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.
This time of year (late fall, early winter) can be challenging as far as where to go on a hike. If you’re like me, it takes a real mental effort to gear up and go outside when it’s cold and rainy. But just because it’s foggy in the Willamette Valley doesn’t mean it is everywhere. Surprisingly, it can be really nice on the Oregon coast this time of year - I recommend watching the weather there and then going for a hike where it is usually warmer than the valley - and sometimes even sunny!
As we close out 2019, I’d like to extend a huge thanks to you for not only being a wolf pack supporter, but also speaking up for the protection of Oregon’s wildlife. It’s because of people like you who care so deeply that we’re able to be an effective voice for the state’s imperiled wildlife. Thank you!
The energy in the air was palpable. Over 100 people left their places of work for a lunch hour forum at the Mazamas building in SE Portland to show their support for Wild & Scenic Rivers in the presence of Oregon’s two Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. Organizing parties were nervous about good turnout for this pre-holiday, weekday event, but all doubts disappeared long before the event began. Standing room only - and the Senators hadn’t even arrived. Mingling with the expanding attendees, it became clear how many diverse interests were represented.
Here at Oregon Wild, we try to keep big, old trees standing. And we try and make sure that when logging does happen, maintaining intact ecosystems is an integral part of the equation. While we focus on federal timber sales and modernizing Oregon’s forest laws, other organizations take an entirely different approach to forest conservation – reducing the need to cut down trees at all!
A few months ago, Senator Ron Wyden called for the expansion of Oregon’s network of Wild & Scenic Rivers. Since its passage in 1968, the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act has quickly become one of our country’s most beloved laws - enabling Americans to protect incredible wild rivers like the Rogue, Salmon, and North Fork Flathead.