By Wiley Cypress, February 6, 2014. Source: Earth First! Newswire
The first Elliott blockade in 2009. Photo: Earth First! Newswire
In a major victory yesterday for Oregon’s coastal rainforests, three conservation organizations—the Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, and Portland Audubon—reached a settlement with the State of Oregon to cancel 28 timber sales in the Elliott, Clatsop, and Tillamook forests.
As part of the agreement, the State has also agreed to improve future management practices in all three forests for the marble murrelet, a rare sea bird that nests in old growth trees. “This agreement provides immediate relief for the dwindling population of the marbled murrelet,” said Francis Eatherington of Cascadia Wildlands in a press release yesterday.
This settlement marks the conclusion of a lawsuit filed by the conservation groups in 2012. The lawsuit argued that the State Land Board and the Oregon Department of Forestry were harming the marbled murrelet by deliberately approving timber sales in murrelet nesting habitat, which is protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Things were looking bleak for Oregon’s coastal rainforests, and the Elliott in particular, preceding the lawsuit and injunction filed in 2012. Amidst protest both in the forest and at the State capitol,the State approved a plan to nearly double the annual acreage of clearcut allowed in the Elliott, and pushed forward dozens of timber sales in never-before-logged tracts of forest. Continue reading
By John Upton, June 24, 2013. Source: The Grist
Beet the system. Photo: NC State
Some experimental GMO crops were torn out of a field in Oregon this month. That means it’s time for the federal government to freak the fuck out and do its best to clamp down again on eco-activism.
The sugar beet plants, which were genetically engineered by Syngenta to survive applications of the herbicide Roundup, were uprooted in the middle of the night from a couple of fields, presumably by anti-GMO activists. The destruction of the experimental crops occurred in the same state where a strain of Monsanto’s illegal herbicide-resistant wheat recently showed up in a farmer’s field,threatening America’s multibillion-dollar wheat export market.
Guess which crime the FBI is desperate to crack?
That’s right: The sugar beet one. The agency announced that it “considers this crime to be economic sabotage and a violation of federal law involving damage to commercial agricultural enterprises.” According to the FBI, a $10,000 reward is being offered for clues by Oregonians for Food and Shelter, a corporate forestry and agriculture group that lobbies for pro-GMO and pro-pesticide legislation. Continue reading
By Scott Learn, June 10, 2013. Source: The Oregonian
The Klamath Tribes and the federal government called their water rights in southern Oregon’s Klamath Basin for the first time Monday, likely cutting off irrigation water to hundreds of cattle ranchers and farmers in the upper basin this summer.
The historic calls come after Oregon set water rights priorities earlier this year in the basin, home to one of the nation’s most persistent water wars. Drought has cut water flows in upper basin rivers to 40 percent of normal.
“This is a devastating day,” said Becky Hyde, a longtime cattle rancher in the upper basin’s Sprague River Valley. “This is such a core piece of our economy. It’s not like we can lean back on tourism and things can be OK.”
The Klamath Tribes’ water rights apply to flows in Upper Klamath Lake tributaries, including the Sprague, Williamson and Wood rivers that run through the tribes’ former reservation.
Note: Monsanto says, “There are no food, feed, or environmental safety concerns associated with the presence of the Roundup Ready gene if it is found to be present in wheat,” Monsanto said in a statement. “This is the first report of the Roundup Ready trait being found out of place since Monsanto’s commercial development program was discontinued nine years ago.”
As usual, lies, lies and more lies. And a total lack of concern for the farmers that are going to lose their shirts due to Monsanto’s monumental blunder. First RoundUp resistance weeds, now contaminated wheat. We cannot trust the profit-mongers to handle a technology as dangerous as genetic engineering. Another reason we must ban genetically engineered trees now. Please sign our petition for a ban at http://globaljusticeecology.org/petition.php
By Alan Bjerga and Jack Kaskey, May 30, 2013. Source: Bloomberg
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday it is investigating how the unapproved seeds slipped out and were growing nine years after St. Louis-based Monsanto ended its wheat program. The discovery prompted Japan to suspend imports of western-white wheat and feed wheat. Other overseas buyers may follow suit, according to critics including the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Center for Food Safety. Continue reading
Note: Yet another cautionary tale about the dangers of GMO contamination and one more reason to ban GE trees before the nightmare of irreversible GE tree contamination is released.
–the GJEP Team
By Andrew Pollack, May 29, 2013. Source: New York Times
Unapproved genetically engineered wheat has been found growing on a farm in Oregon, federal officials said Wednesday, a development that could disrupt American exports of the grain.
The Agriculture Department said the wheat was of the type developed by Monsanto to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup, also known as glyphosate. Such wheat was field-tested in 16 states, including Oregon, from 1998 through 2005, but Monsanto dropped the project before the wheat was ever approved for commercial planting.
The department said it was not known yet whether any of the wheat got into the food supply or into grain shipments. Even if it did, officials said, it would pose no threat to health. The Food and Drug Administration reviewed the wheat and found no safety problems with it in 2004.
Still, the mere presence of the genetically modified plant could cause some countries to turn away exports of American wheat, especially if any traces of the unapproved grain were found in shipments. About $8.1 billion in American wheat was exported in 2012, representing nearly half the total $17.9 billion crop, according to U.S. Wheat Associates, which promotes American wheat abroad. About 90 percent of Oregon’s wheat crop is exported.
By Scott Learn, May 8, 2013. Source: The Oregonian
A coal mine in Wyoming’s section of the Powder River Basin. Photo: Scott Learn, The Oregonian
Terminal developer Kinder Morgan on Wednesday dropped its proposal to export coal to Asia from a Columbia River port near Clatskanie.
The company’s decision means three of the six coal export terminals originally proposed in Oregon and Washington have gone by the wayside. It also significantly reduces the potential for coal train traffic through Portland.
Together, the three abandoned projects represent up to $550 million in investment, 305 permanent jobs — and nearly 50 million tons of Montana and Wyoming coal destined for Asian ports.
Kinder Morgan spokesman Allen Fore blamed site logistics for stopping the project, not the intense controversy over exporting coal from the green Northwest. Continue reading
By Josh Schlossberg, March 28, 2013. Source: Energy Justice Network/Biomass Monitor
Alison Guzman (center) and Lisa Arkin (left) of Beyond Toxics in Eugene, Oregon
Sometimes what seems like defeat in the short term can actually turn out to be victory in the long run. One such case involves the opposition to the construction of Seneca Sawmill’s biomass power incinerator in Eugene, Oregon. While the facility fired up its smokestacks for the first time in 2011, the effort to educate neighborhood residents about the health threats of the industrial polluter morphed into a powerful environmental justice movement in the low-income community surrounding the facility.
When Eugene-based Beyond Toxics (formerly Oregon Toxics Alliance) set out to question the “green” credentials of Seneca Sawmill’s biomass power plant in 2010—an 18.8 megawatt facility adjacent to the timber corporation’s existing lumber mill—they knew the deck was stacked against them. In a state where the timber industry still commands a great (some say disproportionate) amount of political influence, the organization wasn’t under any illusions that the corporation would voluntarily scrap its plans to profit off the sale of excess electricity to Eugene Water and Electric Board.
Surprisingly, despite Seneca Jones Timber Company’s dismal track record of clearcutting hundreds of thousands of acres of Oregon forests—including old growth—and dousing them with toxic herbicides—including in Eugene’s drinking watershed—few local or state environmental groups spoke out against the biomass incinerator.
In 2009, the Lane County Health Advisory Committee concluded that “biomass plants would add to our already overburdened air pollution problem in Eugene,” in a county that had been stuck with a “D” in air quality from the American Lung Association. This reality encouraged Beyond Toxics to zero in on the air pollution impacts of the proposed facility to the local community.
By Eric Nusbaum, November 24, 2013. Source: The Daily Beast
Barrels of low-level Class A commercial nuclear waste are checked with a Geiger counter in a trench at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, 10/18/88. Photo: Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis
This month, the Department of Energy announced that a tank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State is leaking up to 300 gallons of radioactive waste a year. Then last week, Washington governor Jay Inslee corrected that figure: a total of six tanks are leaking. To people unfamiliar with Hanford, this might sound mildly apocalyptic. Nuclear sludge left over from Cold War plutonium production is drip drip dripping into American soil, infiltrating the groundwater, slowly making its way into our rivers. But to Washington residents and Hanford observers, the leak is just another in a long line of mild disasters at America’s most contaminated nuclear waste site, a radioactive drop in the already-polluted Columbia River. Continue reading
Note: Industrial biomass is bad for forest health, bad for human health, and as study after study is beginning to show, is a significant driver of climate change due to its greenhouse gas emissions.
This news from Oregon comes just as the biomass industry in the US Southeast is embarking on a spate of biomass plant construction, which would be powered by greatly expanding monoculture tree plantations in the region. This would have devastating effects on native forests, especially if they include invasive genetically engineered eucalyptus trees.
You can help us stop this risk by clicking here to sign GJEP’s petition to Stop GE Trees.
-The GJEP Team
By Christina Williams, February 6 2013. Source: Sustainable Business Oregon
One of Iberdrola Renewables biomass facilities would be built adjacent to its natural gas plant in Klamath Falls. Photo: Sustainable Business Oregon
A spate of air pollution bad enough to be in violation of the Clean Air Act and comparable to the well-known pollution in Beijing has prompted an activist group to request an emergency moratorium on biomass plant development in southeastern Oregon’s Lake and Klamath counties.
Save Our Rural Oregon announced Wednesday that the group had sent letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Gov. John Kitzhaber requesting that biomass and biofuels projects in Klamath Falls and Lakeview be put on hold and no new or modified air quality discharge permits related to the projects be issues.
The group singles out three such projects in the works. Klamath Bio Energy is working on approval for a plant in Klamath Falls. Iberdrola Renewables has two in the works, one in Lakeview and another in Klamath Falls.
Iberdrola announced last October that the proposed Lakeview plant — which halted construction in 2011 — would emit twice the originally proposed amount of emissions. Continue reading