Spring 2021 Actions Alert

Hello To All Cascadians Past and Present. 

It’s Spring in Cascadia and I am requesting more snow and rain.

Assistance and Action Requested to Oppose Lawless Post Fire Logging as well as to Protect Spotted Owls, Wolves, Southern Willamette’s Clean Air , and Ancient Forest Watershed jewels like Fall Creek. Also included is a letter which local publications refused to publish exposing Oregon’s environmental groups “grandest deal of shame” compromise to the largest timber corporations in the world in 2020.

In Memoriam: Roy Keene
First, it’s with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to an elder, forest defender hero, ally and friend Roy Keene.
Roy was a fierce and uncompromising defender of the wilds and ancient forests of the entire western U.S. for 40+ years but he made his home and focused most of his battles against big timber’s corruption here in west central Cascadia. Roy proved pivotal in protecting hundreds of thousands of acres as new wilderness in the Umpqua and Siskiyou wild lands in the 1980’s. I can not say enough about Roy and how much so many will miss him. He passed away on March 31, 2021. See a short memoriam I wrote for Roy at            Eco-Advocates.org

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Forest Protection Vehicle Funding Sought.
I rarely and dislike asking for financial help but my 1980’s fryer oil powered diesel Mercedes I’ve used as a watershed and ancient forest protection vehicle for 17 years might be beyond repair. I really need a used higher clearance vehicle that runs on fryer oil to drive rough forest roads. Over the last 25 years all my forest defense expenses like internet, car maintenance (expensive for MZB), phone and insurance has come from my own pocket. Over those years I have dedicated more than 10,000 hours of work to save at least 10,000 acres of ancient forest. If through my supporters I can raise 50 cents to $1 per hour or per acre saved I could attain and maintain a forest defense vehicle and insure my productivity to patrol and protect local watersheds and ancient forests for another decade or two. More details to support Eco Advocates fundraiser for essential vehicle for watershed patrols and forest defense are described at the end of this alert. 

Post Fire “Logging Without Laws” Is Another “Salvage Logging Rider” Wrapped In Agency Double Speak
The lawless post fire clearcut logging of ancient trees scorched by fire outside the community of Breitenbush just northeast of Detroit is clear evidence the Forest Service is taking full advantage of Trump Regime enacted “categorical exclusions” or lawless logging to maximize the timber volume from the last ancient forests in Oregon. The Oregon BLM is also moving full stream ahead using “categorical exclusions” to enact massive and destructive salvage logging projects in the McKenzie and North Umpqua watersheds. This type of post fire “lawless logging” is being proposed and replicated across Oregon including places near Opal Creek Wilderness and in the Siskiyou National Forest near the Red Buttes Wilderness along the California and Oregon border. 

Remember our billboard last year about exposing the promotion of logging in the name of wildfire prevention by Senator Wyden and Merkley. Now we have to be just as concerned about post fire pillaging of our ancient forests. Just because they burn does not make them any less valuable to the fragile ancient ecosystems and watersheds.

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Are Oregon’s Forest Protections Groups Seeking “Endangered” Listing for Northern Spotted Owls or Just Playing a High Stakes Poker Game?
In September some of Oregon’s most recognized forest protection groups filed suit against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife (US F&W) to Up-list the Northern Spotted Owl from “Threatened” to “Endangered”.  https://missoulacurrent.com/outdoors/2020/12/northern-spotted-owl/ 
However, we are very wary of  a “deal” that may be agreed to by these same groups in the pursuits of claiming “victory” by all sides. We suspect based on 30 years of history these groups will seek to accept the status quo and claim it as a victory. We also suspect the “deal” will be accepting the continuation of the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan with no additional protections for thousands of species endemic to ancient forests as well as for the Northern spotted owl, coho salmon, and marbled murrelet. We urge folks to keep an eye out for such a “deal” and publicly advocate the only realistic plan to save the coho salmon, spotted owl and marbled murrelet is ending commercial logging on public lands with some exemptions for local community needs. I would equate this to Option 1 with major improvements as opposed to Option 9 - the current NW Forest Plan - which some claimed like Roy Keene at the time of its implementation “split the ancient forest baby in half”.

On Dec. 16, 2020  the US F&W declined to list the owl “Endangered” even though they stated it warranted being reclassified.  

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Wolves Threatened by Proposed Mt Bike Trail To Wild Windy Lakes 
The Middle Fork Ranger District still continues with 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. This area is exceptional habitat for a new family of wolves recently discovered within a few miles of the Windy Lakes. The district ranger acknowledged this and stated they are consulting with U.S. Fish and Wildlife. However, unfortunately Trump’s U.S. F & W was able to remove the Gray Wolf  from Endangered Species Act listing as thus the species has lost most of its protections.
The Willamette National Forest is using a "Categorical Exclusion" to expedite the process with no environmental analysis and formal public process. CE’s should only be used to install bathrooms, replace trail bridges or culverts, not to build miles of new trail into wild areas.  This new “trail” will allow a hundred fold increase in use and resource damage to a half dozen of some of wildest lakes in the Willamette Valley. One can already access the lakes by hiking or Mt biking about 6 miles but apparently that’s not convenient enough.

Call the Willamette National Forest Supervisors Office at 541–225-6300.
Also call the Middle Fork District Ranger Molly Juillerat 541-782-2283.

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Protecting Eugene and Springfield Fall Creek Watershed
We/I continue to strive to create positive outcomes for our drinking water from the Willamette and the McKenzie rivers as well as the tributaries like Fall Creek. In fact, my visits to Fall Creek in mid October and November seemed to indicate a 90% decrease in illegal winter camps at “dispersed campsites” compared to the last 2 years.  It appears the Willamette National Forest is enforcing the 14 day camping regulations which is a result of folks like you and I urging regulation enforcement. 
However, other illegal activities like cutting down and poaching live large old trees on the banks of Fall Creek at dispersed campsites is increasing. Just a few days ago I discovered a nearly 3 foot in diameter and 140 foot tall “green” Douglas fir halfway cut through not more than 100 feet from the main Fall creek road.  With your voices we need to advocate that all firewood cutting near Fall Creek and the road 18 cease. Also we need to demand that all “dispersed campsites” along such high use streams like Fall Creek, North Fork Willamette, the Middle Fork of Willamette above Hills Creek Reservoir, Blue River and South Fork of the Mckenzie be turned into day use only sites with the prohibition of toxic campfires. 

Call Willamette National Forest at 541-225-6300.
Also call the District Ranger for the Middle Fork, Molly Juillerat at 541-782-5320.

Lobbying For Cleaner Air in the Lower Willamette Air Shed

I/we are also lobbying the Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority (LRAPA) to increase its enforcement of illegal slash/yard debris and garbage burning. I have observed over the last several years much worse air quality south of Springfield and Eugene’s city limits especially towards Cottage Grove, Pleasant Hill, and Dexter air sheds. We believe that yard debris burning anywhere in the South Willamette Valley should be eventually banned. In the interim we have suggested to LRAPA a non agricultural “burn permit” system be implemented to limit the amount of burns per day for specific rural communities with clear and strong warnings regarding burning garbage, treated lumber, roofing, furniture, mattresses and other toxics producing materials. In the bigger picture Oregon’s populated air sheds must ban all non agriculture debris burning especially burn barrels (Lane County did this recently) and restrict all debris and slash burning by the timber and agriculture industries.

Call LRAPA at 541-736-1056.


13 of Oregon’s “Environmental” Groups Give Big Timber a Greenwashing Heyday While Burdening Rural Residents With the Continuation of Massive Clearcuts and Herbicide Poison Spray. 

This Letter to the Editor was submitted to the Eugene Weekly on March 8, 2021 but they would not publish.

In February 2020 Oregon Wild, Portland Audubon, Beyond Toxics, Wild Salmon Center, KS Wild and Cascadia Wildlands as well as 7 other environmental groups signed an agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1epOF2L0__rnenZQSSJ5FjuV7oqgMpukt/view) with Oregon’s biggest timber corporations over aerial pesticide spray buffers. Subsequently they advocated for passage of the provisions of the agreement in Oregon Senate Bill (SB) 1602 last summer. 
SB 1602 which purportedly reforms aerial spray practices as well as other forestry practices on Oregon’s industrial forest lands is chock full of log truck sized loopholes. The so called 300 foot aerial spray buffers for schools, homes, and some streams is a farce. There is no magic force field to stop aerial spray drift from helicopters nor is there any new funding to monitor, verify nor enforce violations of this spray buffer. Further, the new buffers do not apply to drone, manual nor airplane spraying operations. These new “reforms" also continues to allow single clear cuts up to 250 acres in size. SB 1602 also criminalizes any protest of spraying by nearby property owners. One of Oregon Wild’s conservation staff resigned in protest of this provision.
By signing this agreement these “environmental groups” betrayed hundreds of thousands of Oregonian families - including my own, their lands and water supplies by continuing to allow massive clearcuts and the spraying of unquantifiable amounts of herbicide poison. 
Beware, there’s another deal or “reform” of forestry practices being secretly negotiated between these same groups with their new corporate allies aided by Democrat politicians.

Call up the groups who signed the MOU with big timber and asked why they betrayed us for a short term claim of success.

Forest Protection Vehicle Fundraiser
Again I hate to ask but I must have a reliable vehicle to monitor and protect ancient forests and watersheds. Without the ability to get to and from these threatened forests and watersheds to patrol and photo document the continuous illegal destruction being committed within each watershed there is no way to make the case to policy makers like Rep. DeFazio, Senator Wyden, State and Federal agencies to address them. I had bought a 1990 Toyota 4Runner to covert over to veg oil fuel and use it as a forest protection vehicle but sadly it was stolen in 2016. 
The problems of salmon and ancient tree poaching, illegal camping, trash burning, garbage dumping, 4x4 vandalism, discharging of firearms over bodies of water inside recreation areas and just plain old lawlessness inside our most visited and loved watersheds will not decrease unless major actions are taken to address them. Otherwise I am afraid Oregon is no better than places like Mexico or Brazil or some banana republic resource colony where no one will feel safe unless they are carrying a firearm. Make a tax deductible donation to Eco Advocates NW and send to address below.

Please let me know by email or text if you appreciate the alerts I send out and if you have taken action on any of the above issues. It’s sometimes difficult to assess if my alerts are effective and useful without any feedback.

Thank you in advance for taking action on any or all of the issues described above and 
thank you for any financial support you can offer at this time.


Shannon Wilson

Eco Advocates NW
PO Box 327
Eugene, OR 97440

Five Four One - 221-9932
Tsuga at efn.org
Twitter and Facebook: Eco Advocates NW


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