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Victory! Kulongowski denounces the WOPR!

On November 8th 2008, hundreds of people came to the steps of the state capital in Oregon to demand that the governor stop the implementation of the Bureau of Land Managment's "Western Oregon Plan Revision" aka the WOPR.
Thanks to their efforts, Governor Kulongowski rejected the BLM plan and called for teh BLM to delay all loggin on Federal lands.
Video of W.O.P.R. rally on the steps of the state capital in Salem

After two months of review, Governor Ted Kulongoski today asked the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) not to adopt its proposed forest management plan, commonly known as the Western Oregon Plan Revision, and to open the plan for an additional public comment period once the BLM has addressed his concerns.

The Governor cited BLM's decision not to complete consultation on Endangered Species Act (ESA) impacts as a major obstacle to the successful implementation of the proposed plan. The plan defers consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service until harvest projects are identified.

"I had every reason to believe that the plan would fully address BLM's obligations under the Endangered Species Act. I believe that delaying this work is the wrong approach and is legally inconsistent with the requirements of the ESA," Governor Kulongoski said. "Furthermore, this approach could set a bad precedent that opens the door for other federal agencies to do the same."

The Governor also expressed concerns related to water quality, wilderness areas, insufficient monitoring provisions and the lack of any acknowledgement that the BLM will utilize forest management strategies that fight global warming. Additionally, he is concerned that the BLM has failed to garner the support of Oregon's congressional delegation, which is critical to the success of the plan. The U.S. Congress eventually will be asked to allocate funding.

"Any management plan should incorporate the best available science on strategies that recognize and support the role our forests play in carbon sequestration and that future forest ecosystems are better able to accommodate a warmer climate," the Governor said. "For the long-term economic health of our counties, we must ensure that these forests are managed in a way that takes climate change into account."

homepage: homepage: http://www.oregonwildlifefederation.org/
phone: phone: 503-572-5266

So, after jumping up in the air, shouting hooray, 19.Dec.2008 09:18

Jim Lockhart

The question is, "how much weight, if any, does the Governor have in delaying or stopping the WOPR in Oregon?

According to the post, he "asked" the BLM "not to adopt its proposed forest management plan, .......and to open the plan for an additional public comment period once the BLM has addressed his concerns."

How much power does he have in this process, and has the public any further opportunity to affect any decisions in t his matter?

And too, it doesn't seem that the Governor is necessarily opposed to logging on public lands, which, with only 4% or so of our forest products coming from these lands, is really not that Progressive.

A loud shout out to those organizations and individuals who have worked so hard to convince our Governor to make a stand against the WOPR. This has been going on for at least a year now, and these efforts are much appreciated.

And also, send a thank you to the Governor; and while you're at it, let him know that Oregonians also reject the attempt to situate Liquefied Natural Gas terminals here in Oregon to supply Natural gas to markets in California.

You are right Mr. Lockhart! The battle is not over yet! 19.Dec.2008 11:17


Kulongoski's comments are only recommendations. The governor does not have the legal power to kill the BLM plan. But his comments carry substantial political clout, representing the official position of the state.

Kulongoski also said the BLM has failed to incorporate the best available science on forest management strategies that fight global warming, such as the conservation of mature forests to sequester carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. By waiting until the deadline and calling for revisions and a 30-day extension for public comment, Kulongoski is in effect seeking to put off final approval until the administration of Democratic President-elect Barack Obama is in place.

But this decision is ultimately up to the U.S. secretary of the interior and with Congress. Which should scare the hell out of anyone who cares about global warming and Oregon's ancient forests. Especially considering the fact that the new Obama appointee for the Secretary Of The Interior Ken Salazar (D-Col) is raising serious concerns.

Salazar was not the first choice of environmentalists, some of whom openly pushed the appointment of Representative Raśl M. Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona, who has a strong record as a conservationist. Oil and mining interests praised Mr. Salazar's record as a state official and as a senator, saying that he was not doctrinaire about the use of public lands for resource exploitation. Mr. Salazar had tried to engineer a deal in the Senate under which mining companies and others could reclaim abandoned mines without fear of lawsuits. (The legislation is pending.) He also backed a compromise under which oil companies could drill for natural gas in limited parts of the Roan Plateau in northwestern Colorado, a plan that most environmental advocates opposed.

Our battle to protect ancient forests has just begun and the time to begin holding the new Obama administration accountable for it's appointments and the actions of his cabinet, has arrived. Obama and Salazar need to hear our voices loud and clear in the coming months. Clearcutting ancient forests is foolish and detrimental to people and the planet and nobody should feel secure simply because we shifted from one wing of our "two-wing one party system to the the other wing of our one party system.

All one has to do is look back to the Clinton administration to understand how the bought and sold Democratic party has valued our ancient forests.

The battle has only begun.

jobs vs. permanence 05.Jan.2009 19:41

Rose Crow chamaecyparis@graffiti.net

The issue really is, "How do we create jobs in forestry without devastsating our ecosystem?" remember that without forest products, Oregon would not have had a base for our economy.