Blog: Lawyers, Guns and Money

Over the past year Cascadia Wildlands has effectively doubled our organization’s legal capacity through the generous support of our members and foundations. Gabe Scott is back in our Alaska Field office, armed with a law degree, and our Eugene office has its first-ever full-time staff attorney. We want to showcase the effects that this has had throughout Oregon.  For the past year and a half now, the State of Oregon has been prevented from killing wolves.  When Cascadia first filed the lawsuit, Oregon’s recovering wolf population was arguably on the brink of failure, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife had its scopes on Oregon’s first breeding pair to return to the state. Now there are seven packs in the state and well over 50 wolves.
After years of hard fought campaigning, through litigation, comment and appeals, and direct action, old-growth logging on federal lands in Oregon has slowed to a near halt. However, the Oregon Department of Forestry has continued reckless old-growth clearucutting on places like the Elliott State Forest. After all other reform efforts failed, we sued the state which successfully halted nearly all mature forest logging on state lands due to harm to the imperiled marbled murrelet, a reclusive seabird that nests in the old forest of the Coast Range.
After these massive successes in Oregon, our focus in Cascadia is expanding. The wheels are turning in our offices. Our reach is expanding to focus on Washington’s wolves, genetically modified salmon, old-growth logging on the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska, and suction dredge mining in some of Oregon’s most iconic rivers, like the Rogue, Illinois and South Umpqua.
Our reputation precedes us, we are a force to be reckoned with. Real change has come to Oregon and is coming to the region.  The support of our membership has directly enabled us.  You are furthering real, drastic change in Cascadia, and the protection of OUR, public resources. However with these successes, tremendous push back ensues, and it is critical that your support continues.  The entitled few that have long profited off the pillaging of our shared land and wildlife are lashing out.  Our achievements are coming under attack. As Warren Zevon put it: “Send lawyers, guns, and money; the shit has hit the fan.” (Maybe we don’t need the guns.)