In the early hours of Tuesday, Nov. 11th, Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky ascended a pine on state capitol grounds and began an urban tree sit in protest of the Bureau of Land Management’s Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR). She descended on Friday, Nov. 14th in order to speak at a rally of over 200 anti-WOPR protestors on the capitol steps.
The BLM claim on their website that the basic principles behind the WOPR include managing natural resources “for human use and a healthy environment” and management that is “focused on ecological principles to reduce the need for single resource or single species management”. However, several statistics regarding the WOPR do not support these claims. According to Oregon Wild’s® forest expert Doug Heiken, logging on Oregon BLM lands would be increased upwards of 375%, and old growth logging would be catastrophically scaled forward. Additionally, approx. 180 million tons more carbon would be released into the atmosphere as opposed to a “no-harvest” alternative. Statistics such as these have incensed Oregon environmental groups, who banded together in the WOPR and Beyond Coalition to organize the anti-WOPR rally and garner popular opposition to the new forest plan.
Trip Jennings, a member of the radical advocacy group Cascadia Rising Tide, claimed, “The number one reason to oppose the WOPR is that it represents a forest policy that The WOPR ignores all of the most progressive and sustainable ways to get our forest products and reverts back to a time when we thought the trees were endless, and we could clear-cut forever without any repercussions.” Cascadia Rising Tide is an activist collective formed to address the root causes of climate change.
Jasmine Zimmer-Stucky is also a member of Cascadia Rising Tide, as well as a University of Oregon student. She claimed that during the tree-sit, “the support that poured in from all over was very amazing, at times almost overwhelming... My middle school sent a big card, with things like “I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing, I love big trees.” Their anecdotes were very inspiring. Also having people from the capitol building come out, say hello, and say they were proud of us was very reaffirming.” Regarding the rally, she said, “I thought that the rally did a good job of not only exposing the WOPR, but exposing a host of bad forest policy that we need to keep fighting.”
So, now that you’re all fired up with talk of rallies and protests, what can you do to help stop the WOPR and bad forest policy across the state of Oregon? One approach is to contact the Obama administration via web; after all, our new president has promised to address environmental issues in his policy. If you want to get a little more “grassroots” with your approach, a good place to start is Google: look up the WOPR and Beyond Coalition, to discover various Oregon environmental justice groups that work to prevent harmful logging practices.