Oregon WildBlogOregon Wild Blog RSS
News, notes, trip reports, and the lighter side (of the wilder side) of the Oregon environmental and conservation movement.
A look into how forest values like clean water, healthy wildlife habitats, and recreation are mismatched with the concept of "variable retention harvest."
By Roxana Monjaras
J.B. Jackson, a professor and renowned landscape architect who popularized the term "cultural landscape," once said "landscapes reflect the culture of the people living there." If we look closely at the changes imposed on the landscape we can in many ways learn to 'read' the beliefs and principles people value the most.
As a recent graduate of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon, much of my thesis focused on this concept, and the way human-engineered landscapes are often in conflict with natural systems – as is occurring with the U.S.'s triple-fence policy along the border with Mexico. By the end, I became fully aware homeland "security" is a value which trumps all others – especially environmental protection.
Conservation and Restoration Coordinator Doug Heiken notes Oregon's BLM forests already produce significant volumes of timber from thinning dense, young plantation stands.
By Doug Heiken
Congress wants to eliminate important safeguards on our land and water so they can increase logging on public lands.
Let's recognize BLM lands provide clean drinking water for hundreds of thousands of people and play a critical role in forest conservation. BLM lands are located in the foothills of the Willamette, Umpqua and Rogue valleys, and serve as a critical "land bridge" linking wildlife populations in the Coast Range and the Cascades.
Continued conservation of mature and old-growth forest is imperative to recover endangered salmon, marbled murrelet, and northern spotted owl populations. If the spotted owl is going to co-exist with the invading barred owl, they need more habitat, not less (i.e., when your in-laws move in, your need a bigger house, not a smaller house).
Oregon Wild urges Senator Wyden to pursue a balanced approach to protect clean water, salmon, and Oregon's tourism and recreation economy.
By Sean Stevens
We look forward to working with Senator Wyden on a solution that preserves the conservation values Oregonians hold dear. The Senator's leadership will be invaluable in finding a path forward that enhances protections for clean water, wildlife, wilderness, and ancient forests. These O&C lands are part of the broader legacy of public lands owned by all taxpayers, and we must manage them well for future generations.
Oregon Wild is pleased Senator Wyden's legislative framework explicitly seeks to enshrine permanent protections for ancient forests and wilderness areas that are crucial in protecting clean water, wildlife, and recreation opportunities. For decades, we have worked to protect special places across Oregon from excessive clear-cut logging and other harmful development, and today Oregonians understand our protected wildlands are critical for clean water, wildlife, and our state's vital tourism and outdoor recreation economy.
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.
Oregon outdoor fans now have until January 18th to submit a special hike or destination on O&C Lands to the Backyard Forests campaign.
With the Backyard Forests campaign up and running, Oregon Wild and the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center (KS Wild) are extending the nomination period for special, spectacular places on lands managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management to January 18th.
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.
Eugene's summer intern reflects on her experience recommending Areas of Critical Environmental Concern to the BLM.
This year, the Bureau of Land Management is starting to revise its management plans for its lands in Western Oregon. Again.
Chandra LeGue highlights the rather stark difference between how private forestlands and public forests are managed in Oregon.
by Chandra LeGue
In light of the release of Reps. DeFazio, Schrader and Walden's draft legislation to create a 1.5 million acre "timber trust" out of public O&C lands, to be managed under private timber land laws, I thought it would be helpful to explore the differences between environmental safeguards on federal public lands and private timber lands.
As you may guess, there are significant differences between both the laws and practices applied to these lands. Of course, private timber lands are generally managed for timber production, with short rotation clear-cutting the dominant practice. Public lands are managed to provide clean water, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, as well as timber production – mostly through selective thinning practices.
With the release of an alternate plan for county funding, a central question crops up again - does logging actually pay (enough)?
Today, Oregon Wild joined with six other conservation groups to unveil a new plan to fund Oregon's rural county governments that face a funding shortfall in the wake of the expiration of Secure Rural Schools legislation.
Environmentalists proposing solutions to fund county governments, you scoff! I know, even we think it's strange sometimes.
The problem is, absent any new ideas to figure out funding for the 18 O&C counties, politicians always seem to turn to funding models taken straight out of the 1980s. In fact, some recently proposed plans for county funding are so three-decades-ago that they might as well be set to a nice disco tune.
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.