For immediate release
March 27, 2013
Doug Heiken, Oregon Wild, 541.344.0675, email@example.com
Susan Jane Brown, Western Environmental Law Center, 503-914-1323, firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands, 541.434.1463, email@example.com
EUGENE – United States District Court Judge Anne Aiken has found that the United States Forest Service broke the law in seeking to carry out the controversial Goose logging sale near McKenzie Bridge, Oregon, without a detailed analysis of potential environmental damage. This logging sale has drawn intense opposition from local residents and landowners concerned about harm to wildlife and nearby streams. Represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, the conservation organizations Oregon Wild and Cascadia Wildlands filed a legal challenge against the planned logging in 2012.
“The Judge's decision that the Goose logging sale is illegal is vindication for the concerns of local residents and conservationists,” said attorney Susan Jane Brown of Western Environmental Law Center. “The McKenzie River and surrounding forests is too important to our community, and to the people of Oregon, to allow this kind of unwise logging project to go forward.”
The judge found that the Forest Service failed to properly analyze the impacts of the 2,100-acre logging project-an area the size of 2000 football fields. Potential environmental harm includes damage to the 9,700-acre Lookout Mountain Potential Wilderness Area above McKenzie Bridge, and logging within protected stream buffers and sensitive species habitat.
The legal ruling comes on the heels of passionate opposition by members of the local community. Many residents of the McKenzie Bridge area believe they weren't properly notified about the project with some only hearing about it once timber sale flagging was put up adjacent to their properties. Residents have collected nearly 5,000 signatures opposing the logging project.
“We are not opposed to all logging,” said Doug Heiken, Conservation and Restoration Coordinator with Oregon Wild. “But the Forest Service has a responsibility to the American people to ensure that projects like this don't damage fish and wildlife habitat or pollute streams that provide drinking water to our communities. With the Goose logging project, the Forest Service was clearly on the wrong track.”
The judge also found that the agency failed to fully consider the harm logging in the area could have on threatened wildlife like the northern spotted owl.
“While there are some restorative components to this project such as thinning in dense young stands, the Forest Service chose to pair them with aggressive logging in mature forest near streams, threatened species habitat, and within a potential wilderness area,” says Josh Laughlin with Cascadia Wildlands. “It is imperative the Forest Service focus on restoring what has been damaged by past mismanagement and abuse, and move away from controversial projects that make conditions worse in the forest.”
Conservation groups believe the Forest Service should instead be spending limited taxpayer dollars on projects that restore degraded landscapes, like restoration thinning in young tree plantations formed by past clearcutting, decommissioning harmful roads, and enhancing fish and wildlife habitat. While the Forest Service did analyze an alternative in the Goose project that focused on restoration thinning in young plantations that the organizations supported, the agency instead chose to adopt the much more controversial alternative.
The organizations are represented by attorneys Susan Jane Brown and John Mellgren at Western Environmental Law Center.
For immediate release, March 5, 2013
Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495
Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands, (541) 434-1463
PORTLAND, Ore.— In an effort championed by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), 52 House members sent a letter today to the director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service urging an about-face on the agency’s anticipated proposal to remove federal protections for wolves across most of the lower 48 United States.
“We are grateful that these 52 representatives are standing strong for continued federal protections for wolves,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “With wolves only just beginning to recover in the Pacific Northwest, California, southern Rocky Mountains and Northeast, now’s not the time for the Fish and Wildlife Service to turn its back on wolf recovery.”
An estimated 2 million wolves once roamed freely across North America, including most of the United States. But bounties, a federal extermination program and human settlement drove the species to near extinction in most of the lower 48. While protected by the Endangered Species Act, wolf populations in the northern Rocky Mountains and the Western Great Lakes states increased; but these regions amount to a mere 5 percent of the wolf’s original range, and in other regions wolves are only just beginning to return.
“The job of wolf recovery is far from over and the members of Congress who have written to the Service are asking that science, not politics, guide federal wolf management,” said Josh Laughlin of Cascadia Wildlands. “Maintaining federal protections is critical in allowing wolves to assume their valuable ecological role across the American landscape.”
Since the original wolf recovery plans were written in the 1980s, scientists have learned much more about wolves’ behavior, ecology and needs. Research has shown that returning wolves to ecosystems sets off a chain of events that benefits many species, including songbirds and beavers that gain from a return of streamside vegetation, which thrives in the absence of browsing elk that must move more often to avoid wolves. And pronghorn and foxes are aided by wolves’ control of coyote populations. Protecting ecosystems upon which species depend is a specific goal of the Endangered Species Act — all the more reason for expanded, rather than diminished, wolf recovery efforts.
Bowing to political pressure from wolf opponents, the Service has no plans for wolf recovery in areas beyond those regions it has deemed recovered (the northern Rockies and western Great Lakes). In states where federal delisting has occurred, there are insufficient protections from local pressures to hunt or “control” wolves back to the brink of extinction. In the 18 months since federal delisting began in 2011, more than 1,700 of the 5,000-6,000 recovered wolves in the lower 48 have been killed.
Conservation organizations are hopeful that Interior Secretary nominee Sally Jewell will be a stronger advocate for wolves than outgoing Secretary Ken Salazar, who never called for comprehensive gray wolf recovery across the country.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
Cascadia Wildlands is a Eugene, Oregon-based nonprofit conservation organization that educates, agitates and inspires a movement to protect and restore Cascadia’s wild ecosystems.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 2013
For immediate release
February 19, 2013
John Ward, Rogue Flyfishers (Medford), 541.482.2859
Frank Armendariz, River Trail Outfitters (Eugene), 541.228.4084
Salem, OR — Local businesses, outdoor enthusiasts, and conservation organizations applaud the recent introduction of Senate Bill 401 by Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford/Ashland) which would protect 30 rivers as State Scenic Waterways in recognition of their outstanding scenic vistas, value to fish and wildlife, and importance as sources of drinking water.
“Safeguarded rivers attract river enthusiasts, which means more business and more people enjoying them for the long term,” says Frank Armendariz, owner of River Trail Outfitters in Eugene. “As our population grows so will demand for river access, and that underscores the critical need to protect these special rivers.”
SB 401 would protect segments of the Rogue, Illinois, South Umpqua, Grande Ronde, Sandy, Molalla, and other renowned rivers across the state. A State Scenic Waterway designation maintains free-flowing waters in their natural state, and protects water quality and quantity at a level necessary for municipal sources, recreation, and fish and wildlife. Inclusion in the system also means these rivers would be protected from damaging suction dredge mining, a practice involving the use of gasoline-powered vacuums, mounted on floating rafts, to suck up riverbed sands and gravels in search of gold.
“World-class rivers like the Illinois, Rogue, and South Umpqua have become ground zero for destructive suction dredge mining in our state, and this practice is impacting imperiled wild salmon runs,” says John Ward of Rogue Flyfishers. “This designation will benefit salmon recovery as water quality and fish habitat get protected.”
California placed a moratorium on suction dredge mining in 2010 due to its impacts on imperiled salmon. With the moratorium in place and gold prices near all-time highs, many California suction dredge miners have moved operations north to target Oregon rivers, including the Rogue, Illinois, and South Umpqua.
Increases in suction dredging in Oregon on places like the Rogue River have led to complaints from nearby landowners of illegal trespassing and noisy engines running in the river, as well as river damage to salmon habitat.
If successful, SB 401 would represent the third addition to the State Scenic Waterway system. In 1970, Oregonians voted by a two-to-one margin to create the system, following a successful citizens’ initiative petition. The program originally contained all or part of six rivers but has grown through additional initiatives to include 19 rivers as well as Waldo Lake. The system was last updated in 1988.
Click here to read SB 401.
Click here for more information on the impacts of suction dredge mining.
Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands
Erik Fernandez, Oregon Wild
(503) 283-6343, ext. 202
Pete Wallstrom, Momentum River Expeditions
Portland, Oregon – A coalition of Oregon conservation organizations is applauding efforts by Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to re-introduce a package of protections for several natural areas in Oregon. Protection for the Molalla River, Oregon Caves, and other areas have been strongly supported by a broad spectrum of Oregonians for years, from local elected officials to fishing guides to rafting companies.
The Oregon Treasures legislation includes areas that have been fully-vetted, and have been introduced in at least one previous congress. Included in the package are:
Devil’s Staircase: Some 30,500 acres of rare, remaining Coast Range old-growth forest with colossal stands of Douglas fir, hemlock and cedar near the legendary Devil’s Staircase waterfall would be protected as Wilderness.
Mollala River: A recreational hotspot south of Portland and the source of drinking water for the communities of Molalla and Canby, this 21-mile stretch of the Mollala River in Clackamas County would be protected with a Wild and Scenic River designation.
Rogue River: The Wild Rogue proposal includes 93 miles of Wild and Scenic River designations and 60,000 acres of Wilderness protection for the rugged canyons and spectacular whitewater of the lower Rogue River.
Oregon Caves: The Oregon Caves National Monument in Josephine County would be expanded from the current 480 acres to 4,070 acres to head off threats from grazing, and include more of the area’s big trees and old-growth forest while continuing to allow hunting.
Chetco River: Legislation will enhance the existing Wild and Scenic River designation for this sparkling Curry County waterway to head off threats from destructive mining.
Cathedral Rock and Horse Heaven: Along the banks of the John Day River in Jefferson County, these areas have long been identified as having outstanding Wilderness attributes, including significant biological diversity and wildlife habitat.
These Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River proposals have the broad support of thousands of Oregonians and citizens’ groups. The Wild Rogue Alliance represents over 100 southern Oregon businesses, along with fishing and conservation groups, while the Molalla River Alliance consists of local property owners, the city of Molalla, and even the local police department.
Currently only four percent of Oregon is protected as Wilderness, the “gold standard” for public lands protection, compared with 10% in Washington, 15% in California, and eight percent in Idaho. “Oregon has a very green reputation, one we don’t live up to very well when it comes to protecting our natural treasures. This legislation is an important step in the right direction in correcting that imbalance,” said Oregon Wild Wilderness Coordinator Erik Fernandez.
With the health of the lower Rogue Valley’s economy in mind, Pete Wallstrom of Momentum River Expeditions, a commercial rafting company and guide service said, “Expanding safeguards for the Wild Rogue would not only help protect our local environment, but also our local recreation and tourism economy for generations to come. The Rogue River is a nationally-recognized treasure that lures people to the area on name and reputation alone. It is one of the central engines of a tourism and recreation economy in southern Oregon that continues to grow and provide sustainable long-term jobs and opportunities.”
Noting the classic, wild character of the Devil’s Staircase area, Cascadia Wildlands Campaign Director Josh Laughlin said, “The thundering waterfalls of the Devil’s Staircase, towering old-growth forests, rugged terrain, and myriad of unique species are part of what make Oregon so special. Long overdue for Wilderness protection, it is exciting to see Devil's Staircase wilderness legislation once again moving through the process to protect it forever."
For immediate release
February 13, 2013
Gaye Lee Russell 541-844-1212 firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands 541-434-1463 email@example.com
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.
Americans Rally Together to Fight Extractive Industry
Roseburg, Oregon — Conservation groups today filed an administrative challenge to the proposed clearcutting of more than 100 acres of mature forests and spotted owl critical habitat on public lands near Canyonville. The White Castle Timber sale is part of the Roseburg Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Secretarial Pilot project, promoted by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar as a way of restoring the forest and increasing timber harvest on federal forest lands.