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The Green River Valley & Mount St. Helens: No place for a mine

The Green River Valley & Mount St. Helens (Lawetlat’la) are no place for a mine. Cascade Forest Conservancy has been fighting proposals to construct a dangerous open-pit mine in this unique corner of the Cascades for more than 15 years. A mine could devastate an area important to many tribes, local communities, and people who value outdoor recreation. The mine would replace a place loved by hunters, anglers, hikers, cyclists, backcountry horseback riders, and others, with a permanent scar on the landscape. Impacts from the mine would threaten forest health, local biodiversity, fish populations, and even the human communities living near the Green, North Fork Toutle, and Cowlitz Rivers.

We have successfully challenged prospecting permits multiple times in Federal court, but after each victory, the mining corporation has tried again. 

We won’t be able to hold them off in court forever. That is why CFC is part of a new coalition working towards a solution that can end the threat of a mine here. Please help protect this place before its too late. 

PROTECTING THE MOUNT ST. HELENS PUMICE PLAIN

Cascade Forest Conservancy is involved in a lawsuit to protect the the Pumice Plain created in the aftermath of the famous 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens (Lawetlat’la). Essentially baked clean by a blanket of superheated rock and ash, the Pumice Plain provides scientists and researchers an unprecedented chance to study ecosystem formation after a cataclysmic event. Congress protected this landscape and the work being done by designating the area a Class I Research Area within the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Life here is bouncing back far faster than expected, and important discoveries are still being made.  

For 40 years, the Pumice Plain has remained a pristine roadless area. In addition to its value as a research site, it provides visitors from around the world a unique opportunity to see the power of a Cascade volcano and the stubborn resilience of life up close.

This place and the scientific opportunity it holds are now being imperiled by a US Forest Service plan to build a road through the heart of this landscape. The plan is a threat to research, fragile habitats, newly forming watersheds, and the public’s right to this place for themselves.

The Instream Wood Bank Network

A combination of factors like streamside logging have left many waterways unnaturally free of fallen logs and woody debris. Many species, including salmon, trout, and others, need the deep cool pools and habitat diversity downed wood in waterways create.    

The Instream Wood Bank Network was designed to address two challenges faced by restoration professionals throughout the West; the lack of wood and streams and the difficulty of sourcing the wood needed for restoration efforts. The network sources non-salable wood, then employs local contractors to move wood to a series of wood banks that are set up across the region. These banks then provide logs to restoration groups throughout southwest Washington.

The network also advances restoration in new areas by helping to prioritize, design, and coordinate the installation of wood structures in critical habitat areas. 

The Climate Resilience Guidebook

In 2017, we published the Climate Resilience Guidebook—a detailed look at the ways climate change is likely to impact the unique species, watersheds, and ecosystems of the southern Washington Cascades at the local level. The guidebook also suggests location-specific strategies and restoration priorities designed to preserve biodiversity and rebuild ecosystems to ensure our region is made as resilient as possible to the accelerating impacts of climate change.

An updated and expanded version of the Climate Resilience Guidebook will be released in 2022.    

SPEAK UP FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Since 1985, Cascade Forest Conservancy has been your voice speaking for the areas in and around the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwest Washington. Join the 12,000 other members who support Cascade Forest Conservancy and are making a difference now.

News & updates

  As a quick recap, beaver dam analogs are man-made structures that are created to mimic the form and function of natural-made beaver dams. Check out the first blog post in this series to learn more about beaver dam analogs and the benefits they provide to an ecosystem. There are a variety of reasons why...
In the coming years, scientists predict our region will continue to experience more frequent and intense droughts, floods, wildfires, insect outbreaks, and other harmful effects of climate change. CFC is working strategically to slow climate change and to build climate resilience where we can now. Restoring degraded ecosystems can help mitigate the climate-related threats our...
Judge rules federal agencies once again violated federal environmental laws in approving mining exploration near Mt. St. Helens.   A federal court ruled mineral prospecting permits issued by the Bereau of Land Management and the Forest Service violated environmental laws. The decision is a victory for conservation groups who believe that Mount St. Helens is no...
In October of last year, the Big Hollow Fire swept through over 40,000 acres of forest in the Mount Adams Ranger District of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Following a disturbance event like the Big Hollow Fire, stands that burned at high severity, causing a high degree of tree mortality, will revert to the earliest...
As we come to the end of Women’s History Month, we reflect on the women who have led the fight for conservation in the southern Washington Cascades and who shaped our history as an organization. We asked questions to three leaders: Susan Saul, who fought for the protection of Mount St. Helens and was a...
Monday, March 22 Today, Cascade Forest Conservancy and a coalition of scientists and conservation groups challenged in federal court a U.S. Forest Service plan to build a road through the Pumice Plain, the blast zone of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, to assess the integrity of a natural dam on Spirit Lake created by the...

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