Talks on Forests and Climate Change

February 21, 2019 - 7:00 PM
Clatsop Community College
Columbia Hall
1651 Lexington Ave
Astoria, OR

Chuck Willer, executive director of the Coast Range Association.
Chuck Willer, executive director of the Coast Range Association. | Photo by Walt Childress.

Chuck Willer and Mary Scurlock will speak about Wall Street-driven forest management in light of the climate crisis on Feb. 21; doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the lecture starts at 7 p.m. The event is taking place at Clatsop Community College, Columbia Hall (1651 Lexington Ave, Astoria).

How could the much talked-about Green New Deal apply to Oregon's high density carbon forests, such as those typical of Clatsop County? Willer and Scurlock will explore the necessary local, state and national solutions for putting people before profits in solving the climate crisis. 

The Coast Range Association, which Willer directs, believes new factors have arisen that have not been adequately considered by Oregon’s climate change community.

For one, it is now known that the timber industry is Oregon’s number one carbon polluter, significantly contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Foremost among new positive factors is the political initiative known as the Green New Deal. While the Green New Deal is being heatedly debated in Washington, D.C. and supported, in concept, by Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, little discussion has occurred on how the initiative may assist Oregon’s carbon transition.

Willer’s talk will be the first exploration of an Oregon carbon transition for corporate forests in light of three areas of understanding:

• Insights cataloged by past Coast Range Association research into Wall Street-driven forest management.

• The latest findings in climate science and the documentation of carbon pollution by Oregon’s current forest owners.

• Opportunities offered by the Green New Deal that have not been explored in their application to Oregon, much less its forests.

The conclusions drawn and recommendations offered will be a first in Oregon’s evolving discussion of climate, forests and the required economic transition we now face.

For more information, contact Willer at 541-231-6651 or [email protected].

Speaker Bios: For 25 years Chuck Willer has worked for the Coast Range Association studying forest management in Western Oregon. His current work focuses on the consolidation of Oregon's private forest ownership in large corporate companies that are Timber Investment Management Organizations (TIMOs) or Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS).

Mary Scurlock is an Environmental Policy Analyst in Portland.