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News, notes, trip reports, and the lighter side (of the wilder side) of the Oregon environmental and conservation movement.

Showing blog entries tagged as: Endangered Species Act
The Howl

The Howl

Jonathan Jelen recounts the moment Oregon Wild came within shouting distance of one of Oregon's wolves, and reflects upon the struggle to secure the survival of wolves in the state.

By Jonathan Jelen

It started as an indistinct bark off in the distance. At first, only a few of us really even heard it. But then it moved closer. And the next sound we heard was one I'll never, ever forget. It was a full-blown wolf howl and sounded like it was only 50 yards away.

We were on our annual staff retreat to explore one of the many places statewide where we've been working to protect for native wildlife. Taking a break from our meetings, we set off to explore Oregon's wolf country.

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Water Disaster Set to Unfold This Summer In the Klamath Basin

Water Disaster Set to Unfold This Summer In the Klamath Basin

Only a full-scale overhaul of the Klamath Project will begin to address the acute problem of too much water promised to too many entities in the basin, with native wildlife and fish paying the steepest price.

By Tommy Hough

As the Klamath Basin heads into a cataclysmic drought year with less than 33 percent of the region's normal snowpack, it is a foregone conclusion the natural marshes of the basin's National Wildlife Refuges will be left perilously high and dry in 2013.

The scope of this summer's coming toll on the Klamath Basin is hard to fathom. Water levels are so low it will even shock veterans of the 2001 and 2002 "low water" years, when 60 percent of normal snowpack resulted in chaos. Governor Kitzhaber and irrigators are already flying the drought emergency flag, though state help only goes to farmers and ranchers. In the Klamath Basin, native and migratory wildlife are on their own, even as they are robbed of water.

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Annual Water Shortages Degrade Klamath Marshes

Annual Water Shortages Degrade Klamath Marshes

Thousands of acres of National Wildlife Refuge wetlands in the Klamath Basin will go without water this year. All signs are pointing to an unprecedented disaster.

By Wendell Wood

Sadly, 2013 will see a repeat of one of the most devastating symptoms of the Klamath Basin's numerous water problems: thousands of acres of crucial National Wildlife Refuge wetlands in the Klamath will be without water.

Unfortunately, this sad state of affairs reflects the norm in the Klamath Basin, where too much water has been promised to too many interests. Even in years of abundant water flow, this annual refuge de-watering represents the continuation of a policy of favoring agribusiness interests while avoiding cost-effective, long-term solutions which would bring water demand in the basin into balance with actual supplies.

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Getting to Know Oregon's Wolves

Getting to Know Oregon's Wolves

You know the story of Journey and how he became the world's most famous wolf. Now get ready to meet Journey's brothers and sisters.

Many thanks to an anonymous source who compiled and shared these photographs and information.

Fans and followers of Oregon Wild's wildlife conservation efforts know Journey was the name bestowed upon OR-7 last year as the result of Oregon Wild's naming contest for the world's most famous wolf.

And while the Journey moniker has been absolutely apropo for the wandering lone wolf of the Imnaha pack, and has lent the issue of wolf recovery some additional charisma, notoriety, and celebrity voltage as a result, it shouldn't come at the expense of Journey's Canis lupus brothers and sisters with less memorable names, but no less memorable faces.

So, for a round-up of all our radio-collared Oregon wolves, here are the faces we're fighting for every day at Oregon Wild.

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Just the Facts: Kathie Durbin

Just the Facts: Kathie Durbin

Former Oregon Wild Executive Director Andy Kerr reflects on the passing of journalist Kathie Durbin.

By Andy Kerr

In the mid-1980s the organization now known as Oregon Wild was only a very small group, but despite our size, we resolved to end the logging of old-growth forests in Oregon. At the time, two square miles per week of Oregon's ancient forests were being clearcut.

We were desperate to make news in this pre-internet era, when daily newspapers were the sole papers of community record, and the majority of citizens actually read them.

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The Best Process for Removing Klamath River Dams

The Best Process for Removing Klamath River Dams

In a strange twist, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) has become the greatest impediment to the proposed removal of Klamath River dams.

The billion-dollar KBRA isn't going anywhere, gives false hope to interests which would benefit from it, and is causing state and federal agencies to ignore worsening conditions for wildlife and endangered species in the basin for fear of upsetting the deal.

As long as there appears to be some hope for the KBRA and the money that would come with it in Congress, government agencies and stakeholders in the Klamath Basin will continue to allow PacifiCorp to continue with their fish-killing status quo. No Act of Congress is necessary to remove the dams.

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Water-Starved Klamath Basin Refuges Forced to Drain Marshes

Water-Starved Klamath Basin Refuges Forced to Drain Marshes

Klamath-area National Wildlife Refuges are being forced to drain massive amounts of water, while nothing is being asked of industrial irrigators.

By Wendell Wood

It has come to our attention Lower Klamath and Tule Lake NWRs are being required to deliver 5,600 acre feet of water from the refuge to the Klamath River. The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) maintains this is being done so the agency won't have to otherwise release additional water from Upper Klamath Lake.

While the BOR claims it needs to do so to maintain Upper Klamath lake levels for endangered species purposes, it is also doing so for the principal purpose of "recharging" the lake to its maximum elevation prior to the onset of the 2013 irrigation season.

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Concerns Regarding Governor Kitzhaber's O&C Lands Timber Proposal

Concerns Regarding Governor Kitzhaber's O&C Lands Timber Proposal

Some points to keep in mind when discussing or reporting on O&C lands in the wake of Gov. Kitzhaber's timber proposal to Oregon's congressional delegation.

Governor John Kitzhaber sent a letter to the Oregon congressional delegation on February 6th summarizing the results of his O&C forest panel, with his recommendations for moving forward.

Set forth below are several concerns, perspectives, and questions Oregon Wild has related to the governor's proposal, which we hope Oregon Wild members, conservationists, bloggers and journalists should keep in mind.

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The Oregon Wild "Get Rich Quick" Scheme

The Oregon Wild "Get Rich Quick" Scheme

How the Equal Access to Justice Act is used to batter conservation groups...while industry gets a pass.

I've written on this topic once before on the Oregon WildBlog, but a recent article in the agriculture journal Capital Press has me thinking about it once again.

The issue: The Equal Access to Justice Act and the very loud claims made by a small few over the supposed desire for environmental advocates to line their pockets by suing the federal government and getting paid back in attorney's fees.

To be clear, we don't get rich here at Oregon Wild by suing the feds...but we do keep our state a richer place by protecting special places that all taxpayers own by (sometimes) dragging the feds into court.

That's why headlines like this one bother me:

"Environmental group gets attorney fees in case it lost"

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After the Vote: With Determination and Hope

After the Vote: With Determination and Hope

Executive Director Sean Stevens takes a moment to talk about how Tuesday's election results affect Oregon Wild, our issues, initiatives, and plans for moving forward.

By Sean Stevens
Executive Director, Oregon Wild

As Oregon Wild supporters and followers, you know elections matter for our environment. Policy differences at the federal and local level can have serious consequences for the health of our public lands, the purity of our drinking water, and the survival of our most threatened wildlife.

Last night's election had big implications for the wildlands, wildlife, and waters we cherish – and the outcome gives us reason to celebrate today.

But we also know our advocacy for the environment doesn’t stop after we’ve mailed in our ballot. President Obama’s reelection should remind us of the hopes we had for his presidency four years ago, and the mixed bag of environmental policies he has implemented. To achieve lasting protections for our most special places and to safeguard our natural inheritance, the real work begins now.

Read More…

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