Speaking for the Trees

Last week Oregon Wild hosted its first ever forest management film festival at the Bijou Art Cinema in Eugene. With the help of organizations like the Sierra Club, Pacific Rivers Council and Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics we filled the cinema with forest lovers. This successful event brought people from all walks of life, and all across Oregon to listen to the stories told by our three featured films. To add to the excitement of the night, this happened to be the premier of one of the films, Behind the Emerald Curtain a film funded by the Pacific Rivers Council. 

During my first week as an Oregon Wild intern, my supervisor, Chandra asked me what I wanted to get out of the internship, from there the environmental film festival came to life. The goal of this event was to inspire people to think past the lines that divide our forests (National Forests, state forests, BLM lands, private timberlands) and explore the impacts of logging felt across shared boundaries. To do that we shared three films, Behind the Emerald Curtain, which skims the top of the issues of logging on private land. The second, Drift, chronicles the lives of a community plagued by reoccurring spraying on private land. And the third, Seeing the Forest, tells a hopeful story of the previously heavily logged Siuslaw National Forest, which has transformed into a model for sustainable ecosystem restoration and innovative management.

Together these films shatter the stereotype that paints Oregon as a pristine land with progressive management laws by highlighting the issues in our backyard. My hope is that by screening these films across Oregon we will raise awareness of the web of issues surrounding the Oregon timber industry, while also giving us hope that we can create a better tomorrow.  

- Marla Waters, Eugene Conservation & Outreach Intern