Field Surveying for Forest Defense:
At the 2022 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC), Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project co-founder Karen Coulter participated in a panel on “Field Surveying for Forest Defense” with Michael Krochta (Bark), Madeline Cowen (Cascadia Wildlands), and Kasey Hovik (Umqua Watersheds). Industry and top-down governmental appeals to “increase the pace and scale of forest management” ignore the effects on wildlife and clean water, and fail to account for the complexity of Pacific Northwest forests. On-the- ground observations are key to helping build legal challenges to large, destructive logging proposals. In this panel, activists from Oregon shared how making curious excursions into threatened forests can expose flawed rationale for forest management, raise public awareness, support personal growth, and strengthen relationships to the forest and each other.
Mapping Mature and Old Growth Forests Webinar with Dr. DellaSala:
In July, Paula worked with the John Muir Project, the Pacific Northwest Forest Climate Alliance, the Forest Carbon Coalition, and the Climate Forests Campaign to coordinate a webinar with Dr. Dominick DellaSala discussing his groundbreaking research on conducting the first mature and old growth assessment for the USA. With only a fraction of mature & old growth forests remaining across the US, identifying where these stands remain is vital for efforts to protect drinking water, biodiversity, and our climate.
Cautionary Tales from the Collaborative Industrial Complex:
At the Public Interest Environmental Land Conference, Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project co-director Paula Hood participated in a panel on forest collaboratives with Robert Klavins (Oregon Wild) and Chad Hanson (John Muir Project). Even as conservationists and climate defenders cast an increasingly skeptical eye towards them, Forest Collaboratives continue to gain more power. Increasingly influenced by financial motives, the public facing narratives tend to be selective and self- congratulatory. With a focus on real world examples from Eastern Oregon, this panel tried to provide balance in hopes we can see better outcomes for our forests and communities.
Logging Interests Now Dominate Forest Collaboratives:
In a related vein, Paula published a commentary in the Capital Chronicle focused on collaborative groups’ roles in furthering ecologically destructive logging on National Forests in Eastern Oregon.
A Radical Gathering: Cultivating the World We Deserve” webinar series:
In June, Karen Coulter was part of a panel called “Regulation to Responsibility: Reframing Environmental Stewardship Towards Interconnection” at A Radical Gathering with Elizabeth M. Dunne, Esq., Director of Legal Advocacy for Earth Law Center; and Markie Miller, a Rights of Nature advocate in Toledo, Ohio. An exciting dive into the new frontier of American environmentalism. Discussions on advocacy strategies for communities all around the country using courts and the power of the people.
The ‘New Normal’ Needs a New Constitutional Amendment:
At PIELC, Karen Coulter also participated in a panel on the need for a constitutional amendment abolishing corporate constitutional rights with John Fioretta (Move to Amend), Ben Manski (George Mason University), and Kai Huschke (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund). The political, legal, and economic playing fields are slanted in favor of large monied interests. Only a constitutional amendment abolishing corporate constitutional rights and returning power to regulate campaign financing to the People’s elected representatives can restore balance to our political system and legal institutions.