Cascadia Forest Defenders Blockade Governor's Mansion
Before sunrise on Feb. 3, Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD) blockaded the entrance to Gov. John Kitzhaber's (D-OR) mansion with a mound of Christmas trees. Activists held banners reading "Rally at the State Land Board Meeting Feb. 14" and "KITZHABER LIES, FOREST DIE!" One person was arrested.
On Oct. 11, 2011, Gov. Kitzhaber approved a plan to almost double the clearcut in the Elliott State Forest. Voters, expecting a green governor, are outraged at the hypocrisy of his actions. "The old Elliott State Forest management plan already allowed an appalling amount of clearcutting," said Erin Grady, a member of CFD. "The State Land Board made a 60-year commitment to this plan in 1995. And only 16 years later, they just threw the whole plan in the trash. If logging in the Elliott continues at the current rate, this forest will be gone within our lifetime."
In the past year, there has been widespread disappointment regarding Gov. Kitzhaber's decisions towards the Elliott. Forest activist Echo Lively said, "If anyone was unsure about it before, we can now be sure that Kitzhaber is in the pocket of industry in Oregon." Another forest advocate said, "The only thing green about Kitzhaber is the money." Kitzhaber has made many mistakes managing environmental issues in Oregon, but there is still time to save this crucial rainforest of the Pacific Northwest.
CFD invites any and all who are enraged with Kitzhaber and other members of the State Land Board to attend a rally at their next meeting on Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. It will be held outside the Department of State Lands located in Salem at 775 Summer St. NE. Come tell Kitzhaber that we won't let our forests be destroyed without a fight.
For more information, click here.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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