“Watershed” is a word that evokes several meanings. Looking out our windows here in the Oregon Coast Range we literally see watersheds, the places where our water is collected, first by forests, then by small streams, and finally by major rivers.
Whether your water comes from a municipal supply, a spring or a well, it is the watershed that produces and provides that precious water. Go without it for even a week and you will notice how flowing water is so much a part of our lives that it is easy to take it for granted.
Watershed also means a critical moment marking a turning point in a state of affairs. That’s where we are now—at a point where continuing devastation of our formerly forested watersheds has triggered concerns about watershed health and now—potential action.
On Saturday, September 28, North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection (NCCWP) will present “LOOK UP! IT’S A WATERSHED MOMENT!” at the North County Recreation District building, 36155 9th St, Nehalem from noon to 9:00 p.m.
Highlights of the day’s events are a new movie by Shane Anderson (who made “Behind the Emerald Curtain”), and an important announcement by keynote speaker Ralph Bloemers of the Crag Law Center.
Starting at noon, workshops will include “Exploring Regenerative Forestry” with Peter Hayes, owner of Hyla Woods, a family-owned restoration forestry business; “Old Growth and Water” presented by Chandra LeGue, author of “Oregon’s Ancient Forests: A Hiking Guide”; children’s watershed activities for grades 5-8; a panel including fishing guide Bob Rees will discuss multiple factors putting fish at risk, including current forestry and farming practices, climate change, and what we can do to ensure that they survive; and “Fixing Oregon’s Logging Laws”, by Jason Gonzales of Oregon Wild.
At 5:00, soup, bread and drinks will be provided, followed at 6:00 by the evening program in the NCRD Theater. Forest Fairies will flutter in to start things off with a welcome and thanks, followed immediately by the keynote address by Ralph Bloemers discussing the effects of industrial logging on watersheds, what best science says, what current laws and regulations in Oregon are concerning logging, as well as how money and politics influence forestry management practices and publicly available information.
Bloemers is expected to make an important announcement about a statewide effort to change current forestry practices. He is an attorney with over twenty years of legal experience. As the Senior Staff Attorney at the Crag Law Center in Portland, he has been working to protect and sustain the Pacific Northwest’s natural environmental legacy by dealing with forest and water law policy, as well as through advocacy.
A brief comedy routine by Stumpy will lead into Shane Anderson’s film, “Run Wild, Run Free.”
Rockaway Beach Citizens for Watershed Protection started in 2011 when a group of neighbors in Rockaway Beach, Oregon watched as the Jetty Creek watershed, the source of their drinking water, was clearcut logged at an alarming rate and then aerial-sprayed with pesticides. In the last decade, about 90% of that watershed has been clearcut, causing highly detrimental effects to the drinking water and natural habitat. The organization has now grown to represent other communities up and down the North Coast of Oregon that face similar difficulties; therefore, our new name, North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection, reflects our working together on a regional basis to insure that the air we breathe and the water we drink are safe.