Protecting Forests and Wild Places

Forest Activities

The formation of the Cascadia Wildlands Project in 1998—now known simply as Cascadia Wildlands—was catalyzed by the disasterous practice of clearcutting temperate ancient forests.  As a result of this and continuing threats in this arena, we devote much of our efforts towards forests and forestry practices as well as making absolutely sure that the clearcutting of mature and old-growth forests does not once again return to the public lands of our region as these forests are critical to the survival of species teetering on the brink of extinction, including the marbled murrelet and northern spotted owl.  Our efforts on public lands—mostly held in trust by the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service and various state agencies—also address issues of appropriate uses such as roads, pipelines, and mining.
The Value of Forests
Forests provide a myriad of what are called “ecosystem services” or benefits that accrue to all of us by the very existence of forests.  Some of these services include water quality and erosion control as well as the ability of our Pacific Northwest temperate forests to capture and hold carbon dioxide.  This latter ability is important as we look for ways to mitigation both climate change and ocean acidification. Well managed forests can also provide much-needed wildlife habitat, quality recreational experiences, and sustainable jobs.  Cascadia Wildlands fully understands that responsible forest management involves an appropriate balance between these three factors.
Forest Policy
From time to time, federal and state agencies undertake policy initiatives that ultimately impact large expanses of agency holdings for long periods of time.  The consequences of these activities can be greatly beneficial such as the creation of the refuge system or massively damaging like so-called “salvage logging” proposals after wildfire.  Unfortunately, economic conditions including joblessness and the need to generate revenues are currently being used as rationales for ill-advised and unsustainable policies.  Cascadia Wildlands is fully engaged in making sure that common-sense and vision are not abandoned in this head-long rush to accelerate exploitation of our forest heritage instead of taking key actions that will insure solvency for fiscally challenged counties, promote quality educational opportunities, and protect natural values.
The Need for New Wildernesses
A Wilderness designation is the utmost protection Congress can afford an area on federal public land. Simply put, it is a place where mechanization is not allowed and a place where wild nature is left alone for its own intrinsic value. Cascadia Wildlands believes that all Americans deserve access to wilderness.  Therefore as our human population increases and wildlife habitat on private lands becomes more degraded, we will need more wildernesses to maintain a consistent level and quality of access. We are currently working on a number of Wilderness campaigns in Oregon.
Our Approaches
Cascadia Wildlands works across Cascadia to forward sustainable forest policies and practices as well as making sure Cascadia’s human inhabitants and visitors continue to have access to wilderness level experiences.  Our approaches to doing this involve pouring through literally mountains of documents to make sure that public agencies are obeying the law and taking actions that are consistent with management plans and the best available science.  When we find problems we comment and if those comments are ignored, we litigate.  In addition, we seek to influence policies at the bigger picture level through promoting concepts such as our Shared Responsibility approach to solving on-going fiscal challenges in western Oregon.  And finally, we work to identify wilderness areas such as the Devil’s Staircase and Wild Rogue that require special protection and stand to provide quality wilderness experiences.





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