Announcements and Upcoming Events

Private Forests, Public Waters: How and Why Oregon is Failing Its Forest Streams

Mary Scurlock
May 14
6-8 pm
North Coast Recreation District (NCRD) building
36155 9th St. in Nehalem

On Tuesday, May 14th, from 6:00 pm to about 8:00 pm., Mary Scurlock will be giving a presentation as part of the North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection (NCCWP) “Speaking Truth to Power” series.  (Doors open at 5:30 pm. for the pre-talk “Meet and Greet.”)   This meeting will take place at the North Coast Recreation District (NCRD) building:  36155 9th St. in Nehalem.  It’s free and open to the public of all ages.

The title of Scurlock’s presentation is “Private Forests, Public Waters: How and Why Oregon is Failing Its Forest Streams”.

Scurlock, who is with the Oregon Stream Protection Coalition, will discuss the science, policy, and political reasons why current state and private forest policies are failing to protect the public’s interest in clean water and healthy wildlife.  This talk is being presented by North Coast Citizens for Watershed Protection, formerly known as Rockaway Beach Citizens for Watershed Protection. This and similar events, always free and open to the public, take place the second Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the NCRD at 36155 9th St. in Nehalem.

Scurlock’s presentation will review the harmful effects in Oregon on water quality and aquatic habitat caused by clearcut logging and its associated road building, compare Oregon’s water protection requirements with those in other states, and describe barriers to, and opportunities for, change through citizen action.

Scurlock is the coordinator of the Oregon Stream Protection Coalition, a 28-member ad hoc group of conservation and fishing industry organizations formed in 2012 to advocate for stronger baseline regulations under the Oregon Forest Practices Act.  She has extensive experience on forest-water issues in the West, much of it gained during her 25 years as an advocate at Pacific Rivers Council.  Her work has included development of expert science reviews of numerous state and federal forest policies and multi‐species aquatic conservation habitat conservation plans, as well as coordination of Endangered Species Act litigation against the Oregon Board of Forestry.

Other projects Scurlock has been involved in include co-authorship of “Entering the Watershed” (Island Press, 1993), watershed protection rule language for the national forests planning rule, federal watershed restoration funding proposals and appropriations, and evaluation of federal forest salvage and riparian thinning practices.   She also spent over five years representing the Forests and Fish Conservation Caucus in stakeholder processes under Washington State’s unique forest practices program. 

Born in Washington, D.C., but an Oregon resident since 1989, Scurlock was educated at Duke University (BA, 1985) and Boston University School of Law (JD, 1989).

Mary Scurlock was recently quoted in Daily Headlines from the April 24th Tillamook Headlight Herald. “Oregon’s rules for state and private timberlands are the weakest in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon has dragged its feet in addressing problems that have long been identified by state and federal expert agencies,” said Mary Scurlock with the Oregon Stream Protection Coalition.

“Intensive logging too close to streams and on landslide-prone areas, sediment from forest roads, and large areas dominated by clearcuts and young plantations are perpetuating poor freshwater habitat conditions,” Scurlock said.


CREATE Monthly Meeting
May 16
5:30-8:00 pm
Blue Scorcher Bakery, Astoria


North Coast Watershed Association Meeting Series
May 7:  Warrenton High School 6:00-7:30 pm
May 8:  The Logger Resturant 6:00-7:30 pm
May 10: Cannon Beach City Hall 1:00-2:30 pm
May 29: Astoria, location to be announced 6:00-7:30 pm

Past Events
Hearing on Forest Carbon Incentives Act of 2019 (HB 2659)

House Committee on Natural Resources
March 26, 2019, 8am
Oregon State Legislature, Hearing Room E

This in from Alex Renirie, Legislative Liaison, Sustainable Energy & Economy Network

As you already know, Oregon’s forests have world class potential to capture and store vast amounts of carbon and thereby help humanity achieve its goals for climate stability. But thanks to massive tax breaks, Oregon’s timber industry has no incentives to manage our forests in ways that help to mitigate climate change. Industrial logging is Oregon’s number one source of greenhouse gas emissions and its number one threat to climate resiliency because clearcuts, logging roads and timber plantations increase fire severity, deplete water supplies, help foster toxic algae blooms and elevate the risk of landslides and flooding.

Tax breaks that help sustain these damaging and costly practices should be rescinded. Doing so will free up funds to help counties alleviate chronic financial stress and invest in climate smart alternatives to conventional logging practices that will create new jobs and help reduce future environmental costs.

The House Committee on Natural Resources has scheduled a hearing on the Forest Carbon Incentives Act (HB 2659) for March 26 at 8am. The bill, recommended to the legislature by the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network and Pacific Rivers, eliminates tax breaks for designated forestlands occupied by clearcuts, logging roads, and timber plantations. It then redirects the new revenue to fund climate adaptation, climate smart forest practices, schools, infrastructure, and critical social services.

We hope you’ll join us on March 26th in Salem to tell the House Committee on Natural Resources to end tax breaks for clearcutting!

RSVP HERE if you can make it!

We hope you’ll also consider offering testimony in favor of the bill, using information from our campaign page and your own expertise as guidance. If you need help preparing your testimony, please feel free to respond to this email for additional support.

See you in Salem!


Oregon Legislature To Be Hearing Comments on HB 3058 and SB 583

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

This in from Kathleen Sullivan, Clatsop County Commissioner

These bills are to ban chlorpyrifos and to restrict the use of neonicotinoids. These pesticides are known to harm bees, children and wildlife. At the March 13th county board meeting, we voted 3-2 to support these bills.

Please consider sending your individual comments to the OR Legislature, or coming to Salem to give your comments in person. Speak from your heart and experience. Please help.

Just today, two separate people told me about the collapse of their bee hives last year here in Clatsop County. Please look at the attached materials for more information and ways to submit your comments.
Here are two links (here and here) talking directly about these bills with more information on how to get involved.


Do The Right Thing For Kids and Bees Today!

More information from Earthjustice on chlorpyrifos and Oregon House Bill 3058 and Senate Bill 853.

Getting the worst pesticides off the market is an on-going effort. Ideally, all safety tests would be ordered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and completed prior to registration. In reality, most pesticides undergo limited testing prior to being authorized for sale. Long-term effects, such as cancer or developmental harms, are often not understood until years after the chemical has been on the market and making its way into our water and bodies.

When we do figure out that a pesticide is harming human health, we need to take it off the market. Right now in Oregon, we have that chance with House Bill 3058 and Senate Bill 853.  Just introduced into the Oregon Legislature with assistance from the Oregon Pollinator Protection Alliance, HB 3058 and SB 853 would prohibit the use and sale of a pesticide called chlorpyrifos in Oregon.

Chlorpyrifos is a Big Problem
Sold under various trade names (Lorsban, Dursban and others), chlorpyrifos is used to kill insects and mites in many grains, vegetables, nuts, fruit (and in non-food crops such as Christmas trees and nursery crops). Apples, corn, strawberries, and broccoli are some of the common foods we eat that are frequently treated with chlorpyrifos.

According to EPA’s 2016 risk assessment, chlorpyrifos damages the developing brains of children, causing delays in mental development in babies and toddlers, attention problems and autism spectrum disorder in early childhood, and intelligence diminishment in school age children who were exposed to chlorpyrifos during gestation. Prenatal exposure to very low chlorpyrifos levels can harm babies permanently.

Chlorpyrifos also is found on our food at dangerous levels. According to EPA’s 2016 risk assessment, we are all consuming much more chlorpyifos than any level EPA deems safe. Children ages one to two are exposed to levels of chlorpyrifos in food 140 times what EPA deems safe.

Chlorpyrifos is extremely harmful to the farm and field workers who grow our food, who get inhalation exposures as they work. Finally, chlorpyrifos gets into our streams and is threatening our already highly diminished endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead. In 2017, the National Marine Fisheries Service determined that this chemical jeopardizes the survival and recovery of all listed salmon and steelhead in Oregon, Washington and California. Orca whales in Washington are also jeopardized by chlorpyrifos.

The EPA was reportedly ready to ban this insecticide, recognizing the harm. Then, President Trump appointed Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA and the ban was set aside. The New York Times reports that the chemical’s manufacturer conducted heavy lobbying prior to the reversal of EPA’s decision.

Protections for Pollinators
This bill would also make the neonicotinoid class of pesticides “restricted use,” meaning that people who don’t have an Oregon license to apply pesticides wouldn’t be able to buy and use these chemicals. Neonicotinoids are a class of pesticides that are highly persistent, highly toxic to bees, beneficial insects and aquatic invertebrates, and highly soluble.

We support the move to make neonicotinoids restricted use in Oregon. Requiring a license guarantees that the person using a pesticide has had the benefit of training and can pass a test demonstrating knowledge about basic pesticide safety practices. Licensed applicators need to get continuing education to keep up with the latest science and rules. Anyone who wants to use a pesticide, especially those known to be as dangerous as neonics, should have an applicator license.

Join Us in Helping Pass This Law
Please call your legislator and let them know we need this bill to protect Oregon children, farm workers, farmers, and streams.


Building A Green Future

ALES AND IDEAS
April 4th Lovell Room / Fort George Brewery 7PM
Co-sponsored by THE FOREST VISIONS PROJECT

Tom Bender is one of the founders of sustainable architecture and economics. He coined the term “sustainability” in an essay Sharing Smaller Pies in 1975. A former co-editor of RAIN: Journal of Appropriate Technology, he is the author of over three hundred published articles, half a dozen books, and the winner of national and international awards for his work in economics, design, and sustainable communities. His depth of experience in the historical, theoretical, and practical means of working with life-force (chi) energies in our surroundings has revealed what he has shown in his own architectural work – ways to create places that move our hearts, change our lives, and bring fullness to our spirits.

A LIVING Place to LIVE
Transforming Rage to Love
Free Higher Education
What and Why Everything is Changing


From Representative Tiffiny Mitchell, District 32

Fracking Moratorium

On March 18th, the Oregon House of Representatives voted to put a moratorium in place for the controversial oil and gas well development practice of hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.” I was proud to vote in favor of HB 2623 that establishes a 10-year ban on the destructive practice.

Leading up to the vote, I heard from many constituents over email who urged me to support the moratorium because the extraction process in fracking pollutes water, and is a massive contributor to methane and other greenhouse gas emissions. I firmly believe Oregon should never support fracking and it’s great to see that so many of my colleagues feel the same. The bill passed 42 to 12 and had bi-partisan support.

The bill will now move to the Senate, and I encourage everyone in House District 32 to continue showing their support.

Ban on Off-Shore Drilling

On March 19th, the Oregon House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 256. This bill removes the ‘sunset’ on the moratorium on oil, gas, and sulfur drilling off the Oregon coast, which in effect prohibits any off-shore drilling in the future.
I am elated that this bill was finally passed, and with a strong majority affirming this bill in both the House and Senate. Specifically, in the House, the vote was a conclusive 47-8 vote. As this was an important campaign goal of mine, I am proud to share this victory with House District 32. I hope that I can continue to make sure the Oregon coast remains a beautiful part of our state for both the residents of the North Coast and all Oregonians.


Marine Debris Survey

When: 10 April 2019—10:00 AM
Where: Fort Stevens State Park, Hammond, OR
Sponsor: Coast Watch (an Oregon Shores initiative)
Cost: Free

Volunteers sought to monitor debris washing up on our beaches.  Now that spring is here, longer and sunnier days are ahead. Here is an opportunity to get outside, get physical exercise, meet environmentally conscience neighbors, and help us all learn more about ways to reduce pollution in our world ocean.

From Ed Joyce, board member of Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition

Oregon Shores has inaugurated a new site for our marine debris survey which takes place at numerous sites along the coast. The new location is at Fort Stevens State Park, just south of the Columbia’s South Jetty. New volunteers are needed to fill out a team headed by Oregon Shores board member Ed Joyce who will conduct the survey at this site.

Meet at 10 a.m. at Parking Lot B, about three-quarters of a mile south of the Columbia on Jetty Rd. in Fort Stevens State Park. Whether traveling north or south on Hwy 101, turn west on Ridge Road and follow the signs within the park.
As with all CoastWatch’s marine debris survey sites, the survey is conducted monthly, to supply consistent data. We seek to organize a large enough team that some members can be there every month.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this citizen science project, CoastWatchers and non-CoastWatchers alike. While the goal is to recruit volunteers who will participate at this site, anyone is welcome to participate on this occasion simply to learn the ropes and consider getting involved, either here or perhaps at another site. Instructions and materials will be provided.

These monthly surveys are conducted according to a protocol developed by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and data collected are used by scientists studying the marine debris problem.

Although we continue to learn more and more about marine debris, there are still many unanswered questions. These include unknowns such as which types of debris are most common in a certain area? Or, how is the problem of marine debris changing over time, and are our efforts to prevent debris effective? NOAA’s Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP) helps answer these questions and others by collecting baseline data. The data collected through this project can be used to evaluate the impacts of marine debris along our coastlines and can help inform future marine debris mitigation and prevention efforts on a local, regional, and national scale.

 See here for more information on this effort.

For more information on the upcoming survey event contact Ed Joyce, (503) 468-0995. RSVPs would be helpful, so Ed can provide some background information in advance and will know who to look for on the day.


Help Our Local Pollinators

Clatsop Soil and Water Conservation District Annual Native Plant Sale
April 13th, 9am-2pm, at Bethany Lutheran Church located at 34th and Leif Erikson

Plant your garden with some of our bees and birds favorites while beautifying your home.

PRE-ORDERS MUST BE SUBMITTED BEFORE March 29, 2019
All orders are subject to plant availability.
Order early to ensure availability. Orders will be filled in the order they are received! (only cash and local checks).
Plants will be available for pick up at the event.
2019 plant sale preorder form


Two Marine Debris Events

Sunday, May 5th at 10 am and 2 pm.

Oregon Shores has inaugurated a new site for their marine debris survey, which takes place at numerous sites along the coast. The new location is at Fort Stevens State Park, just south of the Columbia’s South Jetty. More volunteers are needed.

Sunday, May 5, at 10 am at Parking Lot B in Fort Stevens State Park
In honor of Rise Above Plastics Month in Oregon, we’re doing something special for the next survey. Fawn Custer, until just lately CoastWatch’s volunteer coordinator and still our citizen science trainer, will be on hand, both to provide instructions in marine debris monitoring and to lead a beachwalk devoted to shoreline ecology (the very ecosystem being harmed by the plastic debris!). The event is free and open to everyone, whether to volunteer for this survey, learn about marine debris monitoring in general, or simply follow Fawn down the shore to learn about coastal natural history.

Meet at 10 a.m. at Parking Lot B, about three-quarters of a mile south of the Columbia on Jetty Rd. in Fort Stevens State Park.  Whether traveling north or south on Hwy 101, turn west on Ridge Road and follow the signs within the park.
As with all CoastWatch’s marine debris survey sites, the survey is conducted monthly, to supply consistent data.  New volunteers are needed to fill out a team headed by Oregon Shores board member Ed Joyce that will conduct the survey at this site. We seek to organize a large enough team that some members can be there every month.

These monthly surveys are conducted according to a protocol developed by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the data collected is used by scientists studying the marine debris problem.

Although we continue to learn more and more about marine debris, there are still many unanswered questions. These include unknowns such as which types of debris are most common in a certain area?  Or, how is the problem of marine debris changing over time, and are our efforts to prevent debris effective? NOAA’s Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project (MDMAP) helps answer these questions and others by collecting baseline data. The data collected through this project can be used to evaluate the impacts of marine debris along our coastlines and can help inform future marine debris mitigation and prevention efforts on a local, regional, and national scale.

For more information on the upcoming survey event or plans for the Fort Stevens survey site, contact Ed Joyce, (503) 468-0995.

Sunday, May 5th, 2 p.m., at Clatsop Community College (1675 Lexington Ave.) in Astoria
CoastWatch is also sponsoring a talk on the plague of plastics in the ocean and on the shore on May 5. The speaker is Dorothy Horn, a PhD candidate at Portland State University who is studying marine debris, and in particular the impact of “microplastics,” very small plastic bits in the environment that can work their way up the food chain. The talk will take place in 207 Patriot Hall (at the corner of 16th and Lexington–use the main entrance to Patriot Hall off Lexington).

Horn is doing research on the impacts of microplastics on Pacific Mole Crabs, Surf Perch and other nearshore invertebrates along the Oregon coast, Hawaii and Costa Rica.  Her talk at our recent Sharing the Coast Conference was very well received—if you missed that, here’s another chance.

Horn is a Marine Corps veteran and a Graduate Research Fellow for the National Science Foundation.  She received her B.S. in Environmental Science and Resource Management at California State University Channel Islands, where she began her studies of microplastics.  She is now a PhD student at Portland State University in the Environmental Science and Management program where students, researchers and faculty work with non-profit organizations, as well as local, state and federal partners, to conduct important research and find collaborative solutions with science and policy.

The event will also include information about CoastWatch’s marine debris monitoring project.

For more information about this event, and about Oregon Shores’ marine debris monitoring efforts in Clatsop County, contact Oregon Shores board member Ed Joyce, (503) 468-0995.


Meet and Greet — Astoria Community Development Director candidates
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Columbia Hall, Room 219
5:30 – 7:00 pm
Clatsop Community College

The City of Astoria invites the community to a public Meet and Greet to be held on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 to talk with the candidates for the open Community Development Director position.

This year, Astoria City Manager Brett Estes enlisted Prothman, a consulting firm that specializes in recruitment services across the nation, to post the open position and actively recruit candidates. Together the field of finalists for the position of Astoria Community Development Director was narrowed down to two.

Community members are invited to meet the candidates at an informal reception being held at Clatsop Community College, Columbia Room 219, 1651 Lexington Avenue, in Astoria. The doors will be open from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.  Hors d’oeuvres will be served and a no-host bar will be available.  Comment cards will be provided for members of the community to share their initial impression of the candidates they speak with at the event.

For more information, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 503-325-5824.


Forest Vision Project Art Exhibit — Last Day
May 9
Royal Nebeker Gallery, Clatsop Community College

Forest Visions art exhibit and related events intends to open the lens to the many stories born from our relationships to the forests. The related events during the run of the exhibit include a visit from Poet Laureate of Oregon Kim Stafford, who will be in Astoria for a series of happenings on April 22nd and 23rd that include poetry readings, performance art, ceremony, engagement with students and political leaders, and conversation with photographer Robert Adams.

Forest Visions is funded by generous donations from Clatsop County Cultural Coalition, Oregon Cultural Trust, Clatsop Community College Foundation and The Ford Family Foundation.

Gallery hours are from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The gallery is open on Sundays and holidays by appointment only.

For more information, check out the exhibit website here.