Save the lostine
defend the wild and scenic Lostine River Canyon
"We are facing a real crisis in the beautiful Lostine River valley, the most-used entrance into our magnificent Eagle Cap Wilderness, and one of the prime wildlife and wildland 'connectors' in all of NE Oregon.
--Brock Evans, GHCC Board Member & past President, Renowned Conservationist
Important September 2019 update! The Forest Service is awarding the Lostine timber sale NOW, with ground activities to start as soon as late October and full on logging this winter. We need your help more than ever. Our legal challenge is now in the Ninth Circuit Court. We will ask the Court for a preliminary injunction to halt logging while the case is being considered. That may or may not happen in time. We can't depend on the courts alone--in spite of the strength of our legal arguments. While the forest stands, we CAN speak up to protect the Lostine from logging. Our voices matter!
In 2017 GHCC and Oregon Wild jointly filed suit to save the Lostine River canyon from a poorly conceived logging project. Though billed as a public safety project, the Lostine Corridor project is largely composed of commercial logging that will cut 4 million board feet from just a few hundred acres. The area slated for logging isn't just any parcel of public land; this narrow canyon cradles the Wild and Scenic Lostine River, and is surrounded by the pristine Eagle Cap Wilderness.
GHCC is still engaged in the courts to save this beloved place for all of the species who call it home, and for all of the people who love its shady groves and cool breezes--but we can't do it alone. We need help covering our legal fees, staff time, and the costs of a campaign showcasing what happens when conservation voices are cut from public lands management decisions. Please donate today to help us continue our fight to save the Lostine!
The Forest Service inappropriately used a new "Categorical Exclusion" (CE) authority to bypass the National Environmental Policy Act and push this project forward without rigorous environmental analysis. Without providing any evidence to support their conclusions, the agency found that commercially logging this special canyon would have no significant impacts on the plants and animals who call this place home. This was the first use of this CE authority in our mission area and the Pacific Northwest. Not only is this a tragedy for the Lostine, it sets a dangerous precedent. (Read our complete F.A.Q. on the project here.)
How can heavy machinery and road-building not impact the delicate forest floor, known to contain incredibly rare plants like moonwarts? How will changing the forest from wet and cool to dry and open not impact species like martens and fishers who depend on a closed canopy to survive? Without an environmental analysis, it is impossible to understand the impacts of this destruction.
The commercial logging units stretch along the entire length of the 11 mile "cherry stem" Lostine River road that punches into the heart of the Eagle Cap Wilderness (see map). Many of the logging units are marked already. The trees that are marked with orange paint are the "leave" trees; nearly everything else will be cut. Can you imagine this forest with only the orange-painted trees left standing? (Photo below taken in logging unit 7.)