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Mar14

Cascadia Goes to Court to Defend Wolf Protections in California

For Immediate Release, March 14, 2017
 
Contacts:      
 
Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, (541) 434-1463, nick@cascwild.org
Amaroq Weiss, Center for Biological Diversity, (707) 779-9613, aweiss@biologicaldiversity.org
Greg Loarie, Earthjustice, (415) 217-2000, gloarie@earthjustice.org
Tom Wheeler, Environmental Protection Information Center, (707) 822-7711, tom@wildcalifornia.org
Joseph Vaile, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, (541) 488-5789, joseph@kswild.org
 
Conservation Groups Oppose Effort to Remove Wolf Protections in California
Organizations Seek Intervention on Industry Challenge to Endangered Status
 

SAN FRANCISCO— Four conservation groups filed a motion today to intervene in a lawsuit seeking to remove California Endangered Species Act protections from wolves. The lawsuit, against the state Fish and Wildlife Commission, was brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation and wrongly alleges that wolves are ineligible for state protection. 

The intervenors — Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Protection Information Center, and Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center — are represented by Earthjustice.

“Pacific Legal Foundation’s lawsuit is baseless,” said Amaroq Weiss, the Center’s West Coast wolf organizer. “Gray wolves were senselessly wiped out in California and deserve a chance to come back and survive here. We’re intervening to defend the interests of the vast majority of Californians who value wolves and want them to recover.”

Brought on behalf of the California Cattlemen’s Association and California Farm Bureau Federation, the lawsuit alleges that wolves are ineligible for state protection because wolves returning to the state are supposedly the wrong subspecies, which only occurred intermittently in California at the time of the decision and are doing fine in other states.

Each of these arguments has major flaws. UCLA biologist Bob Wayne found that all three currently recognized subspecies of wolves occurred in California. Also — importantly — there is no requirement that recovery efforts focus on the same subspecies, rather than just the species. The fact that wolves were only intermittently present actually highlights the need for their protection, and the California Endangered Species Act is rightly focused on the status of species within California, not other states.  

“The gray wolf is an icon of wildness in the American West, and its return to California after almost 100 years is a success story we should celebrate,” said Earthjustice attorney Greg Loarie. “Stripping wolves of protection under the California Endangered Species Act at this early stage in their recovery risks losing them again, and we’re not going to let that happen.”

The four intervening groups petitioned for endangered species protections for wolves in February 2012. After receiving two California Department of Fish and Wildlife reports, scientific peer review assessment of those reports, thousands of written comments submitted by the public and live testimony at multiple public meetings, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to protect gray wolves in June 2014.

State protection makes it illegal to kill a wolf, including in response to livestock depredations — a major issue for the livestock industry. But despite the industry’s concerns, a growing body of scientific evidence shows nonlethal deterrence measures are more effective and less expensive than killing wolves. In addition, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has been allocated federal funding that can be used for nonlethal conflict-deterrence measures and to compensate ranchers for livestock losses to wolves, which make up a very small fraction of livestock losses.

“The cattle industry has made clear that it views wolves as pests and that they filed suit to allow killing of wolves,” said Tom Wheeler, executive director at the Environmental Protection Information Center. “Wolves are a vital part of American’s wilderness and natural heritage, helping to restore balance to our ecosystems by regulating elk and deer populations. The path to restoring wolves is through protecting fragile recovering populations.”

Wolves once ranged across most of the United States, but were trapped, shot and poisoned to near extirpation largely on behalf of the livestock industry. Before wolves began to return to California in late 2011 — when a single wolf from Oregon known as wolf OR-7 ventured south — it had been almost 90 years since a wild wolf was seen in the state. Before OR-7 the last known wild wolf in California, killed by a trapper in Lassen County, was seen in 1924.

Since 2011 California’s first wolf family in nearly a century, the seven-member Shasta pack, was confirmed in Siskiyou County in 2015, and a pair of wolves was confirmed in Lassen County in 2016. An additional radio-collared wolf from Oregon has crossed in and out of California several times since late 2015.

 
Cascadia Wildlands educates, agitates, and inspires a movement to protect and restore Cascadia's wild ecosystems. We envision 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.
Mar01

Gray Wolf Background and Resources

wolves

OR-17 with a 2013 pup of the Imnaha pack. Photo by ODFW.

Seen as incompatible with the settlement of the West, the gray wolf was trapped, poisoned and shot by state and federal governments and private bounty hunters to the point of near extinction. The species has been listed on the federal Endangered Species Act since the 1973.

 

To expedite recovery in the Rocky Mountains, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency in charge of recovering endangered species, seeded central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park with 29 gray wolves from nearby Canada in 1995 and 37 more in 1996. As anticipated, wolves have repopulated the northern Rockies and have migrated to neighboring states where recovery has begun in earnest.

In 1999, three wolves journeyed into Oregon from Idaho. One was shot and killed, one was hit by a car and killed, and the other was tranquilized and sent back to Idaho.
 
Because the state has a statutory obligation under the Oregon Endangered Species Act to recover the gray wolf, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife convened diverse stakeholders to generate a gray wolf recovery plan in 2003.
 
During the planning process, Cascadia Wildlands mobilized community members across the state, testified at hearings, hosted presentations and submitted official comments on the plan. The plan was adopted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2005 and set recovery goals for the species in both eastern and western Oregon. End of year 2015 counts in Oregon documented at least 110 wolves across approximately 15 packs and pairs. In Washington, the count came in at at least 90 wolves across 15 packs. In California, the lone Shasta Pack has established a territory near the namesake volcano.

Multimedia

December 2010: Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife footage of the Imnaha Pack

Imnaha Pack, 2009

First wolf confirmed in Oregon

Links and resources

1. "Wolves and the Ecology of Fear: Can Predation Risk Structure Ecosystems?" By William Ripple and Robert Beschta. This article details the impacts wolves have had on Yellowstone since their reintroduction in 1995, including elk herds and riparian vegetation.
6. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's Gray Wolf Webpage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mar01

Oregon Wolf Recovery Chronology

2016
November 2, 2016:  California Department of Fish & Wildllife has confirmed the presence of two gray wolves in Lassen County. DNA samples confirm that the male is a two-year old who dispersed from the Rogue Pack. The female is not genetically related to wolves from Oregon, which is great news for the gene pool and genetic diversity.
 
OR-17 with a 2013 pup of the Imnaha pack. Photo by ODFW.

OR-17 with a 2013 pup of the Imnaha pack. Photo by ODFW.

August 4, 2016:  OR-33 continues to inhabit the areas of SE Jackson and SW Klamath counties. This is the same area inhabited by the Keno pair. OR33 is still traveling solo, so it is likely he’ll head to another area in search of a mate.
 
July 28, 2016:  Summer pup surveys done by ODFW and USFWS have shown at least two pups for the Rogue Pack caught on trail cameras.
 
In addition, it has been revealed that OR-28, a three year old female who dispersed from the Mt. Emily Pack has paired up with OR-3, an eight year old male from the Imnaha Pack in 2011. It is believed they produced one pup this year.
 
July 21 , 2016:  Since January 2016, two wolves have been photographed occasionally in the area previously used by the Umatilla River Pack. In late June, reproduction was confirmed via remote camera photographs of two pups. The AKWA map  shows the area typically used by wolves north of the Umatilla River where they are confined by geographic features and established neighboring wolf packs. Biologists will continue monitoring activities to learn more about these wolves.
 
July 21, 2016:  In early March 2016, four wolves were found within the traditional Imnaha Pack wintering area.  A 10-month-old pup was radio-collared and released.  That wolf dispersed from the area in mid-April.  DNA analysis showed that the wolf was not related to any Imnaha Pack wolves, likely indicating that a new group of wolves were using the area.  What is now believed to be the entire Imnaha Pack was removed in late March 2016 in response to chronic depredation.  As of July, resident wolf activity has been documented again in the area.  Biologists will continue monitoring activities to learn more about these wolves.
 
July 6, 2016:  Oregon Court of Appeals allows lawsuit against ODFW to go forward.
 
June 28, 2016:  Since May 2016, radio-collar locations show OR-30 primarily using a large area in the Starkey and Ukiah Units that he also frequented in summer 2015.  He also infrequently visits the Mt Emily Unit and is believed to be alone.
 
June 22, 2016:  OR-33 sighted by numerous people near Ashland.
 
June 2016:  Updated scat analysis on the Shasta Pack in California reveals that both the breeding male and female were born into the Imnaha Pack in NE Oregon. The pack also consists of one female and three male pups.
 
May 2, 2016:  Cascadia Wildlands files an ethics complaint to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission alleging false statements and misrepresentations by state legislators which led to the passage of HB4040. This bill legislatively removes gray wolves from the state endangered species list.
 
May 2, 2016:  OR-33 is tracked by USFWS to be near La Pine in central Oregon. He dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in November 2015 and has since traveled though 13 counties in Oregon.
 
April 26, 2016:  OR-37, an adult male, was radio collared in January 2016.  He crossed the Snake River to Idaho within 3 weeks, and later returned to Oregon at the end of March.  He has since used the area shown on the AKWA map and appears to be alone.
 
April 12, 2016:  Guest editorial by scientist, Adrian Treves, in Eugene Register-Guard that criticizes ODFW delisting decision. 
 
April 5, 2016:  OR-7, whose radio collar died in 2015, is seen on a trail camera for the first time since last year in a remote area of Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest.
 
April 1, 2016:  OR-29 and OR-36 have been traveling together since February, 2016. OR-29 is a radio-collared male that dispersed from the Meacham pack in December 2015. OR-36 is a radio-collared female collared in the neighboring South Snake pack, who appears to have dispersed also.
 
Walla Walla pack wolf in 2014. Photo by ODFW.

Walla Walla pack wolf in 2014. Photo by ODFW.

March 31, 2016:  ODFW guns down four members of the Imnaha Pack  for livestock depredation: OR-4, the alpha male of the pack and the father of OR-7 (Journey), OR-39, the likely pregnant alpha female of the pack, along with two of their yearling offspring. Four members of the pack remain. OR-4 was instrumental in wolf recovery in Oregon. He and his original mate, OR-2, created what became known as the Imnaha pack back in 2008. Since then he has fathered countless pups, all of whom inherited his strong, tenacious and vibrant genes.
 
A beautiful eulogy for OR-4.
 
One more eulogy.
 
Another remembrance of this magnificent wolf.
 
Article about killing of Imnaha pack in relation to state wolf plan.
 
Another commentary.
 
March 2016:  Oregon State Police continue to investigate wolf poaching cases from 2015. [OR-34 was shot in Sept. 2015 and OR-31 was shot in December 2015]
 
March 2016:  Gov. Kate Brown signs HB4040 making the ODFW delisting decision a state law and preventing the lawsuit brought against ODFW from proceeding. Guest editorial in response published in the Eugene Register-Guard.
 
February 29, 2016:  Annual ODFW Wolf Report for 2015 released today shows 110 known wolves in the state comprised of 12 packs, four pairs of wolves traveling together and four individual wolves. Eleven successful breeding pairs had at least 35 known pups that survived through the end of 2015. [A breeding pair is considered to be adult make and female with at least two pups that survive to the end of the year that they were born.]  A copy of the ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
Feb. 3, 2016:  Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a lawsuit challenging the legality of the federal wildlife-killing program, Wildlife Services, in any future attempts to kill Oregon’s remaining wolves.
 
February 2016:  Oregon State legislature passes HB4040, a shocking move that ratifies into law the ODFW delisting decision and sets dangerous precedent by removing the public’s right to demand accountability of state agencies.
 
February 2016:  OR-33, a two-year old male who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack last month, is now in Klamath County. He seems to be traveling solo and since dispersing has made his way west into the Columbia Gorge, south into the Ochoco Mountains, moving through Fort Rock Valley and then heading south to the east side of the Cascades in Klamath County.
 
January 7. 2016:  OR-25 who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in March of 2015 is documented in Modoc County, California.
 
January 2016:  In late 2015, OR-28, a 2 year-old female from the Mt. Emily Pack dispersed to Umatilla County and then traveled on to the area of Klamath and Lake Counties. There is evidence of another wolf using this area. [To see a map of wolf territories in Oregon, see page 7 of the 2015 ODFW Wolf Report]
 
January 2016:  ODFW has designated the Shamrock Pack in NE Oregon, originally called the Chesnimnus Pair. OR-23, a female from the Umatilla River Pack, and a male wolf produced three pups that survived through 2015.
 
2015
December 23, 2015:  OR-31, a yearling of the Mt. Emily Pack, is shot by a poacher near the boundary of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
 
December 2015:  A legal challenge has been filed by Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild to contest the removal of state endangered species protections for gray wolves by the ODFW Commission in November. The suit states that the decision was not based on verifiable, best available science and that Oregon’s wolves are not recovered and thus, it is too soon to remove protections.
 
December 2015:  OR-28 has been detected in Lake County. She spent time in Klamath County last month.
Another wolf is in the same area as OR-28, a two-year old female from the Mt. Emily Pack in Umatilla County, as documented by this ODFW trail camera.
 
November 20, 2015:  ODFW updates their list of non-lethal measures to minimize wolf-livestock conflict.
 
November 10, 2015:  The ODFW Commission votes 4-2 to remove endangered species protections for Oregon's wolves. Commissioners Greg Wolley and Laura Anderson are the only ones to vote against the delisting. Over 90% of public comments submitted were overwhelmingly in favor of maintaining protections. More than twenty wildlife scientists submitted extensive testimony; all stating that removing protections would be premature.
 
October 29, 2015:  Scientists slam Oregon’s ‘fundamentally flawed’ proposal to strip wolves of state endangered species protections.
 
October 28, 2015:  OR-7’s radio collar is no longer functioning.
 
October 9, 2015:  Thousands of people submit written testimony, many show up in person to testify and more than twenty scientists submit detailed testimony at the ODFW Commission hearing to express their outrage at the possible delisting of wolves from the state endangered species list.
 
October 2015:  Scat analysis reveals that the alpha female of the Shasta Pack in northern California dispersed from the Imnaha Pack.
 
October 2015:  OR-22 was shot by a hunter who believed the radio-collared animal with ear tags was a coyote. The hunter turned himself in and was later fined, ordered to pay restitution and forfeit his rifle to the state.
 
October 2015:  OR-3, one of the brothers of OR-7 who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in May 2011, has been documented in Central Oregon. He had not been seen since his dispersal.
 
September 2015:  OR-34, a female from the Walla Walla Pack, is shot by a poacher.
 
August 2015:  California is home to its first wolf pack in over 90 years! Named the Shasta Pack, they are comprised of two adults and five pups. These wolves dispersed from Oregon and are living proof that wolves are returning to their historic ranges.
 
August 2015:  OR-25 is now in Klamath County. He dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in March this year. He is covering a lot of ground, as is common for dispersing wolves.
 
July 2015:  A trail camera/video from USFWF and ODFW show the yearling pups of the Rogue Pack playing. This brings the Rogue Pack to at least seven wolves, including five pups, OR-7 and his mate.
 
May 2015:  Cascadia Wildlands and Western Environmental Law Center file a Freedom of Information Act request to see all Forest Service plans for protecting wolves while selling off timber and building roads in Oregon and Washington’s national forests.
 
April, 2015:  OR- 25, a two-year old male, who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack last month is documented in southern Washington and then on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
 
February 2015:  Annual 2014 ODFW Wolf Report released this month shows 77 known wolves in the state comprised of nine packs, five pairs traveling together, and two individual wolves. There are eight documented breeding pairs that had 26 known pups that survived through the end of 2014. A copy of the ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
January 28, 2015:  ODFW announces it is moving into Phase II of the Wolf Management Plan in the eastern portion of Oregon when state wildlife biologists confirm there are seven breeding pairs in Oregon in 2014. This means livestock producers have more management flexibility in dealing with wolf-livestock conflict.
 
January 2015:  OR-7, his mate and almost yearling pups, three of whom survived the winter, have now been named the Rogue Pack.
 
2014
December 2014:  Wolves continue to be federally protected west of Oregon highways 395/78/95. Wolves east of this designated federal protection area are still protected under Oregon’s state Endangered Species Act. The state Wolf Plan sets a conservation population objective of four breeding pairs for three consecutive years in eastern Oregon. This is the first year this objective has been reached and thus entry into Phase 2 of the Wolf Plan begins. To review the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, click here.
 
By end of the year, nine packs are documented, eight in NE Oregon and one in SW Oregon) and includes two recently formed packs, the Meacham and Rogue Packs. Six new pairs of wolves were documented this year with a minimum total population estimated to be 77 wolves.
 
September 2014:  Genetic testing on scat samples reveal that OR-7’s mate likely comes from either the Snake River or Minam Pack.
 
July 2014:  It has been confirmed that OR-7 not only has a mate, but they have had their first litter of pups! The images via trail camera show OR-7, his mate and two pups. They are the first known wolves breeding in the Oregon Cascades in almost a century.
 
May 14, 2014:  CBC Radio interview with John Stephenson, ODFW wolf biologist about OR-7, his mate and probable pups.
 
May 2014:  This marks the third year in a row that ODFW has not killed any wolves for livestock depredation.
 
May 2014:  After traveling thousands of miles since his dispersal from the Imnaha Pack in December 2011, making his way into California and back up into Oregon, it appears that OR-7 may have found a mate. Trail cameras reveal a second wolf in the area where OR-7 is living. It was confirmed that she is female when the camera caught her squatting to pee.
 
February 2014:  The Wolf Conservation and Management Report is released by ODFW. Annual report for 2013 shows 64 known wolves in the state comprised of eight packs, four of whom include breeding pairs, and including two new packs (Mt. Emily and an unnamed pack in the Catherine Creek/Keating WMU). All packs are located in the far NE corner of the state. A copy of the 2013 ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
2013
December 31, 2013:  At the end of year, ODFW determines that there are seven packs, of which four are breeding pairs, plus three individual wolves, accounting for an approximate increase of 15 wolves in the overall population in the state.
 
December 2013:  Based on information from his radio collar, OR-7 took a day trip into northern California and then returned to Oregon.
 
August 30, 2013:  Conflict Deterrence Plan released for the Umatilla River Pack. Under new wolf management rules, ODFW and livestock producers are required to develop and publicly disclose Conflict Deterrence Plans in Areas of Depredating Wolves.
 
July 30, 2013:  There are two documented pups for the Mt. Emily Pack. As of today, there are pups confirmed in the Imnaha, Minam, Mt. Emily, Snake River, Umatilla River, Walla Walla and Wenaha Packs!
 
July 2013:  ODFW officially passes the new administrative rules that amend the management of wolves in Oregon.
 
May 30, 2013:  It is determined that the cause of death of OR-19 is complications related to canine parvovirus. This disease is common amongst domestic dogs, but can also affect coyotes, foxes and wolves. It is the first documented case of parvovirus in Oregon wolves.
 
May 28, 2013:  In relation to the court-ordered stay issued by the Oregon Court of Appeals in October 2011, administrative rule changes in the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan have been agreed upon. During 2012, all parties (ODFW, Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, and the Center for Biological Diversity) were in negotiations on changes to rules in regards to lethal control of wolves.
 
The rule changes included agreement on the following (CBD withdrew from negotiations in fall of 2012):
1. Before ODFW can employ lethal controls, it must confirm four qualifying incidents within a six-month period.
2. Requires the development and public disclosure of wolf-livestock conflict deterrence plans that can be implemented by livestock producers.
3. Requires that these non-lethal measures be implemented prior to a depredation in order for the depredation incident to qualify for lethal control.
4. Adds a rule that any ODFW lethal control decision lasts for a 45 day period.
Rules changes in their entirety can be read here.
 
May 19, 2013:  OR-19, a female from the Wenaha Pack who had been collared six days previously, is found dead of unknown cause.
 
March 2013:  OR-7 returns to Oregon from California and is seen in Jackson County.
 
February 2013:  Annual ODFW Wolf Report for 2012 released this month shows 46 known wolves in the state comprised of one non-breeding pair, two individuals and six packs that produced at least 22 pups that survived through the end of 2012. All packs are living in the far NE corner of the state. A copy of the 2012 ODFW report can be viewed here.
 
2012
December 31, 2012: The court-ordered stay issued by the Oregon Court of Appeals on Oct. 2, 2011 preventing the lethal removal of depredating wolves remains in effect pending resolution of litigation filed by Cascadia Wildlands and allies challenging the Commission’s authority to authorize the killing of listed wolves under the Commission’s “chronic depredation” take rules.
 
December 21, 2012: Coinciding with the year anniversary of OR-7 setting paw in California, the Pacific Wolf Coalition is formed. Comprised of twenty-five wildlife conservation, education and protection organizations in California, Oregon and Washington, they are committed to envisioning populations of wolves restored over their historic habitats in numbers that allow them to re-establish their critical role in nature and ensure their long-term survival.
 
December 19, 2012: OR-16, a 1½ year old wolf from the Walla Walla Pack crossed into Idaho. He was shot by a poacher in Idaho less than a month later.
 
December 2012: OR-7 spent much of this year in California, becoming the first documented wolf in that state in 90 years.
 
November 2012: DNA analysis of scat confirms that OR-12 is the breeding male of the Wenaha Pack. He dispersed from the Imnaha Pack and is the first wolf born into a pack in Oregon who dispersed and successfully bred with another pack in Oregon.
 
September 2012: ODFW confirmed pups for the Walla Walla Pack documenting two black pups traveling with the pack. OR-10 and OR-11 are also traveling with this pack bringing the pack number to 10 wolves (8 adults, 2 pups).
 
August 31, 2102: A new wolf pack, including a pair of adults and five gray pups, have been observed in the Upper Minam River drainage area.
 
August 2012: A survey on US Forest Service land southeast of Joseph revealed at least six pups for the Imnaha Pack this year.
In addition, the Wenaha Pack now have seven documented pups. The Umatilla Pair have at least two pups, which makes them an official pack now.
 
July 2012: The Snake River Pack has at least three adults and three pups. Here is video footage of the pup howling and the pack returning the howl. This is a major way in which the packs communicate with each other.
 
June 2012: There are four pups observed for the Imnaha Pack for this year.
Biologists also confirm at least four pups in the Wenaha Pack.
 
May 4, 2012: As of today, based on state government data, 254 wolves have been shot and 124 have been trapped in Idaho this hunting season. In Montana, 166 wolves have been killed this season.
 
May 2, 2012: The wolf found dead in early March near Cove, Oregon in Union County is  confirmed to be a poaching by Oregon State Police and ODFW. The investigation of the crime continues. Genetic testing showed the wolf was from the Imnaha Pack.
 
April 17, 2012: OR-7 returns to California.
 
March 14, 2012: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the district court ruling and allows the delisting of gray wolves in the Rocky Mountain states of Montana and Idaho (wolves are still listed in Wyoming due to the state's egregious management plan). Gray wolf hunting resumes.
 
March 7, 2012: Bill to overturn the ban on killing Oregon's endangered gray wolves is defeated in Salem.  Cascadia Wildlands and allies spent considerable time in Salem educating policy makers and testifying against this the reckless legislation.
 
March 1, 2012: OR-7 crosses back over into Oregon and is spending time in Klamath and Douglas counties.
 
February 2, 2012: Oregon Cattlemen's Associationbrings a bill to the state legislature to overturn the recently issued injunction that prohibits killing Oregon's endangered gray wolves.
 
2011
December 30, 2011: OR-7, or Journey, makes his way into California from Oregon, becoming the first wolf to return to the state in nearly 80 years. 
 
December 28, 2011: Oregon's four known wolf packs, the Imnaha, Wenaha, Walla Walla and Snake River packs, all had pups this past year. Oregon currently has approximately 29 confirmed wolves in the state according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. A copy of the entire ODFW 2011 Wolf Report can be viewed here.
 
December 12, 2011: Dispersing Imnaha Pack wolf, known as OR-7 (Journey), travels 730 miles  to southwest Oregon searching for mate and territory.
 
November 14, 2011: Oregon Court of Appeals extends ban on killing endangered Oregon wolves.
 
November 1, 2011: OR-7, who dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in September is located in the Umpqua National Forest. This marks the first confirmed wolf in the Oregon Cascades in over 60 years.
 
October 5, 2011: Oregon Court of Appeals grants emergency stay of execution of two Imnaha Pack wolves.
 
October 5, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a legal challenge in state court to immediately halt the state killing of two of the remaining four Imnaha Pack wolves.  A memo on our lawsuit is sent to Governor Kitzhaber and key legislators.
 
September 26, 2011: At least two pups documented in the Walla Walla Pack by ODFW.
 
September 23, 2011: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife issues a kill order for the alpha male (pack leader) and a yearling in the Imnaha Pack after a confirmed livestock depredation near Joseph, OR, deeming the situation as "chronic."
 
June 6, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and allies send a letter to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife about the recent lethal control of two Imnaha Pack wolves, kill order for up to two more wolves, and the issuance of 24 "caught in the act" kill permits to private landowners.
 
May 18, 2011: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife kills second Imnaha Pack wolf in the past three days after attributing recent livestock depredations in Wallowa County to the pack.
 
May 3, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a legal challenge against US Fish and Wildlife Service's order to kill two Imnaha pack wolves. The kill order is issued after the death of a calf on May 1st  in Wallowa County is confirmed as a wolf kill.
 
April 14, 2011: Congress legislatively delists gray wolves in the northern Rockies from the Endangered Species Act as part of a rider attached to the federal budget bill. In addition to removing federal protections in Montana and Idaho, the unprecedented action also strips protections for wolves in eastern Oregon, eastern Washington and northern Utah. The delisting will likely mean sport hunting for wolves in Montana and Idaho this fall.
 
March 30, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands presents testimony in the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the Oregon Legislature on a number of bills affecting Oregon's recovering gray wolf population.
 
March 18, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands and eight co-plaintiffs settle our legal challenge to the Obama administration's Northern Rocky Mountains gray wolf delisting from the Endangered Species Act.
 
March 1, 2011: Cascadia Wildlands delivers a memo to all 90 Oregon legislators describing anti-wolf bills that have been introduced into the 76th session in Salem.
 
March 1, 2011: Yearling female from Oregon's Imnaha pack is  found dead. The cause of the death of the collared wolf is unclear.
 
2010
December 2010: Idaho and Montana senators propose to legislate delisting of gray wolves in the Rockies.
 
October 8, 2010: Conservation groups offer $7,500 reward for information leading to the prosecution of the person/s responsible for killing an endangered gray wolf from the Wenaha Pack in eastern Oregon.
 
August 5, 2010: Federal district court judge Donald Malloy in Missoula rules in favor of Cascadia Wildlands' lawsuit challenging the government's delisting of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act in the northern Rocky Mountains. Cascadia was one of 13 co-plaintiffs and was represented by Earthjustice in the case.
 
July 8, 2010: Cascadia Wildlands and allies file a lawsuit and halt the hunt of members of Oregon's Imnaha wolf pack.
 
2009
Fall-Winter 2009: Over 250 gray wolves are killed in Montana and Idaho during sport hunts after wolves are delisted by the Obama administration.
 
September 8, 2009: Federal district court judge Donald Malloy in Missoula rules against Cascadia Wildlands' request for a Preliminary Injunction but suggested in his ruling that we are likely to succeed on the merits of the lawsuit. The lawsuit will likely be heard in early 2010.
 
September 5, 2009: Two wolves in Baker County's Keating Valley are killed after repeated depredations of livestock. The two wolves, which are apparently not part of an organized pack, represent approximately 20% of the known wolves in Oregon today.
 
June 2, 2009: Cascadia Wildlands and 12 conservation partners represented by Earthjustice legally challenge the removal of Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Idaho, Montana, and eastern Oregon and Washington.
 
April 2, 2009: The Obama administration's US Fish and Wildlife Service removes gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act, finalizing an effort initiated by the Bush administration. Idaho and Montana begin to plan a wolf hunting season.
 
2008
July 18, 2008: Federal District Court Judge Donald Malloy issues a preliminary injunction halting the gray wolf delisting in the Northern Rocky Mountains. This is not a ruling on the merits of the case, rather a placeholder while attorneys argue the claims.
 
April 28, 2008: Following up on its February 27 notice of intent to sue, Cascadia Wildlands and 11 co-plaintiffs file a lawsuit and preliminary injunction request to halt killing of gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Since the delisting occurred in March, dozens of wolves have been killed by sport hunters.
 
February 27, 2008: Represented by Earthjustice,  Cascadia Wildlands and 11 co-plaintiffs file a 60-day notice of intent to sue the US Fish and Wildlife Service over the removal of the Northern Rocky Mountains population of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act. The delisting will turn over management of the species to states in the inter-mountain West. Montana, Idaho and Wyoming all have management plans in place that would permit rampant killing of wolves.
Feb15

Conservation Groups Decry Vote by State Treasurer, Secretary of State to Sell Elliott State Forest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Contact:
Bob Sallinger, 503.380.9728 or bsallinger@audubonportland.org 
Josh Laughlin, 541.844.8182 or jlaughlin@cascwild.org 
Doug Moore, 503.729.5175 or dmoore@olcv.org 
 
Conservation groups decry vote by State Treasurer,
Secretary of State to Sell Elliott State Forest 
Governor puts forward solid plan to keep 83,000-acre forest public.
 
Salem, Oregon—February 15, 2017 – A broad coalition of conservation, hunting, and fishing groups across Oregon decried a state land board vote pushing the Elliott State Forest to brink of privatization yesterday. 
 
Democratic State Treasurer Tobias Read and Republican Secretary of State Dennis Richardson both voted to continue with the sale of the forest to a timber firm, Lone Rock Resources. 
 
Governor Kate Brown opposed the sale and promoted a framework to keep the forest in public ownership, saying, “It's in the best interest of Oregonians that the forest stays in public hands for future generations.” 
 
The conservation community has been working on several proposals that fit within Governor Brown’s vision to keep the land publicly accessible, protect older forests and critical salmon and wildlife habitat, safeguard streams and incorporate tribal ownership, while fulfilling the state’s obligation to fund public schools. 
 
As the sale negotiations continue, Governor Brown directed the Department of State Lands to continue to explore options to keep the land public. That direction leaves open the possibility that Oregon Legislature and other parties can craft a viable public option. 
 
Earlier in the meeting, Senate President Peter Courtney expressed his personal support for public ownership, pledging his help in the current session to secure bonding for the proposal. 
 
Said Doug Moore, “We thank the Governor for continuing to work on a proposal that meets the many important public interests in this forest. What’s disappointing is the lack of vision from Treasurer Read and Secretary of State Richardson in failing to help her craft a long term solution that Oregonians will be proud of.” 
 
Treasurer Read motioned to amend the Lone Rock proposal with modest conservation and recreation provisions. These are unlikely to meet the broad conservation and public access goals outlined by the Governor and the conservation community. 
 
"On the anniversary of the State’s birth, we should be honoring Oregon and all the values public lands offer Oregonians," said Josh Laughlin with Cascadia Wildlands. "Instead, Treasurer Read and Secretary Richardson voted to privatize the Elliott State Forest, which means more clear cuts, muddy water and locked gates in our great state." 
 
"Public lands are under unprecedented attack across Oregon and the rest of the country. At a time when we need our public officials to stand up for public lands, Governor Brown is stepping up and Treasurer Read appears to be stepping aside," said Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director with the Audubon Society of Portland. 
 
The Lone Rock proposal to protect streams has standards far below the protections under the current Elliott State Forest plan. Meanwhile, thousands of acres of 100-year-old forest will be open to clearcutting. 
 
“Our coastal salmon runs depend on public lands, and this sale sets a terrible precedent for other public lands in Oregon and across the West,” said Bob Van Dyk, Oregon and California policy director at the Wild Salmon Center.
 
Conservation groups will now turn to the legislature and other stakeholders to advance a public ownership option. The next State Land Board meeting will be April 11th. 
 
Josh Laughlin, Cascadia Wildlands 
Doug Moore, Oregon League of Conservation Voters 
Tom Wolf, Oregon Council Trout Unlimited 
Bob Van Dyk, Wild Salmon Center 
Bob Sallinger, Portland Audubon 
Cameron La Follette, Oregon Coast Alliance 
Max Beeken, Coast Range Forest Watch 
Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity 
Feb01

Reflections on the Enormous Victory in Northern Cascadia and Coming Full Circle

by Gabe Scott, Cascadia Wildlands House Counsel

Ready for some good news? Last week our partners at Eyak Preservation Council announced that the major part of Alaska’s Bering River Coalfield, and the old-growth forest on top of it, has been permanently protected!
 
The Bering River coalfield sits in the rugged, remote mountains just back of Cascadia's northern extreme.

The Bering River coalfield sits in the rugged, remote mountains just back of Cascadia's northern extreme (photo by Brett Cole).

Several things about this historic victory make it especially sweet. Ecologically it protects one of the most magnificent places on earth, a vast wild wetland on Cascadia's northern edge. Better, it does it in a precedent-setting way that puts the region’s indigenous people in charge. Personally I am proud that we Cascadians played a big part creating the conditions where this victory could happen. And, most of all, let us be inspired by the example of our close partner and good friend Dune Lankard, the Eyak native whose visionary leadership and sheer determination has achieved what few believed was possible.
 
The Victory
 
The Bering River coalfield is located in one of the wildest and most productive on earth—the Copper/Bering River Delta wetland complex, along Alaska’s south-central Gulf coast. This is wild salmon, bear, wolf, eagle and raven country. Seals swim ice-berg choked rivers hunting King salmon. Ice-clad mountains rise almost straight out of the churning Gulf. 
 
The Bering River rages through the coast range, backed by glaciers, choked with salmon, and Wild as all-get-out.

The Bering River rages through the coast range, backed by glaciers, choked with salmon, and Wild as all-get-out (photo by Brett Cole).

To the north is the largest protected wilderness in the whole world: from here into the Yukon territory all the way down to Glacier Bay. To the east is the largest ice-field outside the poles. The ice is moving, glaciers sliding forward and melting back, uncovering infant land. To the west is the Copper River Delta, and beyond that Cordova and Prince William Sound. This is the largest contiguous wetland in Cascadia, home to the world-famous Copper River salmon fishing fleet, and incredible concentrations of swans, geese and shorebirds.
 
There are huge veins of coal, the largest tide-water coal deposit in the world, buried in the mountain ridges back of the wetlands. Coal mining there would have involved mountain-top removal in the headwaters of rich salmon rivers, extensive clearcutting of the old-growth forest, roads across the wild Copper River delta, and a deepwater port near Cordova.
 
The deal announced yesterday is that Chugach Alaska Corporation's coal and timber will be forever conserved, stewarded with a conservation easement enforced by The Native Conservancy. The owner, CAC, will generate revenue by selling carbon credits on California’s market.
 
Historic Victory for Conservation
 
This has been a long time coming. The Bering River coalfield is one of modern conservation’s seminal battles. In 1907 Teddy Roosevelt stuck his neck out to prevent J.P. Morgan from grabbing it in a monopoly. Gifford Pinchot was fired/ resigned in protest trying to protect it. Louis Brandeis, before being appointed to the supreme court, put his talents to work for the cause. Through the era of statehood, and Native land claims, and the park-creating frenzy of ANILCA, and the post-Exxon Valdez restoration deals, conservationists always tried but developers stubbornly insisted that the Bering River coalfield needed to be mined. 
 
The coal is owned by Chugach Alaska Corporation, one of the regional Alaska Native corporations. (Rather than treaties and reservations, in Alaska the U.S. congress formed corporations and made indigenous people into the shareholders. Long story. CAC is one of these.) CAC selected the coalfield and the trees atop it with an eye to developing them.
 
After going bankrupt in the late 1980s, CAC lost part of the coalfield to a Korean conglomerate. Notably, that portion of the coalfield isn't covered by the deal announced last week, so it will need to be protected too. 
 
The 700,000-acre Copper River Delta is the largest contiguous wetland on the Pacific Coast of North America.

The 700,000-acre Copper River Delta is the largest contiguous wetland on the Pacific Coast of North America.

The conservation deal announced yesterday is precent setting for it’s unique mix of conservation and indigenous control. The Native Conservancy is a new idea, the brainchild of Dune Lankard, that was critical to the deal working. Formulated as a sort of friendly amendment to the Nature Conservancy, the idea is to incorporate social justice for indigenous people into long-term land conservation.
 
In the announced deal the Native Conservancy will hold the conservation easement, making it the steward in charge of protecting the land. Enforcement of easements is one of the major hurdles to private equity models of conservation, and this offers an attractive new possibility.
 
This victory also points to the inevitable reality of climate change and the future of carbon. California’s carbon market  makes it possible economically for a company like CAC to realize a return on investment for conservation. Where there is money, deals will be made.
 
Lying politicians aside, global warming is real. The writing is on the wall for the carbon-heavy industries. When corporations look to the future, they see young people marching for climate justice, bringing their case to the courts and demanding sustainability. Especially for Alaska Native corporations like CAC, shareholders are keenly interested in avoiding climate catastrophe. The message is being heard!
 
A personal victory
 
This victory also marks a sweet sort of bookend to my own work running Cascadia’s Alaska field office, from 1998 until this past year. The first reason I went to Cordova, back in 1998, was to help Dune Lankard blockade the road that CAC was then actually building, across the Copper River Delta to access this coalfield and these trees. 
 
Dune Lankard at Shepard Point, back in the day.

Dune Lankard at Shepard Point, back in the day.

When I first arrived there was the coalfield, an oilfield, a deepwater port, a road across the Delta and another one up the river, cruise ships and a Princess lodge, all interlocking. None of these threats alone could gain traction, but any two or more of them would forever destroy the wilderness. Dune and I spent countless hours together on the basketball court scheming the demise of this web of threats. For the next nineteen years, Cascadia and Eyak worked together on the campaigns. Together we stopped the road across the Delta, the deepwater port at Shepard Point, and oil drilling at Katalla. 
 
Without the deepwater port, without the access road, and without any oil discovery to attract new investment, conservation of the coalfield became more appealing. 
 
While we are proud to have helped create the conditions for success, all credit for this victory goes to two heroes of the planet: Dune Lankard and Carol Hoover. Their dogged determination and visionary blend of indigenous and ecological justice has achieved what a century of environmentalists could not. 
 
So, I am inspired, and so should you be! 
 
The new president can take a long walk off a short pier. The train has left the station. The people are winning for climate justice, and we aren’t about to stop now.
 
After an incredible run in Cascadia's northern frontier based in Cordova, Gabe Scott recently moved back to Eugene with his family and is Cascadia Wildlands' House Counsel.
Dec20

Court Halts Logging of Elliott State Forest Tract Sold to Timber Company

For Immediate Release, December 20, 2016
 
Contact:         
Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, (314) 482-3746                       
Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495
Bob Sallinger, Portland Audubon, (503) 380-9728
 
Court Halts Logging of Elliott State Forest Tract Sold to Timber Company
 Old-Growth Clearcutting Stopped to Protect Threatened Marbled Murrelets
 
EUGENE, Ore.— A U.S. District Court in Eugene has issued a preliminary ruling preventing Scott Timber from clearcutting a parcel of the Elliott State Forest purchased from the state of Oregon. The court found that the proposed logging of the Benson Ridge parcel by the subsidiary of Roseburg Forest Products raised serious questions over the potential harm threatened marbled murrelets, in violation of the federal Endangered Species Act.  
 
In August Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity and Portland Audubon filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to block Scott Timber from logging the 355-acre parcel of land, part of the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest until 2014 and home to threatened marbled murrelets. The Endangered Species Act strictly prohibits “take” (harm, harassment or killing) of threatened species like the murrelet, which, unlike any other seabird, nests on the wide branches of large, old trees, making a daily trip of up to 35 miles inland to bring fish to its young. The court’s ruling on Monday prevents the logging of the Benson Ridge parcel until a full trial can be had on the merits.
 
“Today’s ruling has enormous implications for the state of Oregon’s efforts to dispose of the Elliott State Forest to private timber interests,” said Nick Cady, legal director at Cascadia Wildlands. “The state represented to these private timber interests that the forest could be logged without legal consequence, and this ruling establishes that private timber companies can no longer violate federal environmental laws with abandon.”
 
The court’s decision is well timed. On Dec. 13 Oregon’s State Land Board postponed a decision on a pending proposal to sell the remaining 82,000-acres of the Elliott State Forest to Lone Rock Timber Company. The court’s injunction halting the logging planned by Scott Timber indicates Lone Rock could be held liable under federal environmental laws for clearcutting the old-growth forests that once belonged to all Oregonians.
 
“The state of Oregon should never have sold this land,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Not only does it have important habitat for the marbled murrelet and other wildlife, but it was there for all Oregonians to enjoy.” 
 
In 2012 the three groups sued the state of Oregon for illegally logging marbled murrelet habitat on the Elliott and other state forests. The state settled the suit in 2014, agreeing to drop 26 timber sales and stop logging in occupied murrelet habitat. But following the loss, the state sold three parcels totaling 1,453 acres, even though they contained mature and old-growth forests that are occupied by the murrelet, including the 355-acre Benson Ridge parcel. 
 
“This demonstrates the incredible cynicism that underpins the State’s efforts to sell the Elliott off to private timber interests,” said Audubon conservation director, Bob Sallinger. “Not only does it put fish and wildlife species at risk and eliminated use for future generations, but it also is predicated on those private timber companies returning to the illegal logging practices that the State was forced to abandon.” 
 
The court’s preliminary ruling is one of several promising developments for the protection of old-growth forests in Oregon critical to the survival of murrelets and other imperiled wildlife. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recently initiated a process to uplist the murrelet’s state protection status from threatened to endangered. The Oregon Board of Forestry recently decided to take up a petition to identify and develop rules to protect murrelet sites on state and private timber lands.
 
Cascadia Wildlands represents approximately 10,000 members and supporters and has a mission to educate, agitate and inspire a movement to protect and restore Cascadia’s wild ecosystems.
 
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
 
Audubon Society of Portland was founded in 1902 to promote the understanding, enjoyment and protection of native birds, other wildlife and their habitats. Today it represents over 16,000 members in Oregon.
 
Dec01

Oregon Board of Forestry Reverses Course, Will Develop Murrelet Protections

For Immediate Release, December 1, 2016
 
Contacts:
Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, (314) 482-3746, nick@cascwild.org
Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495, ngreenwald@biologicaldiversity.org
 
Oregon Board of Forestry Reverses Course, Will Develop Murrelet Protections
Rulemaking Initiated to Protect Imperiled Seabird on State, Private Lands
 
EUGENE, Ore.— The Oregon Board of Forestry has reversed its prior decision to deny a petition from conservation groups that called for the identification and protection of marbled murrelet sites on state and private forest lands. The Board is now coordinating with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and other state land owning agencies to identify and protect important old-growth forest areas for the seabird threatened with extinction.
 
“It is reassuring to see the Board reverse course on this issue, especially given Oregon’s current efforts to sell off the Elliott State Forest,” said Nick Cady, legal director of Cascadia Wildlands. “The Elliott is a unique block of old-growth forest that is critical to the survival and recovery of this species, and should be the first area prioritized by the Board.”
 
Murrelets fly inland from the ocean to nest on wide, mossy limbs found in in the mature and old-growth forests of the Oregon Coast Range.  While most of Oregon’s coast range has been converted into industrial timberland that does not provide nesting habitat for the bird, the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest, located in the coast range just east of Coos Bay, is a crucial block of older forest habitat and essential to the reproductive success of the species.
 
”The marbled murrelet is the only seabird in the world that nests in old-growth forests and needs our help to survive,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “I’m thrilled Oregon’s Board of Forestry is finally stepping up to provide protections to this imperiled bird and the forests it depends on.”
 
The petition to the Board of Forestry was filed Sept. 9th in conjunction with a petition to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to uplist the species’ protection status from “threatened” to “endangered.” Given recent efforts by federal land managers to gut protections for the species and the substantial amount of habitat on state and private lands, the Department of Fish and Wildlife granted the petition, but the Board of Forestry denied its petition. After the Board’s denial, conservation groups filed a Petition for Review and asked the Board to reconsider its decision in light of requirements under Oregon law related to imperiled species.  The Board convened a special meeting on November 29, 2016 and stated it “withdraws and reverses its August 1, 2016 order denying the Petition for Rulemaking, accepts the Petition for Rulemaking, and immediately commences the rulemaking process.”
 
“Deforestation throughout the Coast Range have reduced habitat for marbled murrelets to just a few islands of old growth in a sea of clearcuts and monoculture tree plantations,” said Steve Pedery, conservation director for Oregon Wild. “Oregon is already decades overdue in developing a meaningful plan for conserving murrelet habitat. They cannot wait another 30 years.”
 
While murrelets have been listed as a ‘threatened’ species for nearly 30 years, Oregon has never developed a plan to recover them or protect the old-growth habitat that they depend on, and instead, the state has relied on the nesting habitat located on nearby federal forestlands.  This is no longer sufficient as murrelet populations in the Pacific Northwest continue to decline, and a recent status review conducted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service determined that conservation of nesting habitat on state and private lands is now critical to the species’ survival.
 
The Petition to the Board of Forestry can be found here.
 
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Nov14

Coyote Killing Contest Placing Oregon’s Wolves in Crosshairs

Federal Agencies Urged to Halt Coyote-hunting Contest in Oregon’s Lake County
Contest Risks Killing Endangered Wolves, Breaking Wildlife Laws
 
PORTLAND, Ore.— Six wildlife conservation organizations representing nearly 212,000 Oregonians are calling on the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to stop a coyote-hunting contest planned for Nov. 19-20. The groups are concerned that in addition to being cruel and wasteful, the “Lake County Coyote Calling Derby” could result in killing of endangered gray wolves, in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
 
“This contest is unethical, cruel and risks violating federal law,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Wolves are fully federally protected throughout the entirety of Lake County, so federal wildlife and land management officials have a duty to do everything in their power to protect them.”
 
The hunting contest, which awards prizes for the most coyotes killed, is being sponsored by the Lake County chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association and by Robinson Heating and Cooling. The contest will take place on both Forest Service and BLM land, which cover large portions of Lake County. Despite this the contest organizers have not sought a required “special use permit.” Such a permit would trigger a review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because of the risk of killing federally protected wolves, which have been confirmed in Lake County by federal and state officials and are easily mistaken for coyotes.
 
“Coyote killing contests are nothing more than the indiscriminate, wanton slaughter of wildlife,” said Brooks Fahy, Executive Director of Eugene-based Predator Defense.  “Contest organizers often purport that killing coyotes will protect livestock and enhance prey populations like deer and elk.  Ironically, science is telling us just the opposite. When coyotes are killed, those that survive reproduce at higher levels.”
 
The conservation groups requested that both the Forest Service and BLM suspend the contest until permits are issued, the Fish and Wildlife Service has the opportunity to ensure no wolves will be harmed, and the public has the opportunity to comment.
 
“It is completely irresponsible for these federal agencies to allow a killing contest for an animal that closely resembles the endangered gray wolf in this region,” said Nick Cady, legal director of Cascadia Wildlands. “Wolves are just beginning to establish a foothold in southwestern Oregon, and it would be tragic for that to be lost due to an overlooked coyote killing derby.”
 
Scott Beckstead, Oregon senior state director of The Humane Society of the United States said, “Killing contests are cruel, wasteful, and deeply at odds with the humane values of the vast majority of Oregonians. The event promotes a “shoot anything that moves” mentality and is bound to result in the killing of non target wildlife. We urge the USFS and BLM to deny permission for this event, and we urge the people of Oregon to demand that our state wildlife managers finally put an end to these festivals of cruelty.”
 
“Not only do these killing contest endanger a protected species,” said Wally Sykes, co-founder of Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, “but they are a symptom of a general disrespect for wildlife and a poor understanding of the complex relationships of prey and predator.”
 
The request was sent by Predator Defense, the Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, The Humane Society of the United States, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems and Oregon Wild.
 
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/
Predator Defense is a national nonprofit advocacy organization with over 15,000 supporters.  We have been working since 1990 to protect native predators and end America’s war on wildlife.  Our efforts take us into the field, onto America’s public lands, to Congress, and into courtrooms. http://www.predatordefense.org
 
Cascadia Wildlands defends and restores Cascadia’s wild ecosystems in the forests, in the courts, and in the streets. We envision vast old-growth forests, rivers full of salmon, wolves howling in the backcountry, and vibrant communities sustained by the unique landscapes of the Cascadia bioregion. Join our movement today.
 
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization. We and our affiliates provide hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year, and we professionalize the field through education and training for local organizations. We are the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. We are driving transformational change in the U.S. and around the world by combating large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade. http://www.humanesociety.org
 
Oregon Wild: Protecting Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife, and waters for future generations. http://www.oregonwild.org
 
Northeast Oregon Ecosystems works to protect and expand Oregon’s wildlife and wildlife habitat.

 

Nov10

Post-election Thoughts: Action is the Antidote to Despair

Today, Joan Baez’s trusty adage “action is the antidote to despair” fills my brain.
 
I woke up yesterday morning and took a long, hot shower, trying to forever rinse away the results of the 45th presidential election. Border walls, nuclear codes, women’s liberation, wars, public lands, climate change, imperiled species, the future my kids will inherit — all spinning through my head like a dreidel.
 
Then my eight-year-old daughter popped out of bed and asked who won. The pit in my stomach deepened.
 
Lost_Coast_485A day to process has been good medicine.
 
Lunch with co-workers to commiserate and exchange ideas moving forward followed by a walk in the sunshine to the post office where we passed 150 high school students demonstrating downtown with a shared message of “Love Trumps Hate.”  News of thousands marching in Portland into the wee hours, shutting down both lanes of I-5 traffic. Neighbors coming together to hug, play music and hatch plans for the future.
 
The stakes for Cascadia and our planet have never been higher, and the new guy and his entourage are about to go for the jugular.
 
They are coming to clearcut our remaining old-growth forests, dam our free-flowing rivers, graze and drill our commons into oblivion, gut our bedrock environmental statutes and roll back decades of hard-fought social justice progress.
 
It is time to roll up our sleeves, dig in, and double down on our efforts over the next four years to defend our shared values and what makes Cascadia so special — its diverse landscapes, raging rivers, and unique communities.
 
Together, we are going to stop this nonsense, and Cascadia Wildlands’ newly adopted mission fits squarely into these trying times: We defend and restore Cascadia’s wild ecosystems in the forests, in the courts and in the streets.
 
It is an encouraging reminder that, with your help, we largely staved off the environmental disaster the George W. Bush administration would have wreaked in Cascadia, and we will do the same again. Generations to come depend on us.
 
Let’s take our passion to confront the threats to all that is wild in Cascadia and continue to lay the groundwork for the future we want. It is our imperative.
 
Take deep breaths, hug the ones you love, and brace for impact. Let’s do this, friends.
 
With love and rage,
Josh Laughlin
 
 
 
 
 
Josh Laughlin
Executive Director
 
(Grizz on the Copper River Delta, Alaska / Photo by Brett Cole)
 
Nov10

Science Review Begins for Northwest Forest Plan Revision

For Immediate Release
November 10, 2016
 
Northwest Forest Plan science synthesis review begins
Will help inform forest management efforts in Pacific Northwest
 
Nick Cady, Cascadia Wildlands, 314-482-3746, nick@cascwild.org
Susan Jane Brown, Western Environmental Law Center, 503-914-1323, brown@westernlaw.org 
 
Portland, Ore.–Today, the United States Forest Service released for public and heightened peer review its anticipated science synthesis, which will inform the need to revise the renowned Northwest Forest Plan. The Forest Service is currently taking public comment on the synthesis through January 6, 2017, and the agency will host a public forum on December 6, 2016 in Portland, Oregon at the Doubletree Hotel from 8:30am to 1pm.  
 
“We have learned a great deal about the public lands encompassed by the Northwest Forest Plan in the past 20 years of its application,” said Nick Cady with Cascadia Wildlands. “While new information has surfaced – including, importantly, the impacts of climate change – many values endure, such as the importance of clean water, iconic wildlife such as salmon, and thriving forest ecosystems to the residents of the Pacific Northwest. These principles remain as sound today as they were when the plan was written.”
 
The topics addressed in the new science synthesis include old growth forest ecosystems, threatened and endangered terrestrial and aquatic species, climate change, socioeconomic considerations, scientific uncertainty, and restoration strategies, among many others. The Forest Service expects to publish a general technical report that encompasses the science synthesis. In addition to public review and comment on the synthesis, dozens of experts and practitioners will be conducting a peer review process which will also inform the Forest Service’s revision effort.
 
“We anticipate the synthesis will engage public interest throughout the region and we look forward to providing thoughtful feedback to the Forest Service as it considers the need to improve the scientifically-sound, ecologically-credible, and legally-defensible Northwest Forest Plan,” said Susan Jane Brown, staff attorney with the Western Environmental Law Center. “Through this feedback, we hope to help ensure that our treasured Pacific Northwest forests and rivers are managed to best meet the needs of our region.”
 
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