We know you follow this account to see beautiful photos of Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife, and waters, so this may be a little jarring.
Unfortunately, not everything in Oregon is forested mountain tops and clean water streams. Oregon has breathtaking scenery, but it also has the weakest forestry laws in the West, laws that endanger not only our forests and wildlife, but the health of nearby communities. Aerial sprayed clearcuts, monoculture plantations, contaminated drinking water, and landslides are a reality in many Oregon communities, a reality not often featured on Instagram.
There is incredible pressure on our elected officials to “up the cut” on public lands in a way that hurts wildlife, clean water, and our state’s natural beauty. That pressure must be countered by exposing the reality of Oregon’s landscape.
Back in 2013 we tried to run this ad at the Port of Portland exposing Oregon’s weak practices, and criticizing federal legislation that would dramatically increase clearcutting on public lands. The Port of Portland rejected that ad, claiming that an accurate portrayal of Oregon’s forest practices was “political.” After years in courts, and thanks to the hard work of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon (ACLU of Oregon), we finally won our free speech case!
This is an important victory, both for free speech and the environment. We should love our state, but rather than greenwash it, work harder to protect it. We hope you agree, and we promise on our next post we’ll get back to featuring the beloved landscapes of Oregon that will help inspire you to stand up and protect our special places and critters!