Cascadia Wildlands

Devil's Staircase
Rachael McDonald

Oregon U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced a bill last week to expand wilderness in the state. The legislation has failed to pass 3 times in Congress.

The bill would designate more than 200 thousand acres of land as wilderness or national recreation areas. The bill creates the Devils Staircase Wilderness in the Oregon Coast Range southwest of Eugene. It also expands the Wild Rogue Wilderness. Josh Laughlin with the conservation group Cascadia Wildlands says he's hopeful public support can help get the bill passed this time.

Cascadia Wildlands

Two environmental groups are challenging a timber sale outside of Springfield that they say is the largest clear-cut on federal land in 20 years. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Eugene.

The project, called The Second Show Timber Sale, is on nearly 260 acres of Bureau of Land Management Land near Shotgun Creek outside Springfield. Nick Cady is with Cascadia Wildlands, one of the conservation groups which filed the lawsuit. He says the BLM neglected to analyze the effects of the project in relation to other private logging projects in the area.

Conservation groups are urging Governor John Kitzhaber and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to reject part of a proposal to expand black bear hunting tags in Southwest Oregon.

In 2011, the grey wolf known as OR7 became the first wolf to enter California in nearly a century. Documentary filmmaker Clemens Schenk examines that trek and the role of wolves in the wider ecosystem in OR7 – The Journey. He speaks with Eric Alan, before the film screens at the Bijou Art Cinemas on Thursday, September 18th.

Devan Schwartz / Earthfix

A controversial method of logging is being tested on a Bureau of Land Management forest in Southern Oregon. The idea is to remove trees in the same way nature does. It’s being touted as a model for the Pacific Northwest.

Critics say it’s just a new twist on the same old problem: too much logging and not enough environmental protection.

Steep hillsides slant toward a bright blue sky. This section of forest, known as the Buck Rising site, is a checkboard landscape. It ranges from intact forests, to stands of thinned trees, to clearcuts.

Tiffany Eckert

Conservationists from across the nation are in Eugene this weekend for the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. Public lands advocates took this opportunity to protest a logging bill sponsored by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden. Today (Friday) more than 50 people marched from the Knight Law Center to the Federal Courthouse.

The protesters are opposed to plans to increase logging on public forestlands in western Oregon. Self proclaimed "tree sitters" are part of the rally. So are fishery managers and scientists.