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Cascadia Forest Alliance to Close itís Office?

Cascadia Forest Alliance may be closing it's doors. There will be an Open House 7pm Wednesday October 22nd at SE 16th and Clinton to discuss the issue. The following is a statement from CFA on the issue.
Cascadia Forest Alliance to Close it's Office?
Open House 7pm Wednesday October 22nd at SE 16th and Clinton


The following is a statement written cooperatively by the people at the last Cascadia Forest Alliance (CFA) meeting, following several weeks of discussion.

Dear activist community,

There is not currently money, and more importantly, collective energy to maintain the CFA office. There is not a committed group of people willing to be responsible for maintaining the space, and there is only enough money to pay rent for a short period longer.

If there are people who want to see CFA have an office this winter, and who are willing to be apart of making that happen, now is the time to come forward. Otherwise, CFA will close its door on December 1st, 2003. CFA's phone, email, and website will be maintained, but the rest of CFA's physical infrastructure will shut down.

There will be an open house to clarify and discuss the issues for the community at large on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7pm at CFA's office (corner of 16th and Clinton). If you have input, and especially if you are serious about committing to the current office or a new CFA office, please attend, or contact the office at 503-241-4879 ASAP. No final decisions will be made at this meeting - it is only for clarifying the issues and to allow for further community assessment.

There will be a meeting the week after the open house on Wednesday, October 29th to make a final decision on the issue. Unless something dramatically changes between now and then, it is very likely that the current office will close and not reopen at a new space in the near future (see option # 3, outlined below for more details).

Those of us who came to consensus on this statement admit we are not all-knowing and are open to any other alternatives, options and input; this is simply the situation as we see it. We also see winter as a potentially valuable time for restructuring and re-envisioning CFA for the future, a task that may be easier without the pressures of maintaining the CFA office space.

CFA, and all those that care for and want to work with the Portland direct action forest defense community, are faced with the following options. It is important to keep in mind that option #3 is the default option, barring some major change in the next week. Option #1 and #2 are not currently feasible given the state of CFA's collective energy and no one currently involved with CFA wants to see CFA complete dissolve (see option #4).


The options:

Option # 1: Keep current space under some new and better formula.

Pros: We know the challenges. Lots of theoretical possibilities.

Cons: We know the challenges! Lots of theoretical possibilities have never panned out, and there is not much reason to think that they will in the foreseeable future. Lots of times CFA has said "let's turns this place around" and everyone is into it, but it has always been lots of talk and no action, leading to burn out and bad energy. Trying to do this over the winter, a slower time for forest defense, could be challenging. There are reports that the current office may be "cursed".

Option # 2: Close office down, open some new space ASAP.

Pros: Lots of possibilities (store front vs. office building), ensures maintenance of continuity and momentum.

Cons: Less time to find more ideal space. High cost of maintenance under what seems to be a low level of commitment to doing things in the near future. Possibility of blowing what little money remains on a risky venture. Trying to do this over the winter, a slower time for forest defense, could be challenging, and it would be bad to have a group of people trying to make this happen burn out on the difficulties.

Option # 3 DEFAULT OPTION: Close office down, everything goes into storage. CFA will start a new office when and if the situation seems right. Phone, email and website would be maintained as long as money exists for it.

Pros: Allows time to work things out in some better way, maintains some continuity. Allows a well needed rest / recuperation / thinking time for CFA, as well as time for the forest defense and activist community to engage in dialogue on CFA's future.

Cons: Big risk of losing winter organizing momentum. Could make people think CFA is dead even if its not. Potential for office not reopening anytime soon. Potential for CFA disbanding from loss of momentum (see option #4).

Option # 4: Disband CFA completely.

Pros: Hopefully a new group would arise free of CFA's baggage; fresh start.

Cons: Creates huge task of starting fully from scratch for some new group; loss of funding base, contacts list, baseline outreach, name recognition, media rapport, and historical continuity. Possibility of long period of total inaction, even years. Could reduce overall viability of activism in Portland, the region, and the forest defense movement as a whole, as a highly visible organization would cease to exist.

Please attend the meeting on Wednesday October 22nd if you want to learn more or contact CFA at 503-241-4879 or  cfa@cascadiasummer.org.

homepage: homepage: http://www.cascadiaforestalliance.org
phone: phone: 503.241.4871
address: address: 16th and Clinton

Sad 18.Oct.2003 18:55

saddened

I am sad to hear the way this is going, but I feel it has been due to a long list of mistakes that have been made. Many of these mistakes are not unique to CFA, but are a plague shared by many Forest Defense communities. I think Option 3 is probably the best bet, as I've always thought putting the forest defenders back in the the forest was a good idea. I hope some town support can be given to those who return to town for supplies, illness, etc. but it seems an office is an easy target for harassment and agitation by authorities which outways the benefit of having public accessability. Public accessability can be maintained through the phone and outreach events / protests and fundraising. CFA has non-profit status, and that is a big plus when trying to get donations without legal troubles. It also has the pros and cons when it comes to name recognition. CFA should take option three and let the tides pull the movement the way it needs to go. Do not prevent a new name, a different group, or different ideas from taking hold. If CFA has seen its time, only time will tell, but do not let your ghosts of the past interfere with those of the future. At the same time, don't kick the seat out of old Grandma CFA before she is dead, just lay her in bed and see if the illness passes. It doesn't take a weatherman (or woman) to know which way the wind blows. Good luck, and keep fighting for the forest and all that is free- it is all one can ever do.

office = easy place to leave donations 18.Oct.2003 23:13

CFA supporter

as someone who regularly supports CFA as much as i can, mostly through food donations, i appreciate that there's an office where i can leave stuff. my job gives me access to free/cheap food, and i'm always on the watch for stuff i can take for CFA to send out to the forest, or to support the folks doing town support here.

additionally, the office is not just a drop-off point, or a place to keep a phone and computers, but a center of community in the neighborhood and portland. one can stop by there to get the latest news, to find out how to help, and to meet others. i've made some damn good friends this way -- by just dropping by -- and these personal connections increase my own committment to local forest defense, because they make it more real.

i fully appreciate the different issues that have happened with keeping/organizing/cleaning an office, but those issues just happen with a lot of activist spaces. the same spirit that gives the CFA office its charm is what leads to those issues, and i would encourage keeping it because the good outweighs the bad.

as for the financial difficulties, as far as i know, a serious "help-us-keep-the-office-open" call has not gone out, to the CFA mailing list and the community. i'm money-poor, but would kick down what i could to keep the office open. i'm sure others would be willing to help support. the location is a great one, the space is big for its price, and it's well known.

from the inside, up close, i know the issues seem big, but from a couple steps away, those issues aren't there, and the office is a valuable resource. please keep the perspective of non-CFA-ers like myself in mind when making this decision. where will i bring food to go out to the woods?

food drop off 19.Oct.2003 08:13

mmm food

Perhaps if there were not an office, food could be brought to a shed or house or storage space. CFA said things would go into storage, and I am sure there is SOMEONE in a town the size of Portland that would be willing to let them use some shed space or something of the sort. I know other campaigns have done it this way in addition to an office or without one, and it has worked well.

I'll be there 19.Oct.2003 09:56

tony

I'm sorry to hear this,
I was planning on getting involved with you all when I got back from my trip. I guess I will have to come to this meeting. I have some ideas for fund raising, and lots of energy. we need to try to keep this up.
solidarity,
tony

CFA-Worth supporting 20.Oct.2003 19:15

Nothing but respect

Hopefully CFA will be able to keep their office open somehow, and I hope that is what they end up deciding to do. They are a group worth supporting due to their proven willingness to protect forests. God's Valley and Eagle Creek timber sales are two good examples of their tenacity and the dedication that participants of CFA have shown. People have learned lots of good good things about the forest's ecology here in the NW and seen some wonderful areas in the process of participating in CFA activitys and in the process developed a lifelong connection with the forest environments. I have been on some hikes and stuff with CFA and it has always been real positive and I have learned alot. I hope you folks can keep it going!

CFA shuts down? No big loss 28.Oct.2003 14:27

Stormy species_traitor@hotmail.com

I contected CFA and wanted to work with them but they had a very cliquish, suspicious attitude. They also have "womyn only" events which is of course hypocritical. Hippies dominate foresta actions here in Humboldt County and that is why nothing real gets done. Tree sits are pure propaganda. Tree climbers always win out in the end because of the nonsensical "nonviolence" stance of CFA and other pseudo-revolutionaries. No real revolution was ever fought through nonviolence. You can point to Gandhi but I can point to the horrendous living conditions in most of India and say what did he accomplish (and he was assassinated to boot). Also, horrible Sikkh Hindu violence and look at Kashmir. The Brits pulled out and the tribes/sects/cults went back to killing each other. MLK is another example used, but he was personally morally corrupt and if a white Texas racist like LBJ hadn't made the real reforms nothing would have happened in civil rights. Of course, tell that to a young black man today. He's as likely to be murdered as finish high school or go to college. Look at the gnag problems. Think all these things will just go away if we wear tree costumes or chant or meditate or march march march ? LOL
A real revolution requires violent acts. It is a WAR.
As long as hippie tree huggers (and their older cousins, enviro litigators) rule environmental activism nothing real will get done. Money will dry up and offices will close for these people because most of America wants their giant SUV's and McDonalds and watch Monday Night Football (even if a fire gets in the way). Ain't that AMERIKKA for you and me.
CFA gone? Good riddance.
Now lets get on with the battle ....


Stormy
Earth Fist

go stormy 02.Nov.2003 20:43

an observor

you go stormy!~ quite an icitful commentary that hit alot of concerns i myself have had, expecially the hypocrasy point. sounds like maybe you should go visit the Fall Creek treesit, they got their shit together and know whats up for the most part even though they have become the pariah of the movement, and been dealing with a lot of negativity and smearing of their community. the CFA/CFD peeps just cant seem to accept that there are different ways to deal with things.

One Cohesive Cascadia 19.Jan.2004 10:19

Oddeagle bohemianfuzz@yahoo.com

It's apparent there will always be some kind of backlash, even against the rational, well intentioned collectives such as the Cascadia Forest Alliance. But we need to see beyond the immediate inconveniences the CFA may present to modernism, and I truly believe we must continue to preserve our environment. Whether we're hippies or corporatists, the health of the earth is extremely important, because the bottom line is that we are all goners if we don't take care of it.

Almost 200 years ago, Chief Seattle said in his letter to George Washington: "Whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to man. All things are connected." Please stay intact, Cascadia, we need you now more than ever.

~Oddeagle