It’s no secret that Oregon needs to do a better job of stewarding it’s amazing wildlands and waters — this is especially true for its forests. While the overall forest area has remained relatively steady in our state, the same cannot be said for the quality of those forests. They have been logged extensively, and some estimates show that as little as 10 percent of old growth forests remain. This poor management has led to degraded watersheds, impacted fish and wildlife, and millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Act 2: Decline of the Condor
The beginning of European colonization marked the start of one of the darkest periods in condor and Native American history. When early settlers first arrived in the Pacific Northwest, they often caused harm to the great vultures by shooting, poisoning, and capturing them. This came in addition to hunting the large game that the condors relied on for carrion.
Act 1: Early History and Cultural Importance of condors
The free flying California condor is a rare sight in the wild, one which many people have not ever witnessed. But those lucky few who have described the experience as nothing less than awe-inspiring. It’s no wonder that this ancient species, with an impressive 9.5 ft wingspan of inky black plumage, commands the skies and holds a place in our minds and our hearts -- and why many are working incredibly hard to bring “thunderbird” back from the brink of extinction.
When Oregon Wild and allies committed in February 2020 to comprehensive negotiations with the logging industry over the future of the Oregon Forest Practices Act (OFPA), we felt cautious optimism. After all, the OFPA had remained nearly unchanged for decades, leaving threatened species like salmon on the brink and saddling rural, forested communities with polluted drinking water and dangerous chemical spray. A chance to completely overhaul our logging laws was desperately needed.
Bats serve as nature’s fluffy pollinators, pest control agents, and key indicators of cave health. In Oregon alone, there are 15 bat species with the most elusive being the spotted bat. However, important surveys conducted in 2015 in Central Oregon hinted that the species may be more common than initially thought. Learn more about the spotted bat and how community science might be the key to solving this mystery.