Portland Audubon Society
statement on the armed
occupation of the
Malheur Wildlife Refuge

"The occupation of Malheur by armed, out of state militia groups puts one of America’s most important wildlife refuges at risk. It violates the most basic principles of the Public Trust Doctrine and holds hostage public lands and public resources to serve the very narrow political agenda of the occupiers. The occupiers have used the flimsiest of pretexts to justify their actions—the conviction of two local ranchers in a case involving arson and poaching on public lands. Notably, neither the local community or the individuals convicted have requested or endorsed the occupation or the assistance of militia groups. Portland Audubon calls upon the local, state and federal authorities to once again protect this incredible place for the amazing wildlife that live there and to preserve this natural heritage for current and future generations. Portland Audubon greatly appreciates the outstanding federal employees that staff the refuge, as well as members of the local community who have rejected this occupation. We hope for a safe, expeditious end to this armed occupation so that the myriad of local and non-local stakeholders can continue to work together to restore Malheur in ways that are supportive of both the local ecology and the local economy—the occupiers are serving nobody’s interests except their own."

Full Audubon statement here:


Coast Range Association




Progress on the Coast

The CRA's coastal program has made progress this
past year. Our coastal program manager, Jim Carlson,
has worked to organized commuity groups in support of
new nearshore marine reserves. Jim's focus has
been on the Cascade Head and Cape Falcon marine
reserves. Two community-based groups have
formed each supporting their respective marine reserve.

On July 18, the friends of Cascade Head Marine Reserve
held a great celebration of their marine reserve at Knight
Park on the Salmon River. The Friends of Cape Falcon
Marine Reserve recently hired a coordinator to assist with
local organizing and outreach.

If you wish to know more about the Friends of Cape
or the Friends of Cascade Head, contact jim and
he'll get you connected. Each group is made up of
knowledgable, local community members and there are
many opportunities for volunteer service.

Cascade Head
Marine Reserve
Management Plan

Cape Perpetua and the Cascade Head
Marine Reserves will shortly see their draft Management Plans from ODF&W. The Coast Range Association has assembled a background briefing document for the Cascade Head Marine Reserve. You can download the document here:

Background material for the Cascade Head
Marine Reserve Management Plan.


CRA Contact Information

Chuck Willer

Phone: 541-231-6651

Email: chuckw@coastrange.org

Jim Carlson

Phone: 503-801-5538

Email: jim.netarts@gmail.com

Coast Range Association
PO Box 2250
Corvallis, OR 97339

Who We Are

Learn more about the
work and history of the
Coast Range Association.

Here's the link:






Year End Report:

Defending the Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ACS) of the Northwest Forest Plan(NWFP)




By Chuck Willer

My pulse quickened as I read the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) comments on the BLM’s forest plans. Three years of Coast Range Association work was on the line. I read page six and my jaw dropped–NMFS let the BLM know their draft forest plans failed miserably to protect salmon and stream habitat. I quote: “The Draft Environmental Impact Statement [the draft plans] is (implicitly) making an extraordinary claim; that the FEMAT science team [Northwest Forest Plan] (and the Federal courts) were in error, and that up to 81% of the existing Riparian Reserve network can be opened for substantially increased levels of timber harvest (i.e. the Preferred Alternative B), with little effect on salmon and other riparian-dependent species and the habitat upon which they depend.” I soon realized that the federal agency in charge of protecting salmon had brought the hammer down on the BLM.

The comments went on to say the Northwest Forest Plan “was considered by the federal courts to be the ‘bare minimum’ necessary for the recovery of salmon.” Then I read the statement I hoped for: “Since that time, the scientific consensus has not changed, and available evidence suggests that implementation of the NWFP has in fact resulted in slowly improving habitat conditions for salmonids (see recent review in Frissell et al. 2014).”

There it was–NMFS was citing the CRA sponsored aquatic science report. The report was cited six other times in the comments. We had made the impact we hoped for–best available science was recognized. All our work for the past three years, paid for by hundreds of CRA supporters, has turned the tide of understanding about stream protections, water quality and riparian forest management, and yet this is no time to rest.

Last month we set in motion three projects to ensure that the best available science is followed in upcoming forest planning. Work over the next five months will complete a three year program to establish a thorough aquatic science record. Then it’s on to the BLM’s disaster of a final forest plan and engaging the Forest Service in their ongoing planning process. So much is at stake and there is so little time.

How the CRA rose to prominence in the defense of federal forests is reviewed in the background piece that follows this report. I thought it important to revisit how the CRA got to this point–leading in the defense of riparian forests, wild salmon, clean water, and healthy watersheds. 


Two things are now certain: our belief that the timber industry’s attack on the NWFP would target the Aquatic Conservation Strategy has been validated by the BLM plans. NMFS analysis of the BLM’s plans identified an 80%+ reduction in Riparian Reserves with protective standards equal to the current plan. Second, our three year project to defend the ACS has changed the narrative about what the best science is really saying. The NMFS comments confirm our impact.

This year-end report explains crucial, time sensitive work over the next five months that will complete our aquatic science program and set the stage for future federal forest planning work. I will explain what must be done, who will do it, how much it will cost and appeal, once again, for your generous support. If ever you were to consider a special, high impact donation, this is the work to invest in.


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Make a donation to keep the work going:

Donate Here:


History & Background: Coast Range Association’s (CRA) defense of the Northwest Forest Plan and its
Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ACS


By Chuck Willer


The last remaining real, native forest in the Northwest almost wholly exists on federal lands. The best salmon habitat and the coolest and cleanest streams are located in areas with high federal forest ownership. The CRA has successfully fought to protect federal native forest and high value watersheds for the past 25 years. In 1994, the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) was a huge victory to save the best of what’s left.

Yet, the constant drum beat against the NWFP by the timber industry and timber revenue dependent counties has never ceased. Oregon, the No.1 lumber milling state in the nation, has been at the center of political opposition to the NWFP. That opposition is driven by the mill owning elite. In Oregon over the past twenty years, timber interests engineered a train wreck political strategy to make the NWFP seem like it failed. Their strategy is to starve timber counties for revenue, create a fake county revenue crisis and declare the NWFP failed to deliver promised timber revenue.

In 1999, the state Legislature removed almost all the timber harvest tax on corporate forestlands but not small woodland owners. Over the twenty years of the NWFP, federal payments in lieu of timber receipts declined as Congress cut back the counties money-for-nothing program. As free money from the federal government became ever more scarce, the timber and mill elite prevented certain client counties from raising property taxes to necessary but still low levels. Rural timber counties then cut back on social and police services. All of this was engineered to give politicians in Salem a crisis to use against the NWFP. As it happened, the creation of the county crisis was accompanied by the hollowing out of the traditional media due to technology and the internet. The outcome is that little meaningful reporting has occurred to daylight the industry’s strategy.

The Attack Point is Chosen

Even with the contrived county revenue crisis, Oregon voters–Republicans, Democrats and independents–never wavered in their support for old growth forest protection. Given the overwhelming support for old growth protection, the mill owners had to finesse their attack on the Northwest Forest Plan. In cahoots with the Bush administration, Oregon’s political establishment chose to go after the ACS. During the Bush administration, a long-term strategy unfolded laying the groundwork for reducing NWFP Riparian Reserves and lower or eliminate

(Continue Reading)


Join the CRA Federal Lands News List:
Here's the link: http://tiny.cc/ks5v3x

For timely news about the Northwest Forest Plan, the plans revision process(BLM & Forest Service) and the defense of the
Aquatic Conservation Strategy


Now available: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) official comments on the BLM's draft forest plans(DEIS) .

NMFS comments validate
CRA sponsored science panel conclusions

BLM plan in trouble over the
Aquatic Conservation Strategy


Link to the comments:

NMFS: 2015_08-21_BLM DEIS RMP Comments


"Unexplained in the [BLM's] DEIS is the scientific basis for concluding
that the proposed, substantially smaller Riparian Reserves and the
proposed increased timber harvest activities within the smaller
Reserves are sufficient for the needs of salmon and other riparian-
dependent species. The Riparian Reserves created by the Northwest
Forest Plan (USDA and USDI 1994) were developed by a broad group
of scientists and reflected the general scientific consensus at the time
as to the level of protection needed for the recovery of salmon over a
100-year time frame and was considered by the federal courts to be the
“bare minimum” necessary for the recovery of salmon. Several Riparian
Reserve options proposed at that time were more protective than the
current proposed BLM DEIS Reserves but were rejected as
inadequate. Since that time, the scientific consensus has not changed,
and available evidence suggests that implementation of the
"NWFP has in fact resulted in slowly improving habitat conditions for
salmonids (see recent review in Frissell et al. 2014). The DEIS is
(implicitly) making an extraordinary claim; that the FEMAT science team
(and the Federal courts) were in error, and that up to 81% of the
existing Riparian Reserve network can be opened for substantially
increased levels of timber harvest (i.e. the Preferred Alternative B), with
little effect on salmon and other riparian-dependent species and the
habitat upon which they depend. It is an axiom in science that
extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, yet the DEIS provides
little data or even logical cohesion in support of this extraordinary shift
in fundamental scientific assumptions."


Full CRA Comments

on the BLM's Draft
Resource Management Plans

Environmental Impact Statement

For a quick read we have placed

abridged CRA comments here:
BLM Update

Download Part 1 here:

Part 1_CRA DEIS_comments

Download Part 2 here:

Part 2_CRA DEIS_comments

Download Part 3 here:

Part 3_CRA DEIS_comments



Key Documents for Forest
Planning in the area of the
Northwest Forest Plan

2014 Aquatic Science Report


Guiding Forest Service Planning Rule
Land Management Planning Handbook
in one easy to read document.

2012 Planning Rule & PLANNING WORKBOOK


Sign-on letter to the Secretaries
of Agriculture and Interior:

High stakes of weakening the
Aquatic Conservation Strategy
of the Northwest Forest Plan
Here's the link:



2013 Frissell ACS Report
Frissell 2013_ACS Report


Do you find our information of value?
Make a donation to keep the work going:

Donate Here:


Google Earth views of the remaining old growth
and native forests on federal lands. Find out
exactly where the last big forest still stands tall:



The Coast Range Association

The Oregon Coast Range is one of the greatest regions in the
world. Its natural beauty and its bountiful resources are why we
live here. They provide the pillars of the economy: income
brought by retirees, tourism, forestry and fishing. A great many
artistic and creative people are attracted to our amazing region.

The Coast Range Association was formed in 1991. We work to
defend the region's interests, protect its natural and cultural
endowments and restore its rivers, wetlands and forests. As
such, we are deeply committed to the stewardship
of our natural resources.

A balanced concern for people and the land informs our mission:
To build just and sustainable communities that provide for
people and the natural world