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Friday, July 24, 2015

The WILD Cascades - Spring-Summer 2015 issue is online now!

         The WILD Cascades

        Spring-Summer 2015 issue is online now!

        Monte Cristo count down 
Overpopulation here at home 
Letter to NPS director regarding Stehekin Valley road
Park Service helicopters confirmed in Mather Wilderness this summer 
Chris Morgan: Yes, please, grizzly bears
Return to Del Campo 
American Alps update: Why establlish a National Preserve in the North Cascades?
Cascade Rambles: Green River and Charley Creek 
The Corvid’s eye
Remembering Bonnie Phillips 
A scientist’s emotional evaluation of the “winter” past 

Here's an excerpt from this issue's "Corvid's Eye" column:
By the time the corvid first met Bonnie Phillips in the waning years of the 20th century, her days of rugged exploration through the Northwest wilds and beyond were already long past. Bonnie’s younger years, as she related, were not without their considerable montane accomplishments. Her travels through the thick of enveloping forests and thin of rarified alpine air changed her, shaped her as they have done to so many of us. Bonnie continued to draw from these early experiences for the remainder of her recently completed life – the great majority of which was devoted to a hyper-charged conservation ethic and corresponding, relentless activism on behalf of our public forests...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Block Military Helicopters from Alpine Lakes Wilderness and vicinity of PCT

Scoping Comments Needed by July 30
The Department of the Army has a Scoping Document out now for public comment that proposes a number of high-altitude sites on the east side of the North Cascades for helicopter landing training. One of the sites is within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, even though the 1964 Wilderness Act prohibits aircraft landings in Wilderness! Another site is adjacent to the PCT!

U.S. Army Training
Army plans to use North Cascades for dangerous helicopter training. Source: THC News
Please send a quick email to the Army opposing these sites. Use your own words, but try to include the following points:
1. Site MTA 1-4 (the proposed site within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness) must be removed from further consideration, since it lies within a designated Wilderness. The Wilderness Act prohibits the landing of aircraft in Wilderness.
2. Azurite (Pk) site MTA 1-6: if it’s adopted the chances of the Liberty Bell/Sawtooth Roadless Areas gaining park or wilderness status dwindle. Furthermore it is critical mountain goat habitat.  Finally, it's proximity to the Pacific Crest Trail would eliminate the character of the area and compromise the visits/experiences of citizens at this highly utilized resource.
3. Further environmental review for this project must thoroughly analyze noise and other impacts on any Wildernesses or National Parks near the other proposed helicopter landings.
4. Any military training exercise – by air, on land, installing instrumentation, etc. – within designated Wilderness is inappropriate and should be prohibited.
5. The Army should follow FAA guidelines to protect Wilderness by keeping overflights at least 2,000-feet above ground level.
Here's how to submit your comments:
Put “JBLM Off-base Helicopter Training” in the subject line and email your comments by July 30 to:
Also send a copy to the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest Supervisor Mike Williams:

Here are links to some recent news articles about this:

And Here's the link to the Scoping Document:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Help Stop the Disastrous Mountain Loop Highway Clearcut!

Help Stop the Disastrous Mountain Loop Highway Clearcut!

The 13 mile dirt road segment of the Mountain Loop Highway between Barlow Pass and the White Chuck Road (south of Darrington) is an iconic drive through old growth and “near old growth” forest. There is nothing like it elsewhere in the North Cascade Mountains, perhaps not in the rest of the US.

Forest slated for clearcutting alongside Mountain Loop Hwy 
The US Forest Service now proposes a virtual clearcut along that road segment, removing over a million board feet of trees, allegedly to create better views of the surrounding mountains. All deciduous trees within 30 feet of either side of the ditch line along the road would be removed, along with all conifer trees less than 26 inches in diameter. The proposal, if implemented, would decimate that unique forest experience, replacing it with an 80 feet wide clearcut, with a few large trees dotted within the gutted forest.  

That forest was once old growth throughout its length. It is now slowly returning to what it was before logging removed most of it a century ago, with much of it already almost indistinguishable from old growth forest. If left alone, it will fully return to its former majesty. 

Your letters are needed to US Forest Service ranger Phyllis Reed at to express your opposition. Please send your letters as soon as possible.

In today’s world, the USFS must be at the forefront of fighting human caused global warming. Research shows that preserving trees, not removing them, is one of the best ways to accomplish that goal via carbon sequestration of trees. The plan must be stopped immediately. And if the Forest Service continues to pursue this bad idea, please tell Ms. Reed in your letter that it must issue a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) rather than a glossed-over Environmental Assessment (EA) to fully reveal all aspects of this project, including the carbon impacts of the tree removal.

Again, Please write to to express your opposition to tree removal along the dirt road section of the Mountain Loop Highway. 

Official information released by the Forest Service on the project can be found on their web site under Mountain Loop Vegetation and Road Management at: