Updates from the 2016 field season

dscn3376Thank you everyone who helped support this year’s field season!

Karen Coulter, our Director, giving a workshop on field surveying to Friends of the Clearwater in Idaho

With the help of over 30 volunteers, we’ve been hard at work gathering on-the-ground information in numerous timber sales proposed on National Forests in eastern Oregon. We field checked five timber sales, ranging in size from 1,200 acres to over 9,000 acres. The sales we checked are the Kew sale (Deschutes National Forest), the Camp Lick, Flat, Ragged Ruby, and Canyon Creek sales (Malheur National Forest). We are particularly concerned about proposed logging along streams and of large trees in the Camp Lick timber sale on the Malheur National Forest. We are also very concerned about proposed streamside logging in the Ragged Ruby timber sale. We are out in the field almost continually from June 1st through September 30th.

Paula, our Co-Director, looking at stream macroinvertebrates with Gambit during the workshop she gave on Stream Ecology and Climate Change.

We filed litigation to stop logging of a unique and ecologically important old growth fir forest in the Walton Lake timber sale in the Ochoco National Forest. The area proposed for commercial logging encompasses a magnificent old growth forest with many very large trees, some up to 60″ in diameter. This proposed 200-acre timber sale is an effort to get away with logging large old trees in a popular recreation area. Read our fact sheet here and link to the article in the Bend Bulletin here.

Cooper in a sale unit in the Thomas Creek timber sale. We field checked this last year. This year, we used the information we collected in order to gain increased protections in streamside areas as well as some commercial logging dropped.

This year we’ve submitted comments on 16 timber sales, two grazing allotments, and two herbicide proposals on federal lands. We filed objections or appeals on eight timber sales and four herbicide proposals.

Our comments and objections have resulted in the Forest Service dropping approximately 1,400 acres from commercial logging, saving hundreds of large trees, and increased protections for streamside habitats and clean water. These accomplishments were in relation to several timber sales across the region, such as the Kahler and Thomas Creek timber sales (Umatilla National Forest (NF)), the East Face timber sale (the Wallowa-Whitman NF), and the Starr Aspen sale (Malheur NF).

The Stream Ecology and Climate Change workshop our Co-Director, Paula Hood, gave at Bark’s Base Camp event this summer.

We’ve also been busy getting the word out about threats to the forest from climate change, logging, grazing, and roads. We’ve engaged in a host of interviews, activist trainings, and outreach events, including:

  • Our Director, Karen Coulter, gave field survey trainings to Friends of the Clearwater in Idaho, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, and forest watch groups in Wisconsin and the Willamette Valley.
  • Our Co-Director, Paula Hood, gave a workshop on stream ecology and climate change during Bark’s Base Camp in Mt. Hood National Forest.
  • We also gave a comment writing training to volunteers, engaged in numerous interviews, and more. Stay tuned for our fall Annual Work Report for more details and a more complete list of our outreach work.
Mariposa lily in the Camp Lick timber sale

In other big news, we’ve started the process of becoming our own independent 501c3 non-profit. We are very grateful to the League of Wilderness Defenders for providing support and allowing us to be a part of this amazing non-profit organization for many years. In the coming months we will be stepping out on our own, with separate non-profit status. We now have our own Board of Directors, and we are are very excited to have a dedicated and amazing Board of Directors to help us navigate this process. Stay tuned for updates.

These are just a few highlights from the last few months—look for our Annual Work Report later this fall for a more detailed report of what we’ve been up to.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, or supporting us through your donations, please contact Karen Coulter at 541-385-9167 or Paula Hood at 510-715-6238 or by email at paula.e.hood@gmail.com. You can donate online through our website or by clicking here.