Bunchgrass Ridge, Willamette National Forest (photo by Brett Cole).

The formation of Cascadia Wildlands in 1998 was catalyzed by the lawless practice of clearcutting temperate ancient forests authorized by Congress in the notorious Salvage Rider. As a result of this and continuing threats in this arena, we devote much of our efforts towards protecting the ancient forests of our bioregion as they are critical to the survival of species teetering on the brink of extinction, including the marbled murrelet and northern spotted owl, as well as to mitigating the worst impacts of the climate crisis because of their world class ability to draw down and storing carbon out of the atmosphere.

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 use such as roads, pipelines, and mining. We are currently monitoring, field checking, and litigating reckless logging and development proposals in older forests across jurisdictions and ecosystems, in places like the Willamette and Umpqua National Forests, and various western Oregon Bureau of Land Management Districts.

Cascadia Wildlands works across Cascadia to forward sustainable forest policies and practices as well as make sure all of Cascadia’s human inhabitants and visitors continue to have access to intact ecosystems and world-class recreation experiences. We take a multi-pronged approach to this work, utilizing the public process, policy, on the ground fact checking and strategic litigation. Learn about our tactics for change for more information about how we work to defend Cascadia’s forests.

Ongoing Timber Sale Battles

Flat Country — Willamette National Forest
N126 — Siuslaw Bureau of Land Management
Thurston Hills – Upper Willamette Bureau of Land Management
Quartzville-Middle Santiam – Willamette National Forest

Post-Fire Logging Proposals

In the wake of 2020’s Labor Day wildfires, the Bureau of Land Management is planning over 10,000 acres of clearcutting in the North Umpqua, Santiam, and McKenzie watersheds. We are following these reckless proposals closely and expect to challenge them with an array of tactics.

Post-fire logging harms drinking water quality and greatly impacts watersheds and habitat.

Studies by top experts at Oregon State University have shown that post-fire logging can magnify the run off into streams by up to 28 times. Logging a fire-burned landscape can increase sedimentation in watersheds by 2,800%, harm salmon and trout and increase costs for communities who rely on clean and abundant drinking water. That is why Cascadia Wildlands stands against rampant post-fire clearcutting practices.

Visit our Action page for opportunities to speak out against these plans!

Current Forest Campaigns

Elliott State Forest
Western Oregon BLM Lands
Oregon National Forests
Protecting Our Forest Waters

Past Forest Campaigns

Tongass National Forest
Shepard Point Road to Nowhere

The Value of Forests

Forests provide a myriad of what are called “ecosystem services” or benefits that accrue to all of us by their very existence. Some of these services include filtering our drinking water, and erosion control, as well as the ability of our Pacific Northwest temperate forests to capture and hold carbon dioxide at rates equivalent to the Amazon rainforest. This latter ability is essential as we look for ways to mitigate both the climate crisis 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 for our forests, 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 that benefit Wall Street timber corporations, not communities in the Pacific Northwest.

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. In this vein, Cascadia Wildlands is currently working to find a creative management solution for the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest in the Oregon Coast Range. For nearly 50 years, this iconic forest had been clearcut to fund K-12 education in Oregon. We are working with a broad coalition of organizations and the State to imagine and alternative model for this unique ecosystem to ensure that it will be standing for generations to come.

A Green New Deal for Pacific Northwest Forests

In June 2021, over fifty forest and climate justice organizations across northern California, Oregon, and Washington released a sweeping Green New Deal for Pacific Northwest Forests platform calling for the transformation of current forest practices on private, state, and federal land in the face of the climate crisis and ecological collapse. The platform emphasizes the critical role that the forests of the Pacific Northwest must play in efforts to mitigate climate change and to safeguard communities from climate impacts such as wildfire and drought. Learn more.

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 people deserve access to intact ecosystems. We are also celebrating our recent victory — the newly designated Devil’s Staircase Wilderness in the Oregon Coast Range, and Wild Rogue Wilderness in the Siskiyou Mountains.