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

environment | sustainability

Ecotrust Props Up Clear-Cutting/Herbicide Operations in Oregon's Biodiversity Hotspot

Portland based Ecotrust garners $4 million in funding to prop up the wealthiest, largest, most ecologically destructive and reckless clear-cutting and herbicide spraying operations in southwest Oregon's Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains. The Klamath Siskiyou is the most biologically diverse ecosystem west of the Mississippi River.
Phillippi clear-cut within 1/10 miles of 8 residences. Sprayed in Nov. 2013
Phillippi clear-cut within 1/10 miles of 8 residences. Sprayed in Nov. 2013
Ecotrust Props Up Largest Clear-Cutting and Herbicide Operations in Oregon's Siskiyou Mountains

Ecotrust touts how proud they are of their acquisition of $4 million via Ecotrust CDE, a subsidiary of Ecotrust, directing federal and Oregon New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to retool the Rough and Ready mill in Cave Junction, Oregon that is owned by Link and Jennifer Phillippi, one the most notorious clear-cutting and herbicide operations in southwest Oregon. Ecotrust also touts the new retooled mill and new public lands logging to support it as some sort of ecological model.

See Ecotrust Article.
 link to www.ecotrust.org

See Oregonian article.  link to www.oregonlive.com

Some Phillippi Clear-cuts committed in 2013 are less than 30 feet from one residence and less than 1/10 mile of 7 more residences. (There are dozens if not hundreds of clear-cuts like this created by the Phillippi's and Krauss's in the southwest Oregon.) This and at least another 200 acres in the same small watershed with threatened Coho salmon was sprayed with herbicide in November 2013. The clear-cut logging and spraying seems to never stop.

The Phillippi's and Krauss's own more than 60,000 acres of land which consist some of the harshest soil and climatic conditions in the state of Oregon. Jennifer Phillippi inherited the mill operations in Cave Junction as well as much of the 60,000+ acres throughout southwest Oregon from her father, Lew Krauss. The other surviving Krauss's manage lands owned by John and Fred Krauss.

This part of southwest Oregon called the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains is composed of the most complex geologic formations and most biological diverse ecosystems west of the Mississippi river. The soils in the Klamath-Siskiyou ecosystem range in age from tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of years thus tree growth proceeds very slowly. Once an area is clear-cut and sprayed with herbicide poison it may take a hundred years for trees especially Douglas firs to grow to a harvestable size with or without spraying herbicide poison. The Phillippi's and Krauss's don't seem to understand the soil conditions, the ecology or the local climate. They treat the lands and soils as if it was the Coast Range or Cascades just outside the Willamette Valley. Apparently the directors of EcoTrust also do not understand the ecology and soils of the area?

Now, Ecotrust, the Phillippi's and Kitzhaber insist that the mill we operate by "thinning" trees from federal public lands throughout this ecological unique and sensitive ecosystem in the name of "forest health thinning" to maintain 6o jobs. Please. We all know that "thinning" is the new code word for getting the cut out to support the big timber elite and their mega tree fiber mill operations. Even some of Ecotrust's own funding coming from so-called "thinning" logging via 17,000 acres of Forest lands acquired by Ecotrust LLC.

When will the logging of ancient forest ecosystems ever stop? When there is not one untouched stand of ancient forest left in the northern hemisphere outside Wilderness or National Parks or the human species goes extinct?

Why Ecotrust did not talk to the people who live in the Illinois River Valley and Josephine County other than the Phillippi's and Krauss's before sticking their noses in other people's business and propping up such a destructive model of non ecological sustainability is sort of perplexing? Perhaps they knew that there would be push back and resistance but decided from their ivory tower in Portland that the local people living among Phillippi clear-cuts didn't matter.

How is it that is that Ecotrust and Governor Kitzhaber decided that one of the wealthiest and most ecologically harmful operations in Josephine County deserves a government funded handout made possible by a so called environmental group?
Please do tell, EcoTrust and Governor KItzhaber why the Phillipi's who are responsible for such community strife and ecological carnage in the Illinois Valley and all of southwest Oregon deserve to be treated like starving paupers?
Will Ecotrust attempt to rectify this social and ecological blunder?

In light of such a reckless decision by Ecotrust to aid in reopening of this non ecological sustainable operation, which will degrade one of the world's most ecological unique ecosystems in the world and harm human communities for decades into the future, Ecotrust does not deserve the support that some funders and members of the public seem to have given them.

About the author.
The author grew up and attended all his primary schooling in the Illinois Valley and worked at the Rough & Ready mill before the operations were inherited by Jennifer Krauss-Phillippi. He subsequently worked for the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management as a wildlife surveyor. He has been a community organizer and northwest ecosystem advocate officially since the early 1990's and spends much of his free time in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains.

homepage: homepage: http://eco-advocates.org