For Immediate Release, August 27, 2013
Contact: Randi Spivak, (310) 779-4894
"Oregon, Home of the Clearcut" Ad Campaign Launched by Conservationists
Highlights Problem of Forest Clearcutting in Oregon, Looming Return of Clearcutting on Public Lands
PORTLAND, Ore.— A coalition of four conservation organizations unveiled an ad campaign today showcasing dramatic images of destructive forest clearcuts and opposing recent proposals that would force a return to clearcutting on publicly owned lands in western Oregon. Ongoing and increasing logging will cause severe damage to clean water and Oregon’s economically vital tourism and outdoor-recreation industries.
The ads will appear online, on roadside billboards, and in the Eugene and Portland airports and are accompanied by a new website, www.ClearCutOregon.com, which offers information on logging practices in Oregon, the details of proposals to expand clearcutting on publicly owned “O&C” lands in the western part of the state, and opportunities to speak up in support of clean water, wildlife and Oregon’s tourism and recreation industry.
Reps. Peter DeFazio (D.-Ore.), Kurt Schrader (D.-Ore.) and Greg Walden (R.-Ore.) have proposed to effectively privatize 1.5 million acres of public land in western Oregon, turning it over to a private logging “trust” to be managed under the weak Oregon Forest Practices Act, where clearcutting is rampant. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D.-Ore.) is currently developing his own plan for expanded logging of public lands in the western part of the state.
“Forest clearcuts should have no place in Senator Wyden’s bill,” said Randi Spivak, Wildlands director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Most Oregonians, including those who live next to these lands, want more protection for forests, rivers and clean water, not the kind of destruction that comes with clearcutting.”
“People across America think Oregon is synonymous with strong environmental values, but we have a dirty little secret when it comes to clearcut logging,” said Sean Stevens, executive director of Oregon Wild. “Clearcutting is rampant on state and private forest lands, and now some politicians want to return to clearcutting on our public lands as well. These ads aim to show the ugly reality of just what that would mean for Oregon.”
A recent analysis of likely job growth by Georgetown University found that in Oregon, employment in recreation and related industries is expected to grow by 31 percent by 2020 — far surpassing the 3 percent expected job growth in logging and related industries. Proposals for the future of the state's forests should be based on an understanding of Oregon’s modern economy and where the greatest opportunities for growth are. In recent years major national employers have linked their decision to establish facilities in Oregon to the state’s public lands, rivers and quality of life.
Copies of the ads, as well as more information about proposals to expand clearcutting in western Oregon, can be found at www.ClearCutOregon.com