News from our groups
The Sea Otters See Change
By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Nov 25, 2015.
By Seth Heller
The day the modern sea otter evolved into existence, the animal kingdom no doubt rejoiced – here was a creature of cunning and cuteness so powerful it leads Homo sapiens to mashed noses and strained eyes from pressing their faces to glass and eyes to binocular lenses. But when exactly did modern sea otters evolve – and what’s their story since then?
Sea otters – Enhydra lutris – evolved about 2 million years ago, most likely somewhere in the far North Pacific Rim near Japan and Russia. They spread to eventually inhabit an arc shaped region that extended from the northern coast of Japan up to the Aleutian Islands, before dropping down the west coast of North America and ending in the blue waters off the west coast of Baja California, Mexico. In the early 18th century, there were about 150,000-300,000 wild sea otters in the world. In 1741, a ship named “St. Peter” came across the sea otter and reduced the population forever.
|Vitus Bering helped spur the international fur trade that nearly drove sea otters to extinction.|
Vitus Jonassen Bering – 1681-1741 – was a Danish sea captain in the service of Russian Navy. You probably know him best for the many geographic features that share his last name: the Bering Strait, Bering Sea, Bering Island, Bering Glacier, and Bering Land Bridge.
Before Vitus died in 1741 while captaining an expedition for Peter the Great, he stumbled upon some sea otters on the Commander Islands. His geographic discoveries were secret for many years – unfortunately his discovery of the warmth and sheen of sea otter pelts was instantly renowned.
The maritime fur trade was one of the main engines of the international economy in the 18th century – sea otter fur was a luxury item among wealthy Asians. Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States became the primary hunters of the sea otter – pelts were primarily traded to China in exchange for tea, silk, porcelain, and other unique goods.
The world sea otter population rapidly tumbled until the establishment of the North Pacific Fur Seal Convention of 1911, an international treaty that restricted the hunting of furred mammals. By this time there were only 1,000-2,000 sea otters left on Earth – they vanished from everywhere except the Aleutian Islands and California.
|By the time internation fur treaties were in place, there were less than 2,000 sea otters left.|
Today there are an estimated 106,000 sea otters off various coastlines around the world.
Here in the United States, the sea otter can be found near the shores of Alaska, Washington, and California. Their near-extinction spawned several conservation projects which attempted to reintroduce the sea otter back to its original range.
Alaska is home to about 90 percent of the sea otters on our planet. The population peaked around 125,000 in the 1970s, but environmental disasters – the nuclear tests on Amchitka Island and the Exxon Valdez oil spill – depredation and disease have reduced the overall total by 55-67 percent since the mid-1980s. Sea otters are currently classified as “Threatened” in Alaska.
In the 1960s and 1970s our lovable heroes were reintroduced to Washington. Despite an ‘endangered’ classification in 1981, there are only 1,000 or so swimming around the Washington coast.
|The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill covered 1,300 miles of coast line and 11,000 square miles of ocean.|
California is home to about 2,000 sea otters, most of them floating around Monterey. California’s recovery efforts began after a group was first spotted off Big Sur in 1938; however the process has been very slow, with an annual increase of about 5 percent each year.
Sadly, sea otters have not returned to Oregon – if you want to see some of these fluffy critters in the wild, your best bet is to drive north to Olympic National Park. The last sea otter in Oregon was killed in 1907. Reintroduction efforts failed. The last attempt was in the 1970s – those 93 otters have not been seen since the 1980s.
But wait! If you’re feeling lucky, and have an incredible amount of time to spare (in which case you should consider volunteering at Oregon Wild), you may just see a solo otter splashing around the shores of our state. It would be incredibly rare, but while there are no permanent populations here at home, there have been a handful of otter sightings in the last decade, including a rogue-otter sighting in 2009.
Excited yet? Are you chomping on your nails with the anticipatory, ecstatic, fervor you only feel when hoping Damian Lillard will sink a three at the buzzer? That’s great, because we haven’t even explored the numerous ways sea otters help keep the coast healthy as a crucial keystone species.
See us back here next week for an exploration of the important role sea otters play in marine ecosystems... and cartoon musicals?
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 […]
Thank you, a promise
By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 25, 2015.Thank you for standing up for clean water. Read our Executive Director's vision and promise for the future. Your care for the Columbia can make this vision a reality. December 1st is Giving Tuesday, a day to support what you love. Willamette Week’s Give!Guide makes it easy, with lots of fun incentives for all giving levels.
Dams Leading Culprit in Temperature Crisis Says Report
By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 25, 2015.Dams create a well-documented temperature crisis on the Columbia that cannot be ignored. Hundreds of thousands of heat-stressed sockeye died this summer. Hot temperatures and low snowpack compounded the problem, but a new report shows high water temperatures were largely due to dams.
I support Riverkeeper because…
By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 25, 2015.Your voice for clean water is amplified as a Riverkeeper member. Today, we are over 8,000 members strong. Here are the reasons why your fellow members contribute.
A Real ‘Flow’ of Energy
By admin from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Nov 24, 2015.
Turbines generate electricity from water in city pipes Entrepreneur Gregg Semler has been
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.
It’s Go Time! Vancouver Oil Terminal Hearing Announced! – featured
By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 24, 2015.Today, on Nov. 24, 2015, the Tesoro-Savage Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released. Stand up to big oil: join us at the public hearings, and learn more at our upcoming workshop.
Save the Date: Stand Up to Big Oil in Vancouver this January!
By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 24, 2015.The State of Washington just released its draft environmental review for a massive proposed oil terminal in Vancouver. Let’s make sure Governor Inslee and Washington deny the Tesoro oil terminal. Join us at a critical public hearing this January!
It’s Go Time! Vancouver Oil Terminal Hearing Announced!
By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 24, 2015.Today, on Nov. 24, 2015, the Tesoro-Savage Draft Environmental Impact Statement was released. Stand up to big oil: join us at the public hearings, and learn more at our upcoming workshop.
The Season of Giving
By Kerry Lyles from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 24, 2015.
Next Tuesday, December 1st is Giving Tuesday, and the NW Earth Institute is participating in this global day dedicated to giving. Last year, more than 30,000 organizations in 68 countries came together to celebrate #GivingTuesday. Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesday has… Read More!
Supervisors seek answers on Westside delay
By jeanine from KS In The Press. Published on Nov 23, 2015.The Westside Fire Recovery Project has been a major source of contention within Siskiyou County over the last year, and that contention continued this week.
Take Action for Hanford Cleanup
By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 23, 2015.Major cleanup delays are being proposed for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, in some cases pushing out cleanup another decade. Columbia Riverkeeper is submitting public comments and so should you. Tell our federal and state governments what you think about these delays. Sign on to public comments today.
UW research: coal spills – featured
By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 23, 2015.New research by UW scientists shows coal trains spill dust that is harmful to our lungs.
UW Research: Coal Spills
By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 23, 2015.New research by UW scientists shows coal trains spill dust that is harmful to our lungs.
Staff Spotlight: Samm Newton
By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Nov 23, 2015.People often ask me why I choose to work at the Corvallis Environmental Center (CEC). My answer is always the same; place. The impact that one’s place can have is a strong one. Place, in all it’s meanings, has deeply affected my health, attitudes, relationships, knowledge and behavior. It stays with you your whole life.
The town I grew up in is nothing like Corvallis. I remember it with fond nostalgia, but also relief. The skyline of that small coastal ...
National News: November 23, 2015
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Nov 22, 2015.
Reflections on World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims
By Stephanie Noll from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 20, 2015.There’s a new group in town calling for rapid implementation of Vision Zero, and they speak with a powerful voice, even when it trembles with sadness […]
Genetically Engineered Salmon Approved for Consumption
By jeanine from KS In The Press. Published on Nov 19, 2015.Federal regulators on Thursday, Nov. 19th, 2015 approved a genetically engineered salmon as fit for consumption, clearing the last major obstacle for the first genetically altered animal to reach American supermarkets and dinner tables.
Willamette Week Give!Guide: Been a little Bad? Do a little Good.
By Liz Chapman from Columbia Riverkeeper. Published on Nov 19, 2015.#GiveGuide: From November 4, to December 31, 2015, encourage your friends and neighbors to check us out on Give!Guide. It is a great way to support clean water and healthy communities. Columbia Riverkeeper is honored to be included with 142 diverse nonprofits in the greater Portland area.
Volunteers Needed to plant trees in North Clackamas County, Sat Dec 5th!
By jennyb from Growth Rings. Published on Nov 18, 2015.Located within one of the fastest growing counties in the state, snugged-up between heavily-urbanized Portland and rural farmland in Clackamas County, Damascus is a super place to plant trees! Friends of Trees is working to plant native trees and shrubs to restore natural areas and farmland within this rapidly developing region — and we need your […]
Did You Know NWEI Can Create Customized Courses?
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 18, 2015.
Have you heard that we can now create customized discussion courses? Drawing from our existing curriculum, we can work with you to create a custom discussion course that meets you organization’s specific objectives. Since we officially kicked off creating custom courses earlier… Read More!
What is Giving Tuesday?
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Nov 17, 2015.You’ve probably heard of Black Friday. You may even know about Cyber Monday. But have you heard of Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday is a global day dedicated to giving back to the causes that we most care about. This year giving Tuesday is December 1, 2015. The Wetlands Conservancy is the only land trust in
Restoration of Matson Creek
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Nov 17, 2015.November 2015 As the rains have reluctantly reached the Oregon coast planting of trees and shrubs along the newly re-meandered Matson Creek main-stem and north fork mark the culmination of fisheries and wetland restoration activities at the Wetland Conservancy’s Coos County property that began in 2004. This third and final phase
New podcast: Matt Weingarten on making sustainability second nature for every chef
By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Nov 17, 2015.Change menus. Change lives. - That’s the tag line of Chefs Collaborative, a nonprofit dedicated to making sustainable practices second nature to every chef in America. The national organization believes chefs and food professionals are powerful change...
Prevent Industrial Development in Wildlife Habitat
By aberman from News. Published on Nov 17, 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.
‘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 […]
Historic Resolution: City of Portland Bans New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
By aberman from News. Published on Nov 16, 2015.On November 12, the Portland City Council voted 5-0 to pass a resolution that puts in place the strongest municipal ban on new large-scale fossil fuel infrastructure in the United States.
Changemaker Interview: A Law Firm Takes on EcoChallenge with Gusto
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 16, 2015.
Today’s Changemaker story is about Nadia Wager and her co-workers at the New York Regional Office of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., an environmental law firm with over 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices who recently participated in NWEI’s annual EcoChallenge. Nadia was the EcoChallenge team captain… Read More!
The post Changemaker Interview: A Law Firm Takes on EcoChallenge with Gusto appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.
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.
Featured Case Study: Medford Water Quality Trading Program
By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Nov 13, 2015.
The Freshwater Trust has finished a new video and case study on our
The post Featured Case Study: Medford Water Quality Trading Program appeared first on The Freshwater Trust.
The Freshwater Trust shortlisted for prize in California Water Policy Challenge
By admin from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Nov 13, 2015.
The Freshwater Trust has been placed on the shortlist in Imagine H20’s 2015 California
The post The Freshwater Trust shortlisted for prize in California Water Policy Challenge appeared first on The Freshwater Trust.
Open Letter to Our Friends
By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on Nov 12, 2015.Dear Friends at Friends of Trees, First, thank you all for the hard work you do advocating for and planting trees in our beautiful cities. Second, here are some of the measurable results of the work you do. Volunteers and Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry staff inventoried all street trees within 20 neighborhoods […]
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
Commission moved too fast to delist gray wolf
By jeanine from KS In The Press. Published on Nov 11, 2015.The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission's vote Monday to remove the gray wolf from the state's endangered species list seems premature, especially given the short time since wolves reappeared in the state and the contrast with other protected species.
A New “Powering A Bright Future” is Here!
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 11, 2015.
Our newest discussion course ebook is here! Powering A Bright Future is a three-session discussion course exploring issues related to energy use, and what we can do to take action as individuals and communities interested in promoting energy sustainability. This course… Read More!
The Day After Delisting
By staylor from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Nov 10, 2015.
As you’ve heard by now, Oregon wildlife officials voted last night to strip state Endangered Species Act protections from Oregon's wolves. If you have read previous Wolf Pack emails on this process, you know that this decision was coming and exactly what we were expecting.
While this is certainly a blow for Oregon’s wolves (and for other wildlife), it is just the first stage of a much larger debate over how we protect and restore these iconic animals. In the days ahead, Oregon Wild will be looking both back at the flawed process that lead up to this vote, and forward to the upcoming revision of Oregon’s Wolf Plan, for opportunities to continue the fight for gray wolves. We have always worked to make sure that state and federal agencies obey the law, and we will continue to do just that.
Oregon’s wolves, and all Oregonians who treasure wildlife and wild places, owe a debt to the everyday citizens like you who poured hundreds of hours of volunteer work into research, training, lobbying, testifying, writing, and taking action on behalf of wolf recovery over the last year.
Wolves are smart, tenacious animals. Now their human defenders must be just as smart and tenacious. We need you now more than ever to channel that sadness, anger, and frustration into action! Many of you have asked us what you can do right now. Here are three suggestions:
1) File a comment with Governor Brown via website or by calling (503) 378-4582
2) Write a letter to the editor for your public newspaper. Here’s a brief on How to Write an Op-ed and a Letter to the Editor.
There are only 81 known wolves in Oregon.
The scientific process required by law to justify removing protections was rushed, though the Commission had been urged back in April to seek independent review. Supporting documents were not available to the public until after the Commission meeting had already started.
Half of the science reviewers were hand-picked from Idaho Fish and Game, an agency that does not have a good reputation for wildlife management or integrity.
The scientific feedback wildlife staff received is insufficient and does not meet the standard of “vigorous independent review." It is nothing more than some side notes on the original document, which were never taken into consideration or incorporated into the final report.
Governor Kate Brown’s recent appointments to the Wildlife Commission have been a disaster. Jason Atkinson hasn’t attended the last two Commissioner meetings, while Bruce Buckmaster has been openly hostile and disrespectful to wildlife advocates.
If you are in Oregon, sign up to join the Oregon Wild Ones, a local wildlife activist group. Get updates on action alerts, upcoming trainings, and ways that you can make a difference for Oregon's wolves. Email Stephanie@oregonwild.org to get signed up.
We really appreciate you, and the wolves do as well.
Women Bike Recap: Our First Three Months
By Nicole from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 10, 2015.In August of this year we launched a new women’s initiative called Women Bike. Women Bike works to inspire more women to incorporate a bike into their lives and […]
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 […]
Why Traffic Safety Advocates Should Support #CampaignZero
By Stephanie Noll from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 09, 2015.In early 2015, in partnership with Oregon Walks, the BTA published a Vision Zero report calling for an end to traffic fatalities. Like other Vision Zero […]
Echo Fly Fishing launches campaign to reduce post-catch mortality
By admin from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Nov 09, 2015.
by Tyler Allen Fish need water. Of course they do. Yet according to
The post Echo Fly Fishing launches campaign to reduce post-catch mortality appeared first on The Freshwater Trust.
Poll Result: ODOT’s Proposed Barbur Bridge Fixes are Inadequate
By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 09, 2015.We asked people what they wanted to see on the Barbur Bridges and the answer was clear: safe, separate space for walking and biking. Currently, the […]
National News: November 9, 2015
By email@example.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Nov 08, 2015.
Donor Profile: Andy Bryant, Chairman of Intel’s Board of Directors
By admin from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Nov 08, 2015.
Solutions that go well beyond the local In 2008, Andy Bryant was invited
The post Donor Profile: Andy Bryant, Chairman of Intel’s Board of Directors appeared first on The Freshwater Trust.
Your Voice Needed to Pass Historic Ban on Fossil Fuels
By aberman from News. Published on Nov 07, 2015.On November 4 the Portland City Council will consider two resolutions that would put in place the strongest policies against fossil fuel shipments in the country.
The Myth of Replanting: 5 Ways Oregon’s Laws Destroy Forests
By Jason from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Nov 05, 2015.
Here in Oregon, a little less than half of the land is forested. Almost all of that forestland is owned either by private timber companies, the State of Oregon, or a federal agency such as the U.S. Forest Service, or the Bureau of Land Management. In Western Oregon, there are two very different sets of rules that these forestland owners follow. Most federal lands are governed by the Northwest Forest Plan; State and private lands, however, are governed by the Oregon Forest Practices Act, or the OFPA.
The OFPA has weak conservation measures that do not protect human health, wildlife, or property from the damaging effects of clearcuts. But you may have recently heard otherwise from an organization called the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, which is the name of the public relations arm of the timber industry that gets to collect the taxes paid by private timber companies in Oregon. So how do they use the this tax money? Well, they use it to mislead the people of Oregon about the state of our forests and drinking water. So, just to set the record straight, here are 5 common myths they like to use in this misinformation campaign, and the sad truths about them.
5. The Big Whopper: Sustainable Yield
The Myth: Oregon harvests a “Sustainable Yield” of trees.
The Truth: Clearcutting, and Oregon’s weak logging regulations have led to over 500,000 acres of deforestation in just the last 15 years.
A new analysis from the Center for a Sustainable Economy documented the loss of 522,000 acres of forest cover in Western Oregon since 2000. The analysis, completed with GIS support from Oregon Wild, used satellite data to study forest cover trends on public and private lands. Because the rate of clearcutting on state and private lands has far exceeded forest cover gain from replanting, forest loss during this period exceeded forest gain by 45%.
“Anyone who has driven to the Oregon Coast has seen first hand the aggressive clearcutting that takes place under Oregon’s weak logging rules,” says Steve Pedery, Conservation Director for Oregon Wild. “When it comes to deforestation, we have more in common with Brazil and Indonesia than most of our citizens realize.”
Want more details on deforestation in Oregon? Click here for the deforestation report.
4. The Wordplay: Replanting "Forests"
The Myth: Clearcuts are replanted with healthy young “forests”
The Truth: Incredibly diverse forests supporting a multitude of species are being converted into single crop agriculture, not forests--and these “crops” are being sprayed heavily with chemicals to kill all other naturally occurring plant life.
Statewide, Oregon has more than 60 species of native trees, but as far as the timber industry is concerned, all we need is 1 very tall, very straight, cash cow. When clearcutting happens on private industrial forest lands in Western Oregon, all trees and life are removed from an area, and that area is replanted with one species: Douglas-fir. This “monocrop” is then sprayed for several years with a combination of several herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizer to ensure it is the only thing that can grow there. Walking through a forest in Oregon is an amazing experience, one might see or touch a plethora of plant or animal species. Walking through a Douglas-fir plantation is much more like being in a cornfield.
3.The “create fear”: We have to “kill it before it burns!”
The Myth: Clearcuts are good for forests because they mimic fires and make Oregon safer.
The Truth: Clearcuts mimic parking lots, not nature. Fires and other natural disturbances support and enhance ecosystems in ways that clearcuts do not.
A common myth we hear from the pro-clearcut lobby in Oregon is that “clearcuts mimic natural disturbances in forests,” often using this myth to support the idea of logging to make forests safer from fire. Well, parking lots aren’t likely to burn either, and they certainly won’t produce salmon I want on my dinner table.
Modern science tells us that clearcutting older forests and planting young monocrops makes forest fires in Oregon more dangerous to people, and more likely to get out of control. Old growth trees have much thicker bark that prevents them from fire, and their limbs are typically higher up where ground level fires don't reach them. Science also tells us that forests which have experienced large natural disturbances such as fire are an important part of the natural landscape and provide crucial habitat to many species. Clearcuts, on the other hand, start out as moonscapes and grow into tinderboxes. While there are certainly situations where forest management needs to be used to protect communities, the clearcut industry is making a habit out of using this myth to stuff their wallets.
2. The “We care”: Oregon doesn’t cut old growth.
The Myth: Oregon has laws protecting old growth, we no longer cut down ancient forests.
The Truth: Laws regulating private industrial logging in Oregon do not protect old growth forests, and giant trees are cut down on a regular basis.
Old growth forests are very different from young tree stands. They provide rich soils, retain and filter clean water, and are habitat for many rare and distinct animals.
While it is true that many federal forests in Oregon have much stronger protections for old growth than they used to, the same can not be said for State, county or privately owned lands. A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a photo of a legal harvest of 500 year old trees recently completed by Douglas County in Southwestern Oregon. These trees were cut solely for profit .
1. The absurd: “ZOMBIE TREES” are a problem for Oregon
The Myth: Standing dead “Zombie Trees” are a problem in Oregon and clearcutting old forests makes them healthier.
The Truth: Older forests are better for Oregon by every measure, and standing dead trees or “snags” are a crucial part of a healthy Oregon forest and provide many benefits to Oregonians.
While standing dead trees are seen by logging corporations as a loss, dozens of species of native wildlife call them home. For owls, woodpeckers, salamander, black bears, pacific fisher, and other critters, dead trees -- and very large dead trees in particular -- might be better labeled as "wildlife's condos" than "zombie trees."
“Only a tree farmer is concerned about tree mortality, because they want every tree to "die by chainsaw" says Doug Heiken, Oregon Wilds Conservation and Restoration Coordinator. “In a natural forest every tree that grows in the forest also dies in the forest (and stays in the forest). In fact, snags and down wood play a wide variety of valuable ecological services for the developing forest.”
Get connected with Oregon Wild, and let us keep you updated on this issue, as well as what’s really going on with Oregon’s drinking water, aerial pesticide spraying, landslides, and other ways Oregon’s logging laws are failing the people, and failing the planet. Sign up here.
Weigh-in: Portland is seeking Advisory Committee members for its Off-road Cycling Master Plan!
By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 05, 2015.What: Portland Off-road Cycling Master Plan is recruiting members for advisory committee. Date & Time: Submit a Statement of Interest by Wednesday, November 18 by 5:00 p.m. […]
Love the Forest? Save the Fisher.
By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Nov 04, 2015.
By Seth Heller
Fisher cat – polecat – pekan – martes pennanti – woolang. The pacific fisher’s abundance of monikers contrasts their slim existence in Oregon. Despite an alarmingly low presence in the Oregon wild, the pacific fisher remains stubbornly labeled a species of ‘least concern’. Given the incredible rate of poisoning due to illegal marijuana growers, it’s a title that should give pause to conservationists throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The pacific fisher’s dark clever eyes, sleek and muscular frame of mottled brown and black, and long bushy brush-like tail were once as common to Oregon as the hollows of the Douglas firs they kept as their homes. Fishers are shy animals; they prefer to live in isolated old-grow ancient forests. They are perhaps best known as one of the few animals that hunt porcupines – a testament to their tenacity and cunning.
The pacific fisher is member of the mustelid family, better known as weasels. They are native to northern North America. In Canada, they call a massive area sprawling from Nova Scotia in the east to British Columbia in the west, home. In the western United States, they historically occupied a narrow north-to-south corridor that snakes down through Washington into western Oregon, ending in a handful of small pocket populations in the wild mountains of the Sierra Nevada range.
Feisty and courageous, legendary Native American tribes including the Algonquin and Chippewa held the fisher in high regard, painting them as the heroes of native folktales – the Gitchi Ojig (Great Fisher) legend tells how the fisher brought summer to the world, before ascending to the sky to take the sparkling-silver constellation of the big dipper in the night sky.
The expansion of the American west coincided with the dramatic reduction of the fisher’s habitat range. Demand for pelts was frenzied and fur trappers leapt into the woods. Roads continually crawled across fisher habitat, paved veins through which an adventurous population flowed out into previously pristine and uninhabited wilderness of the American West. The fisher cat habitat continued to contract throughout the hectic population surge, eventually becoming the bones of its former self that we recognize today.
There are currently two fisher populations in Oregon. The Klamath Mountains’ fisher population extends down into northern California, which holds the bulk of this extended concentration. The second population is in the southern Cascades around Crater Lake National Park.
Recognizing the plight of the pacific fisher, repopulation efforts have occurred several times in the past 50 or so years. Many of Oregon’s fishers are descendants of reintroduction efforts of 1961 and 1977-1981 in British Columbia and Minnesota. More recent reintroductions in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula (2008-2010) and California’s northern Sierra Nevada range (2009) have been encouragingly successful.
The roads that enclosed the fishers are long built. Through the fur trade experienced swings in demand throughout the 20th century, the price of fisher pelt has stayed low since the mid-1940s, suggesting that demand will follow suit.
Though it would seem that the best days are behind the fisher, a strange and menacing illegal industry has risen to claim the top spot as their greatest adversary.
The mellow vibes of legal marijuana culture are a stark contract from the dangerous illegally-grown cannabis farms that are prevalent in the Pacific Northwest. Despite marijuana’s legalization in Oregon and Washington, and medical status in California, illegal growing has continued unabated. These farms are dangerous for adventurous and unwary hikers; however they are literally poisonous for fishers.
Anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) are a popular lethal solution for large pop-growing operations. ARs kill by interfering with the “synthesis of vitamin K dependent blood-clotting factors in the liver”, which eventually causes anemia, fatigue, difficulty breathing, and hemorrhaging from the nose and gums.
The mice and other small rodents that these growers target happen to be the favorite prey of the pacific fisher. Once ingested, a rodent can live up to seven days, plenty of time for a fisher to make a meal of it. Second-generation ARs such as Brodifacoum are particularly toxic – they are usually deadly after a single ingestion.
Illegal marijuana growers love to plant in remote, steep, mountainous areas – the same kind of land that the fisher loves to call home. Fishers face an extremely high rate of poisoning due to this unfortunate overlap. A recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) study discovered that a potential 95 percent of fishers will be exposed to ARs over the next 40 years. Similarly, University of California, Davis, researchers recently found that 79 percent of the fishers they autopsied during their study had been exposed to ARs.
In Oregon, the toxic marijuana fields present an especially large hurdle for fishers. In testimony before the Oregon legislature's committee on Measure 91 implementation, Oregon Wild reviewed the dangers of illegal public lands marijuana cultivation and species like fisher and spotted owl, and highlighted the opportunity for the state to protect these species through a marijuana certification process. Our state has one of the largest concentrations of illegal growers in the nation – even Mexican cartels have been implicated by the feds in local operations. The fishers vs. the cartels… think about it for a minute.
However, the pacific fisher could have the law on its side. Though currently protected by a flimsy ‘species of least concern’ conservation status, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has the opportunity to reclassify the pacific fisher, potentially giving it a much stronger set of legal armor.
The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) recommended a reclassification of the fisher in a 2008 petition. The California Fish and Game Commission batted away their request in 2010 (without conducting a full scientific review), so the CBD launched a lawsuit against the state and won. Picking up momentum, the CBD filed another lawsuit, this time demanding that the fisher be protected under the Endangered Species Act. This lawsuit is pending – a decision will be dictated in April of 2016.
|Fisher by Greg Trouslot|
Oregon Wild (OW) has long been on the front lines of the fight to reclassify the fisher. An original signer of the ESA petition to list in 2000, OW continues to adamantly support relisting the fisher. Oregon Wild’s own Wendell Wood organized 22 other conservation groups to sign onto a 1998 appeal in which he raised fisher concerns as one of the primary reasons for halting the Pelican Butte timber sale. Oregon Wild members Greg Trouslot and his wife Linda Garrision were able to photograph a fisher in the late 1990s at Rocky Point, at the base of Pelican Butte. This documentation succeeded in stopping the last planned ski development on Pelican Butte.
If the fisher is reclassified as “Threatened”, it will be up to the USFWS to decide which protections to shield them with. Not all of the endangered species securities are required to be enacted – instead, the USFWS will pick and choose them based on their recovery needs.
Fortunately, the establishment of ‘critical habitat’ regulations are non-negotiable. This simply means that all land, water, and air adjustments that are deemed necessary to save the fisher would be reviewed and enacted. Remember: the fisher loves to make its home in old growth forests in secluded areas, far away from roads and development. So: love the forest? Save the fisher.
Give through Give!Guide Today!
By Lauren Hugel from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 04, 2015.The Willamette Week’s Give!Guide, a year-end celebration of local non-profits doing great things in our communities, kicks off today! The BTA is thrilled to be included […]
Donate to the BTA through Give!Guide & Win a Prize Basket of Awesome (and MORE!)
By Lauren Hugel from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 03, 2015.It’s that time of year again! Your opportunity to participate in the best end of year giving campaign for local non-profits (aka Willamette Week’s Give!Guide) starts […]
We’re having a holiday party. You should come!
By Lauren Hugel from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 03, 2015.You’re invited to our Members Only Holiday Party! What: BTA’s Member Holiday Party When: December 9th 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Where: BTA headquarters! 618 NW Glisan, […]
Action Alert: Tell Congress to Save Funding for Biking
By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Nov 03, 2015.Tell Congress: Save Funding for Biking On Wednesday and Thursday the House of Representatives are going to voting on the transportation bill- including up to three votes to cut eligibility […]
Small Actions Add Up to Real Change! Our Collective EcoChallenge Impact
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Nov 02, 2015.
EcoChallenge 2015 wrapped up last week! Thanks to all those who participated this year and contributed to making the event such a great success. Below is a recap of some of the measurable impacts from this year’s EcoChallenge. We hope… Read More!
The post Small Actions Add Up to Real Change! Our Collective EcoChallenge Impact appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.
For Every Kid Campaign Update: $15M for Safe Routes to School!
By Sarah Newsum from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Oct 31, 2015.This month our Coalition stood strong and with one voice urged decision makers to dedicate $15 million to Safe Routes to School! Learn more and enjoy these […]
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. 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
Parade! Prizes! Party!
By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Oct 30, 2015.Join us for the Light Parade to the Community Cycling Center (CCC) Bicycle Ball (with prizes!). What: Light Parade Bike Ride Date: Wednesday, November 11th Time: […]
Stories of Change from EcoChallenge 2015
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Oct 30, 2015.
EcoChallenge 2015 just wrapped up with over 4,300 people proving that small actions add up to real change! Over the course of the past two weeks we’ve been blown away by the commitment of this year’s EcoChallengers. We know that… Read More!
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 […]
Fill Milwaukie City Hall!
By Carl Larson from Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Published on Oct 29, 2015.The Monroe Neighborhood Greenway Concept Plan is going to Milwaukie City Hall for a vote. It’s time to let Milwaukie’s city councilors know that you support the […]
TRK is Hiring an Environmental Education Coordinator
By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Oct 27, 2015.Download pdf: Education Coordinator 2015 Environmental Education Coordinator Tualatin Riverkeepers or ‘TRK’ (www.tualatinriverkeepers.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Tualatin River and its watershed, located primarily in Washington County. TRK engages the public in this mission through four programs: recreation, education, advocacy and environmental restoration. Located in a bustling […]
EcoChallenge Day 11!
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Oct 27, 2015.
EcoChallenge 2015 is in full swing, with 4,301 people currently collectively proving that small actions add up to real change! We’ve been saving CO2, eating more organic and meatless meals, diverting food waste, writing letters and making phone calls advocating for… Read More!
Make Way for Beaver
By admin from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Oct 26, 2015.
When a group of five scientists in the Pacific Northwest began advertising for
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 […]
National News: October 26, 2015
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Oct 25, 2015.
Our chance to fix this: A year-end message
By admin from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Oct 25, 2015.
As this year comes to a close, we’re reminded of everything that The
Staff Spotlight: Teacher Laura
By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Oct 21, 2015.Laura Peterson is one of the Nature Education Instructors at Avery House Nature Center and has been working there for just over four years. Her son attended the preschool program and loved his time connecting with nature while he was a student. She would drop him off and see all of the unique and fun activities the teachers used to involve the children with learning. This sparked her interest in wanting to work there and when a position opened up, Laura knew ...
Solar Works! What local governments and utilities need to know
By joshb from Daily News. Published on Oct 21, 2015.Join local governments, electric utilities, and business interests from the Oregon Coast for an informative afternoon of solar energy information. Attendees will learn how you can use solar energy to recharge the local economy, with presentations from solar installers, local and State governments, and Solar Oregon. A Q&A; Session will follow, with plenty of time to get your questions answered.
Join Us Today for an Online Clean Energy Dialogue via #CleanEnergyU!
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Oct 21, 2015.
At 12pm PST/3pm EST today, the NW Earth Institute will join dozens of other speakers for a live tweetathon where we’ll engage directly with community members, faculty, students and higher education staff in conversation on #CleanEnergyU, a new opportunity to help… Read More!
The post Join Us Today for an Online Clean Energy Dialogue via #CleanEnergyU! appeared first on Northwest Earth Institute.
Why Salmon Need Estuaries
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Oct 20, 2015.More than 40 people gathered at Seven Devils Brewery in Coos Bay to hear NOAA Fisheries biologist Dan Bottom’s analysis of what we have learned about salmon resilience and response to wetland restoration from case studies in Oregon’s most heavily developed basin (Columbia River) and its most fully restored estuary (Salmon River). These projects demonstrate
What Can Beavers Do For You?
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Oct 20, 2015.The Wetlands Conservancy has been a long time admirer of the North American Beaver, a keystone species that has the single greatest impact on promoting natural ecosystem function in wetlands and riparian areas. But beaver have not always been popular. The controversy tends to center around beavers impact on changing hydrology and flooding. Historically human’s
Wetlands & Wellies Photo Story
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Oct 20, 2015.Over 175 members, supporters, partners, volunteers and food lovers gathered at DuckRidge Farm to celebrate 34 years of conservation of Oregon wetlands. Together we raised over $45,000 for the protection and conservation of Oregon’s Greatest Wetlands. Thank for being a part of our community and joining us for another great Wetlands & Wellies! Thank
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Oct 20, 2015.
This is a snapshot of our collective impact over the first 6 days of the EcoChallenge. Way to go, EcoChallengers! And, if you haven’t yet joined us, you can still join the EcoChallenge today!
Bloomberg Business covers collaboration with Google
By Haley Walker from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Oct 19, 2015.
The Freshwater Trust has partnered with Google to discover how using its advanced cameras
The post Bloomberg Business covers collaboration with Google appeared first on The Freshwater Trust.
EcoChallenge Day 5!
By Deborah McNamara from Northwest Earth Institute. Published on Oct 19, 2015.
Today is Day #5 of NWEI’s annual EcoChallenge. As of this morning we have a record-setting 4,018 EcoChallengers on over 200 teams, and 41 team competitions underway! For moment by moment updates of what the EcoChallengers are up to, visit the EcoChallenge feed,… Read More!
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
How to plant a tree (balled and burlapped)
By brightonw from Growth Rings. Published on Oct 14, 2015.How To Plant A Tree Written By: Kira Cazenave Planting your own tree? For the best results to ensure that your new foliage friend is happy in its new home, follow the Friends Of Trees step by step guide to planting a balled and burlapped tree! Remove plastic tags and prune off broken branches. Just […]
Musings on a strange Kalmiopsis meadow
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Oct 13, 2015.The headwaters of Baldface Creek is one of those mystical wildlands that inspires strange stories from the few who have been there. It is a place that seeps into your dreams and a weird landscape that evokes awe and contemplation.
Peak experience on Preston Peak
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Oct 13, 2015.Preston Peak is not the highest mountain in the Siskiyous, but it is certainly the most iconic. Standing tall amidst a range of wilderness peaks and looking down on Raspberry Lake, Rattlesnake Meadows and the expansive old-growth forests of the aptly named Clear Creek Watershed, Preston is special.
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.
National News: October 12, 2015
By email@example.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Oct 12, 2015.
30,000 Cheers for Crater Lake!
By bridget from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Oct 09, 2015.
As we approach the 2016 Presidential election, we're hearing a lot about public lands and the best use for them. Everything from drilling in the arctic wildlife refuges to privatizing and selling off public lands for development have been proposed. While public lands have always had their detractors, this minority has become much more vocal in recent years, and their attacks on public lands have increasingly drawn the attention and support of national politicians.
To help navigate the noise on public lands, take action now to protect Crater Lake, then read these top 5 things you should know about public lands in Oregon.
1) Not all public lands are treated equally
|Leaseland farmers in hazmat suits on a National Wildlife Refuge. Commercial crops will be planted here, with decoys set up to prevent wildlife from spending time on this land. To emphasize, this is a National Wildlife Refuge that is discouraging wildlife.|
There are dozens of different designations for public lands: Wildlife Refuges, National Parks, Forest Conservation Areas, National Recreation Areas, and National Forests to name a few. These designations have different levels of protection regarding what is and is not allowed, and even then much of it depends on local management plans individualized for each area.
It can get confusing. Due to the various terms there is often wiggle room left for mischief from development and extraction special interests. At Oregon Wild, we work to protect the very best areas in Oregon as designated Wilderness. Why? Because...
2) Wilderness is the gold standard
Wilderness is the highest level of uniform protection we can give public land. A national monument in Florida could look very different from a monument in Oregon depending on the management plan. While one could be a pristine healthy forest, the other could resemble something closer to Disneyland.
With Wilderness, the protection is the same. That means you can't mine or log in Wilderness, and you can't build a commercial theme park. But you can hike, hunt, fish, canoe and ski. Congress designates a landscape as Wilderness, and regardless of whether the next election produces a President Trump or President Clinton, the protections remain the same.
3) Oregon can do better in Wilderness protection
We pride ourselves on being a green state full of breath taking mountains, forests, and rivers teeming with wild salmon and trout. However our neighboring states have done a much better job at designating their best lands as Wilderness. To compare, California has 15% of their state designated as Wilderness, Washington has 10%, and Idaho has 8%. Oregon falls far behind with only 4% of our state designated as Wilderness. So what do we do about it?
4) Crater Lake is not Wilderness!
Wilderness areas are reserved for places with towering trees, clear cold streams and abundant wildlife. A poster child for this image is none other than our own Crater Lake. This region houses large groves of old growth trees, as well as the watersheds of our most iconic rivers like the Rogue, Umpqua, Willamette and Little Deschutes. It's home to threatened and endangered species, like grey wolves and the Pacific fisher, and top notch recreation opportunities. So it can come as a surprise to learn that Crater Lake, the crown of the Cascades, is not already protected as Wilderness.
Most national parks in the West have a Wilderness designation on top of their park status, but Crater Lake is one of just a few that does not. As public lands are treated differently, national park protections vary widely. Decisions are left to ever-changing management and political administrations, and Crater Lake has seen proposals from gondola tours to parking lots on Wizard Island. The surrounding areas outside the park are just as critical to the region, and threatened with old growth logging right up to the park's edge. But we can change that.
5) Congress needs to hear from YOU to make Wilderness happen
There is a growing coalition of businesses, outdoor enthusiasts, conservationists and elected leaders rallying around a proposal to designate 500,000 acres in and around the Crater Lake region as Wilderness. Because it takes an act of Congress to name an area as Wilderness, we're asking Senator Wyden and Merkley to step up and protect this area for future generations to enjoy. And they need to hear from you!
Help us reach our goal of 30,000 petition signatures by October 20th, 2015. Oregon Wild and our partners Environment Oregon and Umpqua Watersheds will be delivering petitions to Senator Wyden's office on Tuesday morning, October 20th asking them to sponsor legislation for the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal.
After you sign, join us for our free happy hour Tuesday, October 20th at Base Camp Brewing to celebrate this historic, grassroots effort. There will be slideshows, photo petitions, and locally crafted ale as we raise a glass to the growing movement to protect Crater Lake. You can find details for the event here.
It takes a group of people to raise their voice in support of Wilderness. We hope you'll stand with us.
Last Call for Jawbone Flats!
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Oct 08, 2015.With the leaves turning and the nights getting colder, the end of the 2015 program season […]
Oregon’s Greatest Wetlands: Tours!
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Oct 07, 2015.Exploring Oregon’s Greatest Wetlands Learn about wetlands. Wetlands occur in all corners of Oregon and are among the most biologically productive and species-rich habitats in the state. Coastal salt marshes, wet prairies, spruce swamps and fresh water marshes are a small sampling of the diversity of wetland types in Oregon. Grab your rubber boots, binoculars
Welcoming Wolves Back to Southern Oregon
By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Oct 06, 2015.
by Beckie Elgin
The final night of the first Oregon Wild Crater Lake Wolf Rendezvous. Debriefing time. Jonathan Jelen, Development Director for Oregon Wild, tells the eleven of us sitting in a tight circle around a crackling campfire that we need to relish our victories in the wolf world, as things don't always go well. He’s right; wolf advocacy is often fraught with disappointment as we battle the mythology and misinformation that surrounds Canis lupus. Yet throughout this event, camped along the Rogue River or on excursions nearby, we enjoyed four productive and memorable days together, learning about wolves and building friendships with like-minded people. This is the kind of success that keeps us going.
We met on a rainy afternoon at Union Creek Campground in the Rogue River National Forest. The river flowed behind us while the rain washed us from above. We sought dry patches of ground to pitch our tents. By the time our bountiful potluck dinner was arranged on a picnic table, the rain had ended. We were gifted with autumn warmth and clear skies for the rest of the weekend.
After dinner, introductions were made and Jonathan delivered a comprehensive description of Oregon Wild, including the history of the group and their current campaigns. This was followed by an in-depth a look at wolves in Oregon, from their eradication in the 1940s to their status today. Dessert came next, with brownies and cookies made by Linda, a wolf fan enjoying her first rendezvous. Linda had stenciled each cookie with the figure of a wolf, a perfect replica of the Oregon Wild bumper stickers.
John Stephenson, biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, was at our campsite next morning at nine. He explained that the still healing scar on his left cheek was not from a wolf, but proof that soft balls are not soft. John led the way, the rest of us in vans, out of the Rogue River National Forest, alongside Crater Lake National Park, and into the flatlands south of the park. We stopped along the road to gaze at Mount Mazama and hear John discuss ranching practices in the area under the influence of wolves. OR 7, better known as Journey, had passed near this spot when he first trekked down from northeast Oregon in 2011. And he was back in the vicinity again, this time with his black mate and their two seasons of offspring.
|John Stephenson, USFWS biologist, sets up a trailcam|
Our next stop was on a narrow dirt road. John jumped out of his truck and waved us to join him. In the middle of the road sat a fairly fresh pile of wolf scat. If one did not know the particular passion wolf advocates hold, they’d be shocked at the attention a find such as this creates. We circled the scat, murmuring our appreciation, and John set his little ruler beside it to gauge for size. Photos were snapped. I didn’t time the stop, but we must have been there for thirty minutes, asking questions and staring at the impressive pile of wolf scat that lay before us.
Finally, John led us to another spot he’d scouted out the night before. There we saw wolf tracks, some old, some new, in the soft dirt of at the edge of the road. On our first night, Jonathan had asked us what our expectations were. Some had said they hoped to see wolves, some joked that they’d like to go home with a wolf puppy or two. But, seeing tracks and scat, true evidence of the return of wolves to southern Oregon, turned out to be enough. We were thrilled.
Lunch was enjoyed on a sunny meadow. Layers of clothing were shed as the day warmed. A few of the group wandered up the road. Bindy, who turned out to be our most ardent scatologist, transferred a large pile of scat onto a rock and carried it back to share with the group. John told us the scat was likely coyote, although it must have been a big one at that.
John has seen Journey no less than three times. And it was John who took the picture of the two Rogue pups peeking out of a log. He was only twenty feet away when he snapped the photo, startling the pups back into hiding. John also discussed the challenges the area may face as wolf numbers increase in southern Oregon. In his words, “It’s a very human-managed landscape, not like Yellowstone.” But there have been no livestock losses due to wolves so far and ranchers are doing their part to help prevent problems in the future.
On Saturday, after a pleasant hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, Bridget Callahan, Wilderness Campaign Coordinator, led us to her favorite place in the world, Crater Lake National Park. After gazing at the lake, we skirted past hordes of tourists to a conference room where we met the park’s terrestrial ecologist, Sean Mohren. Sean told us about the history of wolves at Crater Lake, sharing excerpts from park ranger logs as far back as August of 1930, when “…just above Park Headquarters, a large timber wolf walked leisurely along the edge of the meadow carrying a marmot in his mouth.” Wolves, we learned, are not likely to populate Crater Lake National Park due to the elevation and heavy snow fall. Elk leave the park in the winter, meaning wolves would as well. But if climate change decreases the snow pack, enabling more wildlife to live there year round, Sean assured us “the park would truly embrace wolves.”
We were given an education on the multitude of species that call Crater Lake home, or at least pass through it, including the rare Sierra Pacific red fox, the Pacific fisher, black bear, elk, Black-backed woodpeckers and the Mazama newt, a subspecies indigenous only to Crater Lake. The knowledge we gained in our time with Sean served to give us a deeper appreciation for Oregon Wild’s Crater Lake Wilderness Proposal. Bridget shared details of the plan with us, but in a nutshell, the proposal would protect 500,000 acres inside and outside of the park from threats such as logging and development and at the same time, would create a 90 mile wildlife corridor along the crest of the Cascade Range. The proposal is still in the works. In fact, one from our rendezvous, the new board president of Oregon Wild Vik Anantha, headed into the backcountry after we departed to do research on some of the areas included in the proposal.
Our wolf rendezvous included several dedicated environmental supporters. Some belong to Oregon Wild Ones, a venue spearheaded by Oregon Wild for those who want to take their activism to the next level. These include Stephanie, Brett, and Judith, who plan on attending the October 9, 2015 Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Florence where they will explain to the commission why wolves should remain protected under the state’s Endangered Species Act.
After Crater Lake, we had dinner at Beckie’s Cafe in Union Creek. Beckie, by the way, was a man. When he died, his wife became known as Beckie as well. As you can imagine, I felt very at home there. At a table next to us sat a dozen folks dressed in kilts and black vests. Ominous looking swords hung at their sides. As we wondered if there was a performance of Braveheart going on nearby, one of the men went to his car and returned with his bagpipe and in the small dining room of Beckie’s Cafe we were given a private performance by Roland Kari of the Southern Oregon Bagpipe Band.
Sunday morning we rose to another delicious breakfast created by Joannie. Besides her attributes as a camp cook, Joannie has created a wolf education program for elementary students called Wolfways. Oregon Wild and Wolf Haven International both sponsor Joannie’s program. So far, over 750 kids have been given the opportunity to see wolves in a new light. Little Red Riding Hood and The Big Bad Wolf are taking a back seat to the scientific evidence that demonstrates the value of wolves in the environment.
Inspiration filled the air throughout the entire Crater Lake Wolf Rendezvous. Karen told me that the event brought her renewed motivation to work on her wolf writing project. I felt the same. We admitted looking forward to a soft bed and warmer nights, but would miss the people and the place. The rush of the Rogue River had brought close the sanctity of the natural world, while our campfire conversations instilled the need to protect this world and the wildlife that inhabits it. The experts we listened to provided facts to validate our arguments for preserving wilderness and wildlife. I left the Union Creek campground inspired by all of this, but especially by the desire of my rendezvous friends to understand opposing viewpoints and to soak up as much knowledge about wolves as possible.
Have you seen the new Paddlers’ Map?
By web master 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 »
An interview with the ‘real-life Lorax’
By Joe Whitworth from The Freshwater Trust. Published on Oct 02, 2015.Meg Lowman didn’t grow up with the internet. She didn’t grow up with apps for species identification, with drones or with satellite imagery. She grew up climbing trees. And that is what has made all the difference. -
4th Annual Home Performance Conference of Oregon
By joshb from Daily News. Published on Sep 30, 2015.Join Solar Oregon and the Home Performance Guild of Oregon at the 4th Annual Home Performance Conference of Oregon. This year the conference is exploring Intersections of Health and Home Performance.
Congratulations, Bruce Taylor, for receiving the prestigious 2015 John E. Nagel Award!
By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Sep 30, 2015.For more than 23 years, Bruce Taylor has worked to protect and restore important habitats for birds as the Executive Director of the Oregon Habitat Joint Venture (OHJV). He possesses a vision for bird and wildlife conservation that is unique and highly valued in today’s world of competing resource demands and complexity. Check out the
Art Contest: Transform our bamboo fish into something useful and beautiful!
By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Sep 30, 2015.DEADLINE EXTENDED: Calling all artists! We are hosting an art contest with Portland’s ADX (Art Design Portland) to transform 288 bamboo fish into a marketable product that expresses TWC’s mission to conserve, protect, and restore wetlands. Winner (s) will produce a marketable product out of provided bamboo fish The product will be sold at a local retailer Artist
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 web master 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 […]
National News: September 28, 2015
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Sep 27, 2015.
Happy Valley Launches HV Solar Home Program
By joshb from Daily News. Published on Sep 24, 2015.The City of Happy Valley, OR, a fast-growing suburb of Portland, was recently awarded a grant from Northwest Solar Communities to increase solar photovoltaic installations among homeowners. With grant funds, the City launched the HV Solar Home Program (HV Solar), an educational campaign with special solar installation opportunities. HV Solar is hinged on partnerships with local solar installers.
Trick, treat or plant: Halloween planting at Milo McIver
By jennyb from Growth Rings. Published on Sep 24, 2015.Friends of Trees is ecstatic to announce our first tree planting at Milo McIver State Park along the Clackamas River in Estacada! Get outdoors with Friends of Trees to restore an area of oak savannah at this hidden gem of a park. We’ll be planting Oregon White Oak and associated shrubs across the area known […]
Become a Friends of Trees Volunteer Crew Leader
By brightonw from Growth Rings. Published on Sep 24, 2015.By Matt Pizzuti, volunteer Crew Leader for the Green Space Program Do you want to develop leadership skills? Improve the natural environment in your community? Spend some time each Saturday getting to know some friendly and inspirational people? Learn more about trees, native plants, and how to help make your community green? If you answered yes to […]
OPB Releases First Footage of Cormorant Slaughter
By aberman from News. Published on Sep 23, 2015.OPB has posted the first footage of federal agents using shotguns to kill Cormorants near East Sand Island.
Audubon Society of Portland Disagrees with Decision Not to List the Greater Sage-Grouse
By aberman from News. Published on Sep 23, 2015.This morning the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it does not intend to list the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
Classrooms Take Charge this Fall
By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Sep 22, 2015.Recently we have been asking you to Take Charge Corvallis. And not only are we asking you to Take Charge, we are taking charge too. Energize Corvallis, a program of the Corvallis Environmental Center, has been working behind the scenes to build an innovative program called Classrooms take Charge that is changing the way Pacific Northwest educators teach high school students about the impacts of our actions.
After being awarded a competitive Environmental Education grant from the EPA, Energize Corvallis ...
What should cities do about car washing pollution?
By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Sep 22, 2015.Wash water from car washing activities typically contains dirt (sediment), soap (detergent/surfactants), gasoline and motor oil, as well as metals and oil/grease residues from exhaust fumes and brake pads. When this dirty water is allowed to flow into storm drains, it travels directly to our local creeks and rivers without treatment. This pollution can kill […]
Solar Now! University Sizzles
By joshb from Daily News. Published on Sep 22, 2015.It’s been a few short weeks, since this year’s Solar Now! University and I want to thank the many partners, staff members, and sponsors who helped make this event a success. With a conference theme of ‘sprinting ahead,’ this convening of renewable energy leaders provided an opportunity to reflect on the many examples of progress we’ve made, in addition to pointing us towards where future efforts for solar in the Pacific Northwest are headed.
How much tree canopy does your city have?
By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Sep 22, 2015.There are numerous environmental benefits to trees in urban settings. These include the capture of carbon dioxide by trees, shading, and habitat for wildlife. Urban forests can also act as natural storm water management areas by filtering particulate matter (pollutants, some nutrients, and sediment), by absorption of water and by facilitating evapotranspiration to reduce runoff. […]
How much tree canopy does your city have?
By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Sep 22, 2015.City Canopy Durham 49.0% Lake Oswego* 47.6% Rivergrove 37.3% West Linn* 33.7% Portland* 27.7% Beaverton* 25.6% Tigard* 25.0% Tualatin* 22.9% Sherwood* 21.0% Hillsboro 17.1% Forest Grove* 16.0% Gaston 15.5% North Plains 15.3% King City 15.0% Cornelius 13.0% Banks* […]
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 […]
RETC Solar Thermal Public Hearing
By joshb from Daily News. Published on Sep 18, 2015.RETC Solar Thermal Public Hearing: Amending Residential Energy Tax Credit rules to implement HB 2171 solar thermal changes.
Oregon Coast Loses Important Wildlife Advocate and Portland Audubon Loses a Friend
By aberman from News. Published on Sep 18, 2015.Portland Audubon lost a good friend this week when Sharnelle Fee passed away after several weeks of battling a severe lung infection. Sharnelle founded the Wildlife Center of the North Coast in 1999 and served as its director up until her passing. During that time she gave thousands of birds and animals a second chance at life in the wild.
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.
Action alert: Your Voice Still Needed to Protect Portland’s Large Healthy Trees!
By aberman from News. Published on Sep 17, 2015.September 11, 2015: September 20 is the deadline for public comments on a Proposed Administrative Rule governing tree replanting and replacement rules in the City of Portland. The rules could help preserve more large healthy trees in many situations.
Crowd protests nickel mine proposed near Kalmiopsis
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Sep 16, 2015.The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service held the public meeting to hear citizen responses to proposed restrictions on mining and exploration in the upper Illinois and Smith river drainages, where a large nickel mine is proposed.
Another Successful Benefit for Opal Creek!
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Sep 15, 2015.The sun beat down unflinchingly and the mercury topped 96 degrees, but nothing could stop our stalwart Opal […]
Speaking for the Trees
By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Sep 15, 2015.
Last week Oregon Wild hosted its first ever forest management film festival at the Bijou Art Cinema in Eugene. With the help of organizations like the Sierra Club, Pacific Rivers Council and Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics we filled the cinema with forest lovers. This successful event brought people from all walks of life, and all across Oregon to listen to the stories told by our three featured films. To add to the excitement of the night, this happened to be the premier of one of the films, Behind the Emerald Curtain a film funded by the Pacific Rivers Council.
During my first week as an Oregon Wild intern, my supervisor, Chandra asked me what I wanted to get out of the internship, from there the environmental film festival came to life. The goal of this event was to inspire people to think past the lines that divide our forests (National Forests, state forests, BLM lands, private timberlands) and explore the impacts of logging felt across shared boundaries. To do that we shared three films, Behind the Emerald Curtain, which skims the top of the issues of logging on private land. The second, Drift, chronicles the lives of a community plagued by reoccurring spraying on private land. And the third, Seeing the Forest, tells a hopeful story of the previously heavily logged Siuslaw National Forest, which has transformed into a model for sustainable ecosystem restoration and innovative management.
Together these films shatter the stereotype that paints Oregon as a pristine land with progressive management laws by highlighting the issues in our backyard. My hope is that by screening these films across Oregon we will raise awareness of the web of issues surrounding the Oregon timber industry, while also giving us hope that we can create a better tomorrow.
- Marla Waters, Eugene Conservation & Outreach Intern
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 […]
National News: September 14, 2015
By email@example.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Sep 13, 2015.
Nine Things Oregonians Should Know About Forest Fires
By steve from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Sep 11, 2015.
Forest fires can be a threat to homes and property, but they also play an important role in restoring and maintaining a healthy forest. Here are nine things every Oregonian should know about forest fires in our area.
- Fire isn’t always bad. Fires can be beneficial to forests. By eliminating undergrowth, wildfires create openings in the forest, which enable diverse vegetation growth that provides fruit, seeds, and nectar for wildlife to thrive. Fires also create standing dead trees (snags) that many animals rely on for food and shelter. Dry Ponderosa Pine forests actually need fire to control undergrowth and reduce competition for water and nutrients. However, while fire is often beneficial to forests, unnaturally severe fires—particularly near homes and communities—are a serious problem.
- Humans have made forest fires worse. By removing the old-growth, planting dense stands of young trees, and suppressing natural fires, we have created unnaturally flammable conditions in many forests. Old-growth trees, with their thick bark and tall trunks that keep the forest canopy safely above the flames, are much more fire-resistant than smaller, younger trees with thin bark and canopies close to the ground. We also make matters worse by suppressing natural fires, which causes fuel loads to build up and increase the risk of an unnaturally severe fire.
- Climate change could increase risks. Scientists predict that climate change will bring hotter, drier summers to the Pacific Northwest, together with less snowfall in the mountains during the winter months. Combined, these could significantly increase fire severity. The best way to combat this challenge is to restore and protect more old-growth forests across the landscape. Not only are old-growth trees more fire resistant, but they also capture and store tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide.
- Forest fires and carbon. Science has shown fires release less carbon dioxide than logging. Fire occurrence is highly variable. When they do burn, fires often leave vast areas of the forest lightly burned or not burned at all. Even when fires burn hot, the snags that are left behind continue to store carbon for decades (as well as anchor the soil and provide shade and nutrients to the next generation of forest). In contrast, clearcut logging constantly strips the land of both live and dead trees, depleting the soil and promoting less diverse, more fire-prone conditions.
- Many forests need restoration. Old-growth logging and fire suppression have left many forests unnaturally dense. Restoration-based thinning projects that focus on dense young stands and seek to restore old-growth conditions can be beneficial in making forests more fire resilient. Efforts like the Glaze Meadow restoration thinning project near the town of Sisters have reduced fire risks while improving habitat for fish and wildlife. In an old-growth forest, controlled burning can reduce fuel loads and maintain environmental health while reducing the risk of unnaturally severe fires. With proper restoration techniques including thinning and prescribed burning wildfire could cease to be the terrifying event that we think it is today. Instead, natural fires would be mostly the low-intensity ground-fires that renew the forest in the ways it's adapted to. [see more in our Eastside Restoration Handbook]
- Protecting homes doesn’t mean logging the backcountry. Thinning projects can reduce the risk of fire to homes and communities, but only when they are done carefully and in the right places. Unfortunately, the Forest Service and other agencies, under pressure from politicians and the logging industry, often have misplaced priorities, and spend millions in federal tax dollars trying to log in remote backcountry areas rather than prioritizing thinning forests near homes and communities.
- Logging in recovering areas makes things worse. Logging corporations often demand that the Forest Service and other agencies allow “salvage logging” – including old-growth logging – after forests burn. This controversial practice allows bulldozers and other heavy equipment into fragile recovering areas, where they clear-cut both live and dead trees. Such logging destroys snags and wildlife habitat, interferes with the development of future healthy forests, damages fragile soil, and sends mud and sediment into the rivers and streams we rely on for clean drinking water. Scientists have found that letting nature take its course is the best way to help a forest recover after fire.
- Simple steps can help homeowners prepare. Homeowners who live near forests can reduce risks to their property with a number of simple steps. Keep trees and shrubs pruned away from buildings and structures, use fire-resistant roofing material, mow the grass around the home, clean leaves and other debris out of gutters, and move firewood, propane tanks, and other flammable materials at least 50 feet away.
- Industry uses fires to advance its agenda. Politicians, the clearcutting industry, and the news media often focus on wildly sensational stories about forest fires, making them sound far worse than they really are. For example, media outlets covering the 1988 fires in Yellowstone National Park described the forest as “charred”, “blackened”, “devastated”, and “ruined.” Yet today, Park biologists say the fires rejuvenated Yellowstone and did more to improve the health of the land than any other event in the last 100 years. Politicans and industry spokesmen try to use fires as an excuse to push for more aggressivbe logging and management policies that will actually increase fire severity and harm the long-term health of the forest. Fires are a natural part of typical dry Oregon summers and should be reported calmly and factually, without excessive hyperbole and hysteria.
Thanks Block 15
By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Sep 10, 2015.Garlic fries, clam dip, and tamale pie – just some of my favorites from the Block 15. On July 14th Block 15 agreed to donate 10% of their food sales to the Corvallis Environmental Center (CEC). Not only did we get to eat amazing food but it also helped the CEC. I wanted to help so much that I went twice in one day; nothing beats one of their big juicy cheeseburgers with a side of garlic fries for dinner.
Thanks to everyone’s hungry appetites Block 15 ...
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 »
Volunteer Spotlight: Joel Finkelstein
By Dave from Growth Rings. Published on Sep 09, 2015.Volunteer Joel Finkelstein truly embodies what FoT is all about. “I can’t say I’m the best at identifying trees,” Joel admits, “but to me, FoT is all about the people and the community bonds that are made.” Joel has been a Neighborhood Trees Crew Leader for over 10 years, the Brooklyn Neighborhood Coordinator for 3 […]
How Impervious is Your City?
By web master from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Sep 08, 2015.What’s on the land determines the condition of the creeks and water quality. Before we developed our urban landscape and farms, the Tualatin River Watershed was covered with forests, prairies and wetlands. When the rain fell, it was intercepted by plants or soaked into the ground. There was very little runoff from the ground. Impervious […]
How Impervious is Your City?
By trkpost from Tualatin Riverkeepers. Published on Sep 08, 2015.What’s on the land determines the condition of the creeks and water quality. Before we developed our urban landscape and farms, the Tualatin River Watershed was covered with forests, prairies and wetlands. When the rain fell, it was intercepted by plants or soaked into the ground. There was very little runoff from the ground. Impervious […]
This is home. This is happiness.
By Grace Boehm from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Sep 04, 2015.“In [the highest boughs of trees], the world rustles. Their roots rest in infinity; but they […]
Google on my back: Trekker helps Oregon Wild advocate for backyard forests
By chandra from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Sep 01, 2015.
Today, Oregon Wild announced the publication of new trail images on Google Maps, in partnership with the technology company. With the help of some other staff and volunteers, I "collected" these images earlier this summer - possibly drawing a few interested double-takes from anyone who saw us out hiking with with a big spherical camera system on a funny looking backpack…
The contraption on my back might have looked familiar to anyone who has seen a Google Street View car in their neighborhood. The bright green orb hovering 2 feet above my head was, basically the "trail view" version of a Street View camera. Known as a Trekker, the system collects panoramic images of trails and other landscapes only accessible by foot through its 15 lenses – taking a photo every few seconds as you walk along, then stitching them together with fancy technology.
Wearing the device was an interesting experience. Weighing in at over 40 pounds, with the large camera up top, the Trekker was a bit more cumbersome than my usual day pack. I felt a bit wobbly on some of the “trails” I used it on, as few were well-maintained. Waiting for the system to get up and running before I could start hiking was an exercise in patience too – at least when I’m waiting for my hiking buddies to tie their shoes I can talk to them without feeling crazy.
Fortunately, I didn’t encounter many people on the trails I hiked with the Trekker, so there weren’t too many funny looks. And that was kind of the point: Most of the places I took it to were hard to find or hard to get to, but are important pieces of the ecological patchwork that make up our backyard forests in western Oregon. Several of them are also threatened. For example, some of the places I documented with the Trekker are tied up in the BLM’s plan revision process, which could increase logging and decrease streamside protections. For example, the featured Fall Creek area running through Salem District Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands borders private timberlands that are routinely clearcut. The images captured by the Google Trekker showcase a hike through a beautiful forest, but it is an island of old growth in a sea of industrial tree plantations. Many local residents and people who recreate in the area have been working to ensure that this area near the Alsea Falls Recreation Area gains some protections under any new BLM plan, but such are not guaranteed.
Our hope is that through the Google Street View Trekker loan program we can reach people in a unique way - with spectacular images of remote places they may never get a chance to visit. We all know that people are more effective advocates for a place when they can see and experience it for themselves. Shy of their own explorations, the Trekker images might be the next best way of motivating people to care about and advocate for these special places in western Oregon.
Explore the Google Trekker images we helped collect:
- Fall Creek Old-growth Area
- Crabtree Valley
- Green Springs Mountain
- Little Applegate: Sterling Mine Ditch Trail
- Wellington Wildlands
- Grandmothers Grove
And some of the media coverage of our time with the Trekker:
Connecting to a New Generation: Oregon Innovation Award Update
By alyson from The Latest. Published on Aug 28, 2015.
Goal 1 in Oregon’s Statewide Planning Goals & Guidelines calls for a “citizen-involvement program that ensures the opportunity for citizens to be involved in all phases of the land use planning process.” The problem, we see now, is that underrepresented communities are unable to access decision-makers who will have real impact in these individual's lives. Initiatives and decisions are being made every day, and are lacking the input of people who have a unique and relevant perspective but may not know, or are unable, to share it.
Summer Camp Recap: Native Survival
By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Aug 28, 2015.The Native Survival summer camp that Avery House Nature Center put on was all about the native Kalapuyan’s and their ways of living including their unique calendar year, summer fish camps, harvest seasons, and winter villages.
Each day was packed full of fun yet educational activities for the kids. They made many everyday items just like the Kalapuyan’s did such as cordage, bows and arrows by harvesting willow and ash, the process of knapping, shaping flint, and how to weave ...
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.
Volunteer Trail Clearing at Apache Bluff
By Courtney Wilson from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Aug 25, 2015.This summer, with the help of volunteer outreach coordinator extraordinaire, Alicia Heitzman, 13 people gathered together to clear the community trail at the Apache Bluff wetland preserve in Tualatin. We were able to clear large, heavy fallen trees off the trail, spiky invasive blackberries, and thick invasive grasses. We are 60 meters closer to a fully
Tales from Crater Lake Wild Week
By guest from Oregon Wild blogs. Published on Aug 25, 2015.
By Julia Haskin
My name is Julia, and I’m a volunteer for Oregon Wild. I primarily work on the Crater Lake Wilderness campaign - the citizens-led push to add a wilderness designation inside the National Park and the lands around it. Many of the big Western parks, like Denali, North Cascades, Mount Rainier, Yosemite, and Olympic, already have wilderness designations. But Crater Lake does not.
A wilderness designation provides a greater level of protection, particularly to backcountry areas. Traditional, quiet recreation is allowed, but our influence is limited, allowing the land to recover to more natural patterns. In the case of the Crater Lake Wilderness proposal, benefits would include the creation of a 90-mile wildlife corridor, as well as the protection of 500,000 acres and the headwaters of the Umpqua and Rogue rivers.
Strangely, however, before last month not only had I never been to Crater Lake, I’d never been to a National Park, full stop. So when I heard about Oregon Wild’s Wild Week - a series of hikes in and around the park over the course of a week, led by Oregon Wild staff - I was excited to participate. Thanks to the kindness of a car-owning friend who was also keen to explore the Crater Lake area, I headed down.
My first view of the lake brought tears to my eyes and a ridiculously large grin to my face. It’s one of the few things that I’ve had a lot of pre-exposure to (you can’t avoid seeing photos of Crater Lake) that not only lived up to, but surpassed the photos. It’s so blue. The depth and vividness of the color puzzles the mind, and in some ways makes it hard to take the lake in. Some part of my brain was always processing the lake as if I were looking at a photo - an edited photo.
It is surreally beautiful.
While the grin recurred every time I looked at the lake, as I explored the area further, details appeared that underscored the need for a wilderness designation. For instance, the views from the top of Mt. Scott - one of the Wild Week hikes - were sweeping panoramas of the lake and the lands surrounding it, most of which are under the aegis of the National Forest Service. And while the lands are currently wooded, the uniformity of tree height and spacing speaks eloquently of their managed state, and of the ever-present potential for clear-cutting. (Take, for instance, the Forest Service’s Bybee logging project just to the west of the park.)
The interruption of an unseen, but not unheard, helicopter while our group was having lunch at the top of Mt. Scott reminded us how intrusive even distant activities can be in a semi-wild area. None of these ruined the experience for me, but each time, I thought how much richer the experience would be without them.
I went on two hikes with Oregon Wild during the week - one up Mt. Scott, the other along a lovely, if mosquito-y bit of the Upper Rogue River. The hikes began to show me and the wonderful people with whom I hiked just some of the variety of landscape and habitat contained in the area that is within the wilderness proposal.
I intend - and hope that they do, too - to support Oregon Wild and the other organizations and citizens in the coalition spearheading this proposal. Crater Lake truly is a “crown jewel” park, and such a jewel deserves the best setting possible - the setting of wilderness.
National News: August 24, 2015
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Aug 23, 2015.
Cormorants in the Crosshairs short documentary now available for viewing
By atakamoto from News. Published on Aug 21, 2015."Cormorants in the Crosshairs", a documentary by award-winning director, Judy Irving, highlights the Double-crested Cormorants nesting on East Sand Island targeted for slaughter in the name of salmon recovery.
Now Hiring! ECI Program Assistant
By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Aug 18, 2015.ECI Program Assistant
The Corvallis Environmental Center is hiring a part-time Program Assistant for its Edible Corvallis Initiative (ECI). The ECI works to support a sustainable food system in Corvallis. The primary projects of the ECI are the Corvallis Farm to School Program and SAGE, the Starker Arts Garden for Education. The program assistant reports to the ECI Director and works closely with our Farm to School, Farm to Institution, and SAGE garden managers and coordinators to provide support for ...
A Reinvigorated Battle Cry for the Climate by Jessie Bond
By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 13, 2015.For years, conversations around global warming have been volleying back and forth between dire predictions and outright denial. Most of the discussion has centered on scientific data and the economic impact of dealing with climate change. But the plea to protect our planet from the worst effects of rising temperatures has not fully resonated because most people have […]
By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 13, 2015.Recently, a group of 10 desert enthusiasts, led by Sierra Club High Desert Committee members, visited the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge in south-central Oregon. Hart Mountain is a conservation success story, and it was exciting to see how this area has come back to ecological health since grazing was removed from the refuge nearly twenty […]
By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Aug 12, 2015.Take Charge Corvallis believes that Every Action Matters. It highlights the idea that many hands make light work. Even the simple action of turning off a computer when not in use is a first step that contributes to reducing our overall energy consumption in Corvallis.
As a semi-finalist in the Georgetown University Energy competition, Corvallis has everything needed to win the grand prize of $5 million. The city that reduces their residential and municipal energy use the most makes it to ...
Government Documents Reveal That Killing Cormorants Won't Help Columbia River Salmon
By atakamoto from News. Published on Aug 12, 2015.Aug. 12, 2015: Conservation groups today called for an investigation after agency documents, released last week under court order, showed that killing double-crested cormorants will not benefit salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s own biologists found that fish not eaten by cormorants would be eaten by other predators, but nevertheless authorized the killing of more than 10,000 double-crested cormorants and destruction of more than 26,000 cormorant nests on East Sand Island near the mouth of the Columbia.
Action alert: Join Audubon's cormorant call-in day June 17
By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Aug 12, 2015.June 15, 2015: Help stop the slaughter of East Sand Island cormorants! On Wednesday, June 17, please call the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and tell them to stop scapegoating cormorants for salmon declines caused by the Corps’ refusal to increase river flows through the modification of dam operations.
Marbled Murrelet Citizen Science Training Marks Ten Years with Record Attendance
By atakamoto from News. Published on Aug 11, 2015.The 10th annual Marbled Murrelet Citizen Science Training had two sessions this year and drew over 100 people from across the state.
National News: August 10, 2015
By email@example.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Aug 10, 2015.
Stand up for Oregon. No Pipelines. No LNG. Call-in Days of Action! Wednesday August 12th and August 26th (All Day)
By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 07, 2015.People from all over the state are standing up to two proposed fracked gas export terminal and pipeline proposals in Oregon and we need you to join us! Last week, The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a draft environmental review for the Oregon LNG terminal and pipeline near Astoria Oregon. The Environmental Impact Statement […]
Action alert: Speak up for Portland's trees!
By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Aug 06, 2015.August 5, 2015: Thanks to everyone who came out to the Urban Forestry Commission Public Hearing on Aug. 4. Please continue to send emails to the City Council and ask them to support code changes that will ensure Portland continues to have large healthy trees in our neighborhoods.
Pop Up Nature Adventures
By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Aug 05, 2015.Outdoor fun before school begins for ages 5 – 13! Join us August 31st through September 4th for a stand alone adventure in nature or a full week of outdoor exploration.
Register here for Full Days, Half Days or a whole week.
Monday – Tree Line Challenge Course
Monday’s pop up adventure features obstacles and games in the oak forest. Learn climbing techniques and safety, try a slackline, and other nature challenges. There will be fun for all ability levels ...
Some things to know about the Clean Power Plan
By sierraandy from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 04, 2015.Its here! Yesterday President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy revealed the Clean Power Plan. As McCarthy put it, it was “an incredibly wicked cool moment.” But what does it mean? In short, the plan aims to reduce carbon pollution nation wide by 32% by 2030 by putting limits on how much carbon can be […]
The Humble Bumble Gets Its Own Day of Gratitude
By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Aug 04, 2015.
Have you been enjoying watching the furry bumble bees visiting your garden flowers? They seem to be out-and-about, buzzing the blossoms just at dawn, and hanging around for that last nectary drop even as the sun sets. Cherish them as they flirt with your oregano and lavender. Despite their apparent bounty in your garden, native... Read more »
Applaud the Clean Power Plan: Release
By trailrunner1991 from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Aug 03, 2015.The Clean Power Plan is the most significant single action any President has ever taken to tackle the most serious threat to the health of our families: the climate crisis.
Willamette River Revival
By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jul 31, 2015.With unseasonably hot temperatures in Portland, lots of people are taking to the Willamette River for recreation and relief. Although the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality states that it “is safe for swimming and other recreational uses” except when combined sewer overflow conditions are present, the portion of the river from the Broadway Bridge to Sauvie […]
Inaugural Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute Serves High-School Students from Rural Areas
By OSPF from . 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 [...]
A Day in Owyhee Country
By hilshohoney from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jul 28, 2015.The day is decidedly HOT. There is no shade save for the occasional cloud. The view is expansive to say the least. The Owyhee Canyonlands offers up unexpected surprises as well for the intrepid explorer. Pick a point on the map and say “Let’s go here”! Walk cross country past lizards, sparrow nests, sego lilys, a rattlesnake surprise… […]
A Big Welcome to Our Gerhardt and Duke Engage Interns!
By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jul 28, 2015.
Sam Diaz recently sat down with Allison Giffin and Jerry Chia-Rui Chang to get an inside scoop on this year’s Gerhardt and Duke Engage Interns.
The Paul Gerhardt Jr. Internship
Your Essential Guidebook to a Wilderness Metropolis
By Caleb Diehl from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jul 27, 2015.At population 12, in the middle of an ancient rainforest, with no police or government, Jawbone […]
Homes in Oregon are Out of Reach
By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jul 27, 2015.
Housing affordability has become a focal concern for many Oregonians. Across communities, finding a place to live that fits within a family's budget has become much more challenging in recent years. Cities throughout Oregon have reported historically low vacancy rates, a common measure for the health of the housing market. Higher vacancy rates indicate more housing options – and often lower rents as a result. While those looking to buy a home are seeing the highest list prices on record in Oregon.
National News: July 27, 2015
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jul 27, 2015.
Metro's Chief Operating Officer: Don't Expand the UGB
By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jul 25, 2015.
1000 Friends of Oregon applauds the recommendation of Metro's Chief Operating Officer that Metro not expand the regional urban growth boundary (UGB) in 2015, but instead focus on how to grow better inside the UGB. The recommendation points out that the region has enough land inside the UGB for the next 20 years' worth of population and employment growth, and then states:
"It is time for our region to move on from the land supply debate and consider actions that will:
Land Use Highlights and Lowlights of the 2015 Oregon Legislative Session
By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jul 24, 2015.
The 2015 Oregon legislative session proved to be quite active on land use issues. 1000 Friends staff tracked over 300 bills and testified on dozens of them. Your financial support enabled us to be in Salem, working closely with allied groups and legislators to defend and improve the land use program. This support also meant we could keep in touch with all of you, letting you know when your voice was critically needed in Salem. Together, we were able to pass a few improvements and defeat many threats to the land use program.
OSPF Member Writes New Hiking Guide for Exploring the Oregon Coast Trail
By OSPF from . Published on Jul 23, 2015.Anyone who’s taken even a short walk on a beach in Oregon has been on the Oregon Coast Trail. But did you know it’s possible to walk the entire 372-mile length of the coastline? More than half of the Oregon Coast Trail is on the beach, and thanks to the Oregon Beach Bill these sandy [...]
More Logging Won’t Stop Wildfires
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jul 23, 2015.Contrary to widespread misconceptions, large fires burn mostly at low and moderate intensities. For example, only about 20 percent of the Rim Fire was high-intensity, and only a portion of the land involved was densely forested enough to create snag forest habitat. Moreover, current science indicates that we have less, not more, mixed-intensity wildland fire in our forests now than we did historically. Allowing more fires to burn in backcountry areas will help restore our forest ecosystems.
SAGE Summer Concerts
By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Jul 21, 2015.The wind was blowing and it was a little cold but that didn’t stop over 450 people from attending the first
SAGE Summer Concert of the season. People enjoyed treats from Jason’s Tropical Ice and Francesco’s Gelato while listening to music from The Maharimbas, The Crescendo Show, and Mango Django. There was also good eats from Ploughman’s Lunch and McWeenies. Guests over 21 enjoyed the beer garden that included Two Towns Ciderhouse, Nectar Creek, and Oregon Trail Brewery.
This family ...
The Bill that Should Have Passed – HB 2564: Inclusionary Zoning
By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jul 14, 2015.
Land Use Goal 10 requires that all cities provide residential land zoned to meet the housing needs of all Oregonians. During the 2015 legislative session, 1000 Friends worked with a coalition of organizations, individuals, local governments, and businesses that care about affordable housing in an attempt to pass House Bill 2564, which would have enabled local governments to use inclusionary zoning to provide housing opportunities for all, in every neighborhood. Local governments from Hood River to Lincoln County and Corvallis to Milwaukie supported HB 2564.
2015 Application to the CEC Board of Directors
By corvallisenvironmentalcenter from Corvallis Environmental Center. Published on Jul 14, 2015.
About the Corvallis Environmental Center:
Founded in 1994, the CEC educates, engages and inspires people to get involved in creating a healthy, sustainable community. Every year we reach more than 10,000 people through the programs and outreach activities of our current core program areas:
At Avery House Nature Center we use science-based inquiry to help children and adults connect with nature and learn about our local ecosystems.
CLIMATE & ENERGY ACTION
Energize Corvallis is dedicated to helping ...
National News: July 13, 2015
By email@example.com (Mark Garland) from Home. Published on Jul 12, 2015.
Green herons are nesting!
By Kendra Manton from Wetlands Conservancy. Published on Jul 07, 2015.Everyone knows the story of the phoenix, a bird that dies or is burned but then rises again from the ashes. It is one of the best known bird myths of the western world. But did you know that the Egyptian hieroglyph for the bird appears to be a heron or egret? What luck to
Common and Free
By Simon Gray from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jul 06, 2015.Weighing the Merits of Regulated Recreation It’s the fourth of July and I’m parking about a […]
Oregon Rain (a guest blog)
By Kate Taylor from Beyond Toxics. Published on Jul 02, 2015.
By Kate Taylor This blog is republished with permission from Kate Taylor. Originally published in The Cleanest Line, Patagonia. I stand at my kitchen sink, looking out the window as I fill a glass of water. I live in Rockaway Beach a coastal community of 2,500 people, renowned for all that is epic about the Oregon coast:... Read more »
DeFazio, Huffman, Wyden, Merkley Praise Temporary Ban on Mining Projects in Southwest Oregon Watershed Protection Area Covered By Their Bills in House and Senate
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jun 30, 2015.Seeking to protect a celebrated collection of world-class salmon and steelhead rivers of the south Kalmiopsis region, U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio and Jared Huffman , as well as Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, applauded the temporary ban on new mining projects in an area covered by a bill the Congressmen and Senators introduced, the Southwest Oregon Watershed and Salmon Protection Act.
Congress Moves to Safeguard Oregon Wildlands and Wild Rivers
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jun 26, 2015.Oregon’s Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced a bill today to add protections from some of the state’s most pristine areas. The bill known as Oregon Wildlands would designate wilderness, national recreation areas and Wild and Scenic Rivers in Western Oregon, including protections for the Wild Rogue River in southwest Oregon.
News from Salem: Can we just adjourn already?
By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jun 25, 2015.Well, we’re nearing the end of the 2015 session of the Oregon Legislature, and I think it’s fair to say it’s going to shake out as a disappointing session for the environmental community. Sierra Club staff have been closely tracking bills and meeting with legislators in Salem to advocate for clean, renewable energy, wildlife protection, […]
The Wilson River Corridor – A Little Something for Everyone
By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jun 25, 2015.Oregon’s renowned public lands offer Oregonians a unique and special lifestyle and provide our state with a natural legacy–picturesque beauty, diverse wildlife, wild rivers, snow-capped mountains, lush forests–that is the envy of many. Public lands are one of the defining aspects of this great state, and iconic national forests and parks are often the go-to […]
Anti-Displacement Coalition improves Portland’s Comprehensive Plan
By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jun 25, 2015.
Since January, 1000 Friends of Oregon has been working with a growing number of community based organizations, housing, public health, and equity advocates to ask ‘how will Portland develop in the next 20 years? Who gets to call Portland home in the future?’ This ad hoc coalition advocates to include anti-displacement tools that will help make Portland neighborhoods stable, especially for those, as Portland grows, living in the city and who bear the brunt of the loss of affordable choices.
Leadership Spotlight: Westside Transportation Alliance
By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jun 25, 2015.
This month, 1000 Friends of Oregon turns its attention to Washington County.
Land Use Summer Reading List
By amanda from The Latest. Published on Jun 25, 2015.
If you are taking off in July or August, three books hitting the shelves this summer may give you a deeper appreciation for the work of land use planning in Oregon.
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on Jun 22, 2015.Show some love for Opal Creek this summer! With bridges, bees, and bands, here’s how. COMPLETE FIRE […]
Low-wattage legislators dim the lights on forestry practices reform
By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Jun 18, 2015.
A year ago the editors of the Register Guard urged Oregon legislators to “shine a light on forest sprays.” Our low-wattage legislators did the opposite. Today aerial forest spraying continues unabated. Communities sprayed with poisons remain in the dark while chemical lobbyists hold sway in the offices and back rooms of our legislature. The response... Read more »
The post Low-wattage legislators dim the lights on forestry practices reform appeared first on Beyond Toxics.
Audubon calls on U.S. Army Corps to stop the killing of cormorants
By thunsdorfer from News. Published on Jun 15, 2015.May 27, 2015: The Audubon Society of Portland is calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to stop the killing of Double-crested Cormorants on East Sand Island until legal issues can be resolved.
Logging Industry Lawsuit Demanding Aggressive Cutting Thrown Out By Federal Court
By morgan from KS In The Press. Published on Jun 15, 2015.A logging industry lawsuit that sought to force the Bureau of Land Management to increase logging on public lands in southwest Oregon was thrown out today by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling vacates a 2013 decision that would have forced the Bureau of Land Management to sell timber even when those sales would have harmed salmon and had detrimental impacts on water quality and recreation.
Land Use Victories in Salem
By craig from The Latest. Published on Jun 04, 2015.
Today was another busy day in Salem – we're excited to share three legislative updates with you:
Learn more about Oregon Desert Trail tips and gear from ONDA, REI experts at “Trail Mixer” event
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jun 03, 2015.The Oregon Natural Desert Association and REI Bend are teaming up to host an event that will offer Oregon Desert Trail skills and information, celebrate volunteers who helped create the trail and provide a grand finale to ONDA’s Oregon Desert Trail Matching Challenge.
Re-Imagining “50 Hikes in the Tillamook State Forest”
By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Jun 01, 2015.The Sierra Club will be publishing a new version of the iconic 50 Hikes in the Tillamook State Forest which is now out of print and out of date. Hopefully this version will include several new hikes, including some in the Clatsop State Forest. We’re very excited to take a new look at all of […]
By Brian O'Neil from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on May 27, 2015.I envy those newts who so intimately entwine themselves in the scrumptious looking moss, swimming their […]
Court permits cormorant slaughter to move forward
By thunsdorfer from News. Published on May 27, 2015.May 11, 2015: On Friday afternoon, Federal District Judge Michael Simon denied a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop cormorant killing in the Columbia River Estuary before the court rules on a lawsuit to permanently stop the killing filed by Audubon Society of Portland, Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Friends of Animals and Wildlife Center of the North Coast. It is expected that the federal government will initiate the slaughter of several thousand birds and an additional several thousand active nests within days.
4 Bowling Lanes. 2 Organizations. 1 Winner.
By from The Latest. Published on May 26, 2015.
The month of May brought a unique challenge to 1000 Friends of Oregon’s Land Use Leadership Initiative (LULI): a bowl off against Oregon Environmental Council’s Emerging Leaders Board (ELB).
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
Important Notice – Restricted Access for Hikers – UPDATED 6/8
By Gabrielle from Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. Published on May 18, 2015.Construction begins on the Gold Creek Bridge on Wednesday, May 20, which will result in restricted […]
Scholfield Creek Wetlands Conservation Area
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on May 14, 2015.Public Meeting: Scholfield Creek Wetlands Conservation Area Tuesday, May 26th at 6pm Reedsport City Hall, 451 Winchester Ave in Reedsport Summary: Please join us to learn more about a proposed land conservation project along Scholfield Creek near the city of … Continue reading
Portland says "NO" to giant propane export facility
By thunsdorfer from News. Published on May 11, 2015.May 7, 2015: This morning Mayor Charlie Hales announced he was no longer supporting the proposal to build a giant propane export facility at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6. The Audubon Society of Portland applauds Mayor Hale’s leadership on this issue. The decision to not support an environmental zoning change necessary for this facility to move forward sends a strong message that Portland intends to remain a leader nationally and internationally on addressing global climate change. Audubon and its members have been opposing this facility since it was first announced this September.
Protect Critical Old Growth in the Clatsop State Forest
By soccer21chr from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on May 10, 2015.The “Homesteader” timber sale in the Clatsop state forest calls for the clearcutting of some of the best old growth forest habitat remaining on Oregon’s north coast. The sale features trees over 130 years old and over 200 feet high–relative monsters in a region that has been logged and burned over. Click here to ask […]
Sutton Mountain Wilderness sent to Congress
By Ben Gordon from Press Releases. Published on May 07, 2015.Senator Jeff Merkley introduced legislation to designate Sutton Mountain Wilderness, a 58,000-acre proposal in the John Day River Basin. This bill has the strong support of Wheeler County and the City of Mitchell, which expect the new wilderness to be a win for economic development and conservation. The Oregon Natural Desert Association has long backed permanent protection for Sutton Mountain.
By Tom Titus from Beyond Toxics. Published on May 05, 2015.
Preface by Lisa Arkin Dr. Tom Titus was a guest speaker at the Legislative Briefing Day for SB 613. SB 613 was introduced as the Public Health and Water Resources Protection Act in the 2015 Legislature. His presentation on amphibians and herbicide exposure was so informative that we asked him to submit his thoughts for... Read more »
Local Developer Eli Spevak Promotes Small Spaces with Character
By amanda from The Latest. Published on Apr 30, 2015.
When it comes to building a compact, affordable city, the sticking point often tends to center on aesthetics. Sure, “density” is somewhat of a dirty word, but the dirtiest phrase is often “high-rise apartment building.” Many a neighborhood group has organized around banning this development option in their communities.
HRVRC Organizes to Support Inclusionary Zoning Legislation
By amanda from The Latest. Published on Apr 29, 2015.
As the Oregon Senate considers the bill to repeal the ban on inclusionary zoning—a housing tool that helps local jurisdictions provide affordable housing options in their communities—it’s important to celebrate the 34-25 vote in the House of Representatives and the groups that helped the bill pass. One of these groups was the Hood River Valley Residents’ Committee. HRVRC, a 1000 Friends of Oregon affiliate group, was particularly effective in organizing and getting the city council to pass a resolution in support of HB 2564.
#NoFastTrack Events – Update Your Calendar!
By trailrunner1991 from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 28, 2015.Fast Track legislation was introduced two weeks ago and our opposition movement is growing! Here is a list of upcoming events, please attend as many as possible! We are channeling our efforts toward Reps. Bonamici and Schrader, as neither of them have committed to a position yet. Please call their offices to express your concern […]
Fast Track Introduced – What’s in it and what do we do next?
By trailrunner1991 from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 23, 2015.For the last few months, the Sierra Club, along with environmental and labor allies, have escalated pressure in opposition to fast track legislation. We succeeded in pushing back the introduction of fast track by a number of weeks, raising our voices to ask Senator Wyden to step away from negotiations with Senator Hatch (R-UT). However, […]
News from the Oregon Legislature
By rhettlawrence from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Apr 23, 2015.Whew! We’ve just crossed the midpoint of the 2015 session of the Oregon Legislature, and it’s been a whirlwind of a session. Sierra Club staff have been closely tracking bills and meeting with legislators in Salem to advocate for clean, renewable energy, wildlife protection, and our state forests. So here, halfway to sine die and […]
Chilling … public health ignored
By Lisa Arkin from Beyond Toxics. Published on Apr 15, 2015.
Over the past year, the issue of exposure to toxic soups of herbicides and other chemicals from aerial helicopter sprays has spurred an outpouring of public indignation! Cases of outright poisoning or suspected harm have been reported in Lane, Curry, Tillamook and Douglas counties. Poisonings of law-abiding Oregonians, innocent by-standers really, were covered by top... Read more »
2015 Spring Star Parties in Oregon State Parks
By OSPF from . Published on Apr 15, 2015.Want to see where stars are born? This is your chance! Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has teamed up with OMSI and Rose City Astronomers to offer star parties at several state parks this spring. These free viewing parties are a great way to see stars, planets and other celestial sights through telescopes and binoculars of [...]
OSPF Works to Expand Bike Shelter Network in Oregon State Parks
By OSPF from . Published on Apr 15, 2015.Following a successful 2014 pilot project to construct new bike shelters for cyclists in state park campgrounds and day-use areas, the Oregon State Parks Foundation is currently working with state park managers, local companies and community volunteers to expand the state park bike shelter network and help build Oregon’s reputation as a premier cycling destination. [...]
Experience the amazing Owyhee Canyonlands at ONDA’s High Desert Lecture Series on May 14th
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Apr 03, 2015.Learn more about what makes the Owyhee Canyonlands special on Thursday, May 14, when the Oregon Natural Desert Association hosts its fourth installment of its inaugural High Desert Lecture Series. In this edition, ONDA Owyhee Coordinator Corie Harlan discusses one of the most spectacular and least-known places in Oregon: the Owyhee Canyonlands.
Botany and geology intertwined: Learn more about high desert plants at High Desert Lecture Series on April 7
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Mar 17, 2015.Bend plant expert Stu Garrett will share more about how the region’s geological past continues to echo in the plant life today in the third installment of ONDA's popular High Desert Lecture Series.
Third Thursday Potluck & Presentation: Environmental Impacts of Trade Promotion Authority and the TPP
By trailrunner1991 from Oregon Sierra Club Blog. Published on Mar 16, 2015.Third Thursday Potluck & Presentation Join us for a potluck and presentation on the environmental impacts of Trade Promotion Authority, also known as Fast Track, and the TransPacific Partnership. WHEN: March 19th at 6:00pm WHERE: Oregon Chapter Sierra Club office (1821 SE Ankeny St. Portland OR) WHY: Meet, eat, and learn how Congress, the United […]
McKenzie floodplain forest will be home to fish and wildlife forever
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Mar 05, 2015.Because of you, the abundant fish of the lower McKenzie River will thrive. Another critical piece of their habitat is protected! Continue reading
Next installment of ONDA’s High Desert Lecture Series shares journey on the Oregon Desert Trail
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Feb 18, 2015.In the second installment of its new High Desert Lecture Series, the Oregon Natural Desert Association on Wednesday, March 11 will welcome Shane Von Schlemp, an adventurer who last summer completed the entire 800-mile Oregon Desert Trail.
OCN Announces the 2015 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon
By Derek Richardson from OLCV News Archive. Published on Jan 30, 2015.
Today, the Oregon Conservation Network – a coalition of environmental advocates from across Oregon coordinated by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters –together announced their 2015 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon.
“These priorities are the next steps Oregon must take to protect our natural legacy,” said Christy Splitt, OCN coordinator and Oregon League of Conservation Voters External Affairs Director. “Together, OCN will advocate for crucial legislation on a host of issues, from climate change to protecting wildlife and wild places.”
ONDA releases its 2015 calendar of guided restoration trips
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jan 26, 2015.More than 20 trips with the Oregon Natural Desert Association into Oregon’s high desert – from rafting expeditions to stewardship projects to hikes with experts – will open for registration on Friday, Feb. 13.
Kickoff to ONDA’s High Desert Lecture Series to explore world of monarch butterflies
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Jan 09, 2015.The Oregon Natural Desert Association will kick off its new High Desert Lecture Series on Monday, Jan. 26 with "Monarchs and Milkweed: An Evening with Tom Landis." Landis is an expert on the monarch butterfly – an insect known for its bright-orange wings and its amazing migrations of up to 3,000 miles between Canada and Mexico.
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Dec 02, 2014.#GivingTuesday downloads Want to help spread the word on #GivingTuesday? Here are some graphics you can share on social media and email to your friends. Click here to read the story of Julia and Hugo.
A generous gift protects an oak woodland
By liz from McKenzie River Trust. Published on Dec 01, 2014.The newest protected area in the Umpqua River Watershed Dale Carey had no idea oak trees would be such a big part of his life. Dale and his wife Joyce Machado retired to 62 acres of oak woodlands on Pollock … Continue reading
Local governments back wilderness for Sutton Mountain
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Nov 07, 2014.Wheeler County and the City of Mitchell have unanimously backed wilderness for the Sutton Mountain area, a 58,000-acre proposal in the John Day River Basin. It's considered a win for economic development and conservation. The Oregon Natural Desert Association has long backed permanent protection for Sutton Mountain.
Wild Desert Calendar exhibit features best eastern Oregon imagery
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Nov 04, 2014.ONDA's 2015 Wild Desert Calendar will debut in a reception on Nov. 21 in Sunriver Resort's Betty Gray Gallery.
Beers Made By Walking tasting set for Oct. 15
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Oct 08, 2014.Beer lovers will have the opportunity to try new beers inspired by hikes around the Central Oregon Backcountry, part of a project by ONDA, Beers Made by Walking, Deschutes Brewery, Worthy Brewing and Crux Fermentation Project.
From the Executive Director: 2014 Progress Report
By OSPF from . Published on Sep 30, 2014.The Foundation is still recovering from a busy 2014! Board and staff have been working overtime to enrich the visitor experience in your Oregon state parks. The beginning of the new year creates a wonderful opportunity to take a moment and share updates about recent Foundation progress, as well as a look at what’s next [...]
Smith Rock State Park to Host Oregon Archaeology Lecture Series in October
By OSPF from . Published on Sep 29, 2014.Smith Rock State Park will host its annual Oregon Archaeology Celebration lecture series on Fridays in October. The theme of the 21st annual series is “Oregon or Bust,” and the program will highlight U.S. expansion and settlement of the West. Presentations will be at 7 p.m. in the Smith Rock State Park Welcome Center facility at 10087 NE [...]
Discovery Season Camping Discounts Begin October 1, 2014
By OSPF from . Published on Sep 29, 2014.Discounts make camping even sweeter. Discovery Season is in effect from October 1 to April 30 at Oregon State Parks, which means discounted rates on regular campsites, deluxe yurts and deluxe cabins for those ready to enjoy the outdoors. Fall is a great time to camp if you’re prepared and don’t mind a few occasional raindrops, [...]
For high desert outdoor adventures, ONDA’s new tool offers info for eastern Oregon & the Oregon Desert Trail
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Aug 27, 2014.Exploring Oregon’s high desert and the roughly 800-mile Oregon Desert Trail just became easier, as the Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) has unveiled a new area of its website devoted to trip reports.
2015 Founders Circle Grant Challenge
By OSPF from . Published on Aug 21, 2014.The Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund has extended its generous $50,000 challenge grant to help establish our Founders Circle. The first 25 donations of $1,000 in 2015 will be matched dollar for dollar by the MCM Fund. Help us meet the challenge!
OSPF Receives Founders Circle Challenge Grant from Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund
By OSPF from . Published on Aug 21, 2014.The Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund has issued a generous $50,000 challenge grant to the Oregon State Parks Foundation to help establish our Founders Circle. Between now and December 31, 2014, the MCM Fund will match the first 25 donations of $1,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis to support our mission of enriching the Oregon state parks [...]
Join ONDA for Wilderness Weekend, Sept. 18-20
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Aug 14, 2014.ONDA is putting on three events for Wilderness Weekend in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act: the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, the 27th Desert Conference and the WilderFest Block Party.
New resource showcases Sutton Mountain
By Heidi Hagemeier from Press Releases. Published on Aug 07, 2014.The Painted Hills -- one of Oregon's Seven Wonders -- is undoubtedly amazing, but right next door is a place brimming with similar beauty and ample recreation opportunity: Sutton Mountain. Discover here The Seven Wonders of Sutton Mountain, the perfect complement to the Painted Hills Unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
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
Go Behind the Scenes at Oregon State Parks with OSPF Insider Field Trips
By OSPF from . Published on Jul 14, 2014.You’re invited to join the Oregon State Parks Foundation and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff for exclusive insider tours at your state parks. Two exciting field trips remain in the summer series; these FREE excursions are family-friendly and designed to provide unique experiences most park visitors don’t have. Capacity is limited to 25 people [...]
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.
Kitzhaber: “It is time once and for all to say NO to coal exports from the Pacific Northwest."
By Christy Splitt from OLCV News Archive. Published on May 07, 2014.
Last week, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters held its Annual Celebration for the Environment. Known as Ecoprom, it’s an Earth Day tradition that brings together over 900 people who care about Oregon’s Natural Legacy.
This year, our featured speaker was our own Governor John Kitzhaber. In a speech bookended by a thoughtful remembrance of legendary Oregon Wild advocate Tim Lillebo, the Governor made a statement on coal exports that was nothing short of historic big news.
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.
OCN announces 2014 Priorities for a Healthy Oregon
By Christy Splitt from OLCV News Archive. Published on Jan 27, 2014.
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.
COCN Announces Priority for a Healthy Central Oregon
By Nikki Roemmer from OLCV News Archive. Published on Jan 14, 2014.
BEND — Today, the Central Oregon Conservation Network (COCN) announced its second Priority for a Healthy Central Oregon by declaring support for the protection of the Whychus-Deschutes area.
The priority and campaign to Protect Whychus-Deschutes seeks support from local elected officials and community members for permanent designation such as wilderness for the Whychus-Deschutes area to ensure that this spectacular landscape remains wild for future generations. “Whychus-Deschutes has importance for the environment, recreation and the economy,” explained Nikki Roemmer, OLCV Central Oregon Regional Director and COCN Coordinator. “Our region is growing again, and we need to seize this opportunity to protect one of the places that makes Central Oregon so special.”
Winding through rugged canyons, Whychus Creek is one of Central Oregon’s most important waterways. It provides prime spawning habitat for salmon and steelhead and is crucial winter range for mule deer and other wildlife. Whychus Creek and the Middle Deschutes River to the east are popular recreation destinations, with thousands of visitors fishing, hiking and exploring the canyons each year. In spite of the importance of Whychus Creek and the Deschutes River to our region, the confluence of these two waterways lacks permanent protection. “Confluences are critical for wild fish populations and this location is vitally important for native redbands and recently reintroduced steelhead and Chinook salmon.” said Darek Staab, with Trout Unlimited, adding, “We are excited to help protect this important area for our future and I'm thrilled that our Central Oregon Conservation Network members also support this as a priority."
To learn more about the Protect Whychus-Deschutes campaign, join OLCV for a presentation at its monthly gathering, Pints and Politics, on Thursday, January 16th. Gena Goodman-Campbell of the Oregon Natural Desert Association joins us for a presentation about this spectacular area needing protection. Come to learn, ask questions and find out how you can get involved. Thursday, January 16th from 7 pm – 9 pm at Broken Top Bottle Shop, 1740 NW Pence Lane #1 in Bend. Details at www.olcv.org.
The Oregon League of Conservation Voters Education Fund coordinates the Central Oregon Conservation Network (COCN), a growing coalition of 9 local organizations that work with elected officials and community members to protect the region’s environment and natural legacy. COCN sets Priorities for a Healthy Central Oregon each spring and fall.
Learn more about COCN, Protect Whychus-Deschutes and other priorities at www.centraloregonpriorities.org.
The Oregon League of Conservation Voters Education Fund works to increase the political effectiveness of Oregon's environmental community by educating, training, and coordinating citizens and organizations. www.olcveducationfund.org.
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.”
2013 Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey Results
By admin from OLCV News Archive. Published on Oct 22, 2013.
2013 Oregon Values and Beliefs Survey Results
By Andrew Hogan from OLCV News Archive. Published on Oct 22, 2013.
The Oregon Values and Beliefs Project has released the results of three statewide surveys they conducted in April and May of this year. The results highlight the Oregon values and beliefs that we share.
In particular, there are three environmental issues that many Oregonians care deeply about:
SB863 passes both the House and Senate
By Andrew Hogan from OLCV News Archive. Published on Oct 02, 2013.
This afternoon, both the Oregon House and Senate passed SB863, which bars local governments from regulating GMOs. SB 863 passed the House 32-22, and the Senate 17-12. For more information on the bill and how votes were cast, click here.
We at OLCV cannot say THANK YOU enough to the thousands of Oregonians who have taken action and generated phone calls and emails over the past 15 days. Our members and supporters make a difference.
A humbling hike to South Sister
By sschroeder from All News. Published on Sep 29, 2013.Nature enthusiast, EarthShare employee and contributor Meghan Humphreys finds danger and gratefulness in the wild.
Big Win for Wildlife
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Hells Canyon Preservation Council) from From the Canyons. Published on Sep 25, 2013.
Tell Governor Kitzhaber: No Deal on GMOs
By admin from OLCV News Archive. Published on Sep 23, 2013.
By sschroeder from All News. Published on Sep 13, 2013.Find and subscribe to up-to-date news, events and volunteer opportunities.
OCN Priority will curb suction dredge mining permits
By Christy Splitt from OLCV News Archive. Published on Aug 13, 2013.
Medford Mail Tribune
July 17, 2013
Author: Paul Fattig
A measure passed by the state Legislature earlier this month aims to cut nearly two-thirds of the permits allowed for suction-dredge mining in Oregon's salmon-bearing rivers, including the Rogue River.
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.
Protecting Our Liquid Gold
By Nikki Roemmer from OLCV News Archive. Published on Jul 18, 2013.
Published: July 18, 2013
We live in a desert. Water is precious. That much should be agreed upon.
Fortunately, we have a newly formed Central Oregon Conservation Network (COCN), a dream team collection of area environmental organizations, which is watchdogging how the region and regional agencies manage this resource—and, more keenly, what infrastructure is being planned and installed to manage this resource. The most recent battleground over this issue is the city of Bend's nearly $70 million Surface Water Improvement Project (SWIP).
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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