Campaign to End Clearcutting in Josephine County – Kickoff Meeting Summary – March 18 2022

We had our campaign kick-off meeting at Wild River last Friday, March 18, 2022. Here is a summary of the proceedings, for those who couldn’t make it, and for those who did!

Kickoff Meeting Follow-Up

Thanks to so many people for attending! We filled the parking lot and the whole back room at Wild River. This meeting was put together in 2 weeks because of the urgency of the situation. Overall, I do not regret rushing it, but I do apologize for the uncomfortableness of appearing to be unprepared. The meeting did accomplish the number-one goal of kicking off an urgent campaign and beginning to bring awareness to the scale of destruction and poisoning that has been going on since Hancock and other investment corporations bought up most of the private forestland in our county. To everyone who spoke from their heart and from a desire for unity, I sincerely thank you. I know that this is what will fuel the campaign. The meeting started off slowly because I was over-whelmed with trying to recall from memory on the spot, all the months of research and strategy I had put together. I stood as silent as a tree, floating in my head serenely observing what we had brought together. I had spent all my time on organizing the meeting so that I was unable to put together the presentation I had intended. I learned many things and the next meeting will be 100 times better!

I had intended to talk for an hour about the history of the problem of clearcutting in our state as well as in our valley. The problem runs deeper than the scars on the mountain show, throughout all of our flawed government processes, our system of out-of-control capitalism, and our own consumer expectations of cheap products that are available immediately. For those anxious for a solution, I felt this introduction would be necessary to understand the radical nature of the solution I was to present. Which is: a truly grassroots effort without the assistance of big government nor the pleading to the corporations. The clearcutting has continued for 5 decades despite massive evidence of its harm on all levels, and all of the protest against it. The system for managing forestland (as for many other things in our society) is broken. It is so fundamentally broken that continued attempts to make additional small incremental fixes to it are not going to save us before it is too late. We do not need to reinvent, either, because the true system of sustainability and democracy that was created by native cultures has only recently been lost. The complexity of society hides this truth and keeps us from re-discovering it.

We were also successful in gathering over 50 signatures to the email list which more than doubled what we had before. For fundraising, we sold some of the shirts I designed. Also, Cindy successfully completed the new Josephine Corporate ownership map. We printed a large 2′ x 3′ map that can now be viewed. Maybe we can put it up at the library with a couple of compelling photos.

After the meeting adjourned, we were able to talk with each other one on one about plans and idea, while listening to one our local singer-songwriters, Nate Porter, play songs about this place (including a sneak peek at a song he’s been writing about the clearcutting going on right here). It was another example of pulling out all the stops to get things going in such an urgent crisis. Nate will take our message of what we are trying to do here with him on his upcoming tour across the country.

The people most interested in getting involved stayed late and talked strategy until Wild River closed. One of my biggest goals for the meeting was to start the formation of Think Tanks for moving forward with a plan of action – and that was begun. We will continue to form these working groups by posting the groups and their purpose on our website. We invite anyone interested to introduce yourself and suggest ideas, skills, or energy resources that you could contribute to the project.

Finally, we want to acknowledge those who have fought this battle in the past, and those who are fighting similar battles right now on other fronts, such as the public forestland front, working on trying to improve the system. While we have established this as grassroots campaign for fundamental change, we know that all the work is related, and critically important to hold the line on the progress that has been made. Great people and groups are already working on those fronts; Sasquatch Woods People intends to jump into the realm of leading the charge for new and more fundamental changes.
Contact information: ODFWe did also promise to provide some contact information. If you are having trouble with a clearcut near you, or herbicide spraying, and suspect that the loggers are breaking some rules, it would be great to let ODF know. The stewardship foresters areDoug Thackery – 541-474-3152Ben Whalen – 541-621-4112Up near Triangle Lake, Oregon, the residents put up such a fuss about the helicopter spraying and the fact that the herbicide they were spraying was found urine samples of 41 out of 41 residents, that the timber company decided to just stop the helicopter spraying, even though no new law was passed: it was the outcry that did it. They made a great video about it, here.

Contact information: FERNS notification databaseIf you live near timberland (corporate, federal, or any other), you will not be notified of upcoming logging, nor of pesticide applications, unless you sign up to receive notifications. You can sign up here, create an account, an create a “subscription area” for which you want to see notifications. Also, the Spray Free Coast organization has a tutorial for more assistance in getting signed up.

Thank you for reading!

Jo-el Palacios
Sasquatch Woods People
november 1Property Ownership Map Illinois Valley

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