August 2018 Newsletter | Cascade Forest Conservancy

August 2018 Newsletter

Join us at our biggest event of the year! All proceeds from our auction and banquet go to CFC’s conservation, education and advocacy programs. Get your tickets here: https://cascadeforest.org/get-involved/2018-banquet

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CFC’s Partnership with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe

The Cascade Forest Conservancy (CFC) has grown a special partnership with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe (CIT) on a number of important projects. The Tribe has been a partner of ours for many years, collaborating in the field as well as on natural resources policy issues, but now we are rolling up our sleeves for several on-the-ground restoration projects. Most recently, the Cowlitz Tribe has been a key partner on our beaver reintroduction efforts, and a sub-grantee of a CFC Wildlife Conservation Society grant. This exciting collaboration is a major, landscape-scale restoration project in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest that grew out of our 2016 Wildlife and Climate Resilience Guidebook. To date, CIT has collaborated with us on many pivotal aspects of the project – joining us on beaver habitat surveys, forming agreements with wildlife trapping companies to gather the beaver, and creating holding facilities to keep the beaver comfortable until they can be relocated.

Read the full blog post here: https://cascadeforest.org/cfcs-partnership-with-the-cowlitz-indian-tribe/

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Green River Valley Trip Report

 

It takes roughly three hours to drive to the Green River valley near Mount St. Helens from Portland, and the road is only accessible from late summer through early fall each year. The remote nature of this landscape is part of what makes it such an incredible place for recreation. Visitors to this area can hike, camp, bike, ride horses, and hunt, and rarely come into contact with more than a few people. Listening to this landscape reveals water bubbling down the Green River, rustling trees, birds, and other natural sounds. Potentially more notable, is what is often not heard in this valley surrounded by large roadless areas – cars and other human-caused noises. As population throughout the region continues to grow, and more people learn the joy of experiencing public lands, it becomes increasingly important to protect areas that provide a remote recreation experience. Allowing exploratory drilling in the Green River valley would mean one less place for people to enjoy solitude and the sounds of nature.

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In July and August we visited the valley with our partners at Earthrise Law Center and concerned citizens. During these trips we visited the sites that would be most impacted by the mining proposal such as the Green River Horse Camp, the Green River trail, and Goat Mountain trail. Summer is a fantastic time to wade in the cool, clean waters of the Green River and acknowledge the essential habitat it provides for wild steelhead further downstream. We were not alone in enjoying the Green River valley, as the trails are becoming increasingly popular with hikers and mountain bikers experiencing the mosaic landscape at the edge of Mount St. Helens blast-zone. We came across evidence of bears, elk, woodpeckers, and other wildlife as we hiked the Green River trail through dense forest to blast-zone meadows with standing dead trees. Each trip to the Green River valley creates unique memories in a landscape that drastically changes throughout the seasons and years, and further underscores that this place should be protected from mining exploration and development.

Seed Collection for Post-Fire Restoration

This weekend we will be out in the forests near Mount Adams collecting native seeds with volunteers as part of the multi-year effort to restore post-fire areas that were severely impacted by successive, high-intensity fires between 2008 and 2015. These seeds collected this weekend will be used for future seeding trips. Our trip will start with a training at the Mount Adams Ranger District office where the local Forest Service botanist will train volunteers on plant identification for target species and seed collection techniques.

Without active restoration, many native species are unlikely to re-colonize the area in the near future (or perhaps for decades), which will negatively impact local wildlife, decrease overall ecosystem resilience. This can also increase the establishment and spread of non-native invasive species. Reintroducing a diverse set of native plant species will improve the resilience of local wildlife and ecosystems and will create habitat for pollinators, birds, mammals, and other vegetation.

Year 2 of Huckleberry Monitoring Project

 

BerryPic 2It is currently peak huckleberry season, and pickers are out gathering berries all through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. CFC has been out in the GPNF since late July working with volunteers, staff, and other organizations to collect data for our huckleberry monitoring project. This year and last, we have visited forest stand units that have been treated (thinned) using different techniques in hopes of optimizing huckleberry plant growth and fruit production. We have units that we are monitoring near Pinto Rock and the Sawtooth Berry Fields. These are both areas where huckleberry has been known to flourish but could use more sunlight to enhance productivity.Once we know which treatment types are most suitable for huckleberry, the results of the research will be written into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest Huckleberry Management Strategy. There is currently a draft of this document with our preliminary data, which can be found here https://pinchotpartners.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Huckleberry-Strategy-04.10.17.pdf.

If you’d like to head out to the GP and gather huckleberries, make sure to download a free permit online, visit this website for more details https://apps.fs.usda.gov/gp/

New 2018-2020 Strategic Plan

 

CFC has put together an ambitious three-year plan to combat climate change, protect wildlands, and conserve our streams, fish, and wildlife for future generations. Please check it out, along with our 2017 Annual Report, here: https://cascadeforest.org/about-us/strategic-plan-annual-report/
Thank You, Nike!

 

The CFC offices recently recieved a makeover, thanks to the generous folks over at Nike!  They donated us desks, lamps, storage units, chairs, and a new boardroom table and rug.  We are grateful for their donation and support!