by Gabe Scott, Cascadia Wildlands House Counsel
Combating Climate Change
by Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands Legal Director
On August 5, the Bureau of Land Management signed a new management plan for western Oregon. Cascadia Wildlands and our conservation allies protested the initial draft of this plan, but the BLM's decision yesterday largely ignored all our points of contention.
From a broad perspective, the plan will increase logging levels on federal BLM lands by 37 percent. These public lands were originally designed to serve as a refuge and protective zone for imperiled forest species, clean water, carbon storage in an effort to counter-balance the industrial clearcutting and pesticide spraying occurring on intermixed private forest lands. There is no question that this plan deeply compromises our landscape's ability to adapt to ongoing climate change and other disturbances like large-scale fires.
For over the past 20 years, these public forests had been managed under the Northwest Forest Plan, a deal brokered by the Clinton administration to end the timber wars in Oregon. The Northwest Forest Plan was not perfect, but it strived to achieve balance and protect critical resources and generally took a precautionary approach to various unknowns.
The BLM's new plan dramatically reduces almost every protection in the Northwest Forest Plan. Specifically, the plan eliminates stream side buffers, eliminates surveys and buffers for imperiled or uncommon species, disregards climate change and carbon storage, and opens up mature and old-growth forest to archaic cleacrcutting practices. The plan completely ignores the contribution of these public lands to Oregon's booming outdoor industry which is valued at over 10 billion dollars a year. The fishing industry is particularly worried given the potential impacts to Oregon's waterways.
These public forest are our homes, our playgrounds, our sanctuaries. These efforts to strip our forests away from us will not stand. Cascadia Wildlands is part of a broad coalition of conservation, recreation, and fishing groups in staunch opposition to this plan, and we are devoted to protecting these majestic lands. There will be news of our challenge soon.
April 12, 2016
Josh Laughlin, Executive Director, Cascadia Wildlands
Doug Heiken, Conservation & Restoration Coordinator, Oregon Wild
Joseph Vaile, Executive Director, Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center
Clean water, wildlife protections, and recreation suffer in new logging plan
“The forests and rivers managed by the BLM are essential to clean drinking water and native salmon runs. Desire has never been higher to protect these public resources, so it is unthinkable that the BLM would slash the buffers in half that protect water quality,” says Josh Laughlin, Executive Director of Cascadia Wildlands.
The proposed plan would log 278 million board feet a year – a 37% increase over current annual harvest levels. Increased logging will likely have negative impacts on public recreation values and ignores the recreation-based economy in the state.
Friday, March 11, 2016: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) laid out a major victory today for Oregon communities, wildlife, waterways, and wildlands, when they DENIED the plans to construct a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Pipeline through the state of Oregon, and also denied the plans for its associated Jordan Cove export terminal out of Coos Bay, OR.
Cascadia Wildlands, coalition members, volunteers, and countless climate activists celebrate this outstanding step in the right direction.
For years, Cascadia Wildlands and allies have been closely monitoring the Jordan Cove LNG project, which was proposed by a Canadian company, Veresen, who wanted to export Canadian gas to Asia by building a 232-mile long pipeline from Klamath Falls to Coos Bay.
The proposed Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal would have required building the 232-mile long pipeline through sensitive forestland and waters in southwest Oregon in order to move fracked gas to the coast, to be supercooled, and then shipped to Asia. To do this, Veresen needed to convince our government that the scheme is in the "public interest" so they could get the right to condemn property owned by Oregon families through eminent domain.
Opposition was strong from the public, and FERC heard our movement's cries! It was declared that the pipeline was NOT in the best interest of the public, and the potential positives DO NOT outweigh the negative consequences of such a project.
Let's keep this momentum going!
You can donate to Cascadia Wildlands today to help continue our conservation and climate work.
For more information on the overall project, click here.
For more information specifically on:
 Jordan Cove Resource Report 1, March 2012. Appendix B.1 Navigant Study page 3. “Jordan Cove is supplied 70 percent by Canadian gas”…
August 7, 2015
By Maya Rommwatt, Communications and Development Intern
On February 13th, comments are due to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the Jordan Cove LNG project. The potentially catastrophic project includes both a pipeline and a terminal for the purpose of transporting fracked natural gas and liquefying it for export to Asia. Similar to other proposals to transport gas and coal for the purposes of export, this project refuses to consider the impacts it will have on climate change, which now stands between us, and a livable future.
We’re living in an age of returns and firsts. Just recently, photos confirmed the presence of an extremely rare Sierra Nevada red fox in Yosemite National Park. There have been no sightings of the elusive creature there for ninety-nine years. And closer to home, we learned of activity of what appears to be another one or two wolves near Crater Lake, in addition to the burgeoning Rogue Pack. I never thought I would be able to speak of Western Oregon wolves, and yet here they are, pups and all.
But as this encouraging story unfolds, we make plans for pipelines and exports that will guarantee a future governed by catastrophic climate change. That future has no room for recovering species. This, as the EPA announces Canadian tar sands will only be developed if the Keystone pipeline is built, now that oil prices have dropped. While the Keystone pipeline may soon be a receding threat, the more local Jordan Cove project is a wholly different beast. The project would assure the export of inefficient fracked natural gas for decades to come, and once the Boardman coal plant shuts down, it will be Oregon’s biggest polluter. This doesn’t even factor in the emissions associated with obtaining the natural gas, nor does it consider the burning of the gas by its consumers in Asia. And yet, Oregon moves closer and closer to the LNG terminal. We have not even begun to ask what a future with the project might look like. If an accident were to happen with this project, say a spill, we taxpayers would likely be forced to help foot the cleanup bill, as the history of corporate settlements shows (corporations forced to pay punitive damages often deduct their settlement costs from their taxes).
The Jordon Cove LNG project is a disaster we can’t afford on a number of levels. It’s foolish to think we can both recover species and build the natural gas pipeline. Will we choose the path to recovery and growth, returns and firsts? Or will we choose the path of negligence and loss? Help us show the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission we stand on the right side of history, that we respect other species, and are not working in opposition to them. We have not spent countless hours and resources building a narrative with a future, only to wash it away so a Canadian corporation can make a profit at our expense and the expense of OR-7 and the Rogue pack, the wolverine, and the remaining ancient carbon-storing forests of the Pacific Northwest.
Now is the time to submit our comments; we have until noon on Friday the 13th for online comments or postmarked mailed comments. If you haven’t already done so, you can submit your comments beginning here.
More information on the pipeline can be found here.
Photo Credits: Top left, Two pups from the Rogue Pack, June 2014. (Photo by ODFW). Bottom right, No LNG protest. (Photo courtesy Francis Eatherington).
Dear Cascadia Wildlands Supporters,
Bushwacking through head-high ferns to find the elusive Devil’s Staircase waterfall. Watching salmon thrash upstream to their natal grounds. Hearing the pre-dawn keer of the marbled murrelet high in the canopy. Knowing wolves are reclaiming their rightful place back in Cascadia. Educating and empowering communities to confront power imbalances. These are the things that keep me feeling alive and ever committed to the work of Cascadia Wildlands.
I’m determined to lead our powerful team into the future and further realize our vision of vast old-growth forests, rivers full of wild salmon, wolves howling in the backcountry, and vibrant communities sustained by the unique landscapes of the Cascadia bioregion.
I’m grateful for what Bob brought to Cascadia Wildlands over the past three years to make us a stronger organization. His expertise in conservation biology, decades of non-profit experience, and his ability to dig up the dirt on and expose the despoilers of wild nature are just a few things that have helped take us to the next level.
Every day, I’m amazed at what we have accomplished for a conservation organization our size. I get even more fired up for what we have our sights on. Because 2015 may be the year gray wolves get established in the Kalmiposis Wilderness, northern California, Oregon’s Willamette National Forest, and Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Much of Oregon’s remarkable wolf recovery has been facilitated by our legal challenge that halted wolf killing in Oregon and ensuing landmark settlement agreement that created the strongest wolf plan in the country.
With continued determination, we will have a lasting conservation solution for Oregon’s 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest now that we have ground old-growth clearcutting to a halt. This year we hope to put a nail in the coffin of the proposed 150-foot-wide, 230-mile-long liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline and export facility slated for Coos Bay that would wreak havoc for salmon, wildlife and our climate. And we will continue to fight tooth-and-nail against the 6,000-acre Big Thorne old-growth timber sale in Alaska’s fabled Tongass National Forest (image at left) in Cascadia’s northern reaches.
Having been with Cascadia Wildlands essentially since its formation over 15 years ago, I’m excited, rejuvenated and ready to lead the organization into the future. Thanks for believing in us, taking action when called on, and supporting our conservation work over the years and into the future. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any thoughts or questions.
For a wild and free Cascadia,
Interim Executive Director/Campaign Director
P.S. You can also mail a check or money order made out to Cascadia Wildlands and send it to POB 10455, Eugene, OR 97440.
Photo Credits: Top left, Josh Laughlin, Interim Executive Director of Cascadia Wildlands, at Devil's Staircase in 2012. (Photo courtesy Cascadia Wildlands.) Middle right, Subadult and pup from the Imnaha Pack, taken July 2013. (Photo by ODFW.) Bottom left, Breathtaking photo of the Tongass National Forest. (Photo courtesy of David Beebe.)
January 16, 2015