Victory over the BLM and WOPR!
With most of its ire focused on the U.S. Forest Service, the environmental movement has let the Bureau of Land Management, or B.L.M., fly under its radar for too long. The truth is the BLM is responsible for some of the most atrocious native forest clearcutting in the continental U.S., the bulk of which is happening in the unique and fragile forests of southern Oregon. In 2007 there were 24,000 acres (nearly 39 square miles!) of forests on the chopping block, to be given away to the timber industry under the toothless Northwest Forest Plan.
As if that weren't bad enough, the BLM has proposed its now-infamous Western Oregon Plan Revision, also known as the "Whopper," which would return us to the "good ol' days" of logging without laws on 2.6 million acres of public land in western Oregon. Eco Advocates NW was among the first organizations to sound the alarm on the BLM's WOPR, which would increase old-growth clearcutting by a staggering 700%!
~In 2007, with filmmakers Tim Lewis ("Pickaxe") and Trip Jennings ("Fire Scars"), Eco Advocates NW co-produced "Boom, Bust & the B.L.M.!," a DVD project designed to defeat the W.O.P.R. "Boom, Bust & the B.L.M.!" exposes the B.L.M.'s backroom sweetheart settlement with the timber industry to log some of the nation's last 5% native forests, highlights the voices of ornery rural Oregonians who want to see their forests alive and standing for future generations, and contains a unique Citizen's Action Toolkit to help concerned citizens organize in opposition to the B.L.M.'s plans.
~Since early 2007, Eco Advocates NW has played a leading role in educating the public on the WOPR, encouraging and facilitating citizen comment-writing in opposition to the B.L.M., collecting signatures to pressure elected officials (particularly Sen. Wyden and Rep. DeFazio) to oppose the plan, creating lobbying coalitions, co-organizing rallies, and leading hikes to forests that are threatened by the W.O.P.R.
In July 2009 the new Head of the Department of the Interior Ken Salazer canceled the Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR). He stated that the Oregon BLM plan would not be legally defensible. We had a short lived celebration because new old growth sales in southern Oregon were also announced in the same Salazar press release.
DEFENDING EUGENE'S DRINKING WATER
Since 2000, Eco Advocates NW has been instrumental in the campaign to protect the forests in Eugene's unparalleled drinking water source, the McKenzie River watershed. We have taken part in the collection of thousands of citizen signatures in favor of protecting the McKenzie, helped win the endorsement of a dozen businesses that depend upon a healthy McKenzie, organized public events such as Watershed Action Week, led public hikes, given school presentations, taken part in groundtruthing and assistance with Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (NEST), along with working to raise and maintain awareness of the need to protect the McKenzie.
The "Trapper" sale created by the Willamette National Forest remains threatened despite NEST surveys discovering dozens of red tree vole nests, supposedly protected under the Northwest Forest Plan's Survey and Manage protocols. However the Forest Service maintains that these voles are unimportant because there are healthy vole populations south of the arbitrary border of Highway 22 (which separates the North Santiam River to the north and the McKenzie drainage to the south).
Several other logging projects encompassing thousands of acres of native forests in Eugene's drinking watershed continue to move forward including, "Two Bee," "Quentin," and the "Bridge Thin Project" in the hammered Quartz Creek Watershed.
"Sten" logging sale, Unit 43. Logged fall 2005.
"Blue River Face" Unit 3. Logged 2004.
In 2006, the Eugene City Council passed a non-binding resolution opposing any and all forms of mature and old growth logging in its municipal watershed, the McKenzie River.
In 2005 and 2006 Eco Advocates NW and volunteers threw their energy into the fray to protect the 80,000 acre North Kalmiopsis Roadless area in the wild Siskiyou Mountains in southwest Oregon, the second largest inventoried roadless area in the state of Oregon.
Eco Advocates NW organized 3 campouts and ground survey missions into the North Kalmiopsis (“Blackberry”) logging sale, discovering football field-sized mudslides throughout the timber sale planning area, above and below proposed Biscuit "salvage" logging units. We relentlessly urged Senator Wyden and Rep. DeFazio through community petitioning, lobbying of staff, organizing public demonstrations, and creating and running radio ads to act strongly and decisively to protect the roadless area from further degradation and potential catastrophic damage.Sen. Wyden and Rep. DeFazio received our message loud and clear but, sadly, did not stop the sale, which was subsequently logged. If mudslides shut down the lower Rogue River fishery and wipe out salmon spawning beds downstream, the public will know who to hold accountable.
Eco Advocates Northwest (formerly Cascadia's Ecosystem Advocates) was founded by Shannon Wilson in 1998 during the "Salvage" Rider and since that date has protected thousands of acres of forests, including: