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Natural Places Are a Source of Peace During Difficult Times

Natural Places Are a Source of Peace During Difficult Times
The double-tracking project will adversely affect numerous wetlands, water bodies, and sensitive species located within Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. (photographer: Debbie Asakawa)
By Sophia Aepfelbacher
Membership Coordinator
March 26, 2020

While conscious of the physical, emotional, and financial toll of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Friends is determined to forge ahead with our mission to preserve and protect the Columbia Gorge.

Our legal team is still hard at work and just appealed a disastrous District Court decision that permitted BNSF Railway to construct a double-tracking project through Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge without obtaining any of the necessary permits. This double-tracking project threatens the health and future of the Columbia Gorge by increasing the capacity and speed of coal and oil train traffic.

While some aspects of our Gorge protection work have been paused, our legal cases appear to be unaffected so far and they are currently moving through the courts at the same rate they were before the coronavirus outbreak. As a recent victory against Millennium’s proposed coal terminal in Longview, WA demonstrates, legal action remains a highly effective way to fight back against fossil fuel transportation in the Columbia Gorge.

Please join us in this fight today either by donating in support of our legal work or by subscribing to our Action Alerts to stay updated on conservation threats to the Gorge.