News from our groups
Riverkeeper Petitions EFSEC to Oversee Review Process for Proposed Methanol Project in Kalama, WA
By Liz Terhaar from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 24, 2016.Riverkeeper asks EFSEC to take over permitting and review of the proposed Kalama Methanol Refinery. Converting natural gas into methanol for export is a brand new industry in Washington with state-wide energy implications. This proposal deserves the level of state-wide scrutiny and public input that the EFSEC process was designed to provide.
Rivers of My Backyard: A Staff Story
By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Jun 24, 2016.
At The Freshwater Trust, our connections to the water are as deep
Preliminary Findings Report: Mosier, Oregon; Union Pacific Derailment
By Liz Terhaar from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 23, 2016.“The Federal Rail Administration's investigation blamed the oil train derailment in Mosier on Union Pacific's failure to maintain its tracks. Despite its dangerous tracks, Union Pacific claims it will restart oil trains this week. It is time for the FRA to listen to the requests of Senators Wyden and Merkley, Governor Brown, and local electeds, and issue an immediate moratorium on dangerous oil trains through the Columbia River Gorge."
Our Organic Plan for 2016-2017
By Kerry Lyles from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 23, 2016.
As a living systems organization, we embody our change model of “connect, reflect, and act” in all that we do. Our 2016-2017 Organic Plan is seeded with this in mind, and will only be as successful as we are responsive… Read More!
Adjudication updates: Tesoro Savage Oil-by-rail proposed terminal
By Liz Terhaar from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 22, 2016.This Monday, June 27, 2016, in Vancouver, Washington’s Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) will begin its adjudication process for the huge proposed Tesoro Savage oil train terminal. EFSEC’s month-long, trial-like hearing will begin and end in Vancouver, with different parties presenting detailed evidence about why the Council should approve or deny the project.
Live Stream WA Supreme Court on 6/23
By Liz Terhaar from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 22, 2016.The Court will decide whether the Port of Vancouver illegally approved the lease without reviewing the oil terminal’s impacts. Columbia Riverkeeper and Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC) are asking the Court to declare the lease null and void.
Greater Protections Sought for Threatened Marbled Murrelets in Oregon
By aberman from News. Published on Jun 21, 2016.Conservation groups submitted petitions today asking the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Oregon Board of Forestry to take new measures to better identify and protect important forest areas for protected marbled murrelets.
Green Building Certification Just Got Less Green
By arran from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 21, 2016.
Many Oregonians pride themselves on the state’s environmental record and ongoing sustainability efforts. One element of this commitment is demonstrated through the increasing popularity of green building standards that promote energy and resource-efficient projects. The US Green Building Council (USGBC), through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification, is the most widely used rating system.
Unfortunately, thanks to some Oregon politicians and the timber industry, LEED Certification has become a little less green and a little more greenwashed.
LEED-certified buildings are awarded points for various aspects on their design and construction. Depending on the total points, projects can receive a designation of Certified, Silver, Gold, with a Platinum rating being the highest. Points are awarded for, among other factors, energy efficiency, water conservation, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and sustainably sourced materials.
And it’s the sustainably sourced materials aspect of LEED that has made Oregon’s timber interests grouchy. You see, until recently, the US Green Building Council did not acknowledge a majority of the wood products from Oregon’s private forests as sustainable and ecologically friendly enough to warrant any points. This is because the program used by a majority of Oregon’s private forestland operators – The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) – is by and large meaningless. Other certification programs, like those provided by the Forest Stewardship Council, work to prohibit harvest of rare old-growth forest, prevent loss of natural forest cover, and prohibit highly hazardous chemicals. These values are not required by SFI, which was crafted by the logging industry and designed to meet minimum state law requirements. Essentially, if you’re obeying the law, you get an SFI certification. And even if you break the law, SFI does not revoke its seal of approval, nor does it make any effort to authenticate or police SFI certified forest operations.
So, despite the fact that SFI and Oregon’s weak forest laws have contributed to over a half a million acres of deforestation since 2000, led to steep declines in wildlife populations, result in the regular contamination of drinking water, and have destroyed hundreds of miles of fish habitat, Oregon politicians like former-Governor John Kitzhaber and Congressman Kurt Schrader spent years trying to force the USGBC to lower its sustainability standards. The Oregon Forest Resource Institute (OFRI), the tax-funded pseudo-governmental propaganda arm of the clearcutting industry, lobbied for lower standards as well (although they don’t refer to it as lobbying because they are legally forbidden from doing so).
While this effort has been cheered on by logging corporations, it has been very disturbing to smaller woodlot owners practicing actual sustainable forestry (which some now call ‘biodiverse forestry,’ recognizing the term ‘sustainable’ is being perverted by the clearcutting industry). These landowners have been working to find a way to balance stewardship with new, environmentally sensitive forestry techniques. A dumbing-down of green building standards would essentially push them out of a niche market, and eliminate their incentive to do the right thing.
Sadly, Oregon politicians finally prevailed over these small business owners and actual sustainability. Earlier this year, Rep. Kurt Schrader proudly announced LEED recognition of SFI.
This was a missed opportunity. Rather than working with forestland owners to improve practices to better protect fish, wildlife, and clean drinking water, Oregon has championed lowering the bar. There are many forestland owners that would like to do the right thing, but the resources aren’t available to educate them. Some of OFRI’s budget currently used to run tax dollar-funded ads during the Superbowl could instead help foresters become enrolled in sustainability certification programs that take forest conservation more seriously.
When people see a LEED-certified building, they expect environmental leadership. Clearcut hillsides, poisoned drinking water, dead fish, and landslides are not leadership. SFI and Oregon’s weak logging rules are not leadership. Our state and our forests deserve better. Tell Rep. Kurt Schrader that LEED-certification must go beyond SFI and Oregon’s Forest Practices Act. Constituents can contact Rep. Schrader via his website. Others can leave a comment on his Facebook page.
For more information, here is a comparison between FSC and SFI.
“Environmental Impacts Linked To Columbia River Coal Project”
By Liz Terhaar from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 20, 2016.April 29, 2016. OPB News.
“Three questions with the Columbia Riverkeeper’s Brett VandenHeuvel as he takes an LNG victory lap”
By Liz Terhaar from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 20, 2016.April 21, 2016. Portland Business Journal.
“Hanford officials prepare to pump nuke waste back into tank”
By Liz Terhaar from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 20, 2016.April 19, 2016. KATU News.
Voluntary program allows Pacific Power customers to help restore native fish habitat
By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Jun 20, 2016.
Four waterways will receive much-needed restoration in 2016, thanks to a partnership between
The post Voluntary program allows Pacific Power customers to help restore native fish habitat appeared first on The Freshwater Trust.
“Worsening nuclear leak at Washington waste storage site triggers alarm”
By Liz Terhaar from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 20, 2016.April 19, 2016. Inhabitat.
“Northwest Innovation pulls out of Tacoma, still committed to Kalama”
By Liz Terhaar from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 20, 2016.April 19, 2016. The Daily News.
“Leak inside nuclear waste storage tank triggers alarm at Hanford”
By Liz Terhaar from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Jun 20, 2016.April 18, 2016. Geek Wire.
National News: June 20, 2016
By email@example.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jun 20, 2016.
U.S. Endowment for Foresty & Communities Recognizes The Freshwater Trust as Grant Recipient
By Nicole Miller from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Jun 15, 2016.
The new Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant Program’s first-year awards will protect and improve
The post U.S. Endowment for Foresty & Communities Recognizes The Freshwater Trust as Grant Recipient appeared first on The Freshwater Trust.
Celebrating Deb McNamara’s 10 Year Anniversary at NWEI!
By Kerry Lyles from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 15, 2016.
Over the past 23 years, NWEI has evolved into an organization that lives its values by providing a flexible, family-friendly work environment, encouraging staff to recharge with annual personal retreats, offering a sabbatical for long-term employees, and revisiting our practices… Read More!
The post Celebrating Deb McNamara’s 10 Year Anniversary at NWEI! appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.
Oregon Appeals Court Set to Rule on Plan to Sell off Elliott State Forest
By aberman from News. Published on Jun 15, 2016.The Oregon Court of Appeals is set to decide the legality of a 788-acre timber sale on the Elliott State Forest following a court hearing last Friday.
Groups Plan to Sue over Pacific fisher
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jun 14, 2016.KS Wild was joined by several conservation groups who plan to sue the federal government for backtracking on more than a decade's worth of studies when it failed this spring to list the Pacific fisher as a threatened species, saying isolated populations, including those in southwest Oregon, warrant protection.
Former water czar talks politics, the Colorado, and resilience
By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Jun 14, 2016.Pat Mulroy has been given a few nicknames during her career. Some impressive and some unsavory,
Oregon's Toxic Air and Poisoned Water
By Jason from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 13, 2016.
Oregon has a problem with toxic air and poisoned water.
You’ve probably seen the headlines about Portland’s air and lead in the drinking water of schools, but the problem goes beyond that. Rural Oregonians in the Coast Range and beyond have been dealing with issues like these for decades. It’s bad enough that the logging industry mars the landscape with endless clearcuts. It’s even worse that residents have to fight to stop drifting pesticides from contaminating their air and drinking water. While Oregon’s leaders have pledged action to help Portland residents, rural Oregonians are at risk of being left behind.
The 5th generation loggers and mill operators at Hyla Woods are the latest victims of drifting aerial spray, reporting a pesticide exposure they experienced on their forest-land as a helicopter sprayed a nearby clear-cut. Peter Hayes, former Board of Forestry member and owner of Hyla Woods is quoted in the story saying:
“I think we need to take a hard look at the current practice. Too often, it degrades the things we have in common: our air and water. Too often it has impact on other people’s lands. We need to take a solid look at it.”
At Oregon Wild, we couldn’t agree more! Unfortunately, the Oregon Legislature and Board of Forestry have been unable to reform our weak forest laws in recent years.As a first step in our efforts to reform state forest laws that allow aerial spraying of chemicals and intensive clearcutting, we've been testing the waters with ballot initiatives. As you might guess, King Clearcut has blocked reform at every turn - and, as expected, the timber industry is fighting us now. Lobbyists for Oregon’s clearcutting industry are challenging our efforts through the Oregon Supreme Court. Apparently they don’t like the idea of these practices being exposed to every Oregon voter in a voters pamphlet and would rather keep it in the dark.
Whether through ballot measures, legislation, or other means, rest assured we will continue to defend the values of Oregonians demanding a right to clean air and water. The deep pockets of the timber industry, and their army of lawyers and lobbyists won’t keep us from fighting for Oregon, but it is vital that you make your voice heard in Salem!
New and updated materials now available for Oregon Desert Trail
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jun 13, 2016.New tools and updated information are now available to help plan adventure on the Oregon Desert Trail, a 750-mile route through Oregon’s high desert.
How Diversity Makes Us Smarter
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 13, 2016.
How Diversity Makes Us Smarter: An Excerpt from our Newest Ebook, Sustainability Works Our newest discussion course, Sustainability Works: Rethinking Business As Usual, explores how businessess and organizations incorporate environmental and social responsibility to redefine their measurements of success, and asks… Read More!
River Runner: A Staff Story
By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Jun 12, 2016.
For those of us at The Freshwater Trust, water is more than
Detective Work in the Ancient Forest
By Claudia Christensen Garcia from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jun 10, 2016.I moved to Jawbone Flats in March with the understanding that I would spend the spring […]
Patagonia’s World Trout Initiative Aids Sandy River Basin Work
By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Jun 10, 2016.
The Freshwater Trust has received a $6,000 conservation grant from Patagonia’s World Trout
The post Patagonia’s World Trout Initiative Aids Sandy River Basin Work appeared first on The Freshwater Trust.
A refuge for wildlife... or potatoes?
By arran from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 08, 2016.
Decoys to scare away native wildlife. Workers dressed in hazmat suits spraying pesticides. Water diversions draining wetlands to irrigate industrial agriculture. Does this sound like a National Wildlife Refuge to you?
If your answer is “no” you are not alone. But this is exactly how the US Fish and WIldlife Service currently manages Lower Klamath and Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs). Over the last several decades, they have favored private industrial agribusiness on refuge lands over the needs of wildlife and preserving remaining wetlands, causing the number of birds visiting this region drop to one-fifth their historic levels. The good news is we have an historic opportunity to reform management of these refuges, and protect America’s wildlife!
Last spring, Oregon Wild and our allies won a legal battle over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s refusal to develop a long overdue “Comprehensive Conservation Plan” for five of the Klamath Basin’s national wildlife refuges. These plans, mandated by a 1997 law, must ensure that commercial activities on refuge lands do not harm wildlife. While the vast majority of refuges nationwide have completed such plans, Bear Valley, Tule Lake, Clear Lake, and Lower Klamath national wildlife refuges have missed the deadline for adopting plans by 4 years.
The development and implementation of conservation plans for these refuges provide an historic opportunity to reform their management, and to ensure the needs of bald eagles, tundra swans, sandhill cranes, and white pelicans take priority over the demands of highly subsidized agribusiness operations. Today, more than 22,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge lands in the Klamath is leased to private agribusiness, displacing wildlife, destroying wetlands, and wasting water.
Conservation plans for the refuges could help restore balance to the region and help reduce or eliminate this shameful practice.
The draft plan for these five refuges is now available for review and public comment. Please submit your comments today, and join us in making the case that eagles, ducks, and geese must take priority over agribusiness on refuge lands. Let’s help secure a better future for the Klamath’s spectacular wildlife!
NOTE: US Fish and Wildlife are only accepting comments via their website. Some suggestions are listed below. It is vitally important that you do not let these extra steps discourage you from commenting! Even a few sentences makes a difference.
In your comments, please let USFWS know that they should:
- Prioritize the conservation and restoration of migratory birds, fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats within the refuges, and reduce or eliminate activities that harm these values.
- Eliminate the leaseland agribusiness program and restore these lands to wetlands that are actually managed for wildlife.
- Use all water rights owned by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for wildlife and wetlands first, not to support agribusiness. It is unacceptable for wetlands and wildlife areas to be dried up while the USFWS allows full water deliveries to industrial agriculture on refuge lands.
- Aggressively pursue programs to increase the amount of water available for wildlife, and use it to restore wetlands and improve conditions for native wildlife.
Comments may be submitted here: http://1.usa.gov/1TOWrrR
Or via regular mail:
Public Comments Processing
Attn: FWS-R8- NWRS-2016- 0063
Division of Policy and Directives Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM
Arlington, VA 22203
17 Days Left – Help Us Launch EcoChallenge 2.0!
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 08, 2016.
We have 17 days left in our EcoChallenge 2.0 Crowdfunding Campaign, and we’re off to a good start, having raised over 36% of our $10,000 goal! Last year, over 4,000 people participated in the EcoChallenge, which was awesome — and it’s… Read More!
Summer Video Series to Launch June 12
By Brian Kelley from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Jun 06, 2016.
The reasons to work on water vary. Yet for all of us,
Summer Breezes at Opal Creek
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jun 06, 2016.Summer days are here again! Here’s what it takes to have the best Opal Creek experience this […]
National News: June 6, 2016
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jun 05, 2016.
In light of the lead: Let’s take care of the basics.
By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Jun 03, 2016.
In a time-honored, headline-killing move, late Friday afternoon before a long weekend, Portland,
The post In light of the lead: Let’s take care of the basics. appeared first on The Freshwater Trust.
$130,000 grant awarded to advance Quantified Conservation in the John Day Basin
By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Jun 03, 2016.
The Freshwater Trust has received a $130,000 award from the Bella Vista Foundation
The post $130,000 grant awarded to advance Quantified Conservation in the John Day Basin appeared first on The Freshwater Trust.
The Instability of Stability: Remembering Jack Ward Thomas
By arran from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 02, 2016.
On May 26, 2016, Jack Ward Thomas lost his battle with cancer. Thomas began his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a research wildlife biologist in 1966. He was one of the top scientists involved in the construction of the Northwest Forest Plan, the management framework that stopped the wholesale liquidation of Oregon's oldgrowth forests on national public lands and protected critical spotted owl and salmon habitat. He later became the 13th Chief of the USFS, serving from 1993-1996.
Copied below is a speech from Thomas on the need to protect our national public lands.
Speaking strictly for myself, I say that these are my lands and my lands are not for sale, not for giveaway, not for "devolvement." I asked my sons and they say the same. My grandchildren are too young to talk much--but they will learn to know and appreciate their heritage--if these lands are still theirs as citizens of the Republic. Of course, my grandchildren and their children to be born in 25 or so years have no voice today. So I speak for them now, for I believe that they deserve a chance to make some choices. The same choices that today's citizens were given by our ancestors.
The Instability of Stability
by Jack Ward Thomas
Boone and Crockett Professor of Wildlife Conservation
As I and my key staff suffered through all the acrimonious congressional hearings that have gone on this year--with more to come--I was struck with how many times the desire for "stability" or "predictability" of timber supply was mentioned by committee members and witnesses as an absolute necessity. The issue is at the forefront of the discussion of how national forests should be managed. The extensive, increasing and continious changes prevalent throughout western societies now becomes manifest in how natural resources are exploited. These continuing debates and changes shake the pillars of the temple of the faithful who chant many mantras with the same meaning--"non-declining even flow," "community stability," "annual sales quantity," "predictability." This refrain was manifest in hundreds of the responses that the Forest Service received to the proposed revised land use planning regulations published in the Federal Register "give us guaranteed results and assured stability."
The vision that I was taught in school of the "regulated forest" and the resultant predictable outputs of commodities has turned out to have been a dream. And a dream that could only be realized in a time of seemingly boundless virgin forests. This vision held only so long as, no matter what the circumstances, there was more timber available over the next ridge. And, that timber was relatively cheap--easy to access and long--and environmental risks were either less appreciated or more palatable than at present. Further, it was assumed that good forestry was--as a matter of course--good wildlife management, good watershed and management, etc.
By now it is becoming obvious that this dream was built on the pillars of the seemingly boundless virgin forest and an ethic of manifest destiny coupled with hubris of being able to predict the response of nature and humans. This was coupled with an inflated sense of understanding of forested ecosystems and of human control. Perhaps it is time to recognize that such stability is not attainable in any western region except for relatively short periods of years or decades.
Why? Consider the variables that interact to affect long-term stability of the supply of timber. Each variable is subject, more or less independently, to considerable variation over the longer term. Taken together, in terms of their interactions, these variables are guaranteed to produce varying levels of uncertainty and makes attainment of stability unlikely.
It is increasingly apparent that ecological processes are not as well understood nor as predictable as had been assumed by natural resource managers steeped in Clementsian ecological theory of orderly and predictable succession of plant communities from bare ground to a mature, steady state. Ecologists now understand that ecological responses to management actions may vary widely depending on the interactions of influences ranging from vagaries of climate to impacts from previously executed management activities.
Impacts of insect and disease in managed forests are not clearly predictable nor more than marginally or temporarily controllable. The levels of insect populations and diseases are influenced by the interactions of ecological processes and previous forest management actions. Such presents problems enough with native insects and pathogens. And, given an adequate timeframe, the continued exchange of forest pests and diseases between continents is certain. It is well to consider the consequences of such introductions that have already taken place such as chestnut blight, white pine blister rust, gypsy moth, to name a few. Methods of "control" are constantly evolving but the feasibility of such treatments are dependent on a number of factors including environmental effect, cost effectiveness, public acceptability and legality --all of which fluctuate. Only 25 years ago, DDT was being widely applied in the forest environment and was highly effective in suppressing some insect "outbreaks" and assumed to be benign in the environment. Times change. DDT is now banned from such use.
Fire seems less and less "controllable" or even manageable--at least not at the levels assumed in the past. Of course, fire is part and parcel of ecological processes. Debates now rage over appropriate policy toward fire control, the use of prescribed fire--and where, when, if and how to suppress wildfire. The extent and severity of wildfires that occurred several times in the past decade would not have been considered likely one or several decades ago.
Drought, perhaps another word for weather, comes periodically and is not highly predictable in terms of occurrence, duration, severity or influence. The interactions of weather extremes with other variables that affect the forests can be dramatic. For example, consider the interaction of the spruce budworm outbreak and severe drought in the Blue Mountains of Oregon. If global warming and its effects on weather patterns predicted by some scientists are borne out, there will be dramatic impacts on managers' ability to forecast commodity production. Others question the entire hypothesis. Uncertainty abounds.
Management actions have a pronounced effect on future forest conditions--this, of course, is expected. But, such management actions vary widely and treatments change quickly with the interactions of ecological understanding, markets, public acceptability, cost/benefit estimates, funding available and legality. And, management actions frequently do produce the results anticipated. Management actions take place with capabilities in risk assessment are rudimentary at best.
Funding is the fuel that drives most land management activities. The best laid out management plans can only be effective when executed by a qualified work force to the extent that funding allows. Experience has shown that funding for forest managment--at least on federal lands--has never come forth at anything approaching programmed levels. And, what funding is available have proven to be neither stable in amount nor in designated purpose. Funding amounts and focus change dramatically with the surges of political tides, the change of persons in power in key positions and the economic and social pressures of the moment. The trend to micro-management of federal land through the budget process by the Congress and the Administration, seems to be increasing inexorably over time. Perhaps the instability of natural resources management is one of the attributes of a vibrant democracy.
The presence of a stable work force of adequate size and with appropriate skills and sufficient experience in working within particular ecotypes and cultures is essential to any "stable" management approach. A work force that is in a constant state of flux due to budget shifts, uncertainty of policy, shifts in organizational structures and dramatic adjustments in size is not a work force that has the highest probability of producing predictable results. The last several years have been notable for dramatic change in work force numbers and skill mix--with significant losses among the most experienced personnel, declining budgets and changes in budget allocations that reflected changes in priorities.
Science continues an inexorable march toward "truth" or, at least, some better approximation thereof. Unfortunately, for the sake of predictability, in the course of this march new knowledge, understandings and hypotheses for management come even more rapidly to the fore. Inevitably, such proves perennially unsettling to the status quo and cause adjustments--sometime dramatic adjustments--in management approaches. Stability, thus, can only be maintained in the absence of new knowledge. And, in the longer term, achievement of some degree of stability will require a constant balancing act between new knowledge that increases yields and new knowledge that produces changes in or constraints on present practices. Unfortunately, this recognition has led some in political power to seek stability by means of limiting the acquisition, dissemination or use of new knowledge.
Closely related to development of new knowledge is the development of technology that will constantly produce new opportunities to conduct forest practices in better ways, obtain information and store and process data in new and more meaningful ways. Yet new technology, like new information, can cut both ways in terms of effect on stabaility.
Markets determine prices to be paid for commodities and, in turn, the feasibility and purpose of management for the production of wood fiber. Markets also influence the timing of the cutting of trees and the feasible intensity of management. Markets then produce both short- and long-term effects on forest management that have an unsettling effect on stability and form of supply. Local fluctuations in markets for wood products seem to be becoming even less predictable as timber markets become increasingly worldwide in scope.
Closely related to markets for wood are the effects of substitutability of other products for wood or stability. As wood prices increase, more and more substitutes for wood come into some markets which serve to constrain some wood prices at the margin.
Perhaps most influential of the variables that influence stability in forest management, and resultant timber cut levels, are shifts in perceived public opinions about what is appropriate forest management. Such is particularly focused as to what is appropriate management for the public's lands. Significant changes in public opinion can be noted over the past 50 years--with truly significant and intense shifts over the past 2-3 decades. These shifts are manifested in the laws with direct influence on federal land management that came into being over that period. Examples include the determined move by foresters to even-aged forest management in the period 1960-1985 and the subsequent retreat from "clearcutting" in the early 1990s.
These shifts in public opinions come to bear on land managers through politics. As the political pendulum has swung back and forth over the decades, associated effects on forest management and timber supply are obvious. Politics comes most obviously to bear in the enactment of laws that can and do have dramatic effect on forest management. the interactions of such laws as the Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act, the National Forest Management Act, the Wilderness Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and others that geometrically increase those effects have produced a situation where predictability of timber yield has been dramatically influenced. This predictability is also shaken by administrative actions of regulatory agencies exercising their authorities under these laws. Note the 80% reductions in timber yields from the public lands in the Pacific Northwest emanating from the decisions to list the northern spotted owl, the marbled murrelet and various species of salmon as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. Such listings, of course, were the result of the recognition of more complex social and environmental problems.
Of equal significance is the inexorable increase in the number of court cases and appeals emerging as a consequence of these laws and their interactions directed toward federal land management agency(s) actions. New court decisions are, in turn, rendered--often with dramatic influence on federal land management--on an ever-increasing rate. Each such court decision has potential to dramatically influence the predictability of timber supply and other multiple uses (grazing, fish and wildlife, recreation and water).
Added to this already fluid situation is the increasing propensity of both Administration and the Congress to micro-manage federal land management agencies' activities through the budget process. Budgets, after all, are very significant policymaking tools. It is increasingly common for the long-standing struggle for power between the Executive and Legislative bodies over federal land management to be played out in the form of increasingly detailed budget direction to land management agencies. And, it is becoming more common for the Congress to dramatically alter the effects of law(s) and evolved case law by giving contrary direction in legislative budget action with the caveat--"all other laws not withstanding." These "quick fixes," however, frequently cause far more problems in federal land forest management over the long term than they "fix" in the short term. The increasing acrimony of the debate over the advisability and approaches to carrying out the timber salvage and release of the "318 sales" mandated in the Rescission Bill of 1995 is another example.
The response by the various government agencies involved in attempting to carry out Administration and congressional budget direction in compliance with all the applicable laws that are constantly--and independently--subject to interpretation by the courts at these levels has been to evolve increasingly complex processes to try to lay out a path--a yellow brick road to the Emerald City--that will assure a managerial decision that will stand up to the judicial review that will, most assuredly, come.
These increasingly complex processes, in turn, produce a veritable minefield of potential violations of process that resource managers must avoid in any attempt to produce commodities in compliance with often conflicting laws and regulations and political direction. Any violation of process, no matter how slight, may well result in a judicial injunction. These complex processes--which become more complex with each court loss--require more and more sophisticated technical assessments of various kinds and more and more time to execute. And, thus, these processes become increasingly expensive in dollars and time. Managers, unfortunately but understandably, produce an atmosphere for managers that has become known as "risk aversion." This makes timber sales ever more expensive to execute and produces increasing difficulty in producing timber from federal lands with returns that are above costs needs careful examination as to the "benefits" that result from such increased sale preparation costs and difficulty--i.e., are better, more environmentally sensitive timber sales the result?
Given the myriad of interacting variables, it is time for concerned citizens and our leaders to accept the reality that the dream of a stable timber supply--and other "products"--from public lands is an illusion. Certainly, this conclusion is inevitable if the status quo is maintained.
If the stability or predictability of timber supply (or any other product) is deemed important, the picture painted here is a gloomy portrait. However, while stability seems likely to be considerably less certain than in the "good old days" when virgin forests and forest managers unknowing of consequences and with too much certitude buttressed the myth of stability, commodity production from federal lands could be much more predictable than at present. How?
Ecological processes are too complex to ever be fully understood. However, such understanding is being dramatically enhanced and can be accelerated with increased, or at least stable, levels of research effort. The trend toward using ecosystem management concepts in carefully defined contexts holds promise for dampening oscillations in forest management outputs caused by managerial attempts to sustain biodiversity by addressing "recovery"--one threatened or endangered species at a time. Oscillations in timber supply can be moderated by taking a conservative view of "annual sale quantity" projections as opposed to the tendency to make overly optimistic projections such as those that resulted in the first forest planning efforts of a decade or so ago.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that the overriding de facto policy for the management of federal lands has become the protection of biodiversity. That de facto policy has evolved through the interaction of laws, regulations, court cases and expedient administrative direction. This de facto policy, I believe, is the crux of the raging debate over the levels of commodity production that can be expected from the federal lands. Such a dramatically important policy should be recognized and examined closely by the American people, the President and the Congress. If that is the policy, it should be clearly stated, recognized openly and the consequences accepted. If such is not a desired national policy, that should be stated. In the recognition of this crux of the issue of federal land management and in a clear declaration of policy regarding preservation of biodiversity, lies one key to the "stability" debate.
The role of insect and disease in forest management could be addressed in a fashion more in tune iwth long-term effects. This would replace the more common management course of "control" efforts involving application of pesticides whose effects in overall ecological processes are poorly understood and are often found ineffective or environmentally unacceptable in the long term. Such a systems approach will require reconstitution of research and development efforts that have deteriorated over the past several decades. Much good thinking and planning have already gone into the design of such efforts.
The role of fire in forest ecosystems has been reevaluated at the federal policy level. It is clear that controlled fire has a part in forest management. But, past fire and forest management practices have helped produce situations in many areas of the west where many wildfires now burn too hot and too expansively to be ecologically, socially or politically acceptable. Therefore, it is essential to begin producing situations in managed forests wherein fire can plan an appropriate and immediate role. This will require a shift in management policy and a shift in management policy and a shift in management focus and funding priorities. It is well past time to face up to the costs of fire management. "Funding games" with the federal land management agency budgets in which true costs of firre control efforts are, at best, difficult to ascertain and, at worst, camouflaged should cease. These games make it appear that budgets for fire management are much lower than is actually the case. Fire management is routinely funded at too low a level to make proactive, effective management efforts possible. And, then, agencies are afforded an "open checkbook" to fight wildfires of a size and intensity to provide adequate political impact to open the checkbook. Such an approach is misleading in both terms of the actual resurces allocated to fire suppression management over the long term and in terms of making the best and most effective use of resources, of people and dollars.
Weather fluctuations cannot be controlled but can be recognized and anticipated as natural phenomena that occur--and on a recurring basis. Such occurrences are normal and are not an unnatural "disaster." And, if such fluctuations are considered as within the range of anticipated variability, anticipated consequences can be modeled into anticipated management outcomes.
Outcomes of management actions can be conservatively estimated with past experience as a guide. Insanity has been defined as doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result. Decidedly, optimistic outcomes were the trademark of the first generation of forest plans. With decided regularity, this optimism has not been justified and only reluctantly recognized and abandoned. This caused the agency(s) performance, in terms of commodity production, to consistently come in at below anticipated levels--i.e., the predictions were not valid and belated recognition of that fact, in turn, caused additional instability because of accumulated effects. More conservative approaches are more apt to produce predictable results. And, if results exceed those anticipated, it is easier to adjust commodity yields upward than to deal with the social and political consequences of short fall.
Funding could be guaranteed over longer time frames. For example, steady funding for, say a 5-year period with enhanced ability to shift funds between budget line items at the land management agency head's discretion could add considerable stability to programs. This stability in funding is directly related to the maintenance of a stable and appropriately balanced work force. It would be likewise conducisive to stability of production if work force numbers and composition were predicated on work to be done and objectives achieved rather than on politically driven manipulations of the work force unrelated to the work to be done. Or, conversely, the work to be done should be adjusted to match funding and work force--and quickly. Doing "more with less" can only stretch so far as the corollary situation of doing "less with less" quickly sets in.
While the search for new understanding through science may produce short-term instabaility in commodities such as timber supply as managers react to new information, such efforts are essential to long-term stability if renewable natural resources are to be managed in a sustainable fashion. In the end, there can be no turning back from science--no matter now politicaly expedient that may seem in the short run. Given the inexorably increased human polulation with increasing per capita demands on natural resources, humans are engaged in a race between increasing knowledge to ensure the sustainability of renewable natural resouces and ultimate disaster. And, while the cost of the acquisition of understanding through science may seem expensive, that cost is minischule over the long term compared to the cost of ignorance. Yet, as a nation, we are stepping back from an already inadequate investment in such research and synthesis of extensive information for use in guiding management.
The continued development of technology is likewise essential to make better and more environmentally benign use of forested lands that are available for timber production. The same is to be said for better and more varied uses for wood previously considered non-merchantable. These and other such developments can help increase the efficiency in use of timber yields and thus offset the constraints on wood supply that come about for other reasons. Efficiency in the harvest and processing of wood and in resuse (recycling) of wood fiber should be considered as valuable--or more valuable--than increased wood production.
The effects of shifts in markets for timber can be somewhat stabilized by allowing land management agencies more flexibility in when and how timber is marketed. Selling timber at a relatively continuous rate regardless of current Arice would seem irrational to any private land owner and might seem equally ill-advised to land management agencies. Timber purchasers sometimes buy, for speculative reasons, the regular offerings of federal timber--which are offered regardless of market conditions--and cut these sales at a more opportune time. Withholding federal timber from the market during periods of inordinately low prices should produce pressure for increase in price and selling when the price is relatively high should produce forces that reduce price. The result should tend to be a market with dampened oscillations in price over time--which should, in turn, have a stabilizing influence. This should provide better opportunity for federal land managers to avoid "below cost" timber sales, which would tend to stabilize the political discourse that surges around this complex issue; discourse which is often times over simplified. Timber sales could be readied at a relatively continuous rate and marketed at appropriate times in order to assure a stable work force and a mechanism to respond rapidly to market conditions.
Substitutability of other products for the use of wood, over the long term, may well be based on comparative advantage in terms of environmental costs and consequences of production. Ot the extent that wood can be produced in a sustainable and aesthetically acceptable fashion, it should have a significant edge in the market relative to substitutes over much of the developed world. That, over the longer term, can also influence the stability of "market share" for wood products.
Public opinion seems to be increasingly polarized about the management of federal lands and leads to potentially wider swings in the politics surrounding these issues. This volatility could be dampened by concerted efforts to bring voices of moderation into the debate to provide credible alternatives to the "spin doctors" that make a living by and through dissemination of propaganda and the creation and exacerbation of conflict. These gladiators get paid to win, not to search out consensus. The Forest Service played the role of moderation in the past and could do so again given proper policy direction by the administration and the Congress. So long as the land management agencies operate in an arena where national policy is unclear and federal land management agencies serve as "designated punching bags" for the gladiators, the melee will continue. In clearly stated national policy for management of public lands lies enhanced stability. And, the Forest Service (among other agencies) given portfolios and funding to take "the bully pulpit" for natural resources management that executes a clearly stated national policy in a sustainable manner could play the agency's historic role as a conservation leader.
It is time to acknowledge that this nation has come to a point where the interacting forces of the myriad of laws and regulations that come to bear on federal land management plus the constant upsets in balance that occur with decisions in court case after court case have produced a situation antithetical to predictability and stability of federal land management.
The applicable laws should be evaluated, in total and restructured to remove conflicts while radically simplifying management processes. More "quick fixes" of amendments to various acts seem likely to cause instability over the long term. Changes, piece meal, inapplicable laws could cause even more problems due to the upset in the balance of the myriad case law. Perhaps it is time for a resurrection of the concept embodied in the Public Land Law Review Commission. The efforts of that commission, in the late 1960s, indicated significant problems and solutions which were never significantly addressed by the political process. And, it is important to recognize that most of the environmental laws which impact so significantly and disproportionately on the federal lands were enacted since that time. This is not time for timidity. The situation is producing increasing polarization in concerned citizenry and conflicts in public land management which, in turn, produces increasing frustration in the body politic. This could lead to poorly considered and sweeping changes in the responsibility for or methods of public land management or both.
Administrative findings of regulary agencies concerning proposed management activities by land management agencies produce situations where equally or better well-qualified experts in management agencies can be and are second guessed by colleagues in regulatory agencies. This can be disruptive, redundant, irritating and expensive duplication of effort. For example, might it be preferable for regulatory agencies to produce or approve recovery plans for threatened or endangered species in cooperation with management agencies--and, then, leave the responsibility for plan execution to the land management agencies. The current situation increasingly amounts to joint management of federal lands by management and regulatory agencies. Though such is working somewhat better over time--the situation should be reevaluated with an eye to reducing redundancy, some increases in efficiency assured (i.e., costs reduced) and time of project execution minimized.
Court rulings are proliferating and creating continuing chaos in trying to carry out land management activities. Agency decisionmakers spend as much or more time with lawyers than with natural resource management personnel. Of course, such is a part of what has evolved as the "American way" of increasing solution to disagreement through litigation. And, of course, agencies should obey the law. That is not my point. The laws might be changed to provide that the lower in a legal action pays the cost of the winner--particularly if the judge considers the plaintiff's case to be frivolous. In present circumstances, the government pays if it loses but the reverse is not true, i.e., the plaintiff does not pay costs if they lose. In fact, the government sometimes pays the plaintiff even when the government wins depending on the opinion of the presiding judge. This provides incentive to sue the government and no significant disincentive (i.e., no penalty--and, perhaps, a reward for losing) for such actions. Some lessening of court cases would contribute to enhanced stability.
Micro-management of agency activities by both executive and legislative branches of government are somewhat antithetical to a stable management program. In terms of Congress, such micro-management is commonly carried out through the budget process with detailed instructions that change from year to year and election to election. Laws are made and dismantled without much public disclosure in instructions put forth through the budget--including "earmarking" of funds to projects of individual congressmen and senators. If Congress and the public truly want "stability" and "predictability" in land management agency programs, it should be recognized that much--perhaps most--of the instability can be traced directly to Congress in the interaction of the "crazy quilt" of laws and regulations and budget instructions produced. Micro-management exacerbates already serious ills.
The avoidance, or at least diminution, of contrary direction to land management agencies from the executive and legislative branches of government is critical to enhanced stability. Such conflicting instructions put the management agencies squarely between a "rock and a hard place." Unfortunately, the public does not understand the agency's dilemma and puts blame on the agencies for the results of the strife between executive and legislative branches. To the extent that such struggles can be moderated, increased stability and predictability in land management can be anticipated.
Complex processes that have evolved to deal with too much uncoordinated law, too much uncoordinated regulation, that require too much interagency involvement can and should be simplified. Dramatically reducing and simplifying these proceses, while maintaining the intent of the laws upon which they were built, will contribute to channeling the energies of natural resource management agencies away from process and toward focus on achieving on-the-ground results that the public (or Congress and the administration) expects and the agency(s) strive to provide. The intent of any process should be to provide logical mechanisms for achievement of a defined objective. Agencies lose few lawsuits over the technical aspects of natural resource management. Lawsuits that produce losses for land management agencies most frequently focus on the details of adherence to process--with rules that change with the results of each lawsuit. The result has been the evolution of the "appeal proof" or "suit proof" process with documentation covering every possible aspect of consideration in great detail. "Suit proofing" wasn't the aim of the National Forest Management Act nor the Endangered Species Act. The aim was to produce a better job of land management. The original intent has, in my opinion, been perverted. Risk aversion can be an expensive management style.
So, while "stability" in timber supply (or any other supply) cannot be assured--improvements could and should be made. As natural resource managers, we stand on a slippery slope where we dare not stay. The evolving situation is politically, economically and ecologically untenable. We must seek and find firmer ground.
The assorted frustrations associated with public land management have come to a point that serious consideration is being given by Congress to transferring ownership of these lands or the "development" of their management to the states or other entities. This is a debate that could bear dramatically on stability.
In a hearing earlier this year before a House budget committee, the chairman asked for my opinion as to the appropriateness of "devolving" the ownership or management of the National Forests. I asked for his permission to answer that question from two perspectives--as Chief of the Forest Service and as an individual citizen of the republic. That permission was granted.
Answering as Chief, I spoke of the same ideas and concepts that were put forward by Gifford Pinchot and twelve later chiefs that followed him and preceded me. Their rationale are a clear part of the conservation history of our country and need not be repeated here.
Instead, I will talk about my individual answer. Perhaps each of you can think of what your answer would have been. And, while doing that, consider the stability of other aspects of management on the public's lands--water, recreation, fish and wildlife, livestock, grazing, mining, etc. What is your personal stake in these questions.
I was born and raised in central Texas--a state with minimal amounts of public land. Hunting and fishing and just wandering the woods was my passion--as it is today. But, any such endeavor required asking, even begging permission to go into the woods--or sneaking, I become highly adept at all three.
Once physically grown, I went off to Texas A&M with the dream of being a wildlife biologist. Upon graduation, I found work with the Texas Game & Fish Commission and, for 10 years, was instrumental in establishing and fostering wildlife management on private land--and its commercialization. We were successful beyond our wildest dreams. But, I never set foot on private property to hunt or fish without asking permission or by paying a fee.
Then, I went to work for the Forest Service and, for the first time in my life, set foot on a national forest--land that belonged to me and to every other citizen of the United States. I thought I had encountered heaven on earth. The land was my land and no one and no sign said to me "posted, keep out." The days of begging permission and paying to get past those signs were over.
What an incredible inheritance from our forebearers. These lands are an inheritance like no other people in the world posses. How unique that is in the human experience and how incredibly precious. I ponder much on that as I move closer to the end of my life and farther from the beginning. I think much about what we will leave behind for the people of the United States.
Yet, there are those who say the nation cannot afford to maintain that inheritance. My response is, how can we not afford sustaining that heritage. These lands are part of America's culture--the only such lands that the vast majority of us will ever own. Ten percent of the American people control 90 percent of the national wealth. Is that not enough? Can we have nothing of our great inheritance for the American people at large? Can anyone seriously believe that "development" of ownership or mangement of the nation's land will not bring the day closer of those "keep out" signs springing up around the borders of what was once our land?
When the 191,000,000 acres were placed in the national forest system they were lands of little value. Some of those lands, particularly east of the Mississippi, had been seriously mistreated. Then, over the next 100 years, these very same lands have become incredibly--too valuable, some believe, for the American people at large to own. If these lands have increased so much in value in 100 years, it is not too difficult to imagine how valuable those lands will be in another 100 years. By then, it is likely that our nation's population, given current trends, will have doubled and, perhaps, redoubled. If those lands are worth gold today they will be worth diamonds in another 100 years. That is not the question. The question is who will own and control these lands?
To say we, as a people, cannot afford those lands is to say that we would "devolve" our heritage and our inheritance for a mess of potage. Speaking strictly for myself, I say that these are my lands and my lands are not for sale, not for giveaway, not for "devolvement." I asked my sons and they say the same. My grandchildren are too young to talk much--but they will learn to know and appreciate their heritage--if these lands are still theirs as citizens of the Republic. Of course, my grandchildren and their children to be born in 25 or so years have no voice today. So I speak for them now, for I believe that they deserve a chance to make some choices. The same choices that today's citizens were given by our ancestors.
I ended by saying to the congressman, "Speaking for me, my children, my grandchildren, I object." The congressman asked, "Why do I think your answer as Chief was "no" and your personal answer is "hell no!?"
So, while citizens consider questions of stability and of viable communities, it is well to ponder an even deeper question. What role do the national forests and other public lands play in the culture of our nation and, perhaps more important, in the culture and economy of our region and states? I cannot conceive of America without national forests. The most destabilizing act I can visualize for good wildland natural resource management is America is the "devolvement" of the national forests and other public lands. But, perhaps, I am too steeped in Forest Service traditions and too emotionally and viscerally attached to these lands that I own in common with all Americans. Perhaps, but, I don't think so. I certainly don't feel so.
Every American should consider the facts swirling around the issues of "devolvement" and your feelings and have your answer and response ready as the debate begins.
It is time to realize that assuring a completely stable supply of commodities from public lands is a desire and planning goal that cannot be realized under present circumstances. And, while achieving that goal is not possible, the situation could be improved. Those improvements will require significant changes in present management under present circumstances. But, improvement--significant improvement--is feasible.
In summary, the timber supply from federal lands is one drought, one insect and disease outbreak, one severe fire season, one election, one budget, one successful appeal, one loss in court, one listing of a threatened or endangered species, one new piece of pertinent scientific information, one change in technology, one shift in public opinion, one new law, one loss of a currently available technological tool, one change in market, one shift in interest rates, et al, away from "stability" at all times. And, these changes do not come one at a time, they come in bunches like banannas and the bunches are always changing. So, stability in timber supply from the public lands is simply a myth, a dream that was never founded in reality. It is time to stop pretending.
Tualatin River Discovery Day – A Celebration of the River in Your Own Back Yard
By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Jun 01, 2016.More boats have been added to the lineup. Reserve yours online now. Did you know the last Saturday of June is one of the biggest outdoor parties in the Portland Metropolitan area? Tualatin Riverkeepers, a non-profit dedicated to connecting community to natural resources and the waters of Washington County, will host Discovery Day on […]
Celebrate Eugene and PDX Beer Weeks
By marielle from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Jun 01, 2016.
Raise a glass to summer in Oregon!
Join Oregon Wild and our Brewshed® Partners at the following events to celebrate local craft beer and the wild watersheds that make it possible:
Eugene Beer Week:
- Saturday, June 4th - Upper McKenzie/Tamolitch Pool Brewshed Hike
Celebrate Eugene Beer Week by taking in the clear blue waters of the McKenzie River, lava flows, gorgeous old-growth forest, and stunning geology on this quintessential hike in Eugene’s brewshed®. We’ll hike through a lava flow now covered in an ancient cedar forest, and discover the McKenzie’s most unique feature – where the river bubbles up from underground in a crystal clear blue pool. Sign up for the hike here.
After the hike, join other clean water lovers at Claim 52’s Abbey in downtown Springfield for a special beer release benefiting the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance.
Portland Beer Week:
- Thursday, June 9th - PDX Beer Week Kickoff Party
Come on down to Portland Brewing in NW to kick off PDX Beer Week! Live music on the patio, raffles, and beer specials from 4pm to 10pm. Plus 10% of your purchases will go back to the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance!
- Friday, June 10th - Brewshed® Tap Takeover at The Civic Taproom
The Civic Taproom & Bottle Shop is hosting a Brewshed® Alliance tap takeover for PDX Beer Week! Try beers from Oregon Brewshed® Alliance partner breweries, including beers crafted especially for the Alliance initiative. This fundraising event goes from 5-10 p.m. If you missed the Oregon Brewshed® Brewfest on May 18th, this is a great way to try some of the amazing beers our partners are crafting and check out the awesome Civic Taproom - another new Alliance Brewing Community Partner!
- Saturday, June 11th - Craft Beer Trivia Night with Geeks Who Drink
We're back at the Portland Brewing Taproom for a special Quiz for a Cause with the crew from Geeks Who Drink! Test your knowledge of useless facts at a traditional pub quiz with beer-themed bonus questions from 7-10 p.m. and help raise some monies for forest watershed protection at the same time.
- Wednesday, June 15th - Riverbaer Release Party at Baerlic Brewing
Details TBD, stay tuned!
Guest Blog Post: Saving the World, Six Teslas at a Time
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Jun 01, 2016.
Today’s guest blog post is from a participant in a recent Change Is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions discussion course in Lake Oswego, Oregon. As a result of the course, each of the six families committed to switching to electric… Read More!
The post Guest Blog Post: Saving the World, Six Teslas at a Time appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.
National Wetland Month Photo Contest Slideshow
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on May 31, 2016.Thank you to all who participated in our National Wetlands Month photo contest. We are overwhelmed with the beauty, humor and obvious love you have for your wetlands. We will announce a winner soon! Keep exploring and send us your photos through our social media channels!
We Support Outdoor Education! Help #SaveOutdoorSchool
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on May 27, 2016.
It will probably come as no surprise that we are teaming up with the Outdoor School for All Campaign to promote outdoor education. Outdoor School for All aims to give every Oregon fifth or sixth grader a hands-on week of science-based, outdoor education. Many… Read More!
The post We Support Outdoor Education! Help #SaveOutdoorSchool appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.
Westside Bypass: The Zombie Dinosaur
By alyson from The Latest. Published on May 26, 2016.
Why we don't need a freeway through farmland
The Westside Bypass Freeway was a dinosaur in the early 90s, when regional leaders wisely determined that transportation dollars could be better spent to move more people and freight by investing in transit, a grid street pattern, bicycling facilities, and walkable communities. Instead of building an oversized and costly freeway through some of the world’s most valuable farm land, Washington County and Metro successfully implemented a more efficient, cost-effective, and integrated transportation and land use system.
Preserving Land in Oregon
By alyson from The Latest. Published on May 26, 2016.
A tale of two studies
Ruling protects Greater Sage-Grouse on Steens Mountain
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on May 26, 2016.A three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling May 26 that rejects the Secretary of the Interior’s approval of an industrial-scale wind project proposed for Steens Mountain.
Great Blue Heron Week: June 1 - June 12
By aberman from News. Published on May 26, 2016.Join us for Great Blue Heron Week and explore Portland's official bird as you discover natural areas all around the city.
The Wild Owyhee
By Francesca G. Varela from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on May 26, 2016.Far in the southeastern corner of the state, beyond the dry mountain shadows of the Cascade Range, past high-desert plateaus and cow-spotted ranchland, on the desolate fringe of the great basin, lies the Owyhee. Oregon is known for its forests, but its greatest wilderness is actually a desert. One of the last truly untouched places […]
New Video on Quantified Conservation
By Brian Kelley from The Freshwater Trust. Published on May 26, 2016.
The Freshwater Trust has pioneered a new approach. “Quantified Conservation” is about using data
Cranes, curlews, and cows – the delicate debate over Oregon’s federal lands
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on May 25, 2016.Last night, May 24th, PBS News Hour aired a story about the work of the High Desert Partnership, spotlighting our Director Esther Lev. Click here to watch the full story! story! If you are interested in Esther’s personal story of this collaboration, we recently posted this blog: http://wetlandsconservancy.org/find-common-ground-in-the-harney-basin/ We are looking forward to continued work in
5 Tips for Using NWEI Ebooks
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on May 24, 2016.
If you have participated in an NWEI discussion course in the past, you may have noticed that some of our new courses are available as ebooks rather than in a paperback format. Our newest discussion course, Sustainability Works: Rethinking Business… Read More!
Goal 10 - Housing and what we can do about it
By alyson from The Latest. Published on May 23, 2016.
Testimony to LCDC following their Hatfield Fellow Report
1000 Friends of Oregon has been engaged in Goal 10, Housing, since the inception of the land use program, through litigation, advocacy, policy development, and community engagement. Therefore, we are particularly heartened to see the work of the DLCD Hatfield Fellow focused on affordable housing. Julia McKenna has provided a comprehensive report on the status of housing issues within the land use program, how it relates to the Oregon Housing & Community Services agency (OHCS), and current issues facing Goal 10 – including its possible role in how jurisdictions demonstr
Oregon Housing Study Presented by Hatfield Fellow
By alyson from The Latest. Published on May 23, 2016.
Julia McKenna started work as a Hatfield Fellow with the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) in August, 2015, focused on housing. Energy behind the topic grew through the course of the 2016 legislative session, with at least eight bills and countless hours of testimony responding to housing challenges from every part of Oregon getting attention at the capitol. “Housing has become part of our everyday conversation in state agencies,” says DLCD Director Jim Rue, “it’s everywhere.”
Tremendous sugar pines in the Applegate
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on May 23, 2016.The Butte Fork trail is the lowest elevation and most gentle of all the hiking routes in the Red Buttes Mountains. There’s a lot to love about this route through the last untouched valley in the upper Applegate, including wildflowers, views of the snowy Siskiyou Crest ridgeline and the cascading of the Butte Fork and its tributaries. Surprising old-growth Sugar Pines along the trail to Cedar Basin will not disappoint.
National News: May 23, 2016
By email@example.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on May 22, 2016.
Hood River County Votes Against Nestlé!
By Francesca G. Varela from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on May 20, 2016.by Francesca Varela On Tuesday, the people of Hood River County voted to block Nestlé from building a water-bottling plant near the city of Cascade Locks. Ballot Measure 14-55—a countywide ban on commercial bottled-water facilities—passed easily, and has set an important precedent, not only for Oregon, but for the rest of the country. Massive […]
Cormorant Nesting Colony Targeted by Federal Agencies Suffers Complete Failure
By aberman from News. Published on May 20, 2016.Audubon Society of Portland calls on federal agencies to permanently stop the slaughter of cormorants and immediately launch a comprehensive investigation of the killing program
Our First NWEI Fellow
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on May 20, 2016.
This spring, we welcomed our first-ever Fellow, Veronica Hotton, who recently completed her PhD in Education at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. Veronica has been primarily supporting NWEI’s curriculum efforts, especially the release of our new discussion course, Sustainability Works:… Read More!
Join us in Salem on May 23 to speak out for the Owyhee!
By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on May 18, 2016.The Owyhee needs you NOW. Will you join us in Salem on Monday, May 23, to ensure our Oregon lawmakers know Oregonians want the Owyhee Canyonlands protected? The House Rural Communities, Land Use, and Water Committee will meet to discuss permanent protection for the Owyhee. A group opposing protection will be there in force, so […]
We just launched a crowdfunding campaign for EcoChallenge 2.0
By Kerry Lyles from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on May 16, 2016.
We believe the solution to the planet’s biggest challenges lies in the power of collective change. By taking action in our own lives and inspiring the people around us, each of us contributes to a world of impact. We all… Read More!
The post We just launched a crowdfunding campaign for EcoChallenge 2.0 appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.
Grey to Green: The Ongoing Story of Tree Planting in Portland
By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on May 13, 2016.In 2008, Friends of Trees in partnership with the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services embarked on a transformative eight-year journey to boost green infrastructure in Portland. Take a look to find out what’s been accomplished, learn about the impacts of those accomplishments, and reflect on the success of this government – non-profit – […]
Evening for Opal Creek–Thursday, May 19!
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on May 12, 2016.Our annual fundraising bash is in just a few days, and we’ve got a great evening […]
Voluntary Simplicity: Finding Appreciation and Making Conscious Choices
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on May 09, 2016.
Earlier this year, long time NW Earth Institute volunteer and discussion course organizer Betty Shelley wrote an article on Voluntary Simplicity for Green Living: A Practical Journal for Mindful Living. We’ve featured Betty’s efforts at generating one garbage can of waste… Read More!
The post Voluntary Simplicity: Finding Appreciation and Making Conscious Choices appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.
National News: May 9, 2016
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on May 08, 2016.
Are You a Wild One?
By Lena from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on May 06, 2016.
The last two years we’ve seen Oregon politicians and special interest making gains attacking or trading away the things that make Oregon a special place. Luckily, we’ve also seen more Oregonians step up to defend our conservation values. But if we’re to succeed in protecting and restoring Oregon’s wildlife and wild places, we need to take things a step further.
That’s where Wild Ones comes in.
For those who were part of the first class last year, you know that Wild Ones is a unique, grassroots leadership training program that invites all Oregonians, of all backgrounds and ages, to engage in the political process on behalf of wildlife and wild places.
Whether your passion for the great outdoors manifests itself as an outgoing go-getter or a contemplative philosopher, this training provides advocates with the tools that sharpen, hone, and build upon each advocate’s own experiences and personality. Social butterflies and thoughtful thinkers alike benefit from Wild Ones.
This year you can look forward to an even bigger, more comprehensive program, including:
- Dynamic trainings – from lobbying, testifying, writing, researching, media engagement, to grassroots organizing;
- Meaningful community building – meet other conservation-minded folks who also want to change Oregon politics for the better;
- Significant engagement opportunities with decision makers to make lasting, beneficial impacts on Oregon’s wildlife and wilderness legacy.
The kickoff events will be a celebration of what we have collectively accomplished thus far and how you can best contribute to Oregon Wild's 2016-17 efforts.
Come learn how you can get involved, while enjoying good company and light refreshments.
Portland Wild Ones Kickoff – RSVP
Thursday, May 19 at 5:30-7:30pm
Oregon Wild office – 5825 N. Greeley Ave, Portland OR
Optional things to bring: folding chair, water bottle – snacks and n/a beverages provided
Bend Wild Ones Kickoff – RSVP
Tuesday, May 26 at 4-6pm
Oregon Wild Bend office – 2445 NE Division St #303, Bend, OR
Eugene Wild Ones Kickoff – RSVP
Tuesday, May 31 at 6:30-8pm
Claim 52 Brewing – 1030 Tyinn St, Suite 1
Snacks provided, beverages for purchase
Central Coast Wild Ones Kickoff– RSVP
Tuesday, June 7 6-8pm
Rogue Brewers on the Bay
2320 SE Marine Science Dr, Newport, OR 97365
Full menu and drinks available for purchase
For those who might not be able to attend one of these launch events, subscribing to the Wild Ones email list will provide you with valuable news and resources to help take your activism to the next level.
Wetlands Feeding the World
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on May 04, 2016.May 17, 7 pm. Nyberg Rivers New Seasons Join us in the community room for a fun and interactive presentation. Wetlands are famous for providing abundant wildlife habitat, and most of us know that they play a vital role in protecting water quality. But did you know that
Plan Your Summer Adventures with Tualatin Riverkeepers
By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on May 04, 2016.This Summer Tualatin Riverkeepers has a big menu of adventures for you to experience. Canoe trips, kayak trips, the ever popular waterfall tour, River Professors Lectures and a new event, the Bird & Wine Tour are planned for you. Join our group events. Check out the complete menu and register online at our Eventbrite Page. […]
Update: Westside Salvage Logging
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on May 03, 2016.Clearcutting has started in the recovering post-fire "Westside Salvage" logging units. KS Wild is supporting the Karuk Tribe in emergency legal motions that will ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in early May to halt the logging while affected wildlands and wildlife get their day in court. Cross your fingers and stay tuned as we continue to do all we can to promote real restoration and protect forests and watersheds of the Marble Mountains from clearcutting.
Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill Opening and Supporting TWC on May 15th!
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on May 03, 2016.TUALATIN, Ore. (Apr. 29, 2016) – The new Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill® in Tualatin, Ore., will hold a fundraiser for The Wetlands Conservancy on Sunday, May 15, as part of The Wetlands Conservancy’s celebration of National Wetlands month. Sharky’s, a premium fast-casual restaurant and lifestyle brand offering an award-winning and innovative Mexican-inspired menu, will donate
Now Hiring: NT Outreach Staff
By Ian Bonham from Growth Rings. Published on May 02, 2016.By Ian Bonham Tomorrow’s tree canopy begins with a knock! About half of the trees you see planted in Portland neighborhoods through Friends of Trees’ Neighborhood Trees planting program started out just as a message from an FOT outreach staff member letting a homeowner know they have space for a tree. That’s why we’re hiring up to ten new part-time, […]
Safety Video Emphasizes the Right Life Jacket Fit for Kids
By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on May 01, 2016.
New CAP case looks at Measure 49 in Yamhill County
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Apr 27, 2016.
Hearing from our rookie Crew Leaders
By Randi Orth from Growth Rings. Published on Apr 27, 2016.Friends of Trees has an amazing volunteer base. Like, really incredible. We’re joined by thousands of individuals at our planting and tree care events every year (5,000+ this season, but who’s counting?), who give us their time, energy and smiles. And at every event, rain or shine, are the familiar faces of our Crew Leaders, […]
Tribe AND Conservationists File Suit to Protect Wild Salmon, Rural River Communities
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Apr 27, 2016.The Karuk Tribe, along with the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC), Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center (KS Wild), Center for Biological Diversity, and Klamath Riverkeeper, filed suit in federal court challenging a massive post-fire logging plan in Klamath National Forest that will increase fire danger, degrade water quality, and harm at-risk salmon populations. The Tribe leads a diverse plaintiff group united by a common interest in restoring healthy relationships between people, fire, forests and fish.
Beaver Watch: Tualatin Basin
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Apr 25, 2016.Greg Lewellan, The Wetlands Conservancy May 12, 2016 – 7:00 pm Tualatin Heritage Center 8700 SW Sweek Dr, Tualatin, OR 97062 Beavers are the ultimate “ecosystem engineers”. No other wildlife species’ behavior is as critical to the viability of so many other species in this environment. Greg Lewellan will share the history of beaver in
National News: April 25, 2016
By email@example.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Apr 24, 2016.
Who are YOUth?
By Joel Iboa from Beyond Toxics. Published on Apr 22, 2016.
Who are YOUth? Workers’ rights, air toxics, pollinators, policy change, racial justice, chemical exposures, pesticides, herbicides, these and many others are all issues Beyond Toxics continues to fight for. And while it’s important we continue this work it’s also important that we remember who we are doing it for. A year ago Beyond Toxics made... Read more »
Homesteader: 1890 – 2016
By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 20, 2016.Northwest Oregon’s state-owned forests are comprised of less than .01% old growth, a stunning number that indicates their fraught history of devastating fires and aggressive logging. A notable patch of the Clatsop State Forest contains a timber sale known as “Homesteader.” One part of this sale (Area 2) especially, contained a stand trees upwards of 125 years old that […]
Earth Day: Past and Present
By Francesca G. Varela from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 19, 2016.In recent years, Earth Day has come to be associated with buying green. Earth Day is coming up; buy compostable bamboo plates for your next picnic. Earth Day is coming up; offset your airline miles by donating to rain-forest preservation. Earth Day is coming up; buy yourself a pair of athletic pants made from recycled […]
Worth a Dam
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Apr 19, 2016.May 25th, 2016 7-9 pm at Oregon Public House Village Ballroom Come join us for a beer and celebrate wetlands and beavers of the West. Beaver, our beloved state animal is woefully misunderstood and blamed for many of our urban water issues. Dr. Heidi Perryman formed Worth A Dam to defend the beavers in her
A New Tradition, Westwind Reflections
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Apr 19, 2016.On a very rainy Friday in late February, 65 people stood staring up at me as I made some final announcements from the back of a truck. The trees were dripping and the puddles were getting bigger by the second. We were about to embark on the last leg of our journey to Camp Westwind, no more
How to Survive the Spring Rains! Find Your Closest Wetland
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Apr 19, 2016.Putting on your rain boots, tromping through tall grasses, searching and exploring the squishy world of wetlands will inspire both your kids and your sense of wonder. Wetlands play a role in your everyday life cleaning and collecting water, but sometimes we forget to seek them out as nature’s playground. After a recent hike at
Stopping LNG Export through Oregon: Both Projects Collapse!
By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 18, 2016.By Ted Gleichman They seemed insurmountable at first: two massive methane export projects in under-employed Oregon, one on the south bank of the Lower Columbia, and the other grabbing a struggling industrial port on the southern Oregon Coast. Each $7 billion-plus plan required hundreds of miles of new pipelines, feeding fracked gas from the Rockies […]
Wrangling the masses at University of Portland
By Randi Orth from Growth Rings. Published on Apr 15, 2016.Every season Friends of Trees has the pleasure of working with University of Portland and their Campus Volunteer Coordinator (CVC), who recruits students to plant and teach others to plant trees in Portland neighborhoods. We had a blast this season working with the current CVC, Alina, whose passion for planting trees and commitment to getting students connected leaves us inspired! Read Alina’s […]
Politicians Can't Clearcut to Prosperity
By chandra from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Apr 15, 2016.
Politicians in western Oregon counties have been complaining for years that tax dollars are scarce and they can’t balance their budgets. Their solution? Flush those scarce tax dollars down the toilet on a harebrained scheme to sue the federal government and increase clearcutting on public lands.
This week, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) unveiled a new plan for 2.6 million acres of national public lands in western Oregon. We’re currently sifting through the 1500 page document so we can break down its ramifications, and will be sharing our summary soon, but the short story is that the BLM’s plan weakens protections for old growth forests and streams in order to increase logging levels by 37%.
Western Oregon politicians who value timber industry campaign contributions over clean water, healthy communities, wildlife, and the hundreds of millions of dollars generated by recreation on BLM lands are outraged. They are arguing for an unrealistic plan that would increase logging by more than double current levels and be completely incompatible with bedrock environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act. The counties have hired a high-powered Portland law firm, and anticipate the legal fees will be $530,000. Lane County has opted in for $84,000, and other counties are lining up to join in too.
We can’t help but wonder what better uses those funds could go towards.
As Oregon’s economy continues to transform from resource-extraction based industries to more modern sectors like technology and recreation, and as its demographics shift, a return to the days of the clearcut epidemic on public lands is not the answer to county budget woes.
County politicians need to hear from you. Please consider submitting a letter to the editor or guest opinion piece to your local newspaper on the value of our backyard BLM forests. Here are some guidelines and contact information for submitting a letter to your local newspaper. We encourage you to make your letter your own - just remember to make it concise.
Some talking points to consider including:
- I’m disappointed to see that the BLM’s proposed management plan shortchanges wildlife, clean water, and ancient forests, while increasing intense logging that harms streams and scars the landscape.
- Our County Commissioners are allocating precious budget resources to litigating the BLM plan that increases logging by 37% and doubles county income from logging. Instead of calling for increased clearcutting that will negatively impact our property values, clean water, recreational opportunities, and fish and wildlife, the County should be working on diversifying our local economy and finding a way to balance the budget without pillaging our public forests.
- Our BLM backyard forests belong to all of us - not just the few who want to make a buck. These forests, the streams that run through them, and the fish and wildlife that call them home are a public resource enjoyed for their many benefits like clean water, scenic beauty, and a variety of forms of recreation.
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Apr 15, 2016.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Announces Inexplicable Decision to Reverse Course on Protecting Rare Forest Mammal
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Apr 14, 2016.Agency abruptly withdraws proposed rule that would have protected the Pacific fisher under the Endangered Species Act.
Tips for Safe Paddling on the Tualatin River
By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Apr 14, 2016.On April 12, 2016 a kayaker was rescued from the Tualatin River 1/2 mile downstream of Cook Park by TVFR and Clackamas rescue teams. Those familiar with this stretch of the river know that this shallow location always has current. At springtime flow levels, the kayaker was unable to paddle upstream. She was wearing a […]
National Marine Fisheries Service Releases Biological Opinion Requiring Stronger Floodplain Protections for Salmon and Communities
By aberman from News. Published on Apr 14, 2016.On April 14, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) concluded that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must change its implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program in Oregon to better protect imperiled salmon, steelhead and Southern Resident Killer Whales. In its biological opinion (BiOp), NMFS concludes that FEMA’s flood insurance program violates the Endangered Species Act by subsidizing development in floodplains that jeopardize the continued existence of salmon, steelhead and Southern Resident Killer Whales and adversely modifies the designated critical habitat of anadromous fish species in Oregon. The BiOp includes a list of reforms FEMA should implement that will not only protect federally listed salmon, steelhead, and killer whales but will also reduce flood risks to people and property.
2016 Fruit & Native Plant Giveaway
By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on Apr 13, 2016.This year our largest partner in this annual fundraiser is unable to donate fruit trees. Fruit trees, like all agricultural crops, are susceptible to seasonal pressures such as weather, demand and other market forces, such as a booming economy: There are no unsold trees to glean. For this year’s event, on April 23rd, we have […]
National Wetlands Month Calendar of Events
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Apr 12, 2016.Celebrate National Wetlands Month! There are talks, walks, birding and volunteering events happening and we want to see you there! Bring your friends and family and celebrate your local wetlands. Keep checking back, we will continue to add events!
National News: April 11, 2016
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Apr 12, 2016.
US Army Corps Begins 2016 Cormorant Slaughter
By aberman from News. Published on Apr 11, 2016.On Wednesday April 7, the US Army Corps and USDA Wildlife Services began shooting Double-crested Cormorants near East Sand Island. Federal agents in boats are using shotguns to shoot birds out of the sky as they fly and forage in the Columbia River Estuary. Conservation groups have expressed deep disappointment that the Federal Government would initiate the 2016 killing season despite the fact that the federal court has indicated that it hoped to rule on the legality of the lethal control program before the killing began in 2016.
High Desert Speaker Series Wraps with New Look at Old Favorite: the John Day
By email@example.com from Press Releases. Published on Apr 11, 2016.The Oregon Natural Desert Association's High Desert Speaker Series concludes in Portland on April 25th at 7 p.m. with the talk, Hidden Wonders of the John Day, by ONDA Stewardship Director Ben Gordon.
High Desert Speaker Series finale in Bend
By firstname.lastname@example.org from Press Releases. Published on Apr 11, 2016.The Oregon Natural Desert Association's High Desert Speaker Series finale in Bend takes place on April 26 at 7 p.m. with a special presentation from ONDA Central Oregon Wilderness Coordinator Gena Goodman-Campbell.
The Political Double-Standard for Wolves
By arran from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Apr 08, 2016.
I hope you’ll bear with me for the following hypothetical scenario:
A controversial infrastructure project is being considered by Oregon’s Department of Transportation. There is intense public interest of the project, with 95% of public comments disapproving. While state law requires such projects to be evaluated by an unbiased peer review panel to be improved and revised before submitting to the Transportation Commission for a vote, in the name of political expediency, ODOT bureaucrats sidestep that review process.
Although government watchdogs call foul, and over two dozen experts have expressed concerns, the project has the backing of the state’s political establishment and is presented to the Transportation Commission for a vote. Commissioners, some with undeclared conflicts of interest to the project, vote to approve it, knowing that ODOT has abridged the obligatory review. As scrutiny on the project mounts, involved political groups appear to recognize that the agency has overstepped its authority and appeal to the Oregon Legislature. They propose a bill to retroactively single out and rewrite the law regarding review for this particular project. The regular sausage making and special interest deals that drive the political process prevail and result in postmortem standards that shield a broken ODOT process from any legal scrutiny or public accountability.
Obviously, in a state as sensitive to government ethics and transparency as Oregon, one would expect there would be an outpouring of criticism for the process, the political machinations, and backroom deals cut to bully this project forward. But it doesn’t happen. The powers that be are satisfied with the outcome, so it doesn’t matter how broken the route was that led to the project moving forward.
Unfortunately, this scenario isn’t really hypothetical.
Rather than the controversy being a state transportation project, the preceding sequence of events describes how gray wolves were stripped of their endangered species protections by the state wildlife agency, and how the legislature voted to shield that agency from the fact that it broke the law. Because wolves are easy scapegoats in certain political circles, the scandal is acceptable, even vigorously defended. In an attempt to misdirect the conversation, lawmakers and their political allies have pointed the finger at environmental and government watchdog groups that have advocated that the state obey its own laws. Wolves, they argue, are a special case, and therefore above any obligation for meaningful legal or scientific process.
The controversy over wolf delisting is exactly the type of backroom political scandal Governor Kate Brown promised to combat. She came into office pledging a new era of transparency and government accountability. It is disheartening that otherwise reasonable and well-intentioned people from the Governor and her wildlife commissioners to state lawmakers are willing to apply a double standard to wolves that would be unacceptable in any other political realm. If she had been truly committed to making good on the promise of honest government, wolves wouldn't have been left behind.
West Coast Forage Fish Protections Mean Big Things for Seabirds
By aberman from News. Published on Apr 05, 2016.After more than three years of hard work, Audubon Society of Portland and our partners, including Pew Charitable Trusts, Audubon California, Oceana, and Audubon Washington, have secured a huge win for forage fish species. As of May 4, 2016, dozens of forage fish species will gain federal protection under a new rule from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Thank You River Connections Sponsors
By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Apr 05, 2016.Thank You Premier Community Bank, Metro, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Backyard Bird Shops, and NW Natural.
Oregonians in Action Propose UGB Name Change
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Apr 01, 2016.
Last month, Oregonians in Action proposed a language change for statewide documents.
A Eulogy for OR-4
By rob from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Mar 31, 2016.
We met three times, but I imagine that I barely registered in his life.
To him I was no more than an occasional scent on his trail or the source of a tortured imitation of a howl.
But to me, no nonhuman animal ever has been or likely ever will be as important or consequential in my life as OR4.
He escaped kill orders and poachers. He endured at least 4 collarings and he beat the odds. There aren’t many ten year old wolves out there. Today there is one less.
OR4 was shot and killed today. And it hurts. Anyone celebrating his death, the killing of his likely pregnant partner, and two of his pups, must have a hardened heart indeed.
He became a symbol for those who revere wolves as well as for those who hate them and hate the wild. Even some of the most cynical wolf haters paid him begrudging respect.
He was imperfect. He challenged us. He was loud. But he was tough and he was tenacious. He was resilient, and he was a good father.
OR4 and his partners OR2 and a wolf known as “Limpy” leave behind an unparalleled legacy. His offspring include OR7, the first pups in California in nearly a century, OR3, and wolves both known and unknown quietly living their lives and retaking their rightful place on the Oregon landscape.
He never set paw in Salem or DC, but for better and worse, he had more impact on policy and politics than any animal I know of other than Cecil the Lion.
He also leaves behind questions. Lots of questions. Questions about our future - the future of his offspring...and ours.
Above all, as I heard the helicopter take off near my home this morning, I wondered if our society will leave room for the wild on the landscape…and in our hearts.
Despite his collars and dayglo ear tags, OR4 was wild.
OR4 is dead, and we killed him.
But we’ll keep fighting for his legacy as imperfectly and tenaciously as he did.
The story of Oregon’s biggest and baddest wolf didn't end in “happily ever after”. But the story for wolves and those of us who value the wild is still not fully written. It’s a new chapter. I’m no starry-eyed optimist. So I'll stubbornly cling to hope and tenacity.
The alternative is surrender. OR4 was no quitter. And we shouldn't be either.
And he was annoying to those who hate the wild. We should be too.
Dispelling the Myth of UGB's and Affordability
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Mar 30, 2016.
Land Use Regulations and Income Segregation
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Mar 30, 2016.
Do Strict Land Use Regulations Make Metropolitan Areas More Segregated by Income?
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Mar 29, 2016.
National News: March 27, 2016
By email@example.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Mar 27, 2016.
Volunteer Spotlight: Dian Odell
By Francesca G. Varela from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 25, 2016.Dian Odell has been volunteering with the Oregon Chapter Sierra Club since August 2014. She comes in twice a week to help out in the office. “Usually entry of donations and event attendance into Helen (the central Sierra Club database), preparing for mailings, research, procedure documentation. But also computer support, ‘cleaning’, optimizing, [and] upgrading,” Dian […]
Oregon Wild Madness!
By jonathan from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Mar 24, 2016.
It's March and that means it's time for the fourth annual Oregon Wild Madness!
But before we tip off, you should know that not all "madness" is created equal.
For instance, earlier this year we all witnessed the kind of madness that fueled the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and continues to call for privatizing public lands across Oregon and the West. That’s not the kind of unhinged craziness we’re talking about.
Meanwhile, as a fun play on college basketball’s March Madness, Oregon Wild Madness is all about celebrating Oregon's amazing public lands - from the Three Sisters Wilderness and Crater Lake National Park to the Wild & Scenic McKenzie River and the Malheur Wildlife Refuge!
In March Madness, fans all across the country are rooting for Badgers, Wildcats, and (of course!) Ducks. But in Oregon Wild Madness, the special places that these critters (and many more!) call home are facing off to see which one becomes the champion of public lands. March Madness may have the Blue Devils, but Oregon Wild Madness features the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness Proposal! And instead of cheering from the sidelines, you're part of the action because you choose the winners!
No matter which special places get your vote, if you chip in $10 or more to support our work to protect Oregon's wildlands, wildlife, and waters, you could win a basketball autographed by the entire 2015-2016 Portland Trail Blazers team!
As Oregonians, valuing our public lands is part of our DNA - from Steens Mountain and the Ochocos to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and Crater Lake. So please celebrate your favorites by voting in this year's Oregon Wild Madness (we even made a bracket you can download and print).
Inspired by college basketball's annual tournament, this is a fun way to shine the spotlight on 32 of Oregon's most amazing public lands! And just like March Madness, we've grouped this year's title hopefuls into four regions:
Wilderness - From the Eagle Cap to Opal Creek, these special places enjoy the highest level of permanent protections.
National Wildlife Refuges - Birds and fish statewide are huge fans of the special spots in this region, which provide critical habitat for countless native and migratory species. And don't forget the only national antelope refuges in the country!
Monuments and Recreation Areas - From volcanoes to the Oregon Dunes, this region boasts some of the best exploring in the state!
Proposed Wilderness - The locales featured in this region are truly among the most breathtaking in the all the land. From Crater Lake to the Owyhee Canyonlands, these places never cease to amaze. Unfortunately, each of them are facing a variety of threats and that's why Oregon Wild and partner groups are working overtime to get these places the permanent Wilderness protections they deserve.
So vote for your favorite spots, please consider chipping in to support our work to protect all the special places featured in this year’s Oregon Wild Madness, and (if you want a fun way to decide which of Oregon’s great wild places to explore this year), print out a bracket and see who makes your “Wild Four!”
Revolutionizing Oregon: the Clean Electricity and Coal Transition Plan becomes law
By Francesca G. Varela from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 24, 2016.By Francesca Varela Nearly every day I hear news about climate change, and usually it’s not good. Just the other day I read something about how temperatures are rising more quickly than predicted; how the rate at which the seas will rise has probably been underestimated. I’ve been reading about water rationing, and superstorms; stagnant […]
Upholding the Legacy
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Mar 23, 2016.I grew up in New England with a forest outside my back door, but my grandparents […]
Victory! Jordan Cove LNG Pipeline Denied
By Francesca G. Varela from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 18, 2016.By Francesca Varela How does this sound for a bad-news proposal? Stretch a 232-mile pipeline across forests and backyards, old-growth cedars and mushroom-sided streams, halfway across the state. Gouge the forest. Scar it. Fill said pipeline with natural gas—one of the dirtiest fuels available to us. Build a terminal in Coos Bay. Convert natural gas […]
Volunteer Spotlight: FERC rejects Jordan Cove LNG!!!
By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 18, 2016.(Here’s how it happened: Three and a Half Zeros, Plus a Minus) By Ted Gleichman Among the most important values of Sierra Club to our planet and society are effective grassroots action, long-term attention to detail, and structured commitment to change. With the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s astounding decision against the Jordan Cove LNG export […]
2016 Legislative Wrap-up: Victory on Coal and Clean Energy!
By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 17, 2016.It was a whirlwind session of the Oregon Legislature for 4 weeks of February (and 3 days of March). Sierra Club staff worked hard to track bills, provide testimony, and meet with legislators in Salem to advocate for renewable energy, wildlife protection, our state forests, and more. And though there were some real disappointments out […]
National News: March 14, 2016
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Mar 13, 2016.
Feds reject Jordan Cove LNG terminal
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Mar 11, 2016.Federal regulators have rejected plans for a liquefied natural gas terminal in Coos Bay. On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied applications from two Delaware companies to site the massive Jordan Cove Energy Project in the Southern Oregon coastal town.
41st Annual Fruit Propagation Fair!
By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on Mar 04, 2016.Join Home Orchard Society – Sunday, March 20th, 10am - 4pm. Clackamas County Fairgrounds - 694 NE 4th Ave, Canby, OR This event will be held at the main pavilion at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds. In a few short hours, we’ll sell hundreds of rootstocks, give away thousands of scions, graft untold numbers of trees, complete our […]
Portland Audubon's Statement on Environmental Debate
By aberman from News. Published on Mar 03, 2016.Audubon Society of Portland is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. As such, we do not endorse candidates. However, we do participate in the election process to ensure that environmental issues are well considered and that the public understands how candidates will approach these issues.
Oregon needs local toxics-reporting laws
By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Mar 02, 2016.
By Mary O’Brien and Lisa Arkin It’s important to know when you’re being poisoned by industrial toxic discharges, whether to air, water or land. Some would even say you have a right to know. But how much you can know depends on good laws. Gaps and loopholes in federal and state regulations have allowed stained-glass... Read more »
National News: February 29, 2016
By email@example.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Feb 28, 2016.
New Partners for Smart Growth Conference Report
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Feb 25, 2016.
Takeaways and Tools
The 15th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference was held in Portland from February 11-13, 2016. 1000 Friends staff and Board members played key roles in organizing and presenting in several of the conference workshops, trainings, and tours. The NPSG conference exists to integrate issues of smart growth, health, equity, environment, active transportation, climate change, affordable housing, cultural resources, and more. It brings together non-profit groups and elected officials; professionals in many fields; realtors, developers, bankers; advocates for e
Help Build the Cottonwood Canyon Experience Center
By OSPF from Oregon State Parks Foundation. Published on Feb 24, 2016.With your contribution of any size, you can help us demonstrate individual support for building the Cottonwood Canyon Experience Center to serve state park visitors and the surrounding communities of the John Day watershed.
Nature Day Camp Registration is Now Open
By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Feb 23, 2016.REGISTER BY APRIL 15 FOR THE EARLY DISCOUNT Tualatin Riverkeepers’ summer day camp program welcomes youth between the ages of 4 and 13. Camps foster an appreciation and love of nature through place-based, hands-on experiential learning: lessons and activities are designed to develop campers’ self-confidence, problem solving skills, and understanding of their ecological niche. While […]
Timber’s fallen: Efforts show promise for working conditions in Oregon forestry
By John Jordan-Cascade from Beyond Toxics. Published on Feb 18, 2016.
PART III | Advocates, reforestation operators say effective policy changes will need to come from the top down by Emily Green | 18 Feb 2016 This is Part III of a three-part series on the working conditions and treatment of Oregon’s immigrant forestry workers. Marko Bey was sitting in on the squatters’ movement and organizing... Read more »
The post Timber’s fallen: Efforts show promise for working conditions in Oregon forestry appeared first on Beyond Toxics.
The View from My Desk
By Megan Selvig from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Feb 18, 2016.I have an office job…in the middle of the woods. I am a year-round resident of […]
On the Linn County Lawsuit
By Francesca G. Varela from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Feb 16, 2016.You know when you drive to the coast, like out to Cannon Beach or Tillamook, and you pass by those clear-cuts? There’s a thin layer of trees in front of them—a disguise of sorts—but if you look past them, through those dark branches, you can see whole fields of dry, broken, dirt, painfully bright and […]
National News: February 15, 2016
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Feb 14, 2016.
High Desert Speaker Series continues in Bend
By email@example.com from Press Releases. Published on Feb 12, 2016.The Oregon Natural Desert Association’s High Desert Speaker Series continues in Bend on March 15 at 7 p.m. when Chuck Gates, founding board member of the East Cascades Bird Conservancy, will present details of the lives and behaviors of the many fascinating birds that call Oregon’s high desert home.
Audubon Society of Portland Statement on the End of the Occupation at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
By aberman from News. Published on Feb 11, 2016.February 11, 2016: The last occupiers of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge surrendered to federal authorities this morning, ending the illegal armed occupation of Malheur. Audubon Society of Portland appreciates law enforcement officials who worked to bring this illegal occupation to a close, Malheur Refuge staff and their families who were displaced by this occupation, and the local community who strongly rejected this occupation.
Thankful for the end of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge takeover
By Lindsay Jones from Press Releases. Published on Feb 11, 2016.As the media trucks pull out and the wheels of justice move forward, the Oregon Natural Desert Association vows to remain committed to the health and welfare of the Malheur Refuge.
The Hardesty Wildlands need your help!
By Francesca G. Varela from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Feb 05, 2016.What’s happened to all the wild places? While once the whole world was wild, now we’re left only with dark pockets. Again and again we return to these hidden, mossy stream-sides, because we intrinsically feel better there. There’s something about the wind circling through high hemlock canopies, and the impacted delicacy of wet soil that […]
Investing in the Future: The Healthy Climate Bill and the Coal Transition Plan
By Francesca G. Varela from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Feb 04, 2016.When I was a kid, teachers always gave us the same piece of environmental advice: reduce, reuse, recycle. The emphasis was always on what we could do as individuals. We could pick up litter. We could recycle cans and bottles. We could donate our old clothes. If everyone did these small things, they would add […]
ONDA to release its 2016 calendar of guided restoration trips
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Feb 01, 2016.The Oregon Natural Desert Association offers guided restoration trips throughout eastern Oregon every year. Registration for this year's slate of trips opens Friday, Feb. 12.
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board Awards up to $6 Million Grant for Collaborative Conservation to Improve Aquatic Health and Wetlands in Harney County
By aberman from News. Published on Jan 29, 2016.The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) voted Tuesday (January 26, 2016) to allocate more than $1.6 million to support a diverse partnership working to improve habitat values and water quality in Malheur Lake and other Harney Basin wetlands.
2016 Legislative Agenda
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Jan 27, 2016.
It's time for inclusionary zoning, a healthy climate, and affordable housing for all Oregonians
Legislative Update: February 24, 2016
Community Development as a Planning Priority
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Jan 27, 2016.
Seattle shares lessons learned with Portlanders combating displacement and gentrification
1000 Friends hosted Community Development Manager Nora Liu, from Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development and Ryan Curren, Former Program Manager of Seattle’s Office of Housing for an informal conversation about how to include anti-displacement and affordability in city planning. Anti-Displacement PDX (ADPDX) Coalition Members joined us to have an illuminating conversation.
KS Wild Joins Statewide Actions to Support Public Lands
By Amy from KS In The Press. Published on Jan 21, 2016."We're going to be positive. We're going to be peaceful and we're going to talk about how much we love public lands."
BLM disagrees with O&C's timber harvest goals
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jan 18, 2016.The Bureau of Land Management says it isn't mandated to offer up timber harvest of 500 million board feet identified in the 1937 O&C; Act, because its analysis shows that isn't sustainable.
Update: Malheur Refuge occupation
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jan 14, 2016.ONDA condemns the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and adamantly urges our elected officials to take a leadership role in reaching a swift, peaceful resolution to this unprecedented act of hostility.
High Desert Speaker Series continues in Bend
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jan 14, 2016.Registration is now open for the next installment of the Oregon Natural Desert Association's High Desert Speakers Series in Bend. Dr. Dennis Jenkins, senior staff archaeologist for the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon, will take the audience on a trip through nearly 14,000 years of human history in eastern Oregon.
Homesteader: The Precipice of a Huge Loss
By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jan 13, 2016.Over 1600 Oregonians voiced their disapproval of clearcutting old growth as part of the Homesteader timber sale in the Clatsop State Forest. It is obvious that the loss of trees that survived the Tillamook Burn and a century of logging would be devastating, but is important to get an up-close view of what we lose […]
More than 100 protest at Medford meeting on Jordan Cove, Pacific Connector projects
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jan 12, 2016.Locals concerned about the environmental impacts of a natural gas pipeline through Oregon and an export facility on the Oregon Coast rallied outside Rogue Regency Inn this afternoon. The rally was held prior to a public open house at the hotel organized by the Oregon Department of State Lands to take comments on permit applications for removal and fill-in of natural waterways for the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline and Jordan Cove Energy Project.
$1,000 reward offered for info on ancient juniper
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jan 11, 2016.The Oregon Natural Desert Association, Friends of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness and Juniper Group of the Sierra Club are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of those responsible for chopping down an ancient juniper tree in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness.
What’s new for 2016
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jan 08, 2016.This year we’re celebrating 20 years of Opal Creek Wilderness protection! And we’re celebrating in a […]
Meet our new Program Director!
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jan 08, 2016.Jay Davis just moved to Oregon from Wisconsin, with a background in running experiential education programs […]
Keep Public Lands in Public Hands
By Jospeh Vaile from KS In The Press. Published on Jan 05, 2016.Militants in Oregon are not alone in the effort to sell off public lands. Our own U.S. Congressman has emboldened a movement to seize control of these public lands. Republican Greg Walden recently proposed legislation to give away over a quarter-million acres of National Forest lands right here in southern Oregon and northern California.
Opportunities to Get Involved with Malheur National Wildlife Refuge with the Audubon Society of Portland
By aberman from News. Published on Jan 05, 2016.January 5, 2016: Audubon Society of Portland's connection to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge reaches all the way back to our advocacy for its establishment in 1908. In fact, we were founded in 1902 in part to advocate for Malheur.
ONDA statement on occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by militant extremists
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jan 04, 2016.The Oregon Natural Desert Association issues a statement regarding the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge by militant extremists.
Audubon Society of Portland Statement on the Occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
By aberman from News. Published on Jan 03, 2016.January 3, 2016: We hope for a safe, expeditious end to this armed occupation so that myriad of local and non-local stakeholders can continue to work together to restore Malheur in ways that are supportive of both the local ecology and the local economy
Portland Audubon Advocates for Outdoor School for Every Child in Oregon
By aberman from News. Published on Dec 31, 2015.How does a state become a national leader in conservation? By giving youth a foundation in environmental education.
Press Release: McKenzie Camp acquisition
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Dec 30, 2015.The McKenzie River Trust protects clean water and salmon habitat near Blue River following a land acquisition from Rosboro. Continue reading
High Desert Speaker Series Launches in Portland
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Dec 22, 2015.The Oregon Natural Desert Association brings the High Desert Lecture Series for the first time to Oregon's west side. The series in Portland will feature epic journeys, opportunities for adventure and unique insight into eastern Oregon's high desert.
High Desert Speaker Series returns to Bend
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Dec 22, 2015.The 53-mile journey of three women, ages 65-80, will kick off the Oregon Natural Desert Association’s High Desert Speaker Series, returning to Bend on January 19 at 7 p.m. The series will kick off with Sagebrush Sisters, a documentary about that hike, and a panel discussion with the three hikers moderated by ONDA Greater Hart-Sheldon Region Coordinator Jeremy Austin.
It’s the trees
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Dec 21, 2015.Thanks to you, an oak woodland and working forest is protected. Continue reading
Woodburn UGB Mediation Resolution
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Dec 16, 2015.
On December 14, 2015, the Woodburn City Council and Marion County Board of Commissioners completed a joint hearing at Woodburn City Hall. The meeting represents a critical step in bringing Woodburn’s longtime effort to expand it Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) to a conclusion.
Eugene struck out with Seneca deal
By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Dec 15, 2015.
It’s the bottom of the ninth, and Lane County citizens are down 0-3. From our seats in the nosebleed section of the bleachers, we find our home team facing direct impacts of localized carbon pollution, air quality and the size of our energy bills. During Eugene’s recent cold snap, we shivered as temperatures dropped below... Read more »
Why do we do it?
By katie from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Dec 14, 2015.Our current Program Director, Serena Becker, is moving on in January after a great 5 years […]
Reform Portland’s Tree Code To Preserve Large Healthy Trees
By aberman from News. Published on Dec 11, 2015.Audubon Society of Portland is working with neighbors and tree advocates on reforms to save our city’s large and healthy trees. On January 12 the Planning and Sustainability Commission will consider a stop-gap proposal to help preserve more large and healthy trees by raising mitigation fees for developers. This temporary measure will be put in place to until Title 11’s preservation standards can be reformed.
Prevent Industrial Development in Wildlife Habitat
By aberman from News. Published on Dec 08, 2015.Please help us send a strong message to the Portland City Council that the community supports the approach to industrial lands outlined in the current draft of the Comprehensive Plan which focuses on cleaning up more than 900 acres of contaminated sites, intensifying use of the existing industrial land base, and limiting conversions of industrial land to other uses, rather than converting irreplaceable natural areas to industrial use.
The New Clean Water Service Permit: What would be good for the Tualatin River and our neighborhood creeks?
By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Nov 25, 2015.After many years of delay, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is about to renew the permit that allows Clean Water Services (CWS) to discharge wastewater and stormwater to the Tualatin River system. There are some great innovations in the draft permit. Clean Water Services will be permitted to use “natural treatment systems” at Fernhill […]
Remand of Stafford-Area Urban Reserves: Written Testimony
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Nov 24, 2015.
LCDC Remand Order 14-ACK-001867 Metro Ordinance No. 11-1255
Thank you for this opportunity to testify on the matter of the remand from the Court of Appeals’ and the Land Conversation and Development Commission to Metro regarding the designation of the Stafford, Rosemont, Borland, and Norwood areas in Clackamas County as urban reserves under ORS 195.145. We are unable to attend today’s hearing; therefore, we are submitting written testimony and plan to appear at your next hearing on this.
‘Safe Harbors’ for native fish
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Nov 17, 2015.This is part of a series about the MRT members who have played a part in the incredible comeback of Oregon chub. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll share more stories of MRT members who aided the recovery. ‘Safe … Continue reading
Wilderness is a necessity.
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Nov 16, 2015.“Lichen and mushrooms and amphibians, oh my! Opal Creek was an amazing trip, and I have […]
Planning for Eugene's Future
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Nov 13, 2015.
An Overview of The Eugene Planning Process and Next Steps
On October 21, the Eugene city council made a decision that rolls back years of comprehensive planning decisions, by blocking up-zoning of residential areas to accommodate more housing types. The council made its decision before taking public comments, freezing out the people who would be affected by the council’s hasty decision. This impacts current and future residents, threatens surrounding farm and forest lands, and - at the core - constructs an inequitable housing policy that punishes Eugenians who live in multi-family housing types.
GUEST BLOG: Toxics in our Living Rooms
By Elizabeth Reis from Beyond Toxics. Published on Nov 11, 2015.
The comfortable chair that I just bought and sit in for hours each day is giving me a sore throat and making my eyes sting. I know that sounds crazy, but I’ve been experimenting for about a month now, and I can say for certain that after about a half hour of sitting in it... Read more »
The importance of healthy floodplains
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Nov 11, 2015.Because of members like Art and Anita Johnson, we've helped Oregon chub recover. Continue reading
A robust conversation at the Owyhee Town Hall in Adrian, Oregon
By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Nov 09, 2015.By Borden Beck, Oregon Chapter High Desert Committee On October 29, I attended a Town Hall meeting in the small town of Adrian, Oregon, to share opinions and information about protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands. Adrian is the last small community before heading south into the vast expanse of the so far relatively undeveloped landscape […]
Beers Made By Walking comes to Eugene
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Oct 30, 2015.8 local breweries have created beers inspired by hikes on MRT lands, and you can taste the results. Today Continue reading
The little fish that we’d never noticed
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Oct 30, 2015.George Grier and Cynthia Pappas protected their land in 1992. They didn't know then that they would play a critical part in the recovery of Oregon chub. Continue reading
Clearcut 70% of our State Forests? Not the best idea!
By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Oct 29, 2015.On October 19th, a subcommittee of the Board of Forestry met to discuss alternative management plans for the Tillamook & Clatsop state forests. Any new plan needs to improve conservation AND make the Department of Forestry financially viable. This ongoing process has been dominated by a timber industry proposal to manage the forest as two […]
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Oct 26, 2015.We’re just about to close our doors for the winter but we’ve already got our sights […]
BLOG: Helicopter herbicide sprays are poisoning Oregon…is it rigged or is it rogue?
By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Oct 16, 2015.
Two years ago, there was little public awareness about the common industrial practice of using helicopters to spray thousands of acres of forests with herbicides. That was before the Cedar Valley spray case in which over forty people reported being sickened by exposure to a chemical soup raining down from an aerial herbicide spray. After... Read more »
The post BLOG: Helicopter herbicide sprays are poisoning Oregon…is it rigged or is it rogue? appeared first on Beyond Toxics.
Oregon chub makes a comeback
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Oct 15, 2015.Because of members like you, an Oregon native makes a comeback It was the early 1990s. Like many of our native fishes, the Oregon chub was in trouble. Chub lived their lives in the moist backwater channels and sloughs of … Continue reading
Deschutes Brewery showcases high desert photography
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Oct 13, 2015.ONDA debuts its iconic Wild Desert Calendar for 2016 at Deschutes Brewery Public House on Friday, Nov. 6.
Have you seen the new Paddlers’ Map?
By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Oct 06, 2015.The new Paddler’s Guide to the Lower Tualatin River is now available at local paddling shops, libraries, and by mail from the Washington County Visitors Association.
Oregon agencies cite multiple pesticide violations and levy fines against helicopter company in a worker whistleblower case
By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Oct 05, 2015.
Highly toxics pesticides should not be sprayed on workers, but the Oregon Department of Agriculture concluded that is what Oregon-based Applebee Aviation did to its employees. On September 30, the Department, which is responsible for regulating state and federal pesticide laws, issued a citation revoking the Applebee’s operating license in the state of Oregon and... Read more »
Is Tree Canopy an Environmental Justice Issue?
By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Sep 30, 2015.Trees in the urban environment provide a variety of benefits. Various researchers have touted the benefits of tree canopy in cities: cleaner air, stormwater reduction, carbon sequestration, energy savings, higher property values and health benefits.i Some have even found a reduction in crime associated with tree canopy.ii If distribution of these benefits are […]
Green Infrastructure Report Card: Is Tree Canopy an Environmental Justice Issue?
By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Sep 30, 2015.Trees in the urban environment provide a variety of benefits. Various researchers have touted the benefits of tree canopy in cities: cleaner air, stormwater reduction, carbon sequestration, energy savings, higher property values and health benefits.i Some have even found a reduction in crime associated with tree canopy.ii If distribution of these benefits are […]
Speak up for Oregon’s wolves!
By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Sep 21, 2015.You may have already heard the news: California is now home to its first known gray wolf pack, dubbed the Shasta Pack, in nearly a century! While biologists are working to determine the origin of the Shasta Pack’s breeding pair, the most likely answer is that they traveled from Oregon. With successful recovery in California […]
Seize The Day; Save The Bay!
By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Sep 21, 2015.On September 26, there will be a rally in Coos Bay from Noon to 6:00 PM to help raise public awareness of the dangers posed by the proposed Jordon Cove LNG project. The family-friendly event is called “Seize the Day; Save the Bay!” and will highlight the clean environment of the bay and the damage […]
Oregon must address environmental in-justice, starting with a response to a Southern Oregon forum
By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Sep 17, 2015.
Poverty, hunger and gang violence in Central America and Mexico have persisted for decades. According to the Pew Research Center, the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula was the murder capital of the world in 2012. This city is where most Honduran children refugees come from when they arrive at America’s borders, sent by their... Read more »
The post Oregon must address environmental in-justice, starting with a response to a Southern Oregon forum appeared first on Beyond Toxics.
We are about to get FERC’d
By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Sep 15, 2015.The Federal Government Prepares to Bless a Catastrophic LNG Project – Running from Canada to the Columbia by Ted Gleichman We are about to get FERC’d in Northwest Oregon and Western Washington. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the agency responsible for awarding the key Federal permission for major fossil-fuels energy infrastructure projects. FERC […]
The Bee, the Puppy and You!
By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Sep 09, 2015.
This week national environmental leaders in bee protection, including Beyond Toxics, signed on to letters sent to Ace and True Value Hardware stores asking them to act now to protect bees! Our petition is for Ace and True Value to commit to not sell products containing systemic neonicotinoid pesticides harmful to bees, butterflies, birds and... Read more »
Wild & Scenic Film Festival brings best outdoor, conservation films to Bend on October 2
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Aug 26, 2015.The Oregon Natural Desert Association is hosting the Bend stop of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival Tour on Oct. 2, with a matinee and an evening showing at the Tower Theatre. The tour highlights the best of outdoor adventure and conservation films of the year. Tickets are on sale now.
The Humble Bumble Gets Its Own Day of Gratitude
By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Aug 04, 2015.
Have you been enjoying watching the furry bumble bees visiting your garden flowers? They seem to be out-and-about, buzzing the blossoms just at dawn, and hanging around for that last nectary drop even as the sun sets. Cherish them as they flirt with your oregano and lavender. Despite their apparent bounty in your garden, native... Read more »
Inaugural Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute Serves High-School Students from Rural Areas
By OSPF from Oregon State Parks Foundation. Published on Jul 29, 2015.Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute held its inaugural session June 21 to 26 at Cottonwood Canyon State Park. High-school students from Arlington, Condon, La Grande and Boise came together to attend the first-ever five-day outdoor learning lab, which is presented by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Eastern Oregon University with support from the Oregon [...]
OSPF Member Writes New Hiking Guide for Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail
By OSPF from Oregon State Parks Foundation. 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 [...]
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
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
2015 Spring Star Parties in Oregon State Parks
By OSPF from Oregon State Parks Foundation. 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 Oregon State Parks Foundation. 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. [...]
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
From the Executive Director: 2014 Progress Report
By OSPF from Oregon State Parks Foundation. 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 Oregon State Parks Foundation. 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 Oregon State Parks Foundation. 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, [...]
2015 Founders Circle Grant Challenge
By OSPF from Oregon State Parks Foundation. 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 Oregon State Parks Foundation. 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 [...]
What is a Forest Plan…why is it being revised…and why should you care???
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jul 30, 2014.
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.
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:
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
By rocco from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on May 28, 2014.
By renewables from Renewable Northwest - Making the Northwest's Clean Energy Potential a Reality.. Published on May 24, 2014.
Elegy to Tim Lillebo, by Bill Fleischmann
By email@example.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.
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
Missing Tim Lillebo
By firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
- 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 email@example.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.
- 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.
Wildlife Watchers Field Report for 2013
By firstname.lastname@example.org (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|
|Volunteer Allan Gorthy sets up trail camera|
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.
The Forest Connection
By email@example.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."
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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Sep 25, 2013.
By sschroeder from All News. Published on Sep 13, 2013.Find and subscribe to green news, events and volunteer opportunities.
Update on Bighorn Protection from Darilyn Parry Brown
By email@example.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.
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.
Snow Basin Update
By firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
Humor, Facts, and Fundraising - Tom Lang's books
By email@example.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.
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 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?”
“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.”
“I hear you’re the best.”
“Best at what?”
“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.”
July 2013 -- The Water Issue
By Meghan Humphreys from All News. Published on Jul 11, 2013.
Wildlife Watchers Project Begins New Season
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jan 13, 2014.
Welcome to early summer in the Blue Mountains.
- Brian Kelly
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 email@example.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 29, 2013.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Mar 06, 2013.
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 email@example.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Feb 27, 2013.
"We all do better when we all do better" - EarthShare Oregon
By firstname.lastname@example.org (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,
Hells Canyon Preservation Council
Jack Barry - Visionary Voice 1925 - 2012
By email@example.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:
The Dawn of Dam Removal
By firstname.lastname@example.org (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 RemovalBruce Babbitt
Early Fall 2012
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 email@example.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
HCPC welcomes summer intern Joshua Axelrod
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Jun 08, 2012.
|Josh (red bandana) and his dad crossing a snow bridge above Hurricane Creek, July 2011.|
|Josh (right), his younger brother Ezra, and his dad in the hills above La Grande, Christmas 2011.|
HCPC and Allies Await Approval for a Settlement Agreement Requiring DEQ to Re-Examine Controversial Mining Practice
By email@example.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 25, 2012.
Of Killdeer, Camas, and the Travel Management Plan
By firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.com (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on May 13, 2012.
Analysis confirms Wallowa-Whitman Travel Plan Decision leaves plenty of access
By firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.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 -
The Perverse Logic of Wolf Hunts
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Mar 30, 2012.
The Predator Persecution Complex
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.
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