Speak for the Trees: BLM Open House, June 15

I know it's cliche for a forest activist, but Dr. Seuss's Lorax is one of my favorite literary characters.  When his beloved truffula trees are being logged, he appears and proclaims "I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees!  I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues." 

There comes a time when all of us need to become a bit of a Lorax; this is one of those times.  The Bureau of Land Management's is trying to shake loose the ecosystem protections of the Northwest Forest Plan with its newly unveiled draft Western Oregon Plan Revision, in which all the alternative actions increase logging on BLM-managed lands while decreasing habitat protections.

While BLM manages only 2.5 million acres of federal forest in Oregon, whatever the BLM does in its plan revision paves the way for the National Forests to follow. 

What do you think?  How should our public forests be managed?  We're in the middle of a 90-day comment period and the BLM is hosting six Open Houses to engage the public interest.  At first, there was no Open House scheduled in Portland - but then Bark got involved!

After almost 80 Barkers told the BLM that they wanted a meeting in Portland, BLM listened - and scheduled a Portland Open House, Monday, June 15 from 5-8 pm at the Native American Student Center at Portland State University, 720 SW Jackson St.  (I don't know if the BLM appreciates the irony of this location, given that it is the direct descendant of the General Land Office that managed the massive dispossession of native lands in Oregon).

Several beloved recreation areas near Portland, like LaDee Flat, the Mollala River corridor and the Sandy Ridge Mountain Bike trail system may be affected by the Plan revisions, and much of the BLM-managed land around Portland could be re-designated for intensive timber production.  This meeting will be true "Open House" style - you can come any time within the three hours and share your opinion with different BLM specialists (Bark has prepared "talking points" to help!). 

These are our forests - their future depends on our voices (remember - the Open House is Monday, June 15th, 5-8 pm!).