Tag Archives: Oregon

Victory in the Elliott State Forest! 28 Oregon coast timber sales cancelled

By Wiley Cypress, February 6, 2014. Source: Earth First! Newswire

The first Elliott blockade in 2009. Photo: 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 DiversityCascadia 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

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Cascadia Forest Defenders drop banner to protest privatization of forests

Note from the authors: After occupying a banner for two hours, 5 forest defenders have been arrested and are being held in jail until their court date tomorrow afternoon. They are all being charged with criminal trespassing, and disorderly conduct. All but one also face charges of reckless endangerment.

We need your support now more than ever! Our friends will be facing steep court fees, their bail alone has been set at $37,500. Anything you can give is much appreciated. Donate now! 

20 September, 2013. Source: Cascadia Forest Defenders

Photo: Cascadia Forest Defenders

Photo: Cascadia Forest Defenders

Two Cascadia Forest Defenders are occupying a banner dropped from the golden statue on top of the capitol building in Salem, Oregon. The banner proclaims “KITZHABER’S LEGACY: PRIVATIZING THE ELLIOTT – CLEARCUTTING FOR PROFIT.” These forest defenders were moved to action after the proposal to privatize more than 2,700 acres of public land in the Elliott State Forest. This privatization scheme follows suit with Kitzhaber’s attempts to move 1.6 million acres of O&C land into the timber baron trust where Oregon’s people would have little say in the management of these forests.

“We are protesting because we think Oregonians deserve to know that their public land is being sold to private industry.  If it is privatized, we will never be able to have a say on what happens to it again. This is our public comment,” says Erin Grady of Cascadia Forest Defenders.
The plans for privatization of the Elliott include three parcels in the Western side of the Elliott State Forest. All three parcels contain sections of mature, never-before-logged forest –suitable habitat for the marbled murrelet, an endangered sea bird that nests in old growth. This summer, a group of volunteer marbled murrelet surveyors with the Coos County-based conservation group Coast Range Forest Watch, documented murrelet nesting behavior in one of these parcels, making it a candidate for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Continue reading

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FBI chases anti-GMO activists while ignoring Monsanto’s transgressions

By John Upton, June 24, 2013. Source: The Grist

Beet the system.  Photo: NC State

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

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Industrial agriculture, Political Repression

Victory! Klamath tribes water rights upheld by federal government

By Scott Learn, June 10, 2013. Source: The Oregonian

Photo: Oregonian

Photo: 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.
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Filed under Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Victory!, Water

Rogue Oregon wheat inflames foes of gene-altered crops

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 discovery in an Oregon field of gene-altered wheat developed by Monsanto Co. that was not approved for sale shows a failure of oversight that safety advocates say may endanger consumers and U.S. trading relationships.Scientists said the rogue wheat was a strain tested from 1998 to 2005 by Monsanto, the world’s largest seedmaker, which withdrew its application for approval amid concern buyers would avoid crops from the U.S., the world’s biggest wheat exporter.

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

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Genetic Engineering, Industrial agriculture

Genetically modified wheat is discovered in Oregon

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.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Food Sovereignty, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Industrial agriculture, Pollution

Victory! Another Northwest coal export project falls by the wayside

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

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

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Filed under Climate Change, Coal, Corporate Globalization, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Mining, Victory!

Biomass battle casts spotlight on environmental justice

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

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.
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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Pollution, Youth

Hanford: The largest environmental cleanup operation in US history

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

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

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Filed under Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Nuclear power, Pollution, Waste, Water

Poor air quality prompts request for biomass moratorium in two Oregon counties

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

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

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Pollution, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests