Another day, another WOPR project
Writing comments on the first BLM project planned under WOPR - another day in the Eugene office.
We knew it was coming of course. We've received three scoping notices (scoping is the first opportunity for the public to weigh in on public lands projects) for new timber sales being planned under WOPR. We've looked at them a little - especially the Edson Regen project - but none of the comment due dates have come up yet. Until today. Today I had to sit down and actually hammer out some way to tell the BLM what I think about their WOPR plans. Without swearing. Tough.
So, for the Ginger Creek project up the Nestucca River in the northern Coast Range, I calmly wrote why the WOPR is illegal, based on bad science, and harmful to wildlife habitat and water quality. To be honest, this first project isn't the worst one we'll see. Most of it is thinning in young plantations, previously clearcut and in serious need of some diversity. But 300 acres of the proposal would clearcut (yep, no trees left standing) mature forests that currently provide habitat and stores carbon. Ouch.
So now we've had our first say on this project, and will soon be doing the same for Edson and a few other WOPR projects. I'm sure more will be coming soon, and Doug and Timothy and I (our Eugene office) will continue to engage in stopping these proposals. A bit disheartening at the moment, sure.
Meanwhile, we hold out hope that good science, the foundations of our environmental laws (like the Endangered Species Act), and Oregonians' desire to live in a place where there are healthy salmon populations, clean drinking water, and healthy forests staving off climate change will prevail and WOPR will be stopped for good.
Just another day in the Eugene office. Maybe I should plan another snowshoe hike...