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January 10, 2014 12:52 PM

This is an update email sent to supporters of a popular Douglas County park that is facing a proposed 20-acre logging operation:

The 1,100-acre Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park near Oakland had strong public support at the Jan. 8 Douglas County commissioners meeting. Almost a hundred people squeezed into the meeting room, with dozens of people providing comments that Mildred’s park should not be clearcut. Facing those masses, the county commissioners decided to postpone their decision to clearcut or not, for one week.

As planned, the County Parks Advisory Committee submitted their recommendation to the commissioners to clearcut 20-acres of a native 100- to 150-year-old conifer forest in the park. Originally, the parks director had asked for a one-time logging operation, just once, so the profits could be used to build a campground, and the campground would finance park management into the future. But the recommendation presented on Wednesday was changed to allow continued logging in the park, eliminating the one-time-only constraint.

 While much of Kanipe Park is an oak savannah/woodland forest, there are 221 acres of native conifer forests identified as merchantable in a 2008 timber inventory taken by the Douglas County Parks director. 

 The Commissioners still need to hear from you that clearcutting in the Mildred Kanipe Park is inappropriate. Come to the commissioner's meeting, 9 am Wednesday, Jan. 15, Room 216, Douglas County Courthouse, 1036 SE Douglas, Roseburg, and/or e-mail the commissioners with your thoughts (email addresses at end). The commissioners need to be reminded that a majority of the public is opposed to clearcutting any part of Kanipe Park! 

 The park is a famous equestrian park throughout the state, with horse lovers often visiting from Eugene and Portland. It is also a draw for hikers, bicyclists, students and nature lovers.

There have been previous proposals to log Kanipe, but they were stopped by public opinion and by the terms of the Trust Mildred Kanipe. Her will stipulated: “No timber shall be cut or harvested except as may be necessary.” In a book interview Mildred said, about cutting the conifer forests, “I wasn’t going to cut those trees, those fir trees. I was always crazy about trees.”

But in August 2012 the Trust was dissolved. The county is no longer bound by her will and is free to convert all the native conifer forests into plantations. The County says this clearcut is needed to finance a new campground, which will help sustain Kanipe Park financially. 

 However, a clearcut is not necessary to do this. Concerned citizens have come up with another plan. It involves public contributions, in-kind donations, and grants. Since October 2013, more than $27,000 in pledges and cash has been donated from people throughout the state, with additional in-kind donations.

The vommissioners listened to this information at the meeting, but they asked no questions. On the other hand, they were very interested in the Parks Director (a professional timber manager used to clearcutting forests) talk about an itty-bitty clearcut that wouldn’t hurt anything.

The commissioners need to hear from us that there are doable solutions to keeping Mildred Kanipe Park funded with a campground built from public donations, not with a clearcut. Please come back to the next Commissioners meeting on Jan. 15, or email them your thoughts. 

 

Some issues you could include:

• The county doesn’t need to log the Park. People are fundraising to pay for the campground. This is a remarkable public effort that the commissioners should welcome. Once the money is raised for the campground, the commissioners should not clearcut, especially without a long-term management plan for the Park.

• Mildred Kanipe Park is the only county park required to be self-supporting. The parks director believes timber money should support the park, so he has chosen not to use other revenue opportunities, like donation boxes, parking fees, the Opportunity Grant, General Fund money, or options to move Kanipe Park into the Oregon State Parks system. The county should not be so quick to clearcut without pursuing all reasonable alternatives.

 • The proposal includes building an expensive new logging road, mapped to go through the heart of the park, winding through oak woodlands and over parts of Fern Woods Trail. Many large oaks would need to be cut down. It would be unsightly and lead park visitors right into the clearcut.

• The new road will travel over a stream that feeds Bachelor Creek, a salmon-bearing tributary of the Umpqua. Crossing the stream requires building on steep, erodible hillsides, with a new culvert, needing a lifetime of road maintenance. Once the trees are cut, how will the county fund the logging road maintenance? 

 • The county plans to ground spray herbicides on the new clearcut for several years. How will this herbicide impact people using the park, especially people drawn into the clearcut area, via the new road, after it is sprayed?

 

What you can do:

Please come and support speakers, or speak, at the Jan. 15 commissioners meeting. Public comments start at 9:00 a.m.

 Email the county commissioners: Susan Morgan, Joe Laurance and Doug Robertson:

   morgan@co.douglas.or.us, laurance@co.douglas.or.us, tina@co.douglas.or.us

Write a letter to The News Review: vmenard@nrtoday.com

For more information see: http://www.mildredkanipepark.org

To pledge a donation, send an email to: pledges@mildredkanipepark.org.

To see pictures of the proposed new road and unit to be clearcut, see:

https://picasaweb.google.com/112037980213765028264/MildredKanipePark

 

January 9, 2014 04:51 PM

This day in history.

January 9, 2014 12:58 PM

In a Dec. 17 editorial, the Register-Guard wrote that "Editorially, The Register-Guard accepts the strong evidence for human-caused climate change."

This leaves us wondering what's up with the R-G's story today (see full story here) on Kitty Piercy's State of the City address, where the following gem was found:

"But Piercy devoted much of her 20-minute speech to the city’s progress at meeting voluntary goals to reduce carbon emissions that many believe are responsible for so-called climate change."

Maybe the R-G isn't familiar with scientific consensus, with 97 percent of climate scientists agreeing that climate change is happening and is very likely caused by human activities (see NASA), but climate change is a pretty well-substantiated phenomenon, backed by scientists all over the world. Using undermining language like "many believe" and "so-called" is like saying "so-called gravity" or "so-called germ theory."

Statements like this are dismissive of the fact that the global average temperature has seen a 1.4 degree F spike over the past century (see here), or that absolute sea level has increased about 0.07 inches per year from 1880 to 2011, while from 1993 to 2011, it rose about 0.12 inches per year, doubling the rate of the long-term trend (see here).

There is a vast sea of evidence for climate change, and not just the trend itself, but that it is human-caused. It's irresponsible and misleading to use words of skepticism when describing an observable event. We expect better from newspapers that serve an environmentally-conscious community. What do you think? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

January 8, 2014 05:48 PM

Before there was Edward Snowden, there was a group of burglars who broke into the FBI's offices, exposed the agency's spying under J. Edgar Hoover and led the exposure of COINTELPRO. They were never caught. In case you missed The New York Times story, Retro Report made a video about the break in, which took place the night Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier had their epic boxing match.

A Heist that Changed History from Retro Report on Vimeo.

January 8, 2014 04:54 PM

January 8, 2014 05:09 PM

January 8, 2014 01:54 PM

It's true. SNL realized it's 2014 (but really, insert any year here) and there are funny people who are not white males — even though four of the five original new hires for the 2013-2014 season are white men (the fifth is a white woman). After much backlash, and one hilarious episode hosted by Kerry Washington, SNL has hired comedian Sasheer Zamata. And she's hilarious:

Zamata is the first black woman on SNL since Maya Rudolph left in 2007. I almost wanted to boycott SNL this winter after SNL cast member Kenan Thompson told TV Guide in reference to the lack of black women in the cast: "It's just a tough part of the business. Like in auditions, they never find ones that are ready." Oh sweet, sweet patronization.

But, especially with the addition of Zamata, SNL's female cast members are stealing the season and I will keep tuning in. For more on Zamata, Salon.com does a nice roundup of her standup and skits here.

January 6, 2014 12:50 PM

Friends of Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park (FMKMP) is in Douglas County are fighting to save the park from clear-cut logging proposed by the Douglas County Commission. A decision is expected Wednesday, Jan. 8. “The county thinks they need to cut 20 acres of big trees in order to build a campground,” says Debra Gray of FMKMP. “Our community has already raised $23,000 to show them we can build it without clear cutting the big trees that make it the special place it is. But we need help convincing them.”

 Below is the information the group provided:

 

We need your help to protect the 1,100 acre Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park near Oakland, Oregon. On Jan. 8, the Douglas County Parks Advisory Board will make a recommendation to the Douglas County Commissioners to clearcut 20 acres of a native 100- to 150-year-old conifer forest in the Park. The sale could happen next month, so our actions are urgent.

 While much of Kanipe Park is an oak savannah/woodland forest, there are 221 acres of native conifer forests identified as merchantable in a 2008 timber inventory taken by the current Douglas County Parks director. 

The commissioners need to hear from you that clearcutting in any park, but especially Kanipe, is inappropriate.Come to the Commissioner's meeting, 9 am Wednesday, Jan. 8, Room 216, Douglas County Courthouse, 1036 SE Douglas, Roseburg, and/or e-mail Commissioner Robertson (tina@co.douglas.or.us) with your thoughts. It's crucial that the commissioners know that a majority of the public is opposed to clearcutting any part of Kanipe Park! 

 There have been previous proposals to log Kanipe, but they were stopped by public opinion and by the terms of the Trust Mildred Kanipe set up to provide for this gift to the people of Douglas County. Her will stipulated: “No timber shall be cut or harvested except as may be necessary.” While Mildred did occasionally cut down trees when it made ecological sense to do so (something we don’t object to), clear cutting was not a management tool used or condoned by Mildred. In a book interview Mildred said, about cutting timber, “I wasn’t going to cut those trees, those fir trees. I was always crazy about trees.” 

The park has been a draw for hikers, equestrians, students of plant and animal science, and nature lovers. But in August 2012 the county succeeded in dissolving the Trust, and now is free to convert all the conifer forests into plantations. The uniqueness of Kanipe will be lost; the attraction of visiting it will be greatly lessened and Mildred’s wishes will be swept aside. 

The county says this clearcut is needed to finance a new campground, which will go a long way toward sustaining Kanipe Park financially. However, a clearcut is not necessary to do this. Concerned citizens have come up with another plan.It involves public contributions, in-kind donations, and grants. Since October 2013, more than $23,000 in pledges and cash has been donated from people throughout the state, with significant additional in-kind donations.

There are doable solutions to keeping Mildred Kanipe Park a beautiful park, with a campground and without a clearcut. The county parks department has chosen not to consider using a state grant created specifically to help build campgrounds or a State Park mechanism created specifically to help financially strapped county parks. With your help, we can convince the County Commissioners to do the right thing. Come to the meeting January 8 or e-mail Doug Robertson, the county commissioner that oversees park management. 

Key issues include:

• The county doesn’t need to log the park. People are fundraising to pay for the campground. This is a remarkable public effort that the commissioners should welcome. Once the money is raised for the campground, the Commissioners should not clearcut, especially without adopting a long-term management plan for the Park.

• Mildred Kanipe Park is the only county park required to be self-supporting. The parks director believes timber money should support the park, so he has chosen not to use other revenue opportunities, like donation boxes, parking fees, the Opportunity Grant, General Fund money, or options to move Kanipe Park into the Oregon State Parks system. The county should not be so quick to clearcut without pursuing all reasonable alternatives.

• Converting the old, native conifer forests in the park to young plantations means it must be “managed” on a continual basis. (It is impossible to replant 400 trees per acre and then never log it again). The public would prefer to recreate in real forests, not managed tree-farm. 

 • The proposal includes building an expensive new logging road, mapped to go through the heart of the park, replacing parts of Fern Woods Trail. Large oaks would need to be cut down and the native-surface trail would be graveled. It would be unsightly and lead park visitors right into the clearcut.

• The new road will travel over a stream that feeds Bachelor Creek, a salmon bearing tributary of the Umpqua. Crossing the stream requires building on steep, erodible hillsides, with a new culvert, needing a lifetime of road maintenance. Once the trees are cut and gone (perhaps exported), how will the county fund the logging road maintenance? Will it be added to the annual cost of maintaining the Park? This cost is not in the plan.

• The County plans to aerial spray herbicides on the new clearcut for several years. How will this herbicide impact people using the park, especially people drawn into the clearcut area, via the new road, after it is sprayed? How will it impact the neighbors?

• In a book interview Mildred said: “Most everybody told me, if you’d cut that timber, you would have some grass… But I wasn’t going to cut those trees, those fir trees, I was always crazy about trees…. Nope, I said, I ain’t gonna cut them trees.” Mildred also loved her oak trees. She said: “I’m just like the oak trees… I’m rooted in here so deep there’s just no movin’ me.” 

 

Email Doug Robertson at tina@co.douglas.or.us

Write a letter to the News Review: vmenard@nrtoday.com

For more information see: http://www.mildredkanipepark.org

To pledge a donation, send an email to: pledges@mildredkanipepark.org.

To see pictures of the proposed new road and unit to be clearcut, see:

https://picasaweb.google.com/112037980213765028264/MildredKanipePark

January 3, 2014 04:33 PM

January 2, 2014 02:28 PM

December 30, 2013 02:15 PM