-morning
light and shadow on the cliffs, the murmur and tugs of a great living river at our boats, we instead would have all been in diving suits in the gloom of 500 feet of deadness above us. 

Someday, when everything else is safe and saved, I suggest we seek to preserve those initials -- as a kind of National Monument -- a memorial to the love, passion, and courage of our small bands, willing to stand and fight for it all, despite all the money and political power on the other side..

My first connection with the issue came in May 1967, while attending the meeting of the ExCom of the Pacific Northwest chapter of the Sierra Club (then comprising all the SC members in the four NW states -- things were so tenuous and so much smaller in those times), on Hood Canal, WA. To this meeting came one Floyd Harvey, river boat operator from Lewiston. He asked the Sierra Club for help, and I was directed -- "look into this Brock," etc.

I was very gloomy because, from my previous law practice, I knew that the legal case -- of WHO got to build the new dam, public or private power, was before the Supreme Court -- and it was the only issue -- who, not whether.  So, what could be done at this late date, when all seemed so, well, impossible? Remember there were no environmental laws at all then, no NEPA, no ESA, no nuthin'.

I have told the story before (in the Falcon, some years back), but I had not yet heard anything about any specific organization like HCPC dedicated to fighting this dam, which may only mean that my information wasn't very good. And I hadn't yet visited Idaho, part of my "territory." I know i would have certainly tried to contact them had I known, even though the legal situation seemed like grasping for straws. Remember, other Idaho stalwarts had just lost the battle over Dworshak Dam on the Clearwater, not to mention Hells Canyon, Oxbow, etc.

In those days, it was dam builder heaven wherever there still existed a free-flowing stretch of river... just as it was logger's heaven, wherever there were big trees.

So I was gloomy, depressed about that directive, to "investigate and do something about it..." Then in early June I noticed a short paragraph in my daily copy of the Lewiston Tribune, to the effect that Justice Wm. O Douglas had somehow persuaded his colleagues that "we cannot decide the issue of who gets to build this proposed dam until we first decide whether it is in the public interest to license any dam at all here..."Or words -- such wonderful words! to that effect.

Heresy! The dam-building juggernaut was in full force across the whole Northwest at the time; the idea of any dammable river being allowed to flow free was utter heresy -- nonsense.

But here was an opportunity, a tiny opening -- for us, at last, to DO something!... and not to belabor the story here, I filed a Petition of Intervention before the Federal Power Commission, and much to the disgust and disdain of the dam builders we were accepted into the case that September. While I was preparing the legal documents (July-August), I tried to find plaintiffs who would have some credibility, both within the court, and also in the public arena -- for we all knew that the legal action was just a precious delay... it was in the public/political forum where we would have to finally save it...  if we could. I couldn't file such a case in my own name.

The problem was that then, in those far-off times, enviro legal actions were little understood. I had to explain to the Presidents of the Sierra Club and FWOC what a plaintiff was! And had to have someone from Idaho, to satisfy the local credibility question.. But that summer, not yet having heard of HCPC, the only group I knew of from the state who would likely respond was the Idaho Alpine Club, based in Idaho Falls. They signed on too, that August.

As things grew more and more serious, and it looked like we just might have a chance to build a real campaign, I thought to myself -- "I'd better get over there and have a look." So I first visited the Canyon in early September, was stunned by the beauty and magnificence of the place. And it was around that time that I believe I met some folks from what they told me was the newly-formed HCPC... probably including Jack, Jim Campbell, Jerry Jayne, Russ Mager, Pete Henault... all of whom, and so many more over the years -- Russ Brown, Boyd Norton, come to mind, Ken Witty... and of course Jack, a lion of a man always out front whenever the issue was raised -- assumed the grassroots political leadership, on the ground, which was so crucial to our final successes in the 70s. Especially re Congressman Al Ullman, Senator Frank Church, and Bob Packwood... and neutralizing Senators Len Jordan and Mark Hatfield.  What a grand bunch of comrades to have by anyone's side, I have always felt. 

Those were very hot and heavy times, especially in Eastern OR, where no one will be surprised to know that dam-building sentiment was higher there than anywhere else. So it took really brave people, like Jack, Ken Witty, Carmelita Holland, bless them every one, to stand up and be counted in those scary times. 

And as it turned out, those same leaders of the Idaho Alpine Club who signed my Petition of Intervention turned out to be the very core, the heart and soul of the HCPC which they had just formed, too! One of the finest and happiest results in all my campaigning experiences.

So that's my recollection of how it all began in my memory. Whatever there may have been before, the Hells Canyon Preservation Council came to be in 1967 as I have always understood it, from working with those on the ground in those times. It's possible that my archives on the Hells Canyon struggle, housed in the University of Washington Library's Special Collections, may shed more light on the matter.

Sorry for such a long tome, but I felt that some of you would enjoy the context.
Best wishes, Brock

HCPC is proud to have Brock Evans on the Hells Canyon Preservation Council Board of Directors


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

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Feb 14, 2013.

"We all do better when we all do better."
I love that quote, which I first heard from populist philosopher Jim Hightower. I think of that wisdom when we ask how to be effective in a world with so many challenges. Another way of thinking of it is "How do we love all children, of all species, for all time?" (a quote I heard on the E2 program on OPB).   
One of the great answers to that is beautifully illustrated in the children's book "Swimmy" - a simple idea - join together.
HCPC is proud to be a member of EarthShare Oregon - a joint effort by a broad range of Oregon's environmental groups.  Read about EarthShare Oregon on their website.
You can support HCPC and the other members of EarthShare Oregon by bringing EarthShare into your workplace (see below).
Imagine this beautiful, amazing and awe-inspiring earth we all love singing, in the words of classic R&R "Come together - right now - over me!"

Wishing you all a cozy Valentine's Day
      with lots of togetherness,
Danae   
Office Administrator
Hells Canyon Preservation Council  


Call on EarthShare for help with your office’s Green Team
 Do you work for a company that has a Green Team or Sustainability Committee?  Many Pacific Northwest employers have these squads of employees who are committed to improving their workplace’s environmental performance, and making the lives of all employees greener.  But once the recycling center is set up, and the copier paper has been switched to a recycled content, what can these groups do to keep sustainability in the forefront?
EarthShare Oregon can help employers with this common problem. Its dozens of local member charities work on everything from bicycle commuting to renewable power generation. Through EarthShare, these nonprofits can help your company’s green team explore new sustainability avenues. 
Contact Meghan Humphreys at EarthShare Oregon (503-223-9015) or meghan@earthshare-oregon.org) to discuss potential topics for your office’s upcoming Green Team meetings.



  

Jack Barry - Visionary Voice 1925 - 2012

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jan 04, 2013.


We at HCPC are grieving the loss of one of the visionaries who founded the organization to prevent further damming of the Snake River back in the mid-60s. Jack Barry passed away on Christmas evening following a lovely dinner with family and friends.  We are going to sorely miss his keen insight and wit. 

The obituary below was written by his wife Lois Barry:


John E. (Jack) Barry was born in Boston, 5 March 1925 to Gertrude French Barry and Walter J. Barry. He died suddenly at home on December 25.   During WW II he proudly served in General Patton’s 3rd Army, fighting through France, Germany and Austria til the war’s end. After graduating from Middlebury College, with the remainder of his GI Bill, he enrolled at the University of Innsbruck, Austria where he studied math but “majored in skiing.” Inspired by Richard Halliburton’s Royal Road to Romance, Jack became a life-long adventure traveler. During one spring break he and two friends rode their 3-speed bikes from Innsbruck, to Cairo, Egypt where he climbed the Great Pyramid at Cheops.

Reluctant to leave Europe, Jack worked in Heidelberg, Germany for the U.S. Army Education program, where he met Lois Andrews. They married in Heidelberg in 1953. After their return to the U.S., Jack worked on jet engine noise suppression at Boeing in Seattle, experimental engine programs for Beech Aircraft in Boulder, the earliest satellite communication systems for Telecomputing in Alamogordo and Philco in Palo Alto, and nuclear reactor testing for Phillips outside of Idaho Falls, Idaho where Jack and a small group of fellow scientists  formed the Hells Canyon Preservation Council in 1967 to prevent construction of further dams on the Snake River.

In 1967, never a “company man,” Jack decided to leave industry. With teaching certificates, he and Lois searched the Pacific Northwest for a perfect spot to raise their children. For a poor kid who grew up selling papers on the streets of Boston, purchasing 150 acres on the Morgan Lake Road in La Grande was a dream come true. The family immediately acquired two horses, a pony, three pigs, two steers and a hundred chickens. Soon Jack was active in successful efforts to prevent old-growth logging on the Minam and a proposed dam on Catherine Creek. Eventually Jack purchased and preserved 1,000 beautiful forested acres in Oregon.

After teaching science and math in local schools, it was time for adventure. In 1972, Jack and Lois packed up the family for two years of teaching at the American School in Tehran, Iran. As chair of the math department, Jack arranged for school buses to take students to the opera, “an important part of students’ education.” Ever a gypsy, he drove the family’s VW bus 5,000 miles in the Middle East where they camped out in Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Pakistan, then drove and camped from Tehran to Copenhagen and back to Amsterdam for their return to the U.S.

While they were in Iran, a forest fire burned the family home. Using a quick sketch on a piece of notebook paper, Jack and his sons built a new house on the Morgan Lake Road. His mantras, depending on the situation, were “Everything is Transcendental” and “Attitude is Everything.”

Jack never made a reservation, often picking locations because their names (like Krk and Ybbs) interested him. He and Lois enjoyed camping all over the Western United States and Canada, and travels to Nepal, Bali, Egypt, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela and Colombia, as well as frequent trips to visit friends in Europe. They also visited Newfoundland where his mother’s home place at French’s Cove is now a national historic site. There he was pleased to learn that he might be descended from pirates, which explained his love of "messing about in boats."

Jack is survived by his wife, Lois, his daughter, Kimberley Barry (Ashland), sons Brian Barry (Bend) and Peter Barry (Joseph), and his very special grandson, Kai Barry (Bend). Jack was a man of strong and consistent opinions. A committed environmentalist and unapologetic Democrat, he liked “old stuff,” especially books, and was ever curious and alive to the world. He never met a dog he didn’t like and --like Mark Twain -- looked forward to meeting his dogs (22 who adopted him over a lifetime) in their heaven. His legacy, joy in the moment and love of the natural world, is shared by his family and friends. A celebration of Jack’s life will be held in mid-June when the wild-flowers are in bloom on the Morgan Lake Road.

The Dawn of Dam Removal

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jul 06, 2012.

In honor of HCPC's inception, winning the fight to stop the final damming of the Snake River in Hells Canyon, we bring you an essay by former Secretary of Interior, Bruce Babbit.

The Dawn of Dam Removal

Bruce Babbitt
Early Fall 2012

When I began considering dam removal, the Elwha River quickly emerged at the top of my list. The river flows through the heart of Olympic National Park. It once hosted the most prolific salmon runs in the Northwest. And the tiny amount of electricity from the dams could easily be replaced from other sources.

I went to the Olympic Peninsula to take a look. Sure enough, it seemed the perfect place to begin. The two dams down near the mouth of the river appeared completely out of place in the splendor of the great old-growth forests. I convened a press conference to announce a new era of dam removal, beginning here at the Elwha River.

And then all hell broke loose. Washington State’s senior senator angrily condemned the idea, vowing, as ranking member of the Department of Interior Appropriations Committee, to put an end to such nonsense. Other members of the congressional delegation chimed in, in opposition. Newspaper editorials ridiculed the plan.

A few weeks later President Clinton took me aside, looking somewhat bemused, and asked, “Bruce, what is all this stuff about tearing down dams?”  His innocent-sounding question was really a cautionary admonition. Our administration was already caught up in a bitter and politically costly controversy over the spotted owl and logging of old-growth forests in the Northwest. Friends reminded me that cabinet secretaries who stir up too much controversy can and do lose their jobs. The Elwha project would have to go on the back burner for a while.

That public opinion was flooding in against us was hardly surprising. Back then, tearing down dams to restore rivers seemed a capricious idea dreamed up by another meddling bureaucrat. Why tear down perfectly good dams?

We quietly set about rebuilding our case. Within the Department of the Interior we began preparing an environmental impact statement loaded with cost estimates, hydrologic computations, sediment studies, fish mortality statistics and regional economic impacts. However, of all the arguments thrown up against dam removal, the most effective was simply, “It won’t work. The salmon have been gone for a hundred years. What makes you think they’ll return?”

Somehow, somewhere, we had to demonstrate that fish do come back. We needed to show and tell – with a small dam, built within recent memory, surrounded by a friendly community that actually remembered the fish runs and their importance to the community.

And finally we found a candidate, at the other end of the country on a little-known river on the Atlantic Coast of North Carolina. 

It turned out that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was already quietly at work on the Neuse River where a small diversion dam built in 1952 near the mouth had killed off one of the most prolific spawning runs of American shad, herring and stripers on the Atlantic Coast. A power company had built the Quaker Neck Dam to draw water for cooling, and it was perfectly feasible to design an alternate intake method.

On a clear winter day in 1997, we assembled on the river bank. I took a few swings at the concrete with a sledgehammer, and a wrecking ball finished the job. By springtime, fish were swarming up the river, passing through Raleigh 70 miles upstream.

The success at Quaker Neck brought national press and began to turn public opinion. Across the country local communities came up with proposals, and dams began to come down – at Kennebec in Maine, along the Baraboo River in Wisconsin, the Rogue River in Oregon, and the Butte and Clear Creeks in California.
With public opinion now moving our way, nationally and in the Northwest, we ratcheted up our efforts in Congress to finish off the Elwha dams. Slowly, at what seemed a glacial pace, funding started to flow, finally coming to fruition in the Obama administration.

In the space of two decades, dam removal has evolved from a novelty to an accepted means of river restoration. Most importantly, the concept has taken root in hundreds of local communities as residents rediscover their rivers, their history, and the potential not only to restore natural systems, but, in the process, to renew their communities as well.

I am asked, “After Elwha, what is your next priority?” That’s like asking, “What is my favorite national park?” My answer tends to vary depending on what I have been reading and where I have been hiking most recently. But my nomination would be the four dams – Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite – that have transformed the great Snake River in western Washington into a slack-water barge channel, destroying thousands of miles of salmon habitat in the Rocky Mountains and driving four salmon species to the brink of extinction.

Others will have their own compelling priorities – and there are still 75,000 dams for consideration.

Circling back to Wallowa County with HCPC

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jun 20, 2012.

After three wonderful years in La Grande, I recently moved back to Wallowa County for the summer. Now that I’m back, it’s very rewarding to see the many ways that HCPC’s work, past and present, helps to improve the lives of many people here in Wallowa County.

I recently bumped into a friend of mine that I haven’t seen for about three years on the streets of Joseph. I used to work for him when I was a naturalist/guide for Wallowa Resources Elderhostel program some years back. We were catching up and he told me that he was working as a Wilderness Ranger in the Eagle Cap and was on his way up to check Wilderness signs at a few remote trailheads. I knew that HCPC had been able to direct some money to the Forest Service in order to fund a Wilderness Ranger position in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. If you like that kind of work, it’s hard to find a better job.

There used to be a lot more Wilderness Rangers than there are today and they are sorely needed to help maintain trailheads, clear trails, and to help with restoration and invasive plant removal. HCPC was able to fund this position, with the potential to last for a decade, as a result of our settlement agreement on the Boardman Power Plant. The Boardman Power Plant burns coal and pollutes the skies of the Eagle Cap and Hells Canyon Wilderness areas, not to mention our own communities. I even heard that mercury has been found in the fish in some high elevation Wilderness lakes. HCPC’s work has helped to result in a reduction and eventual stop to this coal-burning plant’s pollution of our environment, while leveraging good jobs in our community.

It’s very inspiring and eye-opening to see how HCPC’s historic work of preventing the damming of Hells Canyon continues to change lives and create new opportunities for people. Some of my neighbors are hard at work this time of year guiding dozens and dozens of people down the areas many beautiful rivers. It amazes me to think of all the sustainable jobs generated through the rafting industry, and all the people that connect with the awesome Hells Canyon ecosystem by floating through it on the Snake River. And the river rafting industry seems more vibrant today than ever, attesting to the sustainability of rafting and the desire of people to be out in nature.

The fundamental accomplishment of saving Hells Canyon forever changed Wallowa County and it’s nowhere more evident than in the composition of the local communities. I know many of these remarkable people would not be in Wallowa County today were it not for the work of HCPC. I am really thankful that they are here.

David Mildrexler, Ecosystem Conservation Coordinator, Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Ninth Circuit Court Upholds Decision on Sierra Nevada Forest Plan

By Kate from Press Releases. Published on Jun 20, 2012.

HCPC welcomes summer intern Joshua Axelrod

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jun 08, 2012.


My family moved to La Grande in the late summer heat of 1988, rounding the bend out of Ladd Canyon and catching our first glimpse of Mt. Emily’s iconic profile dominating the distance.  Though my parents were moving to take jobs at EOSC, it was our first time in Eastern Oregon, our weary eyes looking out across the Grande Ronde Valley at the end of a cross-country adventure that took us from the rolling, humid hills of Southern Ohio, across the Great Plains, over the Rockies, and into a piece of the world we had yet to know.  Over the next 13 years, I came to know and love the hills and mountains of Eastern Oregon in ways I cannot imagine knowing any other place.  Spring was spent wandering in search of morels, summer was spent discovering the high places deep within the Wallowa Mountains or tramping through the woods in search of the ever-elusive “large” huckleberry, in fall we waited for the snow, and in the winter we slid around on skis through the silent, frozen woods near Spout Springs, around Anthony Lakes, and near Salt Creek Summit.  By the time I graduated from LHS in 2001, Eastern Oregon had left a deep imprint on my understanding and view of the world.  It had instilled in me a deep desire to protect the natural world so that future generations might be able confront it with the same sense of wonder that all of us who grew up with the Blue Mountains out our backdoor were able to do without even realizing what a gift we had so easily within our reach.

Josh (red bandana) and his dad crossing a snow bridge above Hurricane Creek, July 2011.
After high school, I spent four formative years at Middlebury College in central Vermont.  There, surrounded by the entirely different beauty of the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks looming just across Lake Champlain, my feelings about the importance of preserving the few remaining wild places left in this world occupied more and more of my thinking. Since that time, life has taken me back to Oregon where I lived and worked in Portland for two years, back across the country to Boston where I lived and worked for three years, and finally, south to Washington, DC where my wife and I decided to take the graduate school plunge together.


Josh (right), his younger brother Ezra, and his dad in the hills above La Grande, Christmas 2011.
At the Washington College of Law at American University, I am trying my best to honor my rationale for returning to school to pursue my legal degree.  I am a member of the editorial board of the Sustainable Development Law and Policy publication, a member of the Environmental Law Society, and hope to continue to focus my studies on environmental law and policy.  It is hard to believe that my legal pursuits have brought me back to Eastern Oregon to spend the summer as a legal intern with the Hells Canyon Preservation Council, but I suppose life is full of these wonderfully unexpected twists and turns.  This is the first professional experience I have ever had in a place that I feel a passionate connection to, and I hope that in the next two months I am able to make a positive and substantial contribution to HCPC’s ongoing conservation efforts in what is truly one of the most remarkable corners of the world.

HCPC and Allies Await Approval for a Settlement Agreement Requiring DEQ to Re-Examine Controversial Mining Practice

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 25, 2012.


In the spring of 2010, we urged our members to comment on the Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) new draft permit for regulating suction dredge mining throughout Oregon (the "700PM permit"). A suction dredge is a gasoline-powered vacuum attached to a floating sluice box. Miners use the vacuum to suck up the bottom of streams and rivers and run sediment through the sluice to filter out gold and then dump the sediment back into the stream.

Fishermen and clean water advocates are concerned about the negative effects suction dredge mining can have on fish and aquatic habitat quality.  This mining practice kills fish eggs and offspring thereby reducing fish spawning success, deposits fine sediment on stream bottoms, mobilizes toxic heavy metals and harms macro-invertebrate communities that are an essential part of the aquatic food web.

Because of these negative impacts, HCPC joined a coalition of other conservation groups in January 2011 to challenge DEQ's final 700PM permit in state court for violating state and federal water quality laws.  Over the past several months, however, our coalition has been working to secure a settlement agreement with DEQ that would allow us to dismiss our lawsuit by requiring the agency to re-open the discussion about this controversial mining practice to the public. 
                                                   
Last week we reached such an agreement.  If approved by the Court, our settlement would require DEQ to robustly examine ways to revise the 700PM permit to ensure compliance with water quality laws and adequately protect fish and their habitat.  Unfortunately, the Eastern Oregon Miners' Association, which intervened as a party to the lawsuit, filed questionable motions that are delaying and threaten to interfere with the Court's approval of our agreement.  We're hopeful these motions can be resolved shortly so we can continue moving forward.

Oregon’s statewide Clean Water Act permits are usually renewed on a five-year basis. The next version of the suction dredging permit should be finalized by July 2014. The settlement agreement outlines a stakeholder process beginning in December 2012 to initiate the next permit renewal.  Based on the settlement, the permit renewal process will consider prohibited areas based on water pollution, fish habitat and specially designated areas, whether to require annual reports and the cost of this activity to the state, among other items. 

The number of suction dredges in Oregon has increased dramatically in recent years.  Permits from the Department of State Lands (DSL) have increased nearly 300% from 656 in 2007 to 2,209 in 2011. DEQ permit registrations in the last two years also show that nearly 30% of suction dredge miners are coming from other states to mine Oregon’s streams and rivers.  This likely includes a sizable number of out-of-state miners that used to go to California to dredge before our neighboring state put a dredging moratorium in place until 2016.  This trend is a serious threat to our streams, rivers and fisheries.

Plaintiffs in this case were represented by the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center ("PEAC").  HCPC's co-plaintiffs include the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Rogue Riverkeeper, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, Institute for Fisheries Resources, Oregon Coast Alliance and Oregon Wild.

Of Killdeer, Camas, and the Travel Management Plan

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 21, 2012.

I recently worked with a volunteer from the Birdathon, printing small photos of habitat for kids to use in one of the hands-on learning projects Birdathon volunteers offer.  I started thinking about habitat - that conjunction of space/food/water/shelter/structure that allows a species to live there.

It's hard not to notice the killdeer trying to occupy the gravel right-of-way along a back road.  They can't nest there, between the tires and the cats and dogs and horses and bicycles.  The seasonally scrubbed gravel beds along and in the river are mostly gone.  I sometimes fantasize that we could take all the flat roofs on the downtown buildings, add a shallow gravel layer with a little silt for occasional native grasses, and create some of the nesting area that is now subdivisions and streets and straight narrow ditches.  It would take creativity and commitment and a great deal of buy-in from people who probably mostly don't care about the nesting needs of killdeer. 

It would have been so much easier to keep a few gravel ridges and sandbars along the river and major creeks, instead of subverting the natural riverine shapes and patterns to the straight and narrow of the Army Corps of Engineers.  Human convenience, thoughtlessness and arrogance trumped the needs of other species.   It would now take a great deal of money and time and effort to rebuild one gravel ridge or sandbar.  

One of the reasons I support HCPC is that it works to protect the places that do still exist - public lands where wildlife can still find the habitat they need, knowing that it is so much more reasonable (and affordable)  to preserve than to have to rebuild.  And HCPC works to rebuild and restore habitat as well, knowing that we need to repair damage that has been done.  

This is clear in the recent Travel Management Plan for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.  I'm so proud of HCPC advocating for the protection of elk calving grounds from motorized disturbance, for the protection of high wet meadows from destructive and careless cross-country rutting by off-roaders, for the protection of roadless areas from new roads, and for the closure of excess old roads that were supposed to be closed down a decade ago.   

I recently followed the Mt. Emily Road, looking for wildflowers and enjoying the abundance of blooms and silence and birdsong.   It didn't take long though before I saw the terrible damage left by off-road vehicles tearing across a wet meadow.  The ruts were deep, hard set, and showed as dark brown scars bereft of any green in the midst of wildflowers.    In another case the damage went straight up a steep hillside that was now eroding badly.  There were roads around, a LOT of roads - going off both sides from the Mt. Emily road.  There was no need to go where these ruts went, in one case just cutting a corner between the main road and another side road.   

I started thinking about how long it would take for those ruts to heal.  Since we can still see the ruts from wagon wheels over 100 years ago, without our help such wounds last a long time.  Wouldn't it be better not to make them in the first place?     

                                      

Wild Places, Roads and Freedom

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 13, 2012.

From the edge of the road:  Looking into the roadless.  Photo by Brian Kelly

It’s been pretty noisy around northeast Oregon lately.  As the US Forest Service tries to deal with motorized use of public lands, objections have been heard from people who have become accustomed to being able to drive just about anywhere they please.  The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest has more than nine thousand miles of roads, many of them left over from old logging projects.  Over much of the National Forest, you are currently allowed to drive off the roads and across country if you feel like it.

Some folks seem to view the Forest Service travel planning process as a restriction of their freedom and access to public lands.  Of course, when four-wheel-drive vehicles and ATVs drive unrestricted across the landscape then wildlife habitat is degraded, water quality suffers and weeds spread across the countryside.  The peaceful beauty that people seek on public wild lands can become diminished by the impacts of the users.

What about our freedom?  Well, two of America’s greatest conservationists wrote about freedom in describing their relationship with the natural world.

“What avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?”

Aldo Leopold wrote these powerful words.  While of course we all need roads to access wild places, at a certain point the presence of a road itself diminishes the very character of the wild place that we seek.  The place where the road ends and the blank spot begins is a special place indeed.   You will find wildlife, old forests, and clean waters when you find the blank spots on the map.

Here are the words of John Muir:

“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

Following his description of freedom in the mountains, John Muir added this next sentence:

“As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail.”

It’s striking to me that rather than complaining about not being allowed to drive a Model T Ford across the forest as he grew older, John Muir chose to rejoice in the enjoyment of nature.

He was a very wise man and a free man as well.

~Brian Kelly

Analysis confirms Wallowa-Whitman Travel Plan Decision leaves plenty of access

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 07, 2012.

It is very important that we use this pause in the Travel Plan Process to better understand what the now withdrawn Decision would have actually done. One of the most common claims put forth against the Travel Plan Decision was that the Forest Service was taking away access to the Forest. Some even claimed that the Forest Service was using the Travel Plan to “lock them out” of the National Forest.


If there were any truth to these claims, HCPC would be very concerned. How are people supposed to cultivate the life-long connections to the National Forestlands that are ultimately necessary to encourage and advocate for better stewardship of these ecosystems, if people can’t connect with them in the first place? So let’s take a close look and see for ourselves what this Decision would do.

With our partners, we performed a GIS analysis based on the Selected Alternative Layer (i.e. the now withdrawn Decision). All open motor vehicle roads and trails are mapped in red. We put a one-mile buffer around all open motor vehicle roads and trails so we could visually see how many places on the National Forest could be accessed in less than one-miles distance from the nearest road, a modest distance. These areas are mapped in grey. If an area is further than one mile from a road, it is mapped in light green. Wilderness is in dark green.

 
The results graphically illustrate that outside Wilderness areas, nearly the entire National Forest is within one mile of a road. The few small islands that are further than one-mile from a road are usually inside Inventoried Roadless Areas (mapped in black crosshatch). These are very small islands, and based on a visual assessment, it appears that the Decision would not leave anywhere outside designated Wilderness further than two miles from an open road. It’s important to note that the map does not show the areas within Wilderness areas that are less than one-mile from a road. If it did, you could see that much of the North Fork John Day Wilderness would be grey color, and a surprisingly large part of the Eagle Cap Wilderness as well.


These results clearly show that the Forest Service strived to provide very widespread access to the entire Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in their Travel Plan Decision. In our opinion, the Decision did not go far enough to protect roadless areas, old growth forests, critical elk habitat areas, and fragile aquatic environments from the damages of motorized vehicles. We encourage the Forest Service to use this opportunity to strengthen the Travel Plan in these key natural resource areas.

As HCPC stated in our press release on the withdrawal of the Wallowa-Whitman Travel Management Plan, and as is clearly illustrated in the analysis above, there is no validity in the claims that people will no longer have access to the Forest. Moreover, the Travel Plan is not just about access, but also about protection of natural resources and the costs of maintaining the designated road system. As I stated in my editorial
(http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/04/wallowa-whitman_national_fores.html), what’s really at stake is the quality of the National Forest's we will be accessing.

David Mildrexler, Ecosystem Conservation Coordinator, Hells Canyon Preservation Council

Of Truth and Boots

By noreply@blogger.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Apr 16, 2012.

Wow. Been a very long week. Hard not to talk about the Wallowa-Whitman Travel Plan, with all the terrible misinformation going around. Reminds me of the saying that a lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on.
Truth and facts seem to be badly outnumbered by imagined outrages and fictional claims.
For the record:
No, logging will not be shut down by the Travel Plan - it will not be hampered by this Decision.
No, the forest will not be locked away - over 4,000 miles of roads will remain open.
No, the process of reaching this Decision did not shut out the public - it involved years of public participation and comments.
No, the process does not ignore different viewpoints - the Travel Plan includes new trails for off road vehicles (as much as I don't want that).
No, not all "locals" are against it. I'm local and I'm for an even stronger Travel Management Plan.
No, the Wallowa-Whitman is not a county or even a state forest - it is a National forest, held in trust not just for us locals, but for the nation; not just for this generation, but for the future as well.

The Travel Plan Decision is a compromise that addresses the concerns of all stakeholders with a moderate response to the need for travel management. It will close down some roads - mostly old, overgrown, eroded, or duplicate roads that would be too expensive to repair. It does include some protection for much-needed wildlife "security habitat" and some protection for streams with runs of native fish.

The Travel Plan doesn't go nearly as far as it needs to for wildlife, fisheries, and native plants. Still, I accept that both science and politics are at play, and the Forest Service has done the best it can to respond to all interests.

What I do not accept is the false portrayals of the issues that I see and hear in almost all venues, from town halls to local papers to neighborhood gossip.

Lies, even unintentional ones, do not make a good basis for decisions.

Now, on to the news that the seasonal progression of wildflowers is starting to unroll, bluebirds are back on Cricket Flats, and a sandhill crane was spotted out in the fields by Indian Creek (south of Elgin). Ospreys are back on the nest by Willow Creek and on Woodell Road, and curlews are in the fields north of La Grande.

Back to enjoying this wonderful place where we live -

Danae Yurgel


The Perverse Logic of Wolf Hunts

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

The Predator Persecution Complex

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/03/30/the-perverse-logic-of-wolf-hunts/

by GEORGE WUERTHNER

The hysteria that surrounds wolf management in the Rockies has clouded rational discussion. Wolves are hardly a threat to either hunting opportunity or the livestock industry.

ELK NUMBERS ABOVE OBJECTIVES

For instance, the Wyoming Fish and Game reports: “The Department continues to manage to reduce Wyoming’s elk numbers. The total population of the herds with estimates increased by 16 percent in 2009 and is now 29 percent above the statewide objective of 83,640 animals.”

Things are similar in Montana. Populations have grown from an estimated 89,000 animals in 1992 prior to wolf recovery to 140,000-150,000 animals in recent years.

In Idaho we find a similar trend. According to the IDFG 23 out of 29 elk units are at and/or above objective. Hunter success in 2011 was 20%: one in five hunters killed an elk.

Wolves are clearly not a threat to the future of hunting in any of these states.

LIVESTOCK LOSSES EXAGGERATED

Ranchers are equally irrational. In 2010 Wyoming livestock producers lost 41,000 cattle and calves due to weather, predators, digestive problems, respiratory issues, calving and other problems. But total livestock losses attributed to wolves was 26 cattle and 33 sheep!

Last year Montana livestock producers lost more than 140,000 cattle and sheep to all causes. But total livestock losses attributed to wolves was less than a hundred animals.

In 2010 Idaho cattle producers lost 93,000 animals to all causes. Respiratory problems were the largest cause accounting for 25.6 percent of the cattle lost. Next came digestive problems, accounting for 13.4 percent of the cattle deaths. Total cattle losses attributed to wolves was 75 animals.

To suggest that wolves are a threat to the livestock industry borders on absurdity.

WOLF CONTROL INCREASES CONFLICTS

Worse yet, the persecution of predators does not work to reduce even these minimum conflicts as most proponents of wolf control suggest.

The reason indiscriminate killing does not work is because it ignores the social ecology of predators. Wolves, cougars, and other predators are social animals. As such, any attempt to control them that does not consider their “social ecology” is likely to fail. Look at the century old war on coyotes—we kill them by the hundreds of thousands, yet ranchers continue to complain about how these predators are destroying their industry. And the usual response assumes that if we only kill a few more we’ll finally get the coyote population “under control.”

The problem with indiscriminate killing of predators whether coyotes, wolves, cougars or bears is that it creates social chaos. Wolves, in particular, learn how and where to hunt, and what to hunt from their elders. The older pack members help to raise the young. In heavily hunted (or trapped) wolf populations (or other predators), the average age is skewed towards younger age animals . Young wolves are like teenagers—bold, brash, and inexperienced. Wolf populations with a high percentage of young animals are much more likely to attack easy prey—like livestock and/or venture into places that an older, more experience animal might avoid—like the fringes of a town or someone’s backyard.

Furthermore, wolf packs that are continuously fragmented byhuman-caused mortality are less stable. They are less able to hold on to established territories which means they are often hunting in unfamiliar haunts and thus less able to find natural prey. Result : they are more likely to kill livestock.

Wolf packs that are hunted also tend to have fewer members. With fewer adults to hunt, and fewer adults to guard a recent kill against other scavengers, a small pack must actually kill more prey than a larger pack. Thus hunting wolves actually contributes to a higher net loss of elk and deer than if packs were left alone and more stable.

Finally hunting is just a lousy way to actually deal with individual problematic animals. Most hunting takes place on the large blocks of public land, not on the fringes of towns and/or on private ranches where the majority of conflicts occur. In fact, hunting often removes the very animals that have learned to avoid human conflicts and pose no threat to livestock producers or human safety. By indiscriminately removing such animals which would otherwise maintain the territory, hunting creates a void that, often as not, may be filled by a pack of younger, inexperienced animals that could and do cause conflicts.

INSANITY IS DOING SAME WRONG THING OVER AND OVER

We need a different paradigm for predator management than brute force. As Albert Einstein noted, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Unfortunately insanity has replaced rational thought when it comes to wolf management.

George Wuerthner is an ecologist with among others, a degree in wildlife biology, and is a former Montana hunting guide. He has published 35 books.

Counterpunch

Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Flunks on Fish

By john from Press Releases. Published on Feb 07, 2012.

Federal Court Finds Forest Service Failed to Evaluate Impacts on Fish

Federal Judge Recommends Striking Down Illegal Oregon Logging Plan

By Newby from Press Releases. Published on Sep 30, 2011.

Sandy River Hatchery Program is Illegal, Conservation Groups Say

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Court Blocks Rock Creek Mine in Northwest Montana

By lauren from Press Releases. Published on Apr 01, 2010.

PRC and allies claim victory in a suit brought to invalidate federal agency approval for the Rock Creek Mine project, which would have had devastating effects on over 10,000 acres of habitat for fragile species of bull trout and grizzly bear in Northwest Montana

Temporary Rules Filed On Business Energy Tax Credit Program

By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Nov 02, 2009.

Nine Federal Agencies Enter into a Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Transmission Siting on Federal Lands

By David Wolf from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on Oct 29, 2009.

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

Energy issues are important to daily life

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

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