Cascadia Wildlands staff, board and advisors work within a strategic plan. That plan outlines organizational goals, and those goals are achieved by conservation campaigns we employ. Sometimes we forget to celebrate the victories achieved by our campaigning. Here are some notable victories over the past few years worth remembering:
2013: Our coalition lawsuit and settlement prevented the State of Oregon from killing wolves when and where they wanted. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife now has enforceable rules to follow, and we have a growing wolf population, including pups from all seven packs this year. Approximately 75 wolves call Oregon home today.
Through a legal challenge with partners, we halted clearcutting in federally listed marbled murrelet habitat in three coastal state forests in Oregon. We stopped it so decisively that the state eventually cancelled 26 old-growth timber sales in the Elliott State Forest alone.
When suction dredge miners looking for gold in our precious salmon and steelhead waters migrated north from California, we worked with conservation partners, the fishing and recreation industry, Oregon legislators, and the governor's office to trim suction dredging numbers down to pre-2009 levels and chart a course for keeping these damaging machines out of our salmon and steelhead waters.
Through a diverse coalition effort, we protected Waldo Lake's tranquil waters from float planes and combustion engines. For years there has been efforts by quiet recreation enthusiasts to curb loud and polluting engines on this iconic lake in the central Oregon Cascades.
We helped derail a proposed coal port in the Coos Bay addressing both water quality and climate change. Cheap, dirty coal from the Powder River Basin in the intermountain West was being proposed to be transported through communities and shipped overseas to be burned in Asia.
We helped pass the 30,000-acre Devil's Staircase Wilderness through the US Senate through unanimous consent. Unfortunately, bill has been coupled with a horrible logging bill in the House, which also passed.
We stopped the North Fork Overlook timber sale on the Marys Peak Resource Area of the Salem BLM through a legal challenge. The timber sale would have impacted known red tree voles activity centers. The red tree vole is an arboreal mammal that spends its life in the upper canopy of conifers and is a food source of the imperiled northern spotted owl.
We halted the 2,000-acre Goose timber sale on the McKenzie Ranger District of the Willamette National Forest through a legal challenge. The logging proposal would have logged within a unique roadless area, degraded streamside reserves and impacted the federally listed northern spotted owl.
We hired our first-ever outreach coordinator to assist with educating and activating community members around our issues and overhauling our publicity materials.
We merged with Big Wildlife, a carnivore advocacy organization based in Williams, Oregon. The merger brought Spencer Lennard onto the staff of Cascadia Wildlands. Spencer is a long-time wildlands and species advocate and founded KS Wild and Big Wildlife in years past.
2012: Working with allies, our grassroots organizing helped kill a series of bills in the Oregon legislature that would have weakened the Oregon Wolf Plan to make it easier to kill recovering gray wolves in the state.
We helped advance the 30,000-acre Devil's Staircase and 60-000-acre Wild Rogue Wilderness bills through Congress. Both bills are currently awaiting a full House and full Senate vote prior to being enacted into law.
After years in the making, we officially filed our complaint challenging the State of Oregon's forest practices that are causing "take" of the Endangered Species Act-listed marbled murrelet.
2011: Our ongoing advocacy work has helped the gray wolf recover in Oregon. At the end of the year, approximately 30 wolves called Oregon home. We also secured a legal injunction that halted any further lethal control of Oregon's recovering wolf population.
Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild and the Western Environmental Law Center halted the 155-acre mature forest Trapper timber sale through a strategic legal challenge thereby protecting the old forests of the cherished McKenzie River watershed.
Cascadia Wildlands worked with attorneys and co-plaintiffs to win a case ensuring notice, comment and appeal rules apply to "Categorical Exclusion" projects put forth by agencies.
2010: A Cascadia Wildlands appeal forces the withdraw of the McKenzie Ranger District's Certification Thin project, which would have aggressively logged older forest to "certify" one of the the Forest Service's timber planners.
Through a legal challenge, Cascadia Wildlands and allies halt Wildlife Services' plans to kill two wolves from Oregon's Imnaha Pack.
Cascadia Wildlands and allies advance Devil's Staircase and Wild Rogue Wilderness legislation through Congress.
Cascadia Wildlands defended critical provisions of the Oregon Wolf Plan from being weakened by the Oregon Cattlemen's Association during the five-year plan review process.
2009: Through grassroots organizing and a legal challenge with conservation partners, we halted the Bureau of Land Management's misguided Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR), a Bush-era logging proposal that would have opened up old-growth and streamside reserves across western Oregon to clearcutting.
Represented by Earthjustice and through grassroots organizing and a legal challenge with conservation partners, we halted the 2008 Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan. The plan would have weakened protections for threatened northern spotted owls and was found to have been manipulated by political insiders within the Bush administration.
Through grassroots organizing, we halted the Eugene BLM's plans to clearcut old-growth forest in the beloved Fall Creek watershed southeast of Eugene.
2008: Avoiding litigation, we brokered a settlement agreement with the timber industry and Malheur National Forest that protected thousands of acres of wilderness-quality lands burned during the the 2006 Shake Table wildfire complex near John Day, Oregon.
A breeding pair of gray wolves was documented in Oregon for the first time in over 60 years. Recall in 2005 we worked to pass the Oregon Wolf Plan that allowed for the migration of the species into Oregon from the Rocky Mountains and set recovery objectives for the species.
We worked with the Eugene City Council to pass a resolution opposing the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR), which would have increased the cut by nearly 400% on BLM lands in western Oregon. The resolution passed 5-2.
In the aftermath of the largest clearcut in Alaska (20,000 acres), we advanced a restoration plan and completed our pilot restoration projects at the Lost Coast near Yakataga. Projects included photopoint installation, streambank stabilization and riparian plantings.
After significant grassroots organizing, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced "Oregon Treasures" legislation into Congress. The bill would protect 143 miles of tributary streams to the lower Rogue River in Southwest Oregon through the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and expand the Oregon Caves National Monument.
After years of opposition, Cascadia Wildlands was notified that plans to build the infamous Shepard Point Road into virgin rainforest along Prince William Sound, Alaska, were canceled.
Cascadia Wildlands' AK field office stopped a proposed 300-acre subdivision on wild Hawkins Island, in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The plan was withdrawn by the State of Alaska due to grassroots opposition. Hawkins Island is a critical area for local subsistence hunters, and the proposed subdivision threatened prime winter deer habitat.
Along with 16 other river stakeholders, Cascadia Wildlands signed a settlement agreement relicensing the Carmen-Smith hydropower complex in the headwaters of the McKenzie River. Amongst other beneficial mitigation measures attached to the relicensing, the agreement calls for the construction of an upstream fish ladder and downstream passage at Trailbridge dam, which will open up miles of spawning habitat. For the past 50 years, the dam has been an obstacle for migrating fish, including federally listed Chinook salmon and bull trout.
2007: We halted the Black Crater post-fire timber sale near Sisters, Oregon, on the Deschutes National Forest through a settlement agreement that protected nearly 200 acres of burned forests that lie in an old-growth reserve and within critical habitat for threatened northern spotted owls.
Represented by Earthjustice, we won a lawsuit in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that challenged a US Fish and Wildlife Service biological opinion that approved older forest logging in southwest Oregon. The appeals court found that the agency failed to quantify how many endangered northern spotted owls the logging would kill and invalidated the biological opinion.