Unsustainable levels of logging

By Mari Anne Gest of Portland, Oregon, who describes herself as a "native Oregonian that hasn't met a fight yet that scared me off just because 'they' have more money than 'we' do." She is the director of Oregon legislative affairs for the Wild Salmon Center and was on staff for the Tillamook 50/50 campaign in 2004. Previously, she contributed 'Yes on Measure 34: Timber Companies try to buy "our" State Forests.'

The State’s major newspapers have finally recognized that our concerns about state forests management are valid.

On May 19, 2005, The Oregonian editorialized that lawmakers meddling in the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests has driven logging to unsustainable levels. The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) recently discovered that the 518,000 acre Tillamook and Clatsop State Forest cannot sustain the high harvest levels that counties, timber industry and legislators support. There are fewer trees, slower growth and steeper slopes.

According to The Oregonian and as reported in the Tillamook Insider last year, “In 2003, lawmakers attached a bluntly written note to the agency’s budget directing officials to cut as much timber on the state forests as its plan would possibly allow.” Lobbying by the counties and timber industry convinced many legislators that there was more timber available than ODF was willing to cut. Thus, ODF increased harvest levels to 223 million board feet of timber a year - an “unsustainable level” as reported by the Tillamook Insider.

Now ODF and The Oregonian agree. As reported by The Oregonian, “A new analysis suggests that pressure from the Legislature to boost logging in the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests prompted cutting at a level 30 percent higher than the forests can sustain and still protect wildlife.”

In 2004 The Oregonian editorialized against Ballot Measure 34 saying the state forest plan needed time to work. It’s been working over time now for the last 2 years cutting timber at an unsustainable rate according to preliminary scientific data just released by ODF.

Members of the timber industry recently testified to the Legislative Budget Committee that harvest levels under the new Habitat and Harvest Modeling effort were “unacceptable.” Industry called on the Legislature to take any action necessary to increase harvests!

To further the timber industry agenda, Rep. Susan Morgan (R-Roseburg) and Rep. Mike Schaufler (D-Happy Valley) in an op-ed in The Oregonian recently called for increased harvesting in our state forests to bail the state out of its economic woes. They suggest that the state forests can sustain harvest levels of 370 million board feet each year and should be managed similarly to private forests with fewer environmental restrictions.

We hope the Board of Forestry and State Forester Marvin Brown can withstand the political fire storm that is raging and reduce harvest levels to a sustainable level. Or as The Oregonian editorial says: “...if the Legislature keeps mucking around in the woods, if it keeps mixing short-term politics with long-term forestry, then Oregonians will have no choice but to turn to the ballot box to protect these forests.”

Over-harvesting of our State forests was the very message that Ballot Measure 34 delivered - calling for a more balanced approach to insure protection of our drinking water, fish and wildlife habitat and recreation. I believe our campaign helped to bring the facts to light...maybe a little too late to win at the ballot, but not too late to save the Tillamook State Forest. Don't be snookered again - Demand Balance!

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Nice try Mari Anne, but Measure 34 actually would have done for your side what the legislators were trying to do for Big Timber.

    And guess what? Two lies don't make the Truth.

    The fact is that you know damned well that the Tillamook Burn was studied and solutions were negociated by all stakeholders. Then the most radical preservationists said, "We don't like the deal. Let's loack up a bunch more of it. What we'll do is get a bunch of green kids (pun intended) with no knowledge of the issues and we'll subvert the process with measure 34."

    Big Timber, of course replied (as they always do) "Let's cut it all down". You did nothing but harm to your position with your dishonesty.

    As long as people like me understand that you will stop at nothing to achieve your goal of zero cuts ever, we will not give credence to anything you assert. Your tactics are no better than those of your opponents.

    For shame.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
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    I'm always interested to see the intersection of science and belief.

    Mari Anne Gest reports that the Oregon Dept. of Forestry and The Oregonian are just discovering that the Tillamook and Clatsop forests don't have as much capacity as first thought, and that the Legislature wants higher harvests than are sustainable - as if she knew it all along. How? How does someone "know" something before the evidence is there?

    It is a belief, or more accurately a bias, that allows someone to take incomplete or preliminary data and reach a conclusion in advance, and then to be able to project a "I knew it all along" attitude.

    The process of a "leap of faith" is also evident is several other aspects of this story. Somehow, lobbying by timber interests at the Legislature is supposed to then affect the actions of the Oregon Dept. of Forestry. Nice theory. Show me the law or statue passed by the Legislature that forced the ODF to increase the planned cutting of those forests. Another leap - That Measure 34 addressed these very issues. In fact, Measure 34 advertised itself as protecting watersheds and a lot of other stuff.

    It is interesting to watch the intersection of science and belief, because cause and effect get mixed up, because belief in advance of science is always dangerous, and because so much social policy comes out of that intersection.

    Measure 34 was poor science, is poor science, and worse management. If the forest is not sustainable at one level as newer research finds, then you lower the level and cut less trees. Existing laws, regulations, and practices do this.

    There will always be those who fight to save every tree, in every forest, everywhere. I guess they live in stone houses with concrete floors. I believe in reasonable balance. Where my "belief" then mets science is, I think, a more rational place.

  • (Show?)

    Pat, as someone not totally versed in these issues, I thought this post seemed sound. You claim that Mari Anne is being less than honest. Care to lay it out for the uninitiated reader? Otherwise, I remain convinced by the post--it seems sound and well-reasoned.

  • Terry Olson (unverified)
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    I was a supporter of Measure 34. I still am, even after its defeat at the hands of Big Timber and the "intersection of ignorance and propaganda."

    How can Steve Bucknum-- a Democrat!-- and Pat Ryan conclude that the backers of the 50 - 50 plan advocate "zero cuts ever" or saving "every tree in every forest, everywhere"? The 50 - 50 initiative is as clear as any initiative can possibly be-- allow a harvest of half the forest's trees, and preserve the rest.

    AS one who has done extensive research on old growth forest ecosystems, I don't think I can be accused of ignoring the "science". I do know this, however: In the Pacific Northwest, over 90% of the ancient forests have fallen to the chainsaws of the rapacious timber industry.

    It's time to restore some balance.

  • Jay Ward (unverified)
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    As a conservationist whose organization works primarily on national forest issues, and is regularly pilloried for our willingness to support restorative logging on some federal lands, I'm troubled Mr. Bucknum is so ignorant of the legislative directive to increase the cut. The following is from an Oregon Department of Forestry press release: Oregon Department of Forestry News FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Major Media Distribution Feb. 20, 2004 Jeff Foreman, (503) 945-7506 04-12 COMMENT PERIOD ON ANNUAL FORESTRY PLANS STARTS MARCH 1

    .....The 2004-05 harvest levels for ODF’s three northwest Oregon districts (Tillamook, Forest Grove and Astoria) for the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests are projected to have a 32 percent increase over 2003-04 levels. This 61 million board feet (mmbf) increase to 252 mmbf is the result of a legislative budget note directing ODF to operate at the high end of its harvest levels for the next two years.

    ODF then used the budget note to justify its own "leap of faith" and ramped up the cut to what has (at least preliminarily) turned out to be unsustainable levels.

    Now the Oregonian covered the story, and since the aforementioned budget note was not a law or statute, former state Senator Joann Dukes publicly called ODF on the carpet for the increase. Then last week's story and subsequent editorial highlighted it again.

    Perhaps Mr. Buckmun needs to turn down the Fox news and pick up the paper more.

    Oh, and now the Oregon Board of Forestry gets to advise the Governor on how to "manage" 2 million acres of formerly protected federal forests.

    I can hardly wait to see the budget note on that one.

  • Ted (unverified)
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    Mari Anne thank you so much for the work you are doing. I worked on Measure 34 and I'm so glad I did. I moved here from Massachussetts. In my home state when you walk into a small patch of woods, because thats all there are, you notice something strange, all the trees are straigth in a row. Its like walking down the center of a movie theather. Its more of a park than a forest. We have so little old growth left in our nation, its sad that some Oregonians do not realize what a precious and rare thing it is to have in our own back yard. Even sader that they are so anxious to squander it away for the sake of short term interest. Thank you again Mari Anne and keep up the good work!

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
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    I enjoy watching the "leaps of faith".

    Disagree with the process of watching bias muddy science, and you are told you must be watching FOX news.

    Disagree with someone's opinions, and be called every kind of ignorant.

    Jay - the "leap of faith" I pointed out was that Ms. Gest called the logging in the forest unsustainable due to Legislative pressure. Your own quotes prove my point. Yes, the budget note did say to please cut at the high end of the range - not from lobbyist pressure, but due to the revenue this State desperately needs. But Jay, that range was within what the ODF thought was "sustainable" at that time! So what that later research finds that a lower level would be appropriate! You and Ms. Gest have a major flaw in your logic! You project that somehow inappropriate actions are taking place. Yet, your own statements prove the contrary UNLESS you take things out of their historic order. You judge the ODF and the motives of those involved using 2005 data to contradict 2003 findings.

    My original point was that it was interesting to watch the intersection of belief and science. I find your comments to be proof of my observation. One would have to have God like Omnipotence to base todays actions upon what cannot be known until tomorrow! That's a pretty high standard for the ODF.

    But heck, if you've got it use it. Jay do you have any stock tips?

  • Bert Lowry (unverified)
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    I think this conversation highlights the difference between Democrats from rural timber-dependant communities and Democrats from urban commerce-dependent communities. There's room for each side to learn from the other.

    We all know that big timber got away with murder (well, not literally) during the 70s and 80s. The timber boom was unsustainable because they were cutting down too many trees. Communities like Prineville saw some economic benefit, both directly from timber receipts and indirectly from forester and mill worker employment.

    When the timber harvest levels dropped, these communities were hit hard. No one is arguing that we ought to go back to the unsustainable harvest levels, but timber should be a part of the economic base for places like Prineville.

    What's needed is a middle ground between the two entrenched sides. The environmental side fights against almost all timber cuts because they know they're only going to win some of the time. The timber industry fights against almost all forest protection because they know they're only going to win some of the time. Neither side trusts the motives or honesty of the other.

    Timber communities get stuck in the middle. And, in general, they side with the timber companies who tell them "if it weren't for those hippy environmentalists, you'd have living wage jobs and adequate schools." The competing message "if it weren't for the greedy timber companies, there'd still be trees left to cut" doesn't ring true when you can see trees on the hill and read about yet another lawsuit to stop an approved cut.

    So, what should we do? We should foster, encourage and help a truly independent, non-ideological body that can make harvest decisions based on the best science available at the time.

    At root, I think that was Steve's point.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Pat:

    As someone educated in the topic, I saw M34 as much closer to a sustainable policy for the Tillamook than ODF's plan. Fifty percent is a long way from zero cut.

    Steve:

    Just because ODF had not officially acknowledged that their cut level was unsustainable does not mean that several scientists had not understood that earlier.

    Indeed, much of the "cut it now" position relies on ignoring good science. The situation is analagous to the controversy over global warming and prescription drugs. Good quality scientific research is countered by industry supported tripe.

    Environmetalists may seem extreme in their desire to protect forest if one does not realize that the NW has suffered 150 years of forest eradication to get us where we are now. It is not environmentalists who have made it tough for rural communities, it was the predecessors of these folks and the timber companies that employed them.

  • David Moskowitz (unverified)
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    I will start with some disclosure. I work with Mari Anne Gest. I was the Treasurer of Measure 34 Political Action Committee. I have worked on state forestry issues since 1991. Now that I have introduced myself, let’s open our eyes to some facts.

    1. There is no “lock it all up” conspiracy or ultimate goal of universal domination of the Tillamook State Forest by so-blamed “Preservationists.” We support sustainable land management which includes logging that does not compromise the production of other forest resources.
    2. The so-called forest planning “process” applied an experimental forestry theory (structure based-management) across an entire landscape. The “process” ignored sound science and public opinion.
    3. ODF ignored their own peer-reviewed scientific analysis as well as that of the state-sanctioned Independent Multidisciplinary Scientific Team (IMST) that expressed concern over the lack of reserves, the intensity of the road system, the frequency of the entries into the forest to achieve the management goals, and the failure to prove that non-migratory species would be able to move from stand to stand to preserve their abundance and distribution as harvests took place all around them.
    4. ODF’s inventory that was used to set harvest targets in the 2001 management plan was based merely on estimates of standing tree numbers, soil productivity, and growing rates. The new analysis is based on specific site conditions evaluated on the ground by ODF foresters. These new numbers reflect fewer trees, poorer site conditions and slower growth rates. The conclusion is that the current harvest level is too high. The current harvest level was set by agreement between the Legislature and the State Forester as reflected in a budget note in 2003. Mari Anne was not making a leap of faith as asserted in a previous comment.
    5. Current laws and regulations will not result in ODF deciding to decrease harvest despite the new data.
    6. OSU Professor of Forestry Emeritus David Perry led a team of independent scientific experts who compared the current plan with a reserve-based forest management plan and found similar outputs between the two approaches in the short term, but that over the long term (100 years) that a reserve-based approach will generate reasonable timber harvests and better protect natural resources than the current plan.

    This discussion about the facts and our beliefs could go on and on.

    It is interesting to me that the progressive folks who read and respond to issues on BlueOregon are having a harder time changing their mind on this critical issue than the editorial writers at The Oregonian.

    Will the real progressives please stand up!

  • (Show?)

    Look guys,

    The original deal was struck in November 2001 in conjunction with members of the timber industry, sports fishing advocates, enviros, and the gummint. By 2003, the timber industry was unhappy because they thougt that the cut was too low and the enviros were unhappy because there was a timber cut.

    The timber guys started pressuring the state to increase the harvest and the enviros decided to throw out the extant plan and write their own plan. The new plan was to take half of the forest that had been negotiated in good faith right off of the table.

    The so called 50-50 plan just appeared out of thin air two and a half years ago. That's the dishonesty to which I speak, and I'm pretty sure that all of those earnest college kids running around the Portland metro area with petitions in their hot little hands had no clue regarding this very recent history. That doesn't excuse the rest of you who knew exactly what you were doing.

    It was politically destructive for rural progressives, and puts you guys on the same moral plane as your enemies in Big Timber regardless of the purity of your motives.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Pat,

    You're a political person. I think you can understand that M34 was reasonable politics, which may be "dishonest" or not depending on how cynical one feels.

    The initiative process is a way to get around industry influence with the legislature and govenment agencies. Of course, there is the industry campaign money to contend with then.

    If one is going to sell the voters on a complex plan, it helps to have a simple message [remember your Lakoff]. It just so happens that 50-50 fits the parameters of a reasonable management plan. 45-55 might work as well for management, but it would not have been as effective politically. Using it was good politics, not dishonesty.

    It is true that forest management is quite complex for the initiative process, but the alternative is continuation of industry dominated mismanagement.

    I realize that you are convinced that environmentalists care nothing for people and only for trees. I realize you believe that environmental positions are cooked up by hemp-wearing, granola eating English major dropouts. I think you are wrong on both accounts.

  • (Show?)

    You're a political person. I think you can understand that M34 was reasonable politics

    No Tom. My point is that it was terrible politics. The measure got its ass kicked and the whole sorry deception was a millstone around the necks of progressive candidates outside of the "People's Republic" areas.

    What good came out of that?

  • lyndon ruhnke (unverified)
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    Pat, I was one of the not so young folks getting the signatures to put Measure 34 on the ballot. Turns out it was quite a progressive measure and not brought to the public by folks who were concerned about a single timber being cut. Please take the time to read the measure and especially the labor provisions, then obtain some campaign literature... I have some if you like I will see you get it and then go back to your uninformed posts regarding the Measure 34 folks being a bunch of no cut under any circumstances tree huggers. So, good and sustainable jobs in the woods, healthy salmon runs, recreation in places other then tree farms, clean drinking water, etc. do have value and a huge number of very good and pragmatic people brought measure 34 to the ballot b/c the increased cut that was worked out behind closed doors (industry, ODF and a single republican legislator-I wonder where my representation was in that group). As far as measure 34 being a millstone around anyone's neck last election, I challenge you to provide one example where a Democrat was hurt by the Measure 34 campaign!! I know there were Democrats who were elected that opposed Measure 34, but I can't name a single one who supported 34 and got beat, can you? or is it all a load of smoke you are blowing? Your disdain for anyone who doesn't have the same view as you regarding natural resource use/protection is very evident, however it is clear that you have the industry line and view, but I question what science you have read on the subject (please see Tom's comparison of this issue to global warming b/c it is extremely apt). Yes, Measure 34 was a millstone, right, and 3 million plus of industry money some of which would have been spent to elect republicans went against 34 and you got a Democratic Senate.... So, perhaps not such a bad idea after all.... As far as what good came out of the 34 campaign, we are still talking about state forests and maybe a bad ODF plan won't get any worse b/c of all that industry money that was spent saying how great the plan was and how we should just give it a chance to work (3 million spent advertizing and now they change their minds). There I feel better and can go back to thinking how I can help Oregonians who fish, recreate or drink water from our state's forests and most of all eating granola.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    I have not looked at the election history on M34 and rural Democratic candidates, but I have seen little effect, in general, of measures on candidates. I don't think voters connect them closely. If the DPO had sponsored M34, there might have been some fallout, but otherwise, where's the problem?

  • Jeff Mishler (unverified)
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    I'ts nice to read positions supported by facts. Dave Moskowitz and Lyndon Rhunke make sense out of a complicated, fact laden, politically charged subject and support Mari Anne Gest's claims. She is not lying, not misrepresenting truth and not leading some radical charge to lock up state forests.

    I find it ironic that those who support the status quo by claiming a current position is based in sound science, collaboration, hard work, etc. often turn a deaf ear when new science contradicts their beliefs, but rarely question the rhetoric of status quo. These same types also find it hard to accept the possiblity that anyone could have had enough foresight to build a campaign to change status quo by taking a position calling for change, supported by research, which turn out to be true. The fact is, most Oregonians don't care, don't have the time, or don't trust science or facts. The aforementioned, Moskowitz, Rhunke and Gest make a living doing their homework so that less informed Oregonians are given the tools to make informed choices about public issues. It's up to the individual to use that information to gain perspective, or not. Personally, I'm glad they are there.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
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    Jeff Mishler wrote:

    "The aforementioned, Moskowitz, Rhunke and Gest make a living doing their homework so that less informed Oregonians are given the tools to make informed choices about public issues. It's up to the individual to use that information to gain perspective, or not. Personally, I'm glad they are there."

    Jeff neglects to point out that as he told me in an email on this topic off-line, he was a researcher for Ms. Gest related to Measure 34.

    I guess we have the sterotype again, the one that just kills the Democrats and Progressives. If you don't agree with us, you just don't know enough.

    So, the majority of Oregon voters just didn't know enough, and Measure 34 was defeated. It then follows that we have more work to do to "educate".

    What a lot of patronizing baloney!!

    I will state here what I told Jeff off-line, and what I have said before. Rural people like clean air, clean water, healthy forests, and like it so much we choose to live here. I probably agree with 90% of the views of Jeff, Ms. Gest, et al.

    It really is all about tactics, strategy, etc. If it was about being "right" everyone would be totally on the side of these types of environmentalists 25 years ago.

    When you come off as a "true believer" with superior knowledge, and unshakable faith in your cause; when you further talk down to the ignorant masses that need to be "educated" - you have shot yourself in the foot.

    In rural Oregon there is no issue more responsible for making the Democratic farmer, the union lumber mill worker, and the "common" person on the street turn from being a progressive Democratic into a rabid Republican than land/environmental issues. I attribute Geo. Bushes Presidency to the long term effects of the cancerous influence of the down side of environmentalism in rural areas.

    Here is what is wrong: People got left out. For example, if "sustainable" forest management was framed in rural areas as "sustainable" jobs, then everyone would be for it. But, when we hear "sustainable" out here, we hear the double speak that means job loss. If keeping streams healthy and flowing were about sustaining cattle ranching and farming, everyone would be for it.

    Environmentalism, like we see with Ms. Gest's comments, has painted itself into a corner of coming across with religious zeal in a manner that never mentions the people. If the people that live in rural areas were mentioned as often as salmon, we might start to feel cared for.

    This is, of course, about framing. But it goes beyond that. A core Democratic/Progessive value has been left out of public pronouncents about environmentalism - human compassion.

    Put human compassion into the environmental movement - in overt ways - and it might start to make progress, and we might elect more Democrats.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Steve,

    I appreciate the opposition to environmentalism in rural areas where jobs are not easy to come by. Although better communication and more inclusiveness can help sometimes, I think the problem is not totally avoidable. Unsustainable logging did provide many jobs at one time. Environmentalists called for forest preservation at the same time that the forests were about logged out and more mechanized mills were coming on line. There was no way that the number of jobs in the timber industry could be maintained. Sustainability means in longterm balance with nature. The number of sustainable jobs cutting and milling timber is many less than what rape and pillage logging provided, at least as long as the trees held out. It's hard to think of losing your job as sustainability. The same goes for Klamath Basin farmers who want to see their subsidized water and subsidized electricity "sustained" even as their "way of life" further degrades the ecosystem.

    The nation should help those displaced by environmental protection. All that would take is convincing Republicans to vote for environmental regulation and social spending. Of course, they would rather see rural folk suffer so they can use environmentalism as a wedge issue, something R's have done well.

    So what's the alternative for Democrats with "superior knowledge", which is simply paying attention to good science? Just wait for the whole country to turn into a complete shit-hole and then shrug their shoulders?

    Maybe education is the answer. Rural people are not stupid. Forest ecology is not simple, but it's science, not hocus pocus taken on faith.

  • Bob Rees (unverified)
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    Steve Bucknum wrote: But, when we hear "sustainable" out here, we hear the double speak that means job loss.

    This is one area that my industry failed in M34. We are still relatively young in the game of politics but that is changing rapidly. We still don't have lots of money to get our message out and most people don't take the time to research it. Ironic, since we have so much at stake when it comes to sustainalbe logging in our watersheds.

    M34 may have stood a better chance if we could tell the story of how many thousands of jobs we have lost due to poor water quality in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests. Water temperatures soar to lethal levels during the summer months and rivers swell during the winter months killing untold numbers of juvenile and adult wild salmon. Older forest structure would solve these issues (and I could write you a book on it) but what good does it do if we can't "educate" the masses?

    So dare to redefine your interpretation of sustainable and include the word diversify as that is what our coastal communities need to truly offer the best chance for sustainble, living wage jobs for these fragile economies.

    Our "canary in the cave" here on the coast is our wild salmon and when we lose access to 5 of the 6 last remaining runs of wild salmon on the North Oregon Coast (in just the last 13 years), that hurts people- and it's a trend that is about to put the final nail in the coffin of sport and commercial fishers.

    Bob Rees President, NW Guides and Anglers Association

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
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    Tom - I am not opposed to environmentalism, in fact, if you read many of my posts you will find that I support the goals of environmentalism. It is in part why I live where I live.

    Having said that, I find the tactics of the environmental movement lacking a proper focus. It is a high handed approach that basically has outsiders coming into your area telling you what you can and cannot do. Better to work with people.

    Sustainability is something we could easily talk about in terms of jobs. As long as "environmentalists" are using the courts, going to the legislature, etc. as ways to advance their agenda; and as long as they keep ignoring the rural people - we will have polarization. Oddly, I sense a great deal of agreement about goals throughout Oregon. Pat Ryan has twice talked about the agreements that went into the current management plan for the Tillamook and Clatsop forests that are being ignored by “environmentalists” among others. Again, tactics that polarize force moderate people to radical responses - in this case making rabid Republicans out of otherwise ordinary people.

    Somehow bunches of people are employed working on environmental issues. Yet, they are locked in a paradigm of research, research, lobby, and create a Measure to vote on. I suggest strongly that this isn’t the “right path”. The money currently spent on all this would be better spent working with people to create common ground. Some “re-framing” of the issues is in order. We really are talking jobs when we are talking “sustainability”, so lets talk jobs! Long term productivity is the result of creating better conditions in rivers and streams. Farmers and ranchers want long term productivity.

    But alas, there is a religious cult-like fervor in the environmental movement. There are people there that never want another tree cut, and there are people there that want all cattle out of the hills. It’s just as extreme as the people who want prayer in schools and want creationism taught instead of evolution. In fact, from my perspective, these extreme ends of the political spectrum both are cults.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Steve, I am with you on this one.

    I remember a frustrating conversation with someone I admire but didn't know well then. Very serious conversation with someone unhappy that Ron Wyden had not gotten involved in a very specific part of a very specific area that I had never heard about. I recall pointing out that there are many issues and a lot of people don't place a top priority on saving a place they have never heard of.

    Ideological purity / "true believers" generally don't gain their goal until they have found a way to involve the general public.

    Contrast that with the effort to save (did at that time but are such battles ever finally won?) Rough and Ready Creek in S. Oregon which originally was protected decades ago by collections of garden clubs because of the rare plants in the area. Someone wanted to open a nickel mine although there didn't seem to be economic reasons to do so.

    My point is that Steve is correct when he says "Somehow bunches of people are employed working on environmental issues. Yet, they are locked in a paradigm of research, research, lobby, and create a Measure to vote on. "

    Ordinary folks (the sort that may be working multiple jobs, or whose weekend involved a baby shower or a family shopping trip to Woodburn Outlet Mall)are not going to vote a particular way just because some people "focus like a laser beam" on a particular issue.

    It won't matter to those ordinary folks that someone makes a living in politics. In fact, they may get angry at some of what goes on in election years and say something like "go out and get a real job in the real world!"

    The goal should be outreach and realizing that people you only agree with maybe 1/2 the time may vote for your candidate. But they may look at a ballot measure and ask "is this measure really necessary, or just something else where I have to take time out of my busy life to study?".

    In 2000, there was a revolt against all those ballot measures. My guess is that, given the results, others may have done what my friends and I did: No was the default position, and to even earn our time reading the voters pamphlet it had to be something we personally thought worthwhile or something a friend told us about.

    A year or so later, I was in a group discussion and mentioned this and someone who is a famous political activist said THAT IS NOT WHAT PEOPLE DO!

    Way to NOT win votes--say someone's group of friends are not "people" because "that is not what people do"!

    Take your choice--either reach out to those folks who are capable of thinking for themselves even if they have never met anyone whose life revolves around politics, or risk losing ballot measure elections because (in jargon from another line of work) "you never made the sale".

    Someone I respect told me a few decades ago that politics and sales have a lot more in common than some would like to admit. Having more than a decade of sales experience myself, I tend to believe that.

    If such an attitude doesn't fit on someone's political spectrum, not my problem.

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