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

actions & protests | forest defense

Final Attempt to Protect Oregon's Forests, Urging Governor to Reject WOPR

Cascadia Rising Tide, the same group that organized the 4-day Tree Sit and 300-person Rally at the State Capitol, will visit Governor's Kulongoski's neighborhood today and deliver a gift basket to his house at 2:00pm today, Sunday, December 7, 2008.

We are asking for everyone to join us in this last effort to push Kulongoski to comment on the Western Oregon Plan Revision. Join us! Call him!
Final Attempt to Protect Oregon's Forests, Urging Governor to Reject WOPR

Cascadia Rising Tide, the same group that organized the 4-day Tree Sit and 300-person Rally at the State Capitol, will visit Governor's Kulongoski's neighborhood today and deliver a gift basket to his house at 2:00pm today, Sunday, December 7, 2008. Rising Tide will circulate a card for the Governor's neighbors to sign and spread some forest protection cheer with homemade cookies and music. Cascadia Rising Tide is part of an international organization that seeks to address the root causes of climate change, which are both social and environmental.

The event is a last ditch effort to urge the Governor to take a firm stand against the Bush Administration's Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR), the largest plan in the last century to clearcut old growth and other biodiverse public forests. After 30,000 public comments, thousands of phone calls and letters to the Governor, five rallies, and a tree sit, the Governor is apparently waiting until the last day possible (Dec. 8) to announce his position on the WOPR, without any dialog with the public, and is not yet expected make the announcement publicly, based on a call to his staff. Cascadia Rising Tide had hand-delivered a letter to the Governor in person before their tree sit, urging him to reject the WOPR, and also called and visited his office, inviting him to the tree sit and rally, with no reply.

The card says, "Dear Governor Kulongoski, As our deadline (Dec. 8) approaches, we, your neighbors, urge you to take a stand against the WOPR. The plan would destroy some of Oregon's last high-value old growth, contribute to the climate crisis, increase fire risk, and degrade water quality. We want our children and grandchildren to be able to fully enjoy the beauty of Oregon's public forests, as well as have access to the many different products and services that they offer, long into the future. We want you to leave a legacy we can all be proud of. With warmest wishes for this holiday season, . . ."

The gift basket is meant to give the Governor pause about his reluctance to take a stand. One item, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, is particularly poignant, as the storyline matches that of Oregon's forest depletion well. In the book, the CEO of ThNeeds lets all of the trees get cut down, all of the animals have to find another home, and a child is given one last seed to plant and nurture in a pathetic attempt to bring back an entire forest that over-consumption had destroyed. As Daniel Bowman, Rising Tide member, explains, "After all of the effort we have exerted to stop the WOPR, peacefully encouraging the Governor to represent the will of the public, the large majority of whom want to keep Oregon's remaining old growth standing, there is no sign that he has listened to us at all. Our visit to the Governor's house today is our way of communicating our frustration and disappointment. We want the Governor to understand that he holds our future in his hands. By not objecting to the WOPR, he would become that CEO in The Lorax, clearcutting our future."

Other items in the gift basket include:

- tree-shaped cookies

- photo album of beautiful WOPR-threatened old growth and native forests, as well as published opinions against the WOPR

- Ecoforestry, a book on different forms of forestry that rely on principles of nature, offering truly sustainable alternatives that protect habitat, carbon stores, and jobs

- brochure about Ecostry, the natural-selection based forestry method used by Orville Camp at Camp Forest near Selma, Oregon

- Boom, Bust, and the BLM DVD about the BLM's current and past old growth clearcutting in Southern Oregon. Two Rising Tide members co-produced this DVD two years ago. The BLM pirated a film from it.

- Exposing the Truth DVD showing Google Earth images showing clearly that Oregon has less that 10% of its native forests left

- Clearcutting the Climate, a DVD of the Conference on Jan. 16, 2008 about the connections between forests and climate and the impacts of management practices

Cascadia Rising Tide and its Coalition partners feel the need to apply further pressure to stop "the WOPR carbon bomb." The WOPR would put an equivalent of 1 million more cars on the road in Oregon, as compared to a plan that would conserve forests as carbon storage systems, contradicting HB 3543, which the Governor signed to reduce Oregon's greenhouse gas emissions. Even the EPA, which climate advocates are currently suing for not taking action to mitigate climate change, just sent a letter to the BLM with its concerns about the severe negative impacts of the WOPR and the little time that the BLM has allowed to address both its own and the public's concerns. The WOPR would also replace high-value, resilient old growth with low-value, disturbance-prone fiber farms. Moreover, as just estimated by Oregon Wild, the WOPR would strip away streamside protections from over 255,000 acres within municipal watersheds in W. Oregon. The WOPR, which removes the Bureau of Land Management from the current NW Forest Plan, fails to reassign the responsibility for minimal environmental protections established under current laws and plans, including the Clean Water Act, Oregon Coastal Zone Management Act, and Oregon Salmon Plan. Samantha Chirillo, Organizer of the WOPR & Beyond Coalition, of which Cascadia Rising Tide is a member, comments, "No one has even tried to demonstrate that the WOPR is a sustainable plan. Even with the deferred harvest, in 20 years, Oregon will be devoid of habitat, of unique natural beauty, and of jobs. WOPR is just more the same boom and bust economics that has wrecked rural towns across W. Oregon. It's a waste of taxpayer money and oil. Its time for our state and county elected leaders to develop plans for re-localized, sustainable economies."

YOU CAN ACT NOW!

Please give the Governor a call, urging him to reject the WOPR, until his review period and public protest period end on Dec. 8. You should call his Citizens' Message Line at 503-378-4582.

Other Governor Contact Info
Governor Kulongoski
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, OR 97301-4047

Fax 503-378-6827
E-mail at http:www.oregon.gov/Gov/contact_us.html

Contact Congressman DeFazio, and Senators Wyden and Merkley. DeFazio and Wyden have failed to provide substantive leadership in stopping the WOPR. Their own plans for forests have more to do with propping up timber profiteers than safeguarding resources for future generations. Let's send them a message that we are watching closely, as we know how important forests are. Tell them that we expect a Democratic team effort to stop the WOPR!
Congressman Peter DeFazio:
Washington, DC Office Phone: (202) 225-6416
Eugene Office
 405 East 8th Ave. #2030 Eugene, OR 97401
 Phone: (541) 465-6732
Senator Ron Wyden:
Washington, DC Office Phone: (202) 224-5244
Eugene Office
 405 East 8th Avenue, 
Ste. #2020 
 Eugene, OR 97401
 Phone: (541) 431-0229
Senator Jeff Merkley:
P.O. Box 29136
Portland, OR 97296
Phone: 503-274-4439