Lowdown on the Hoedown

By Bob Ferris
My older brother had his wedding videotaped by a rather intrusive photographer.  And then after the wedding and before the honeymoon they rushed home and watched the video.  I never understood that until this week when I was going through the Hoedown videos and images.

Putting on an event like this puts you into a blur and you miss so much.  Certainly I had fun at the event and it was wonderful to see old friends and make new ones, but I didn’t realize how much fun we all had until I looked the videos and checked out the pictures.  
Now I will freely admit that when board member Paul Kuck and I were unloading tables at 2AM after hauling and bucking straw to the good folks at Aprovecho by moonlight, I was a little less optimistic about doing the event again next year.  But when I looked at the images of happy faces and dust kicking cowboy boots, all of my weariness and misgivings evaporated.

I also realized how grateful I was to all who attended and made it the event that it was.  And also how thankful I was that the band, Blue Flags & Black Grass were spectacular and that Pedal Power Music jumped in at the last second with a sustainable sound option that we hope to use next year too.
I was also grateful for our sponsors like Ninkasi who along with Oakshire provided quality social lubrication for the event.  And the food was simply amazing too and we are so appreciative of our in-kind donors.
But most of all it was the people.  Board members like Paul Kuck, Sarah Peters and new board member Anne Dorsey who kicked it into high gear to make this happen.  The staff too from gimpy Josh Laughlin who served as a Chester-like limping emcee and Nick Cady who turned teamster to help haul truckloads of materials and Kaley Sauer who t-shirted, flasked us and bumper-stickered us in style.  Francis Eatherington was there welcoming and there was spanking-new staffer Carolyn Candela plying us with coffee, tea and lemonade.

And then there were the volunteers like Misha English, Jessica Southwick, Carlene Ramus, Steve Witten, Max Coslow and cast of unnamed folks from hither and yon.  Big thanks too to Janine Nilsen at Avalon Stables for providing the venue (and dancing above with Sheriff Dan Kruse).  All of you were essential just like the trees we work so hard to save and the wolves we labor to protect.  


Ninkasi T-shirt: Art Imitates Life But Also Inspires Action

By Bob Ferris
Our new collaborative T-shirt design with Ninkasi speaks symbolically and literally for rivers (at right). Ninkasi T Shirt
For instance, the river flowing out of us on the shirt and into a Ninkasi pint glass graphically represents our work to protect waters and Ninkasi’s significant support for efforts to keep our region’s waterways clean and wild.  This makes perfect sense as both our entities are headquartered in Eugene on the banks of a river and we operate in a region—Cascadia—that is defined by its cascading waters.  We are in water people.
the-narrows-viewpoint-north-umpqua-river-myrtle-creek-300x186Cascadia Wildlands' water work is sometimes pretty obvious and upfront such as our efforts to get suction dredgers out of our precious salmon steelhead waters, our work to protect tree-lined, riparian corridors from harm and our advocacy against harmful public lands grazing. And sometimes our water work is a little more cryptic like our battles against coal exports, LNG pipelines and carbon export facilities.   But all of it is directed towards keeping the water that we live near, play in and depend on for life in a wild state.
This shirt design should be taken literally as well, because Cascadia Wildlands works to protect the McKenzie and other nearby watersheds which is where Ninkasi other local breweries gets their water.  Our recent, successful lawsuit on the Goose Timber Sale and our efforts now on the ill-advised Green Mountain Project (please click below to take action) all act to protect this globally-known watershed for people, fish and even beer.  
For all of the above reasons we are proud of this shirt for all it represents.  And we happy that we will be able to start offering this shirt this coming Saturday May 10th at the Hoedown where we celebrate our partners in all of these efforts: You.  
So get your tickets now to come square dance, drink some Ninkasi (and Oakshire) brews, play games, eat monumental vegetarian chili and cavort around a campfire with the finest bunch of people found in Cascadia.  Yee Haw!



Cascadia Wildlands and Sound Choices

By Bob Ferris
The_Rosannas_With Seth Plunkett-Libby Fenstermacher-Andrew Mosman-Joshua Heying
So much of what we do to keep things wild involves sound—embracing the good ones versus fighting the offensive.  For instance, we want wolves howling in the wilderness but don’t want to hear the constant lawnmower-motor burping of suction dredge engines in our wild spaces.
Similarly, we much prefer to listen to the wind whistling through tall trees in the Elliott State Forest and the gentle “keer”of marbled murrelets to the rip-snort of a chainsaw.  The same is true for rushing waters and waves as opposed to off-highway vehicles and jet boats.  
We all have similar catalogues of good and bad sounds.  What we hear and experience through our auditory senses seems almost as important as what we harvest in wilderness through our eyes, nose, feet and fingers.  
This importance of good sounds is probably why we at Cascadia Wildlands convene so many events over and around music.  Good sounds bring us together.  Take Pints Gone Wild hosted by Ninkasi Brewery on the first Monday of each month.  That gathering is all about good sounds—old favorites, new artists and those making joyful or innovative noise for the wildlands we love.  All of them generously donating their time to help us keep it wild.
_MG_0112But it does not end there because we also have special events such as the upcoming one at Luckey’s Club on April 12 and our barn-burner (figuratively not literally) Hoedown for Ancient Forests on May 10th.  
And it is not just about our own music events.  We will also be at the Oregon Country Fair and String Summit again this summer.  So please come to these events and tell your friends. There is really no rule out there that says we cannot have major amounts of fun while taking material actions to keep it wild.  



Press Release: Cascadia Wildlands to Celebrate 15 Years at the 11th Annual Wonderland Auction on Dec. 14

November 25, 2013
For Immediate Release
Contact: Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands, 541.434.1463
               Alyssa Lawless, Mountain Rose Herbs, 541.741.7307
Eugene—On Saturday, December 14, Cascadia Wildlands, in conjunction with Mountain Rose Herbs, the University of Oregon Outdoor Program and other community sponsors, hosts a 15-year celebration at the 11th annual Wonderland Auction. This event is from 6-10 pm at the University of Oregon’s EMU Ballroom and promises to be a night to remember.
The evening will feature live jazz by the Liaisons Duo (Eugene’s Sean Peterson and Laura Kemp), a gourmet dinner by Ring of Fire, Ninkasi brews and local wines, exciting live and silent auctions and abundant holiday cheer. Proceeds from the event directly support the conservation work of Cascadia Wildlands, including restoring gray wolves back into the Pacific West, safeguarding threatened old-growth rainforests, and recovering wildLiaisonsBlack&white(small) salmon and steelhead.
“This event is to celebrate our first 15 years of conservation successes with the community members and businesses that helped us realize our goals,” says Josh Laughlin, Campaign Director of Cascadia Wildlands. “It is also an event to raise operating revenue for our lofty conservation plans and help usher in the next 15 years.”
Nearly two hundred businesses have contributed to the event, from cash and in-kind sponsorship to those who donated goods, services and other products. Mountain Rose Herbs, with headquarters in west Eugene, is the event’s lead sponsor for the seventh consecutive year.
“It’s such a pleasure to partner with a local non-profit that both works to protect endangered species like the gray wolf and throws a great party!,” says Alyssa Lawless, Director of Sustainability at Mountain Rose Herbs.  “Over the years, our relationship has grown, and we continue to be impressed with Cascadia Wildlands’ efforts to conserve the unique bioregion that we value and rely on to make our business successful.”
Exciting live and silent auction items include a three-night stay at the Cliff House on the beautiful McKenzie River, a three-night getaway at Orca Adventure Lodge on Prince William Sound, rafting trips on the McKenzie and Umpqua Rivers, fine wine and vineyard tours, flyfishing trips, a gourmet dinner with Cascadia’s President and First Lady, lunch for two in an old-growth tree top, and much, much, more.
Other Wonderland Auction sponsors include: Back to the Roots Landscaping, Café Mam, Eugene Weekly, Genesis Juice, Kore Kombucha, Coconut Bliss, Marché, Vanilla Jill’s and Green Solutions Printing.
The cost of the event is $40/person in advance, $50 at the door. Kids 12 and under are free. Admission includes dinner, drinks, live jazz, live and silent auctions, and holiday cheer. Advance tickets, a live and silent auction preview, and more event information can be found at
*** A high-resolution image of the Liaisons Duo is attached for press use. (Photo courtesy of Sean Peterson)
About Mountain Rose Herbs
Since 1987, Mountain Rose Herbs has been known for its uncompromising commitment to organic agriculture, sustainable business practices, and a steadfast focus on the pure aesthetics and freshness of botanical products. Their wide range of product offerings includes bulk herbs and spices, aromatherapy and essential oils, tea and tea supplies, and natural health and body care. Every aspect of product creation is carried out in accordance with strict quality control and organic handling procedures by employees who care. From fragrant and beyond-fresh organic herbs and spices, to soothing essential oils and delicious herbal teas, the quality and integrity of Mountain Rose Herbs is unparalleled – with smiles guaranteed. To learn more about Mountain Rose Herbs please visit


Author! Author!

By Bob Ferris
Outdoor writers have selected their field not because it is a pathway to fame and riches but because they love the subject matter.  Being a successful outdoor writer demonstrates a level of skill and personal dedication that few of us will ever possess or aspire to.  That is why it is so significant when these writers elect to donate their written works to our annual auction.   Their gesture—like their words–says so much.  And this year we are particularly touched by the stature and the assortment of authors who have offered up their works to help support Cascadia Wildlands.



Collared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country by Aimee L. Eaton introduces readers to the biologists, ranchers, conservationists, state employees, and lawyers on the front lines, encouraging a deeper, multifaceted understanding of the controversial and storied presence of wolves in Oregon.

THe Wolf's Tooth


In The Wolf’s Tooth, scientist and author Cristina Eisenberg explores the concept of “trophic cascades” and the role of top predators in regulating ecosystems. Her fascinating and wide-ranging work provides clear explanations of the science surrounding keystone predators and considers how this notion can help provide practical solutions for restoring ecosystem health and functioning.
Salmon in the TreesA 2011 Nautilus Book Award winner and a 2010 Independent Publisher Book Award winner, Salmon in the Trees tells the story of the Tongass, a 17 million-acre temperate rain forest fringing the coastal panhandle of Alaska and covering thousands of islands in the Alexander Archipelago. With some of the world's highest densities of grizzly bears, black bears, and bald eagles, the Tongass National Forest is a place that time hasn't quite caught up to yet. Here, millions of wild salmon are the crucial link between the forest and the sea, and shape both animal and human lives. But can the great forest's biological treasures withstand the modern pressures of a globalized world?




Childrens author Jo Marshall is donating two sets of her popular three-book Twig series.  These books are wonderful educational adventures for young readers that teach about nature and environmental issues such as climate change.



Wolfer-A Memior. His plan was to stay in Iowa, maybe get a job counting ducks, or do a little farming. But events conspired to fling Carter Niemeyer westward and straight into the jaws of wolves. From his early years wrangling ornery federal trappers, eagles and grizzlies, to winning a skinning contest that paved the way for wolf reintroduction in the Northern Rockies, Carter Niemeyer reveals the wild and bumpy ride that turned a trapper – a killer – into a champion of wolves.

The Homeward Wolf

The Homeward Wolf.  Wolves have become a complicated comeback story. Their tracks are once again making trails throughout western Alberta, southern British Columbia and the northwestern United States, and the lonesome howls of the legendary predator are no longer mere echoes from our frontier past: they are prophetic voices emerging from the hills of our contemporary reality.
Kevin Van Tighem's first RMB Manifesto explores the history of wolf eradication in western North America and the species recent return to the places where humans live and play. Rich with personal anecdotes and the stories of individual wolves whose fates reflect the complexity of our relationship  



Last Stand: Ted Turner's Quest to Save a Troubled Planet.  A highly regarded environmental journalist, Todd Wilkinson, turns his attention to one of the most compelling personalities in American business. Last Stand gives us a new, unexpected lens through which to view a previously unsung hero of conservation and offers prescriptions for the future of conservation. (Our copy is signed by the author and Ted Turner)
The Death and Life of Monterey BayAnyone who has ever stood on the shores of Monterey Bay, watching the rolling ocean waves and frolicking otters, knows it is a unique place. But even residents on this idyllic California coast may not realize its full history. Monterey began as a natural paradise, but became the poster child for industrial devastation in John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row,and is now one of the most celebrated shorelines in the world.
 It is a remarkable story of life, death, and revival—told here for the first time in all its stunning color and bleak grays by Stephen Palumbi and Carolyn Sotka. The Death and Life of Monterey Bay begins in the eighteenth century when Spanish and French explorers encountered a rocky shoreline brimming with life—raucous sea birds, abundant sea otters, barking sea lions, halibut the size of wagon wheels,waters thick with whales. A century and a half later, many of the sea creatures had disappeared, replaced by sardine canneries that sickened residents with their stench but kept the money flowing. When the fish ran out and the climate turned,the factories emptied and the community crumbled. But today,both Monterey’s economy and wildlife are resplendent. How did it happen?
The High Sierra of California


Combining the dramatic and meticulous work of printmaker Tom Killion–accented by quotes from John Muir–and the journal writings of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder, The High Sierra of California is a tribute to the bold, jagged peaks that have inspired generations of naturalists, artists, and writers.
For over thirty years, Tom Killion has been backpacking the High Sierra, making sketches of the region stretching from Yosemite south to Whitney and Kaweah Crest, which he calls ''California's backbone.'' Using traditional Japanese and European woodcut techniques, Killion has created stunning visual images of the Sierra that focus on the backcountry above nine thousand feet, accessible only on foot.
Accompanying these riveting images are the journals of Gary Snyder, chronicling more than forty years of foot travels through the High Sierra backcountry. ''Athens and Rome, good-bye!'' writes Snyder, as he takes us deep into the mountains on his daily journeys around Yosemite and beyond.  Winner of the California Book Award Medal.
Please come to the 11th Wonderland auction on December 14th and bid on these wonderful literary works written by authors who are true friends to Cascadia Wildlands in all respects.  We thank them and other auction donors who value our work and our shared love of wildlife and wildlands,


Talking Tongass: Cozmically

Bob TalkingCome hear Cascadia Wildland's Executive Director and large mammal biologist Bob Ferris talk about the issues surrounding the 17-million acre Tongass National Forest in Southeastern Alaska for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Science Pub series.  

Bob is trained as a scientist and has spent the last two decades working in the conservation community.  He was also part of the volunteer team that went to Fort Saint John, British Columbia in late January 1996 to help capture and process the last set of wolves to be released in Yellowstone and Central Idaho.  (Click here for more information)

When: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Time: 7:00-9:00pm
Event Schedule: 
5:00 – People begin to arrive to find seats, order food
7:00pm – Introduction and trivia, by OMSI host
7:15pm – Speaker starts presentation
8:15pm – Speaker ends presentation, Q&A starts
9:00pm – Event ends

For More Details Visit OMSI Event Page


Vince Black Joins Gaye Lee Russell at Pints March 4th

We just learned that Vince Black of Black Uhuru fame will be playing bass in the Badass Band while Gaye Lee Russell sings tonight at Pints Gone Wild.  One more reason to show up and celebrate the coming of spring with the Cascadia Wildlands' crowd.  The musical fun starts around 5:30PM and lasts until 7:00PM followed by Trivia.  Click here for more details and to RSVP.


Gaye Lee Russell and Her Badass Band to Play Pints March 4th

For immediate release

February 13, 2013


Gaye Lee Russell 541-844-1212

Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands 541-434-1463


Gaye Lee Russell and Her Badass Band to Perform for Cascadia Wildlands’ Pints Gone Wild! Benefit At Ninkasi Brewing Co. on March 4

            Eugene, OR — Eugene’s own Gaye Lee Russell and her Badass Band have announced they will play at Cascadia Wildlands’s first-Monday-of-the-month “Pints Gone Wild!” benefit from 5:30-7 pm on the Ninkasi Brewing Co. patio on Monday, March 4. The event is free and open to the public. Cascadia Trivia Night follows the music inside the tasting room.

            25% of pint sales at the tasting room at Pints Gone Wild! is generously donated to Cascadia Wildlands to support a wide range of the organization’s conservation work, including designating the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness in the Oregon Coast Range, recovering gray wolf populations back into the Pacific West, and creating new state scenic waterway designations to protect wild salmon in Oregon.

            Gaye Lee Russell and Her Badass Band are proud to support Cascadia Wildlands. “The landscapes of Cascadia give us our lifeblood, and we have an obligation to protect them,” says Gay Lee Russell. “We are excited to be working with Cascadia Wildlands to ensure that future generations get a chance to marvel at our clean rivers, wild salmon runs and storybook wilderness.”

            Whether straight out rockin’ the blues or mellowing out with soulful ballads, Gaye Lee Russell is a dynamic singer and an all-out charismatic entertainer.  Gaye Lee shines as Rainy Day Blues Society Rooster Award winner 2009 for Best Female 


Blues Vocalist, and 2008 Best of Eugene Best Jingle Writer for her recording of Get Hip to the Eugene Green Scene.  Singing professionally on stage and touring nationally and internationally from the age of fourteen, Gaye Lee Russell has continued to perform and record with major rock, jazz and blues artists. She has shared stage and studio with a diverse array of national and internationally known musicians such as Muddy Waters, Gil Scott-Heron, Robert Cray, Paul deLay, BTO, Joan Jett, John Mellencamp, Dan Siegel, Meredith Brooks, The Tommy Castro Band with Magic Dick, Kenny Lee and Deanna Bogart, Mason Williams, Mel Brown and Hadley Caliman, John Hendrix and Annie Ross among many other top-flight performers.  

            Formerly with Eugene's The BOE Orchestra, Random Blues Band and the Gaye Lee Russell Experience (a tribute to Janis Joplin), on March 4 Gaye Lee will be performing with her “Badass Band” that includes rockin' blues guitarist Chad Jensen, Steve Carlile-drums, Vince Black (formerly with Black Uhuru, Andrew Tosh, Sonny Rhodes, Eek-a-Mouse, etc.) and special guest artists.

            The Ninkasi tasting room and patio are located at 272 Van Buren Street in Eugene’s historic Whiteaker neighborhood.

*** A high-resolution photo of Gaye Lee Russell is attached for press use.



Putting Wonder in the Wonderland Auction – Advanced Tickets Available for Dec. 8 Event

By Bob Ferris
One of the joys of life is doing new things and experiencing new adventures. That is true for new events as well, and our 10th Annual Wonderland Auction falls squarely into the new and exciting category for me.  And I am working with staff – particularly Camille – to make sure that it is also new and exciting for all of you as well.  So what is exciting about this year’s auction?
Big Items

Come bid on a Lake Tahoe vacation experience.

For one, the live auction items are really remarkable and varied.  I am touched that people are stepping up in this manner with donations at this level.  It says a lot about the community that supports Cascadia Wildlands as well as speaking to the value of the work that we do and how we do it.  Please check out the items here and remember that we have created bidding options for those who cannot attend.  Click here to create a proxy donor form.  
I would also add that the adventures and getaways in the live and silent auctions are really a smorgasbord of Cascadia with quality wild experiences from California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska – nearly all with waters to view and experience.  Moreover, many of these experiences highlight the very “big tree and boulder—otters and orca—salmon and steelhead—wolves and wolverines” wildness we celebrate and work so very hard to protect and enhance.
Little Items
But it is not all big items that make this event special.  This year we are honored that Jo Marshall—a children’s author who writes the Twig Series of books illustrated by D.W. Murray—has chosen to donate three sets of her climate change-oriented Twig Series that are must reads for young adults and a few elected adults who I could mention but will not in deference to the laws governing 501(c)3 non-profits.  
I also think that everyone will appreciate the packaging of related items into logical or illogical bundles.  Perhaps a bottle of wine with a romantic coastal get-away or a scented candle with a signed copy of a book on wilderness spirituality, will one of these tickle your fancy?  
What We Need: Auction Items, Attendees and Vounteers
As evidenced by the live auction and the silent auction donor pages, we are making real progress but we could still use some help in several areas.  First, we could use more live and silent auction items. (Please contact Camille to coordinate.)  We would also welcome more business sponsors and table sponsors as well.  
And we can use more volunteers.  In fact, we need roughly 35 dedicated volunteers to help us pull this off in the manner that all of us expect.  So sign up here, if you want to volunteer and buy your advanced tickets today.  I hope to see you on December 8 for a memorable evening!



Cozmic Benefit Event With Alder St. Allstars, July 26

You Are Invited!

What: Benefit for Goose Timber Sale and Marbled Murrelet Legal Defense Funds

Cozmic in Eugene is hosting a special event to help us raise money to offset the expenses for the Goose Timber Sale and Marbled Murrelet lawsuits.  Any pizza, food, and gift certificate purchases made at Cozmic on the day of the benefit (July 26), as long as they are accompanied by the downloadable flyer, will qualify.
So come celebrate with Cascadia Wildlands staff and supporters.  Help us get some badly needed legal funding. Come early, stay late, and eat a lot.

When: July 26, 2012 from 11 AM to 11 PM

Where: Cozmic 199 W. 8th St. Eugene, OR 97401 on the corner of 8th and Charnleton

Entertainment: Alder Street Allstars 

The amazing Alder Street Allstars will take the stage at 7:30 PM and play some foot-stomping bluegrass for the crowd.

Alder Street Allstars sing

Download the benefit flyer here and be sure to bring it to the event.  Important: If you do not bring flyer, no donation will be made.


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