We had two amazing screenings of our film Behind the Emerald Curtain last week — Wednesday in Portland at the Mazamas mountaineering club, and Friday in Manzanita at Hoffman Center for the Arts. There was a full house at the Mazamas event, standing room only in Manzanita, and a robust discussion at both.
People at both events were appalled that Oregon allows toxic chemicals to be sprayed from helicopters into drinking watersheds and sometimes directly on people. They want to know, why do timber companies do this? The answer is this: after clearcutting, the first species to come back are broadleaf species like alders and (invasive) Scot’s broom. These shrubs and small trees, with their broad leaves, shade out Douglas-fir saplings. And Douglas-fir is the one species the timber companies want — a monoculture of Douglas-fir. So the companies spray chemicals that kill broadleaf species and allow Douglas-fir saplings to grow. However, they don’t do it everywhere. They don’t spray in Cannon Beach, Oregon, for example, because years ago, residents worked out an agreement with the landowner, which subsequent landowners have honored.
People are shocked to see entire mountainsides shaved of all trees and brush. They are shocked to see streams with no trees along them. Shocked to see landslides in our streams and rivers after clearcutting on steep slopes. Shocked to hear how much many coastal cities have had to pay to filter their water — water that the forest used to clean for free.
And people always want to know, what can we do?
The answer: Spread the word.
We know it sounds simplistic. We get it. But really, the best way we know to build momentum for reforming Oregon’s forestry laws is to tell your friends, family, neighbors, colleagues, social media followers and more that all is not well in Oregon. You can start by sharing our website, our petition, and our information on Facebook or Twitter. Another option: Host a screening of Behind the Emerald Curtain. Contact us for details.
Also, are you a member yet? If not, please join us! Join or renew now, and we will send you a DVD copy of Behind the Emerald Curtain.
We can’t do this without you, our loyal supporters, activists, volunteers, and comrades-in-arms. We are angry. You are angry. Help us channel that anger into some real change.