Earlier this week, Oregon Wild staff gathered with community leaders from all across Portland to celebrate International Women’s Day! Attendees heard from a variety of inspiring women (and girl) leaders who are fighting every day for environmental protection, economic and social justice, and equality for all. Speakers ranged from local Northeast Portland community leaders, to national and global justice advocates.
Yesterday, Oregon’s legislative session ended abruptly, cut short because the state Republican super-minority walked out 11 days ago and never returned to vote on legislation or budgets. It appears that legislative walkouts are quickly becoming normalized in Oregon politics. This is particularly troubling for future conservation legislation, which the GOP super-minority and their donors have expressed increased hostility to in recent years. The future of the historic agreement between conservation groups and the logging industry is now an open question.
Where in Oregon can you find peaks over 9,000 feet and a canyon more than a mile deep… within a few miles of each other? Where can you chase wildflowers in bloom 7 months of the year, see golden eagles soaring, hear the howl of wild wolves, and fish for salmon that traveled hundreds of miles? For lovers of all things wild and beautiful, Wallowa Country is calling your name!
Last week, two dozen conservation groups and timber companies announced an agreement to chart a new course toward meaningful reform to Oregon’s outdated logging laws.
Think about your favorite wild place in Oregon - walking through a forest with towering ancient trees, sitting on the banks of a river running with clear water, or stepping out of your tent to enjoy the chilly morning air as you look across the sagebrush sea of the high desert. Odds are pretty good that at some point, members of the public - maybe even you - rallied to protect that place. And odds are, the reason there isn’t a grove of massive stumps, a trickle where there should be a roaring river, or a minefield of cowpies, is because of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The impacts of industrial forestry, especially clearcuts, on salmon are well known. Clearcutting the upper reaches of watersheds heats the cold water salmon need to survive, as do Oregon’s scientifically insufficient buffers along larger waterways. Roads and denuded slopes also cause artificial peak stream flows in the decade after clearcutting that can scour out fish eggs, and increase sediment runoff into waterways, filling them with mud and debris that cloud clean water and make it harder for salmon to feed.