portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements oregon & cascadia

environment | forest defense

N.E.S.T. is back ! Help us protect Cascadia's endangered ecosystems

The Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (N.E.S.T.) will begins its citizen surveys this Join. NEST looks for species listed under the Survey and Manage portion of the Northwest Forest Plan in order to get timber sales canceled or reduced in size. While George and his timber buddies removed Survey and Manage in 2004, a judge ordered it back in. NEST is seeking volunteers to participate in it's surveys that will be conducted in National Forests and BLM. Contact primateliberation(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
NEST climber at the top of a douglas fir where red tree voles make their nests
NEST climber at the top of a douglas fir where red tree voles make their nests

The Northwest Ecosystem Survey Team (N.E.S.T.) is a group of forest defenders committed to protecting the habitat of rare species
associated with old growth and late-successional forests. NEST enforces environmental protections built into the Northwest Forest Plan (NWP). In 2004, Bush and the timber industry conspired to end the protections provided by the Survey and Manage portion of the NWP. However, their conspiracy was short lived because in January, a U.S. District Court judge upheld Northwest Forest Plan rules that required on-the-ground inspections for various animal and plant species before logging can begin. This ruling halted more than 140 logging projects on public land in the Northwest -- about three-quarters of them in Oregon -- after concluding that the Bush administration illegally stopped checking for sensitive species before letting the cut proceed.

So starting this summer NEST will resume it's citizen surveys for sensitive species. One of the species that we survey is the red tree vole. The red tree vole is a small arboreal rodent that lives in the tops of Douglas firs and feeds on it's needles. It makes it's nest
from the discarded interior of the needle which is called a resin duct. We document the presence of this animal by finding it's nest and reporting it to the responsible agency (usually the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management). Put simply, under the Northwest Forest Plan, documented red tree vole sites get roughly 10 acres of protection. Our documentation of this species has lead to the protection of hundreds of acres of old growth forest in about a dozen timber sales. Our surveys have also been instrumental in court cases resulting in federal injunctions.

N.E.S.T. Needs volunteers !
Nest will begin it's activities starting in June and continue throughout summer. NEST needs volunteers of all kinds. Although previous climbing experience is great, it's not necessary as we can train you in less than a week to climb trees and locate nests. There are also other plants and animals on the ground that can be looked for as well. A typical NEST camp is composed of 5 to 10 persons. We spend about two weeks at each timber sale moving from unit to unit looking for the presence of protected species in the canopy and on the ground. Equipment and food is provided as we get donations from a variety of Eugene businesses. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag and whatever else you might need to make a two week stay in the forest enjoyable. Besides locating protected species, we encounter all kinds of wildlife and get to see some of the most beautiful endangered ecosystems that Cascadia has to offer. If you are interested in volunteering for N.E.S.T or if you have any questions, please contact primateliberation(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

NEST is sponsored by Cascadia Wildlands Project and their website is at  http://www.cascwild.org/

To learn more about the red tree vole :

Lewis & Clark Law School: A summary of the Red Tree Vole case and its current standing :

Oregon Live article about the Northwest Forest Plan :
Judge stops logging projects, says species surveys required
 link to www.oregonlive.com
cow catcher 27.Mar.2006 23:59


Thanks a lot for posting the article about the current status of the lawsuit for the red tree vole. We recently visited Cow Catcher and found that only a few of the trees NEST surveyors had climbed were still marked from August of 2003. It's an amazing and beautiful place with many old growth incense cedars, firs, ponderosa pines, and sugar pines that have littered the forest floor with giant cones. Here's hoping a successful outcome for this important court case will help NEST surveyors continue to protect old growth ecosystems all across Western Oregon.