“Through a sweetheart deal with the timber industry, WOPR, as the plan is commonly known, will allow nearly twice the current amount of logging on public lands in western Oregon to occur, despite concerns from scientists and federal agencies that these dramatic increases in logging will harm clean water and healthy streams,” wrote Andrea Imler on June 12, 2009 for The Wilderness Society blog.
What is at stake is one of the last remaining, old-growth forest ecosystems in the United States. Not only are these forests home to untold numbers of plant and animal species, some of which find a last refuge from extinction here, but the clear cold streams that run through them support one of the healthiest wild-salmon fisheries left.
Andrea writes, “Fanned out in a checkerboard pattern along Oregon’s magnificent coast, you will find land where old-growth trees flourish, wildlife is abundant and the salmon spawning rivers are among some of the best in the country. . .
“Yet these wildlands, once protected by the Northwest Forest Plan, are now under threat of becoming clearcut and developed due to a Bush-era plan called the Western Oregon Plan Revisions.”