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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: Energy Development
"The sea equivalent of Wilderness"

"The sea equivalent of Wilderness"

Are marine reserves Wilderness and is the state lands department speculating too much?

A couple of interesting items in The Oregonian caught my eye earlier this week.

The first was an op-ed submitted by two professors (one from Washington and one from Oregon) on the compatibility of wave energy development and marine reserves. The title gives away the position of the authors:

Protecting sea life: New marine reserves, wave energy a bad mix for Oregon

I'm curious to hear others' thoughts on how and where wave energy projects should be allowed on the coast. From my perspective, it seems that industrial development would fly in the face of the whole purpose of the reserve system. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

What I really found interesting was this tidbit:

Read More…

Oil spill over Oregon?

Oil spill over Oregon?

Posted by Sean Stevens at May 12, 2010 11:05 AM |

With the Gulf oil spill on all our minds, how 'bout a little perspective.

After the Exxon Valdez dumped over 10 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound in the spring of 1989, the supertanker had a new destination: Portland.

A local company was the low bidder to examine the ship's wreckage and begin to determine what had happened and how bad things were. Oregon officials were rightfully cautious.

I distinctly remember, as an 8-year-old, wondering why on Earth they would bring this harbinger of environmental doom to our doorstep. I'd seen the images of oil-soaked birds on TV and wanted no part of it for my local rivers and wildlife.

Ultimately, the plan was nixed and the ship was sent to San Diego harbor (where its entry was delayed due to, you guessed it, oil leaks).

The explosion and subsequent massive oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf has brought back memories of the Exxon disaster and questions about the safety of offshore oil drilling.

And it's got many people wondering: "Just how big is this oil spill?"

Check past the jump for the answer.

Read More…

Dam the snowpack and salmon

Dam the snowpack and salmon

Posted by Sean Stevens at May 03, 2010 11:10 AM |

A couple of interesting anecdotes from the dammed rivers in Oregon.

Back in 1994, Oregon Wild (then ONRC) released our 15 Damnable Dams report. The cover was emblazoned with this quote:

"Historically, questions about dams have been limited to where or whether to build them in the first place. Given what we now know, it is time to change the terms of the debate. It is time to ask whether or not existing dams should be allowed to remain."

Since publication of the Damnable Dams report, we've seen progress and stagnation in the fight to remove large dams in Oregon. In a three-year dam busting binge that would make Ed Abbey proud, Savage Rapids Dam and Gold Hill Dam on the main stem Rogue River and Elk Creek Dam on a major tributary have all been demolished. And this year, Gold Ray Dam is expected to get yanked. Once that happens, Lost Creek Dam will be the only major dam on the Rogue River allowing it to flow freely below Lost Creek for 157 miles to the ocean.

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