On Thursday January 12, 2017 we celebrated two major victories in southwest Oregon that have paid off in over 100,000 acres protected for climate change resilience, biodiversity, and clean water!!
The federal government removed over 100,000 acres from the threat of industrial-nickel mining! This region is one of the most important landscapes in the American West in terms of its extraordinary biodiversity, is considered the Pacific Coastal Outback for its large complex of roadless wild lands, has exceptionally high concentrations of rare plants, and pristine, remote rivers. Geos Institute was a key player supporting grass-roots partners and presenting the science on the importance of the area to the administration in DC and regionally. The region has been identified by our science team as an important regional climate refuge and through these efforts there is now a 20-year time out on mining to give congress and a future environmentally friendly administration time to permanently protect the area. We are especially thankful to Senators Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley, and Congressmen Peter DeFazio and Jared Huffman (CA).
Led by the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council, the Obama administration just expanded the 66,000 acre Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, the nation’s only monument to biodiversity, by adding another 48,000 acres! In 2011, Geos Institute was part of a team of scientists that examined whether the monument was large enough to protect its outstanding features and species especially in a changing climate. The science that came from that effort was used to support outreach by the Soda Mountain Wilderness Council and partners that made a compelling case for expansion at local hearings attended by hundreds of monument supporters who stand in solidarity for its protection. Chief among the reasons for expanding the monument, was the need to protect its remarkable features and species in a changing climate! We give a special thank you to Senators Jeff Merkely and Ron Wyden for their work in making this happen.
Our biggest and most heartfelt thanks to the work and support of KS Wild, Oregon Wild, American Rivers, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Native Fish Society, Friends of the Kalmiopsis, Soda Mountain Wilderness Council, Friends of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Conservation Lands Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation, Weeden Foundation, Charlotte Martin Foundation, and everyone who supported these efforts.