Most Oregonians love their forests and the salmon streams that flow through them. But activating that abiding interest to sway policy is still a heavy lift, especially on Oregon’s state forests and the arcane policies that govern them. That’s where Chris Smith comes in. The Oregon Forest Conservation Coalition (formerly North Coast State Forest Coalition) coordinator boils down all the planning dilemmas and timber sales into action alerts and news updates on these contentious lands at Portland’s back door. He leads outings and contributes to hiking guide books to put people in the forests—all to make clear what’s at stake in these salmon strongholds.
“Many people don’t know that these lands are state-owned, or that they are clearcut,” Smith said.
Thanks to Smith’s steady campaigning, we have a muscular coast coalition of anglers, business owners, and conservation groups working on the Tillamook, Clatsop, and Elliott State Forests.
“When Oregonians are tuned into what is actually happening on the landscape,” Smith said, “They don’t lack for passion and involvement.”