Summer 2019 Alerts & Updates

Fall Creek Chinook Salmon Still Needs Community’s Help

Our efforts starting in June 2019 (actually in summer of 2018) to literally safeguard adult Chinook salmon (200 is entire Pop.in 2019) above the Reservoir including lobbying the Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish & Game, and the Army Corps of Engineers to actively protect the Chinook has resulted in OSP undercover ops and the arrest of at least one person for poaching (2 salmon) and cited several others for fishing violations at a deep pool (see pic below) at Forest Road 1828.  However, we can’t count on OSP to continue these intensive efforts the whole summer so we are asking salmon advocates to get out to Fall Creek any time you can to observe and recreate at a few pools to watch-over the vulnerable salmon until they are done spawning in October. 

Other Action: Please urge ODF&W’s Jeff Ziller to withdraw these salmon sustaining pools from trout stocking and close them to all fishing. Jeff Ziller is at 541-726-3515 ext 26.

Pristine Windy Lakes Still Threatened by Mt Bike Trail Proposal

The Middle Fork Ranger District still has plans to build a new 2.5 mile expedited trail to some of the most pristine and wild lakes in the Oregon Cascades Primitive Recreation Area. One can already access the lakes by foot or Mt bike via a 6 mile trail but apparently that’s not convenient enough. The major storm damage to most of the Middle Fork District trails has sidetracked some of their efforts this year. However, the Recreation Trail Manager, Kevin Rowell, recently relayed they are still moving forward on the Windy Lakes Proposal with no environmental analysis under a Categorical Exclusion (CE) loophole. CE’s should only be used to install bathrooms and replace trail bridges or culverts, not to build miles of new trail into a wild area that will allow a hundred fold increase in use and resource damage to 3 of the wildest lakes in the Willamette National Forest. Urge the Middle Fork District Ranger Duane Bishop to withdraw the Windy Lakes Trail proposal. 541-782-2283 or email duane.bishop@usda.gov

BLM’s Clean Slate Timber Sale.  An Interim Victory.

The Medford BLM attempted to auction the 450 acre Clean Slate sale on two separate occasions over the Winter of 2018 but were unable to attain any bidders. The timber sale units encompasses some of the last intact native forest stands in the 56,000 acre Deer Creek watershed, a major tributary to the Illinois River. However, the BLM hasn’t yet abandoned the sale. If they attempt to move forward and auction the timber sale again we will inform you.

Kingsford and International Paper Poisons Springfield’s People Under Oregon Emission Loopholes

Kingsford (Clorox) and International Paper in Springfield are the largest single emitters of air borne poison in Lane County and some of the largest in all of Oregon. Their combined emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and fine particulates is approximately 2,000 tons per year for each pollutant (an official estimation), and more than 800,000 tons per year in global warming gasses.

Since the Fall and Winter of 2018 and 2019 we have urged the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (LRAPA), Lane Board of County Commissioners, and local state representatives to create a participatory public process for the renewal of “operations permits" for these large facilities. We seek the implementation of the latest technologies and practices to substantially reduce their emissions. Thus far all we have encountered is push back and silence from all taxpayer funded entities. We’ve requested a public hearing when appropriate but have not heard back on these permit renewals since March 2019. If LRAPA is not effectively improving our air by reigning in the biggest polluters then those efforts should be handed over to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and LRAPA should be disbanded.

Oregon Legislative Efforts in 2019

Urging Oregon Diesel Emission Regulation Parity with Pacific States

Over the legislative session we urged our new State Rep Marty Wilde and State Senator Lee Beyer to strengthen Oregon’s Diesel Emission standards. The Oregonian claimed back in February 2019 https://projects.oregonlive.com/polluted-by-money/ that Oregon diesel emission regulations are about 30 times weaker than California and Washington standards. Using the 5 part Oregonian expose we urged diesel emission standard parity with our neighboring Pacific states.

House Bill 2700 was introduced to move Oregon in that direction. However, even though House Bill 2700 passed the House and Senate, in the end the trucking and fossil fuels industries managed to gut HB 2700.  The bill now only strengthens diesel emission standards in the Portland metro area.

Electrification of Heavy Diesel Vehicles for Oregon’s Urban Areas

We also urged our lawmakers to provide incentives for the conversion of heavy diesel vehicles such a waste hauling trucks to electric power. We discovered a company owned by Tesla manufactures and markets retrofit packages for waste hauling and other heavy vehicles. https://www.trucks.com/2017/02/21/tesla-electric-garbage-trucks-wrightspeed/ Waste hauling vehicle can use more than 14,000 gallons of diesel per year. Financial Incentives for electrification of heavy truck used in urban areas would be multiple times more effective in reducing global warming emissions as well as reducing cancer causing diesel emissions than providing subsidies for the electric automobile industry. Please call or write Governor Brown and your state lawmakers to urge the implementation of such programs.


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In closing, we are factors more effective in protecting our natural community and the wild things if we work as an united front.  Please use your voice, your writing skills and other skills whatever they may be to join Eco Advocate’s efforts to protect and defend our natural communities.

Thank you for your time and efforts.

For the wild things!

Shannon Wilson

Director

Eco-Advocates.org

PS. If you have questions email me at:

tsuga@efn.org 

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