Oregon WildBlogOregon Wild Blog RSS
News, notes, trip reports, and the lighter side (of the wilder side) of the Oregon environmental and conservation movement.
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.
The great-grandson of Waldo Lake's namesake expresses his concern over the Oregon Aviation Board's desire to allow seaplanes to land and take off from the pristine lake.
This letter was submitted by Bruce A. Johnson of Bend to Governor John Kitzhaber. Mr. Johnson is the great-grandson of Waldo Lake namesake and early Oregon conservationist Judge John B. Waldo.
Dear Governor Kitzhaber,
I am writing to urge you, as the elected Governor of the State of Oregon and member of the State Land Board, to lead an effort to establish a permanent and binding preservation of Waldo Lake in its pure and natural state.
This lake, of remarkable clarity with water considered among the purest in the word, and enjoyed by respectful recreationists for its solitude and natural qualities, is at risk of being gradually degraded due to the lack of a single, unified effort to protect it from detrimental activities.
The Obama administration so far falls short on protecting Wilderness and other conservation measures.
Nearly four years ago, as President Obama entered his first term, conservationists had high hopes for the administration as it got off to a good start - signing Wilderness protections into law that included 202,000 acres of some of Oregon's natural treasures.
Since then, the administration - and Congress - has focused more on energy development on public lands than increased conservation.
A recent essay posted by The Center for American Progress calls out this major imbalance:
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.
Located in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, Mt. Stella offers some of the best, and most accessible, vantage points of Crater Lake and all of southern Oregon.
By Wendell Wood
Oregon Wild Wildlands Interpreter
Both roadless area hikes are easily accessible from Crater Lake Hwy. 230.
The Mt. Stella Roadless area, bordered along its east side by the upper Rogue River, provides a scenic backdrop for the Rogue Umpqua Scenic Highway, as well as the popular riverside Farewell Bend Campground (just a mile north of Union Creek).
Additionally, this roadless area is traversed near its eastern boundary by the Upper Rogue River Trail No. 1034, where the FS Rd. 6510 bridge (just off Hwy. 230) provides an easy access point to this side of the Rogue River and a roadless area trailhead to the southwest (downstream) to the Rogue Gorge Trail in 6.5 miles and Natural Bridge in seven miles.
Nature loop in Grants Pass features spring blooms.
It’s easy to overlook Cathedral Hills Park, just four miles off Interstate 5 in Grants Pass. But from April through June this 400-acre park erupts with thousands of brilliant wildflowers - a display that rivals the stained glass windows of genuine cathedrals.
If you’re driving south toward California during this magic season, pull over for a 4-mile loop hike that showcases the unusual blooms of the Siskiyou Range. The brightest light in the constellation is Indian warrior, a blazing ball of red tubes. It resembles Indian paintbrush at first glance, but grows atop a clump of frilly, fern-like leaves.
If you’re not a flower fan, then come here for the forest. Cathedral Hills boasts the state’s largest knobcone pine and manzanita bush. Fire has been kept off the area for more than a century, so these flammable species have waxed big. One whiteleaf manzanita, normally a shoulder-high shrub, has become a 25-foot tall semi-tree with a trunk two feet in diameter. The knobcone pine is a small and rare pine species of the Siskiyous, but here one has grown 117 feet tall, with a trunk more than three feet in diameter.
Hike to wildflowers and a warm springs near Oakridge.
Hidden in the hills behind Oakridge is the perfect day’s outing (from June to November) in an unprotected wilderness west of Waldo Lake. Start with a hike through one of the state’s most diverse wildflower meadows to a historic shelter with mountain views. Top off the day with a soak in a natural warm springs pool.
The day begins in Oakridge’s real downtown—not the fast food joints you see along Highway 58. At the traffic light on Highway 58, turn north 0.2 mile on a bridge across the railroad tracks. Then turn right on First Street. The old downtown here features the reasonably priced Oakridge Hostel, the Lion Mountain Bakery, and the Brewers Union Pub.
Candidates might think they're speaking to the base, but be careful when you dis public lands in the West.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney might be forgiven for not quite grasping the role that public lands play in Western life and politics. That is, if not for the fact that he headed the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City in 2002 and should know better.
Seems he actually learned the wrong lesson from his time spent west of the 100th meridian.
In an interview with a Nevada newspaper, Romney tackled the subject of western public lands. See his quote after the jump.
The myth of wilderness designations crippling rural economies.
We got an e-mail from a long time member and noted ecologist George Wuerthner this week.
The subject: Is the oft-repeated line that Wilderness designations hurt local economic development true?
George took a look at a map of California Wilderness areas and had these thoughts:
In the Hall of Giants on a hike to Oregon's Crabtree Valley.
This remote Cascade vale north of Sweet Home has some of the state’s oldest and largest trees. You can drive to the trailhead almost entirely on paved roads. A moderate 2-mile walk, partly on abandoned roadbeds, takes you to a rarely visited mountain lake surrounded by monstrous trees nine feet in diameter.
In the 1970s this valley was private timberland. Willamette Industries began cutting trees in 1978 after the BLM rejected a land swap. Word spread to the Oregon Wilderness Coalition (now known as Oregon Wild). Cameron LaFollette, an OWC staffer, convinced the Oregon legislature to stop the cutting by offering to trade state forest land for the private valley. That land swap failed as well, but by then there was so much public interest in Crabtree Valley that the BLM decided to acquire the land after all.