Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rally for Oregon's Tillamook State Forest

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Heaven sometimes hedges a rare character ungainliness and odium, as the burr that protects the fruit.” Now I do not have a degree in literature and I had to look up odium, but I know that Ralphie here is describing ugliness. Ugliness like the barren hillsides that we all see driving up highway 26 on the way to the Oregon Coast is only beautiful to a few, and we all know who they are. Now I am not against logging, but I am against unsustainable harvest and the implications that it has to the local ecosystem.

On June 3rd, the Oregon State Board of Forestry is going to meet to decide on a current management plan for out state forest land. This is occuring simultaneously while the Oregon Senate is going to be deciding on two house bills. HB 3072 basically abolishes the current practice of sustainable harvest in both the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests, increasing deforestation by thousands of acres and giving logging the sole purpose of our state forests. HB 3249 on the other hand allows the Board of Forestry to designate areas for conservation purposes as well as limited logging. This bill will represent all the users of the state forests by maintaining clean water, and provide camping, boating, fishing, hunting, hiking and maintain a healthy ecosystem.

With the current decline of our fisheries, keeping these rivers clean and healthy is the only way to prevent the extinction of our native runs of salmon, steelhead and trout. On June 3rd there will be a rally taken outside the State Forestry Headquarters in Salem, Oregon. This rally will be in support of the clean water needed to maintain and with luck improve the local ecosystems. Please join the fight and support your state forests. You can find out more from the river writes, from the Wild Salmon Center and Pacific Rivers.