Environmentalists Offer Hope

Interesting on their own, it was the juxtaposition of three articles in your March 2 issue that I found especially insightful. It was great to get directions and encouragement to visit Eugene’s nearest significant patch of old-growth forest. But 18 miles from downtown, it left me again sickened, knowing the nearest hundred or more square miles were all slicked off for timber company profits.

Likewise, it was useful to have an article summarize all the various passes necessary to visit our public lands in Oregon. But that information, plus the fact that many favorite wilderness trailheads in the Cascades now require permits to enter, are reminders of just how badly the public would rather recreate on the scant portion of public land still intact than have the rights of the last bits (c’mon, Bureau of Land Management!) sold off to loggers.

But then you gave us hope, too, with the return of hundreds of environmental attorneys and other activists gathering at the University of Oregon Law School to strategize how to protect and restore the wildness we crave so badly.

I was especially struck by Maddie Reese, a young woman simultaneously plowing through her second year of law school while also organizing the largest environmental law conference on the planet, and who interned with Cascadia Wildlands last year and will work with the Civil Liberties Defense Center next. The Earth is in a rough place in 2023, but it helps to be reminded of those still fighting so hard to protect Her.

Tim Ream