Fishing and Conservation Groups Petition to Ensure Recovery of Fish and Wildlife on the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests

For Immediate Release: July 31, 2009
Contacts: Bob Van Dyk, Wild Salmon Center – (503) 504-8471
Donald Fontenot, Sierra Club – (503) 704-3116
Fishing and Conservation Groups Petition to Ensure Recovery of Fish and
Wildlife on the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests
Portland, Oregon — Today, the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, Northwest Guides and Anglers
Association, Pacific Rivers Council, Wild Salmon Center, the Association of Northwest
Steelheaders, Coast Range Association, Native Fish Society and the Center for Biological Diversity
filed a formal Petition with the Oregon Board of Forestry requesting that the Board reverse its
decision to increase clear cutting on the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests and engage in an open,
transparent and scientific process to pursue a management approach consistent with applicable law.
On June 3rd, the Oregon Board of Forestry voted to increase the areas open to clear cutting from
50% to 70% of the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests. The Board’s decision authorizes increased
clear cutting of thousands of acres of diverse, native forests, which are rare in the North Coast range,
including up to 70% of some key salmon “anchor” watersheds. Current state law requires high
standards of protection for the streams in the Tillamook and Clatsop forests, which are still
recovering from the unsustainable timber harvests and related road building of the past.
While the law requires that the Board’s decision result in a high probability of maintaining and
restoring aquatic habitat, state scientists found that the proposal had a low probability of keeping
many key salmon basins on a positive trajectory. According to Bob Van Dyk of the Wild Salmon
Center, “The Oregon Coast Coho Conservation Plan sets achievable goals to restore aquatic habitat.
However, much like the failed Western Oregon Plan Revisions proposed by the Bush
Administration, the Board of Forestry chose politics over science and ignored the legal requirements
for ensuring the recovery of native fish and wildlife.”
The group’s petition also recounts how the Board violated its own rules regarding transparency
and openness at its recent meeting to discuss the decision. Senator Jackie Dingfelder and numerous
other Oregonians had written the Board to try to dissuade it from making this move. Chair
Blackwell failed to share these letters with the rest of the Board and allotted a mere thirty minutes to
a crowded room of citizens who came to testify. Donald Fontenot, a volunteer with the Sierra Club,
was dismayed, saying “The Board of Forestry showed its allegiance to the timber industry by
steamrolling over the public, ignoring the best available science, and making a political decision to
prioritize timber production rather than looking out for best interests of our state forests and the
public who owns them.”
The Tillamook and Clatsop state forests that are affected by this decision are the largest publiclyowned
coastal rainforest south of the Olympics and home to some of the healthiest remaining runs of
wild fish in the lower 48 states. These forests and the health of their watersheds face an uncertain
future if the Board’s recommendations are allowed to proceed unchallenged.
View the petition at: http://www.crag.org (Crag Law Center)

For Immediate Release: July 31, 2009

Contacts:
Bob Van Dyk, Wild Salmon Center – (503) 504-8471
Donald Fontenot, Sierra Club – (503) 704-3116

Fishing and Conservation Groups Petition to Ensure Recovery of
Fish and Wildlife on the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests

Portland, Oregon — Today, the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, Northwest Guides and Anglers Association, Pacific Rivers Council, Wild Salmon Center, the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, Coast Range Association, Native Fish Society and the Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal Petition with the Oregon Board of Forestry requesting that the Board reverse its decision to increase clear cutting on the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests and engage in an open, transparent and scientific process to pursue a management approach consistent with applicable law.

On June 3rd, the Oregon Board of Forestry voted to increase the areas open to clear cutting from 50% to 70% of the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests. The Board’s decision authorizes increased clear cutting of thousands of acres of diverse, native forests, which are rare in the North Coast range, including up to 70% of some key salmon “anchor” watersheds. Current state law requires high standards of protection for the streams in the Tillamook and Clatsop forests, which are still recovering from the unsustainable timber harvests and related road building of the past.

While the law requires that the Board’s decision result in a high probability of maintaining and restoring aquatic habitat, state scientists found that the proposal had a low probability of keeping many key salmon basins on a positive trajectory. According to Bob Van Dyk of the Wild Salmon Center, “The Oregon Coast Coho Conservation Plan sets achievable goals to restore aquatic habitat. However, much like the failed Western Oregon Plan Revisions proposed by the Bush Administration, the Board of Forestry chose politics over science and ignored the legal requirementsfor ensuring the recovery of native fish and wildlife.”

The groups’ petition also recounts how the Board violated its own rules regarding transparency and openness at its recent meeting to discuss the decision. Senator Jackie Dingfelder and numerous other Oregonians had written the Board to try to dissuade it from making this move. Chair Blackwell failed to share these letters with the rest of the Board and allotted a mere thirty minutes to a crowded room of citizens who came to testify. Donald Fontenot, a volunteer with the Sierra Club, was dismayed, saying “The Board of Forestry showed its allegiance to the timber industry by steamrolling over the public, ignoring the best available science, and making a political decision to prioritize timber production rather than looking out for best interests of our state forests and the public who owns them.”

The Tillamook and Clatsop state forests that are affected by this decision are the largest publiclyowned coastal rainforest south of the Olympics and home to some of the healthiest remaining runs of wild fish in the lower 48 states. These forests and the health of their watersheds face an uncertain future if the Board’s recommendations are allowed to proceed unchallenged.

Click here to view the petition.

View the Board’s decision at http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/BOARD/BOF_060309_Meeting.shtml

10 Responses to Fishing and Conservation Groups Petition to Ensure Recovery of Fish and Wildlife on the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests

  1. Marian Drake says:

    Twice this season, a friend and I drove to Cannon Beach from Portland. We were horrified to see the clearcuts in our Oregon State Forests. Please stop clearcutting in any of our state forests. The Sierra Club says the clearcutting is in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests. They also say this is illegal. Stop all clearcutting of our valuable natural areas.

  2. Marian Drake says:

    Twice this season, a friend and I drove to Cannon Beach from Portland. We were horrified to see the clearcuts in our Oregon State Forests. The Board of Forestry should stop clearcutting in any of our state forests. The Sierra Club says the clearcutting is in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests, and that it is illegal. Stop all clearcutting of our beautiful and valuable natural areas.

  3. Gail Lloyd says:

    A statistical view of the way our planet has been deforrested
    will reveal that it is absolutely imperative to prevent further
    clear cutting of Oregon’s forrests. It is time to shift our
    priorities.

  4. Marian Drake says:

    Gail, do you ever wonder whether the amount of oxygen worldwide, or in patches even, has depleted as a result of this deforestation? And what impact this might be having on human health? I say human health because we all know the deforestation has impacted wildlife habitat. Whether animals in the wild have had their oxygen depleted, or need more, in another question indeed.

  5. AMY says:

    Please consider the fact that this area already looks decimated. There have been two fires and a horendous windstorm, all within enough years to kill anything new that tried to grow there. You just have to be nuts, aka certifiable to think the clear cutting and deforestation of this area is a good idea. Dont think with your money, it doesnt last and neither do the inhabitants of a forest if you DESTROY IT.

  6. abby d says:

    Clear-cutting betrays the State’s charge as steward of our lands and resources while directing profits straight out of state. No on “Timber First.”

  7. J Stufflebeam says:

    I find it impossible to understand how, considering the precarious condition our earth is in, that increasing logging in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests is even being considered.

  8. Marian Drake says:

    Are our comments here going to be forwarded to the State Dept. of Forestry and Gov. Kulongoski?

  9. Dianna Byrne says:

    I am 60 years old and have lived in Oregon since birth. I am now the proud Grandmother of nine (9) Grandchildren.
    I would like very much to see them grow up with their surrounding environment healthy and with the beauty of the forests and the wildlife therein in tact.
    When will we put these items ahead of profit? I do know and am aware that there is a human factor involved in the loggers andd the income they represent from the timber companies. Perhaps it is time that they pursued another occupation. I have lived in Tillamook, OR the last 14 years and can attest to the fact that many, many young men are pursuing the vocation of logger or log truck driver.
    Perhaps when the economy improves they can attain a new career in renewable resources or new power sources via our natural wind and solar powers. There comes a time when every chapter comes to an end. Perhaps it is time that this vocation was pared down as we lose our natural resources which will never come this way again.

  10. [...] on our state lands. Background: At its June 3 meeting, the Oregon Board of  Forestry – in a controversial decision opposed by fishing and conservation groups – decided to move forward with plans to dramatically increase clearcut logging on the [...]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,734 other followers

%d bloggers like this: