NFS Response to Oregon Timber Agreement

On Monday, February 10, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that an agreement, pending legislation, has been brokered between some members of the environmental conservation community and private timber industry to embark upon a process to address timber practices on Oregon’s private forest lands.

At present, the Native Fish Society has declined to sign the agreement that was struck. Our concerns include a lack of sufficient sideboards, incentives, and guarantees in the agreement that would increase the probability of success to achieve the substantive changes to Oregon forest practices that we feel are necessary to maintain a healthy environment and advance the recovery of listed species.

We are also deeply concerned about the lack of public engagement in the formulation of this agreement and within the proposed process. We must ensure that the people and communities most affected by these decisions are included and that the process is transparent to the public if we are to ensure that the solutions agreed upon are sufficient to protect community and watershed health.

Many of Native Fish Society staff and volunteers are members of front line communities that retain the right to protest the corporate actions that put profits ahead of people, native fish, and wildlife. We believe that peaceful protest, free-speech, inclusivity, and transparency are crucial elements of a democratic process, ones that should not and cannot be restricted as we work for healthy forest waters and a climate secure future.

We will continue to work with all the communities and groups most directly impacted to advance reforms to the Oregon Forest Practices Act. We respect and will continue to work with both signatories and non-signatories. Most of all, we encourage all Oregonians and people of the Pacific Northwest to continue to strive together to revive abundant wild fish, free-flowing rivers, and thriving local communities across our state and region.

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