Hike on Thursday, December 15th is cancelled due to weather.
Come visit an awesome, endangered part of the forest with us! This timber sale is part of the new BLM management plan and is up for slaughter soon. Knowledgable mushroom guides will walk you through the fungi of the forest. Meet for a carpool at the Lane County Fairgrounds E. Parking lot at 13th & Madison, 10 am Saturday 11/19. Bring lunch, water, Mushroom basket/bag, a pocket knife, & raingear.
THE LOCATION IS NOT SET YET!!!
We’re potentially headed to the “McKenzie View” project area, out Hwy 126, take a right, over the white covered bridge onto Goodpasture Rd, then a right onto Marten Ridge Rd (if Goodpasture turns to gravel you’re gone too far). About an hour’s drive, all paved, no gravel. The proposed cutting is adjacent to Marten Ridge Rd (marked 16-2E-36.2 on map)- mostly on your right. The ‘Rough Draw’ piece is separate, north of the river.
In the last year, Cascadia Forest Defenders protested BLM timber sales such as John’s Last Stand, which even the BLM thought better of auctioning, possibly because those sales broke their own rules. The Northwest Forest Plan has set the minimum bar for forest health since 1994. Now the BLM, without so much as a legislative mandate, has tossed even that out the window in favor of a new set of rules founded on greed and dirty politics not science and common sense.
We’d see more wasteful clear cuts under the BLM’s Revised Management Plan for Western Oregon. Calling for massive logging increases in 80- to 150-year-old forests, the plan would guarantee that Oregon would never have more ancient forest than it does today.
By cutting stream buffers in half to log the larger timber from riparian zones, the plan lowers protection for the drinking water of 1.8 million Oregonians while putting valuable fisheries at risk. The plan further fails to protect threatened and endangered species by dropping the scientific mandate to survey and manage.
The plan also fails to adequately consider the climate crisis. Instead, while the BLM acknowledges that the trees are worth more sequestering carbon, it commits to meeting the mandates of the 1937 O&C Act that everyone agrees is out of date.
While the plan benefits the Oregon timber industry and politicians they subsidize, the majority of Oregon’s citizens will lose more forest recreation, water, fisheries, and wildlife. Rather than see our forests cut to pad corporate pockets further, Cascadia Forest Defenders is calling for a moratorium on logging on public land. Reformation of the timber taxes on the largest Oregon timber corporations could easily fund western county services while retaining jobs in the forest.
If this lawless raid on our public forest makes you afraid, angry, and/or tearful, turn that energy into action! Your public officials actually need to hear from you that you want your air clean, your water present, and your ancient forests standing. Weird, huh? So, write your congressmen and senators and your president. And, perhaps you’d like to attend Congressman Defazio’s campaign kick-off on August 16 (6pm, 155 Blair, Eugene). He definitely needs reminding that passing bills in Congress that call for increased logging does not serve the people of Oregon. Remind him and other politicians that without a new law to protect this proposed BLM plan revision, the plan will not stand up in the courts. When they talk about how to fund public services, remind them of all those tax cuts they have given big timber since the 1990s, and tell them to stop the corporate welfare.
If that sounds too heady, just get out in the woods and start holding them down. That is what we mean by a moratorium on logging on public land. Our next Public Hike will be to some Old Growth near Eugene on August 27 to see what Nature can do when we stop interfering. Carpool leaves Sequential on McVay at 10 am. Bring a lunch and some water. See you in the trees!
Cascadia Forest Defenders and the League of Extra-Ornery Cascadians are pleased to announce the Earth First! Northwest Rendezvous, from June 10-13, 2016, in the heart of the southern Cascades.
Get ready for a long, very hot summer of action with our traditional socializing/working fest, unwinding in the old forest with old friends, meeting new friends and allies, sharing meals and skills and crazy ideas, and maybe a soft drink or cup of ale. Take a plant hike, a dip in the river, climb an ancient Doug or Buffalo Rock, or troop up into one of the nearby threatened forests (you may be back).
We’ve got: an incredible old-growth site that runs for over a mile along a lovely, if potentially lethal, river. Delicious water, a certain amount of medical resources, noon circles, and fabulous company that’s guaranteed to increase your chances of federal surveillance and higher standing with your grandchildren, grand-nephews and nieces, etc. And they’re pretty good hands with wildlands survival, plants, navigation, tree climbing, direct action strategy and tactics, ecology, regional history, and many other things in which you might be interested. Expect some formalized workshops. Maybe plan on sharing what you know.
You bring: your sustainable self, which should include food, a means to prepare same* (no centralized community kitchen; this is old-school), camping gear, bug-repellant, rain gear, decent closed-toe shoes, headlamp, CUP, plate and/or bowl, fork and/or spoon, party clothes, bio-centric pov, capacity to disregard the rule of law (or accept and support that disregard in others), tolerance and sense of humor. Musical (or similar) talents are revered and appreciated.
Please don’t bring: dogs (leg-hold traps have been found in the area, and wildlife could use one less hassle on the landscape), an abusive attitude, secret microphones, or any idea your workshop needs to be mandatory.
So, you wanna get up in the old-growth, trying to halt a roadless area timber sale, or get acquainted with the kayak mob and the oil blockaders? Come out to the woods and check us out. Stick around Monday for a kick-ass action(s). Heck, why not just make a summer of it?
*a small pot or pan and cook stove; though a foil wrapped spud in a small camp fire will get it done. There will be inevitable informal potlucking, as well.
The site is on the banks of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River, 20-some miles north of the human settlements of Westfir and Oakridge, Oregon. Most seeking the ‘voo will travel north or south on Interstate 5, as the case may be, to turn east onto Hwy 58, just south of Eugene. At the Middle Fork Ranger Station (a bit past Mile Post 31), the traveler will turn left at the sign for Westfir, cross a green trestle bridge over the Middle Fork, and make a left at the stop sign. A few miles along this road, the traveler will encounter a 4-way stop and a red covered bridge on the left hand side of the road. Proceeding straight through, the road changes it’s name to FS Rd 19, also referred to as the Aufderheide Loop. Traveling north through ancient forest and thinned second-growth along the beautiful and risky North Fork for 20.7 miles (there are mile markers along FS Rd 19), just after crossing our river to put it on the south side of the road, the attentive rondyvooer will turn left up FS Rd 1939, and follow that back west. They’ll follow this road, ignoring the right fork (FS Rd 758) about ½ mile up, and will find a trailhead marker and trail about 1.5 miles from the 19 Rd. We’ll call this the Front Gate and with little parking here, gear should be unloaded and the vehicle moved further up the road to be parked, as per direction from the Front Gate crew.
Those travelers determined to approach from the east will have to hit Hwy 58 off of I-97, between Chemult and La Pine, drive through Oakridge, and make the turn to Westfir as described in the directions above.
There is no cell reception at the site.
The Resource Management Plan for Western Oregon is up for revisions. The Bureau of Land Management is proposing a new forest plan that could dramatically change the way our public lands are managed over the next decade and increase our region’s contribution to climate change with devastating effect of the wildlife and waterways. The worst part is they intend to slash the public process around survey and manage mandates which will limit the legal teeth we have in defending our forests.
We are drafting our own comment letter as we continue gathering information, but wanted to give you plenty of time to write your own letter. Here is a press release with a link to the plan revisions as information on how to comment. This is really, really important! Comments are due by May 15. Those of you who are interested in writing a letter but looking for more inspiration, can read Ernie Niemi’s letter to the BLM discussing the impact on climate change and socioeconomic factors in our region.
If you want to take the easy road on this one, we’ll post a template letter soon you can sign.
Check out the spring ephemerals we found on our hike to John’s Last Stand on Saturday! Many of these wildflowers will disappear after a soil disturbance event such as commercial logging.
Calypso bulbosa (Fairy slipper or calypso orchid) is pollinated by bumble bees. It has a symbiotic relationship with a specific mycorrhizal fungus in the soil which makes it hard to transplant and sensitive to disturbance–it is only found in native montane forests such as John’s Last Stand. The corms (bulbs) were a food source for indigenous people of this bioregion.
Trillium ovatum (Western White Trillium) is a no-pick species in Oregon because it is slow to propagate via its rhizomes and has limited dispersal via seeds. The seeds take a long time to mature after the flower senesces and are only dispersed short distances by ants. The flowers change from white to purple as they age.
Synthris reniformis (Snow queen) is one of the first flashes of color seen on the forest floor after the snow melt. It is native to the west Cascade mountains.
Viola sp. (violet) is another common native found in the Pacific Northwest. It’s flowers and leaves are edible (in small quantities) and its close relative Viola odorata is valued by some an herbal medicine.
Cardamine nuttallii (Spring Beauty or Oaks toothwort) grows in deep humus soils in moist mid- to low-elevation forests on the Cascadia bioregion.
Thanks for reading, stay tuned for our next public hike! Photos by Gabe Lent.