About the Campaign

The Tillamook Rainforest is an oasis of secluded salmon streams, popular recreational trails and important hunting and gathering areas. It is one of the best places on the planet to grow big trees. 

For too long, the Tillamook has been considered a tree farm.

With your help we will change that.

Our goals include:

  • Long-term, visible conservation areas on state forests, which protect fish, wildlife and recreation opportunities
  • Streamside forest buffers wide enough to keep water — and salmon — cold and clean during hot summers
  • A path to recovery for threatened and endangered species
  • Abundant and diverse recreation opportunities for Oregonians and visitors that builds appreciation for state forests and supports the growing $550 million North Coast outdoor recreation economy

Our work is carried out by thousands of Oregon residents, local businesses, partner organizations, and government agencies.

Elliott, State Forests

Tell our Oregon leaders not to sell off public forest lands!

Governor Brown supports a public option for the Elliott State Forest – one that will protect access and recreation, critical habitat types, and produce a sustainable supply of timber. She needs help from our leaders in the Oregon Legislature. Let Treasurer Read and your state representatives know you support the Governor’s vision to keep the Elliott public.

The proposed sale of the Elliott would:

  • Limit public access to half of the forest and potentially introduce fees for hunters, anglers, and other users
  • Open thousands of acres of rare older forests to industrial-style clearcutting and pesticide spraying
  • See the state lose habitat for fish and wildlife that can’t be replaced

Governor Brown’s vision includes a) public ownership, b) protection of fish & wildlife habitat, c) a sustainable timber harvest along with a Habitat Conservation Plan, and d) tribes regaining ownership of ancestral lands.

We need you to:

  • Keep the pressure on Treasurer Tobias Read: Continue to call his office (503-378-4329) and write him emails (oregon.treasurer@state.or.us) asking him to keep the Elliott State Forest public, accessible, and protected.
Photo by Francis Eatherington

Photo by Francis Eatherington

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Blog, Board of Forestry, State Forests

This Monday: Speak up for Oregon’s streams and salmon

Did you know that of all the West Coast states, Oregon has the least protective rules regarding logging on fish-bearing streams? This Monday (1/30), there is a unique opportunity to speak up for clean cool water for fish and people. Join other advocates to take a stand for the water we all care about from 4:00-7:00 pm at the Ecotrust Building (721 NW 9th Ave) in Portland.

Oregon’s logging rules lag behind the best available science. Right now, the Board of Forestry is nearing the end of an eight-year-long process to update buffer rules for some of Oregon’s streams after finding that current forest practices cause excess water pollution and that the current rules need strengthening. However, the proposed new rules don’t go nearly far enough to protect our aquatic habitat and clean water sources.

We need you to join us, and others from your community, in sending a loud message to the Board of Forestry that they can do better, and we demand it!

Click here for additional background and click here for talking points.

If you can’t make it to the hearing, you can submit public comment by emailing RiparianRule@oregon.gov. Use the subject line “Private Forest SSBT Rulemaking”.

Photo by Tom Lange

 

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Blog, State Forests

10 reasons counties and taxing districts should opt out of the Linn County lawsuit

The Linn County state forest lawsuit seeks $1.4 billion in alleged damages from the State of Oregon for not maximizing revenue from state-owned and managed forestlands. For decades, the state has sought a varied and balanced mix of management approaches that produce timber revenue, provide for conservation of watersheds, and recreation.  Linn County claims the state was required to maximize industrial timber harvest for the counties to the exclusion of other values. Linn County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Murphy granted class action status to the dubious lawsuit. Counties that do not want to see our state forests turned into industrial tree farms have until January 25, 2017 to opt out. Here are 10 reasons why they should:

  • This lawsuit seeks to increase logging levels on state forests. Linn County’s attorneys have consistently misled the public as to the true nature of this lawsuit., claiming it is only a contract dispute between the counties and the state. If that were the case, why would the logging industry have developed and paid for the lawsuit? Hampton Affiliates, Stimson Lumber, and the timber lobbying group Oregon Forest Industries Council are licking their chops for a bigger piece of the pie. They are hoping that, as part of a settlement, state forest clearcutting levels increase. Or, they rightly assume that, if the lawsuit succeeds, the state will be forced to depart from its current, balanced approach to avoid being sued again.
  • Drastic harvest increase is not economically sustainable. As part of a process to examine new approaches to managing state forest lands, the Oregon Department of Forestry modeled what an increase in clearcutting would look like. The results were not promising. It turns out that when you liquidate your asset by intensive clearcutting, the returns don’t last long. The model showed that such an approach would pay for itself for about 25 years, after which costs far outpace revenue, leaving the Department financially insolvent. Additionally, Department staff noted that implementing this plan would result in less harvest than predicted and that there is a likelihood that counties and forest district would face drastic boom/bust cycles rather than steady, predictable income. This is what a moderate harvest increase looks like, a drastic increase would no doubt be far worse.
  • Increased harvest presents serious ecological problems. During the process to explore new management approaches to state forests, a third-party science review of several approaches was conducted. The industrial timber approach is modeled as the “Timber Harvest Optimization” (THO) alternative. Findings indicate that this approach result in 1) “lower carbon stocks in the forest;” 2) “reduced amount and diversity of vegetation;” 3) increased stream temperatures and sediment; 4) decreased non-motorized recreation, non-timber forest products, and fishing; 5) decreased habitat for nearly all types of wildlife (including threatened and endangered species); and 6) increased herbicide us. (See series of tables (4-4 to 4-10) for many of these indicators).
  • The Oregon Board of Forestry currently has a collaborative, science-based process to explore new management approaches. For several years now, the Board of Forestry’s “Alternative Forest Management Plan Subcommittee” has been hard at work on re-examining how to manage state forests for long-term financial viability and improved conservation. The subcommittee has consistently sought public input, the best available science, and input from the forest trustland counties. These counties have a “special” seat at the table with the Board of Forestry and the Department of Forestry. By staying in the lawsuit, counties would be forgoing a seat at that table in exchange for a seat on the timber industry/Linn County funride through the court system, where input is likely limited and forest plans are not typically written.
  • Our fisheries economy will suffer. A move towards industrial style timber production would have a severe impact on the local fisheries economy. On the north coast, recreational, and sport fishing are a cultural touchstone and a serious economic engine. In 2008, sportfishing ALONE in Tillamook and Clatsop Counties amounted to a $49 million dollar industry without counting equipment expenditures, which are significant. Many guides and fishing shops rely on healthy forested watersheds for their livelihood.
  • Recreation will suffer. The Tillamook State Forest provides critical, publicly accessible recreation opportunities for coastal communities along with residents of Washington County, which is growing rapidly. These forests provide the closest hiking and biking trails, low-cost campgrounds, rivers for fishing, swimming, and boating, hunting access, and wildlife viewing. In Clatsop County, the Clatsop State Forest represents the only large piece of public land for recreation. Increasing clearcutting, roads, and logging activities will be detrimental to these activities which improve quality of life and are a key economic engine for Oregon.
  • The lawsuit could be devastating to Oregon’s already stressed budget. Our state currently faces an approximate budget shortfall of $1.7 billion in the next biennium. If Linn County and the timber industry gets their way, that number would nearly double. Linn County and its attorneys pretend that the case is simple but they offer no solution on how the state’s taxpayers would generate an extra $1.4 billion without raising taxes, clearcutting more, and shutting down crucial state programs. As of the end of October, the lawsuit had cost the state roughly $503,000 not including Department of Forestry staff time.
  • The lawsuit is an attempt to make a few people wealthy at the cost of all Oregonians. While we don’t know where settlement money would come from, we know where a lot of the money will go if the lawsuit succeeds: John DiLorenzo and his law firm stand to make out with $210 million for representing Linn County and the timber industry. Add this to the increased clearcutting that companies like Stimson and Hampton are hoping for, and it’s clear that Oregonians—all of us—whether through increased taxes, lower water quality, environmental degradation, or loss of forest opportunities, will be left holding the bill.

It’s time to opt out of this destructive, misleading lawsuit.

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Oregon Forests: Speak Up Now

Three things you can do in December to influence the fate of hundreds of thousands of acres of Oregon forests.

The fate of hundreds of thousands of acres of Oregon forests could change in the next sixty days, with decision points coming on the Elliot State Forest, a timber-backed lawsuit affecting the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests, and new stream rules for private lands in Western Oregon.

Here are three ways you can get involved and make sure Oregon’s forests and rivers are protected for people, fish, wildlife, and local recreation economies.

1. Rally for the Elliot, December 13, Salem.  The 83,000-acre Elliott State Forest holds some of Oregon’s last remaining coastal old-growth forest and is a stronghold for wild coho salmon as well as habitat for elk, black bear, and deer. But the state put the Elliott up for sale earlier this year. On December 13, Governor Kate Brown, Treasurer Ted Wheeler, and Secretary of State Jeanne Atkins will decide whether or not to accept a bid to purchase and log the forest.   Attend a rally in Keizer on December 13 to show your support for rejecting the bid and keeping the Elliott in public hands.

elliott-group

2.Speak Up for Oregon Salmon Streams, December 15, Portland. After eight years of deliberations and extensive scientific study, the state is proposing expanded restrictions on logging near 2,500 miles of streams on private forest land in Western Oregon. Proposed forested buffers are a modest, but inadequate step to protect streams from warming. We would still be the least protective state for streams on the West Coast. Come reclaim Oregon’s environmental leadership and support stronger rules for fish, clean water, and wildlife. Join us at the Ecotrust building on December 15 for this important hearing. RSVP here.

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3. Tell Oregon County Leaders to Opt Out of Forest Lawsuit. A timber-industry backed lawsuit is challenging the state’s right to manage the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests for multiple benefits – clean water, fish, wildlife, and recreation, as well as significant timber harvest. The $1.4 billion suit against the state is being spearheaded by Linn County and timber interests with mills around the Tillamook and Clatsop. It could lead to accelerated clearcutting on the forests to cover the suit’s damages. Because it’s a class action lawsuit, all Western Oregon counties, school districts and other government bodies that derive some timber revenue from the forests are automatically parties to the suit. Unless they proactively opt out, in the next two months. Tell county commissioners that our forests are too important to sacrifice to short-sighted logging interests. Urge your county’s forest representative to opt-out.

Photo by Trygve Steen

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Support Our Work Through Give!Guide

Our Coalition is built on our thousands of supporters and the strength of our core member organizations. Currently, Wild Salmon Center is a part of the annual Willamette Week Give!Guide. This awesome opportunity incentivizes giving with great givebacks and rewards and works to connect diverse organizations doing great work for our region.

Now through December 31st help support the North Coast State Forest Coalition by donating through Give Guide. Not only will you be directly supporting our work to safeguard the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests — you’ll earn yourself some sweet incentives (psst…a 40% off coupon from Patagonia Portland) as well as be entered for weekly giveaways on big give days (check them out)!

Support our conservation work on the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests by giving to Wild Salmon Center today!

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