Friends is the only nonprofit organization working every day to protect the resources of the Gorge for future generations—and we can't do it without you.
Coal companies are proposing to greatly expand coal train exports through the Gorge. Under proposals currently being floated, 20 to 30 new coal trains per day would pass through the Gorge. These trains would carry coal in uncovered cars, dispersing tens of thousands of tons of coal dust along their routes each year. The coal dust, as well as diesel emissions, would create significant amounts of air pollution.
UPDATE: The Oregon Department of State Lands has opened its comment period on the proposal for a coal terminal at the Port of Morrow, from which coal would be shipped by barges through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, then transferred to ocean-going freighters in St. Helens, OR for transport to Asia. You can help send a clear NO on this proposal by sending a comment and letter to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and other decison-makers asking them to deny permits to for this precedent-setting coal export proposal.
Help stop these coal export proposals. Send a letter to your elected officials today. Let them know how coal exports would affect your community.
Wind energy projects should be an important part of our energy future in the Northwest, but poorly planned projects like the Whistling Ridge should not be allowed.
The Whistling Ridge project would construct up to fifty 430-foot-tall turbines on a 2,000-foot-high ridgeline towering above the Columbia River Gorge—right in the heart of a designated Northern Spotted Owl Special Emphasis Area. The project would harm eagles, hawks, bats, and the already endangered spotted owl.
The project would not provide abundant energy for the citizens of the Northwest. The average power capacity of the project would be less than 25 Megawatts, which is only a drop in the bucket compared to the more than 17,000 megawatts of current wind power capacity (including all built, approved, and proposed projects) in Washington and Oregon.
Friends supports responsible wind energy development, but this proposal is not responsible and not worth sacrificing the unique resources of the Columbia Gorge.
(Photo: Visual simulation of Whistling Ridge proposal as it would be seen from I-84 near Hood River, OR.)
The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides funds to the U.S. Forest Service to buy and protect land in the Gorge. Many of the popular recereation areas in the Gorge have been made possible with LWCF funding.
Last year Congress zeroed out funding for LWCF, and with this year's budget negotiations so contentious, it's unclear what will be budgeted for LWCF.
- Contact your Senator and U.S. Representative and tell them to support LWCF funding and Gorge protection!
(The LWCF is funded by a portion of profits from offshore drilling, not by income taxes.)
(Photo: Destinations like Catherine Creek were made possible through purchases funded by LWCF. Photo by Angie Moore.)