Hiked Opal Creek Trail one too many times? Sick of the crowds at Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge? Looking to have a close encounter with Bigfoot? If you answered yes to any of these questions, than you may want to consider a road trip to Southern Oregon.
To get you started, Statesman Journal outdoors writer and Oregon author Zach Urness will give a presentation focused on the best day hikes and backpacking trips in the state's southern half from 6:30-8:00 pm on Wednesday, October 14 at Hop Valley Brewing tasting room (990 W. 1st Ave. in Eugene). The free event is sponsored by Cascadia Wildlands and Hop Valley Brewing.
The presentation is based on a book Urness co-wrote with longtime author Art Bernstein called "Hiking Southern Oregon," which features hikes among the world's tallest trees, United States' deepest lake and Oregon's third-highest waterfall.
He'll be showing videos and pictures from hikes that are easy and family-friendly, along with those traveling deep into remote wilderness areas where meeting another person is about as likely as coming across Bigfoot.
The book covers hikes from southeast Oregon's Steens Mountain, past Crater Lake and the Southern Cascades, into the wilderness areas of the Siskiyou Mountains and finally to the redwood coast in extreme northwest California.
About Zach Urness: Zach has been an outdoors writer, photographer and videographer in Oregon for eight years. He covers the outdoors and environment at the Salem Statesman Journal newspaper, and has written for USA Today, The Oregonian, the Eugene Register-Guard, Mail Tribune and the Grants Pass Daily Courier. When he isn’t hanging out with his 10-month-old daughter Lucy, you’ll find him kayaking, mountain biking or generally exploring wild places all over the Beaver State.
"The Future of Wilderness in Oregon," a Community Forum
February 4, 2015, 6:30-8 pm • 110 Willamette Hall, University of Oregon
February 4, 2015, 6:30-8 pm • 110 Willamette Hall, University of Oregon
Oregon has long been regarded as a state full of natural treasures with ample forests, rivers and mountains. We rely on Wilderness to provide clean drinking water, wildlife habitat, recreation and solitude. Wilderness is what defines us as a state, and provides us with a high quality of living. And while our public lands belong to everyone, it takes an act of Congress to protect them from logging, mining and human development. Fortunately, the power to designate areas as Wilderness is in our hands. With an uncertain political landscape, the need to protect our remaining wildlands has never been greater. Join us for an evening to learn and discuss the future of Wilderness in Oregon. The event is free and open to the public.
Hosted by the University of Oregon Outdoor Program, Environmental Studies Program, Oregon Wild, Sierra Club, Cascadia Wildlands, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, and Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson. For more information, contact Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands, 541.434.1463.
By Bob Ferris
Auction time is always exciting at Cascadia Wildlands as the phones are ringing off the wall with folks wanting to donate items. That is all great. As time and tide progress, the office—what we jokingly refer to as the global headquarters of Cascadia Wildlands—starts to look a little like a poorly organized warehouse.
I walk around this occasionally when I am trying to get circulation going in my backside. On some level these office jaunts resemble those nearly clandestine, flannel-pajama clad excursions I used to have when I was very small to check to see what new item might have been deposited beneath a certain magical tree. Oh, the thoughts and dreams I had during those forays.
On one of my morning rambles this week I spied a pile from Patagonia and a stack from Tactics. There was a bust of Johnny Walker (you’ll have to come to auction to find out about that one) and mushrooms along with some best-selling books from friends like Rick Lamplugh, Cristina Eisenberg and Todd Wilkinson.
But the one thing that struck me was that breweries, distilleries and vintners love us dearly. I say this because we have enough quality adult beverages donated for our auction to keep all of us “wild” for quite some time. We have, for instance, a “beer for a year” package from Widmer Brothers. We have a winery tour from Willamette Valley Vineyards as well as a tasting tour at House Spirits.
We have cases of beer from Deschutes Brewery and Base Camp in addition to wine from Lane Benton, Opine Cellars (who are also providing wine for the dinner) and boxes and bags of what can only be classified as oenophile assortments. And auction goers (of an age) will be treated to beer from our long-time supporters and Pints Gone Wild host—Ninkasi.
So check out our auction page, the live auction page and remember that advance purchase of ticket saves you $10 per ticket so buy now.
By Bob Ferris
I like words and recently I was discussing the word “foray” with my wife. Foray is a great word with multiple meanings but essentially it is used to describe a raid or a venture into unknown territory or outside one’s comfort zone. I really like this latter venture context as it deals largely with what we like to encourage (i.e., we like it wild) and what we tend to feature during the “live” portion of our annual Wonderland Auctions. And this year is shaping up nicely in terms of “forays.”
It takes a lot to put together this auction and these packages are selected with care to not only be forays in this latter sense, but also to introduce and immerse our supporters to elements of Cascadia. Some of these packages are solid and some of them are in the conceptual stages.
One of the ones that we have finalized is with our friends at Barking Mad Farm in Enterprise, Oregon. Rob Klavins—our frequent collaborator at Oregon Wild—co-owns this bed and breakfast venture with his wife Emily and they have generously donated a two-night stay along with a wolf and wildflower tour.
We also have finalized a package that includes a three-night stay in Orca Adventure Lodge in Cordova, Alaska home of our northernmost operation. This package does not include airfare, but many who have purchased this package in the past point to it as a lifetime-best type of experience and a real opportunity to understand why we work in Alaska and what we are trying to protect.
In terms of packages in the works, we are working on details of other adventures such as a stay at fabled Black Butte Ranch, a fly fishing package on the Rogue River, a stay at Lake Tahoe, a wet and wild white-water rafting trip for 10 down the McKenzie River and an emerging wolf viewing opportunity on a ranch in Montana. So please stay tuned as there will be more to come soon.
But not all the forays are wild as some are more adventures in taste. For example, our friends at Sunshine Limo have donated transportation for a wine tour of local vintners—you will have to deal with wineries individually but it is safe to say that getting there and getting back in one piece from one of these sipping forays is more than half the battle.
Along these same lines we will be offering a quantity of Copper River salmon up for bid which not only is a pretty precious and tasty commodity, but also represents our close connection with friend and frequent partner Dune Lankard of the Eyak Preservation Council.
And advisory board member Bev McDonald will be taking a lucky set of dinners on a virtual food tour of Thailand again this year. So if you are thinking of having a delicious and intimate dinner party for six and the logistics are holding you back, this is a stellar and fun option not to be missed. (Click here for more and emerging details about the event.)
So get your tickets for this December 6th event at Lane Community College now. Click the button below to purchase tickets electronically.
Future management of the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest located northeast of Coos Bay is at a pivotal crossroads. The State Land Board (made up of Governor John Kitzhaber, Treasurer Ted Wheeler, and Secretary Kate Brown) is the trustee of the Elliott and will be hosting a special "listening session" in North Bend on October 8 to take public testimony on the future management of the forest. There are a number of proposals currently being considered by the state, including a reckless one that would dispose of the entire Elliott to Big Timber. The session will provide a tremendous opportunity to encourage a conservation solution for the Elliott that safeguards the forest for its outstanding values, like clean water, wild salmon, carbon storage and recreational opportunities.
Special State Land Board "Listening Session" on the Elliott State Forest
Wednesday, October 8, 3-6 pm
Hales Performing Arts Center (1988 Newmark Ave.), North Bend, OR
Carpools from Portland, Eugene and west of Roseburg are being planned. For more information and to RSVP for the Portland carpool, email Micah Meskel. The Eugene carpool will leave at 12:30 pm from behind FedEx Office on 13th and Willamette St.. Email Josh Laughlin for more information and to RSVP. The carpool from west of Roseburg will leave at 1 pm. Email Francis Eatherington for meeting location and to RSVP.
Preparing your testimony: Please consider preparing three-minute (maximum) testimony on behalf of yourself or the organization you represent. You should also plan to leave a hard copy of your testimony with Land Board staff after you testify. If you can't make it to the meeting on October 8, consider submitting your comments to the Land Board by email.
Possible talking points include:
Decouple old-growth clearcutting from school funding on the Elliott
Protect the Elliott's remianing native forests, wild salmon and imperiled wildlife
Safeguard the Elliott for its hunitng, fishing and recreational opportunities and potential
Promote timber jobs on the forest by restoratively thinning the dense second-growth tree farms and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat
Oppose the privatization of the Elliott State Forest
It is encouraged that you personalize your testimony and remind the State Land Board why the Elliott is so important to you or your organization. Thanks for speaking up for this outstanding public resource!
(School kids stand in the threatened Elliott State Forest. Photo by Josh Laughlin)
By Bob Ferris
I had a short talk with Todd Wilkinson yesterday morning. These chats are becoming more frequent as our book and lecture tour becomes more real and concrete. We talk logistics but we also talk current events and philosophies. On some level we are like musicians trading guitar licks in preparation for a set of concerts after not playing together for decades. The good news is that we are pleased and comfortable with the sound.
This morning we talked about wolves—huge surprise. Specifically, we opined about the joyous Wyoming decision and the sadness and anger over the Toby Bridges incident—one playing off the other like bass and lead guitars. The song that emerges is that many states are just not ready to be responsible for wolves—philosophically, culturally or operationally.
The Wyoming wolf experience and the judge’s ruling reinforces the reality that many state fish and wildlife agencies—particularly those heavily influenced by timber, energy and trophy hunting interests—cannot tackle this important undertaking without serious revision and retooling. This really runs deep with the wildlife commissions as well as the agencies they oversee. And the public clearly sees through the rhetoric to the underlying and often contradictory attitudes and actions.
The physical manifestation of this wink-wink-nudge-nudge approach to post-federally listed wolves (that does not really fool anyone) is Toby Bridges of Missoula, Montana running over two wolves and bragging about it on Facebook. Yes this is Montana and not Wyoming, but I cannot help but think that these seeds of wolf hatred would grow less easily and spontaneously if these state agencies did not create such fertile soil through their treatment of wolves and messaging.
State agencies need to demonstrate that they are serious about wolf recovery prior to taking over the reins on this. And that conversation cannot start with “this how we will manage wolves,” it has to start with “this is how we will continue recovery of wolves.” Until this cultural shift happens we will continue to do this dance in states that want to manage a “problem” rather than demonstrating that they are serious about restoring an important ecological actor. Hopefully at some point these states will realize that holding on to their out-of-date and biologically indefensible culture is the reason they spend time in court and why the global public sees them as a region full of folks just like Toby Bridges.
Now we certainly see areas within wolf country try to distance themselves from the Toby Bridges’ of the world like Ketchum, Idaho recently did by passing a resolution urging co-existence with the wolf. But for every “Ketchum” there seems to be an “Idaho for Wildlife” style derby or website.
My sense is that those looking after the reputations and also tourism revenues of their respective states should take a moment to examine the public’s reactions to those diverse actions. Some serious thinking about which public face leads to more filled chairs, beds and rooms is likely in order, as I have yet to see studies indicating that ignorance, hatred and illogical persecution of wildlife “sell” a particular tourist destination. Moreover, I remain unconvinced that the actions of Toby Bridges, Idaho for Wildlife or others represent the majority sentiment in those states so the many are being financially penalized for the loud and out-of-scale voices of the few.
More later as we get ready to take the stage in less than a month. Hopefully we will see many of you as we travel north from Ashland on the 14th of October towards BC. Bring your friends and questions.
"OR-7 The Journey"
September 18, 2014 at 7:00pm
Bijou Art Cinemas on 13th Ave. Eugene, Oregon
Join Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon Wild on September 18, 2014 at 7pm in welcoming Oregon filmmaker Clemens Schenk for the Eugene premiere of "OR-7: The Journey".
RSVP HERE on the event page.
Buy TICKETS ONLINE.
"OR-7: The Journey" is an inspiring documentary chronicling the remarkable dispersal of a young male wolf — OR-7, also known as Journey — from northeast Oregon down into California who has recently formed a pack southwest of Crater Lake to become the first wolf pack in the Oregon Cascades in nearly 70 years.
Come celebrate wolf recovery, wildlife, Oregon's conservation values, and OR-7's epic journey. This film tells the story not just of Journey, but also of his species. It is a story of survival and inspiration. But even as most Americans have come to appreciate native wildlife and wild places, 21st century science and values are coming head to head with old prejudices that put the future of wolves – and OR-7 – in jeopardy.
The showing will be held at the Bijou Theater at 492 E. 13th Ave in Eugene, OR at 7:00pm.
Tickets are $10 and are available through the Bijou’s website HERE. There is limited seating and the show is expected to sell out, purchasing tickets in advance is strongly encouraged.
A Q&A session will take place after the movie with wolf advocates and the filmmaker.
Cascadia Wildlands merchandise will be available for purchase at the event.
For more info about the movie specifically, please follow this link.
Learn more about OR-7.
Maximize the impact of your donation to our wolf fund today, by taking advantage of the
Mountain Rose Herbs Matching Gift for Wolf Donations!
Guest Post by John Williams (at right)
Bull of the Woods and Opal Creek share a boundary, so I thought they would make a good start. Battle Ax Mountain is the highest point in Bull of the Woods Wilderness at 5,566 feet. The trail to the top of Battle Ax Mountain is straightforward once you reach Beachie Saddle look to your right and follow the trail to the top. Driving into Elk Lake Campground I was surprised to see so many cars. The road in is incredibly rocky and riddled with large holes. A truck or high clearance car is suggested. I made the mistake of driving to the start of the hike where Forest Road 4697 turns into a trail. Parking is no longer allowed here, so save your time and tires; park near the campground. There is a longer (15.5 miles) loop option that will take you to past Twin Lakes and back to the Elk Lake Campground. Despite the fairly large number of people camping at Elk Lake, I only came across two people on the trail. Awesome, friendly people often make hikes around Oregon an even better experience.
Nearing the top I discovered that clouds had set in around the eastern side of the mountain. This made Elk Lake (photo above by John Williams) look pretty incredible, but obstructed views of the high cascades. After talking for awhile a top Battle Ax Mountain we parted ways. The people from Portland made their way around the rest of the loop and I set out for Beachie Mountain. There are over 75 miles of trails to explore in Bull of the Woods. Whether you're out for a day hike or setting out for a few days Battle Ax Mountain is a great jumping off point into a lush and beautiful area.
Directions from Detroit: Turn left onto Forest Road 46, follow for 4.5 miles, turn left onto FR 4696, follow for .7 miles, turn left onto FR 4697, follow for 9.5 miles. Parking is on the right just before the campground.
Hike Distance: 4.38 from the start of the trail miles round trip
Hike Type: Out and Back
Elevation Gain: 1500 Feet
Trailhead Elevation: 4000 Feet
Difficulty: 3 out of 5
Fees: 5 dollar day pass or Northwest Forest Pass
For more pictures and a map of the area please visit John's blog here and please stay tuned for more hikes from John and others.
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.
THANK YOU All!
By Bob Ferris
Our new collaborative T-shirt design with Ninkasi speaks symbolically and literally for rivers (at right).
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.
Cascadia 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!