Many people who spend time on the North Oregon Coast are dismayed by what’s happening to its forested watersheds. One of the best ways to stay informed about what’s happening is an Oregon Department of Forestry website called FERNS (Forest Activity Electronic Reporting and Notification System). It provides day-to-day notifications about forest management activities (where and what), including clearcut logging and aerial and hand-spraying of pesticides.
You are invited to a North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection session about FERNS.
On Monday, April 26, 2021, starting at 6:00 p.m., there will be a free NCCWP-sponsored Zoom workshop to learn how to use FERNS.
This workshop will walk you through how to create a FERNS subscription and how to use FERNS to monitor forestry activity in your watershed. It will be taught by Teresa Bird, who works on the Spray Free Coast campaign in Coos and Curry Counties for Coast Range Forest Watch and the Kalmiopsis Audubon Society. To register in advance, go to:
Interactive Mapping that shows clearcutting and pesticide spraying notifications:
Spray Free Coast did an amazing job creating this map showing clearcut logging and pesticide spraying notifications that were submitted to FERNS through March 31, 2021. (Hint: Try zooming in on the map. Zoom way in and greatly enlarge it. Then you can get precise information on any particular logging or spraying operation.) If you want more background information, go to this Spray Free Coast website: https://sprayfreecoast.org/sprays-across-oregon/. North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection (NCCWP), Spray Free Coast, and the Forest Waters Coalition support starting local “forest waters watch” groups. If you want to get started, first sign up on FERNS to monitor the area surrounding where you live. If you have any questions about registering or subscribing to FERNS, or anything else about your specific situation, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] Also, you can refer to the Spray Free Coast website for more resources and “how-to’s”, especially the Grassroots Organizing Resources page,which includes a FERNS tutorial.
Additionally, NCCWP is looking for people to form local “forest waters watch” teams. Contact us at [email protected].
More people monitoring the FERNS website, will mean more information gathered about ongoing forest management activities on both public and private lands. What happens to the forested hillsides adjacent to our communities can put at risk our long term health and safety. Most industrial forestry practices used in Oregon can increase the risk of landslides, compromise drinking water quality and quantity, threaten fish and wildlife, and expose people to toxic pesticides. What happens in the hills above communities on the Oregon Coast can compromise downstream water quality in creeks, wetlands, and, ultimately, the ocean. This information can help us work together to modernize Oregon’s forestry practices. We can do so much better!.
A March 2021 Portland State University study linked pesticide spraying in forests to pesticides found in ocean aquatic species. Toxic traces were found in mussels, clams, and oysters in Oregon’s coastal zone. This study explored the link between industrial forestry management techniques and pesticides found in aquatic species (attachment.) To view the KGW television story on the study, use the link below.
For years, I have enjoyed going to Short Beach, near Oceanside, where the birds known as oystercatchers hang out. Here’s some information about them from Wikipedia: “American Oystercatchers probe sandy and stony areas for clams, oysters, and other mollusks which they open by cutting or smashing.” Pesticides used in industrial forestry are polluting our drinking water, the rivers, the oceans, and, consequently, the food that birds such as oystercatchers depend on. We are all interconnected. What happens to the clams is happening to us.
Nancy Webster [email protected] 503-355-2516 (landline)
North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection (formerly Rockaway Beach Citizens for Watershed Protection) is a grassroots group working, through education and advocacy, for better protections of the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the forests that sustain us. healthywatershed.org www.facebook.com/NCCWATERSHEDPROTECTION