Conservation Column: California Condors Soon to Soar Over Oregon

What’s the largest native bird in North American? That’s easy. With a wingspan of nearly 10 feet, California Condors (CACO) win the prize. Soaring above the landscape, they use their keen eyesight to search for carrion and provide important “clean-up” services to the environment. It’s been about 100 years since these magnificent birds flew in Oregon skies, but I’m happy to report that this is about to change. The Yurok Tribe has worked for decades to bring back this sacred bird, called “pregoneesh” in the Yurok language. A partnership between the Yurok tribe, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service is establishing a population of CACOs in Redwood National Park in Northern California. With a flight range of up to 150 miles per day, these birds will soon be flying in Oregon again.

Once seen over much of North America, the population of these birds plummeted to only 22 individuals by 1987, due to hazards such as hunting, habitat destruction, and lead poisoning. These were rounded up and placed into a captive breeding program. Thanks to a comprehensive recovery program with a focus on careful breeding, mentorship by older birds, and training programs to prepare the birds for release, more than 300 California Condors now live in the wild, ranging over California, Arizona, Utah, and the Baja Peninsula. Nearly 200 more are living in captivity.

Aggressive “Hazard Tree” Removal: The Latest Scheme to Clearcut Oregon Forests

In the aftermath of the 2020 Labor Day Fires, Oregon’s forests are ringing with the sounds of chainsaws. These days, visitors to fire-impacted federal lands will see miles of clearcut corridors along roadsides where trees have been removed by forest management agencies in the name of public safety. You can read Sam Krop’s complete blog/article on the Oregon Wild website:

Impressive Numbers Joined in LCAS Bike Path Cleanup

We want to thank the organizers: Phil Johnson, Maeve Sowles, and Katy Vizdal for making the event a success. These four arrived early for the Sunday, April
11th, cleanup, and nineteen others joined them on the cool sunny morning to complete the task at hand! Thanks also to Bryan Ribelin, who created our posters to advertise the event!

Conservation Column: The River Democracy Act of 2021 Would Protect More Oregon Waterways

Riddle: You’re out hiking one day, and you catch glimpses of osprey, kingfishers, American Dippers, herons, perhaps a flycatcher, a woodpecker, a warbling vireo. Where are you?

As you listen to the bird calls, the sun glints off the water but the edges of the stream are cooled by the shade of riparian vegetation. You see flashes of fish, and darting damselflies, hopping frogs, and puddling butterflies. Dare you dream that this river oasis will still be providing habitat in a few years?

Mission Statement and Equity and Diversity Statement

Mission Statement

Lane County Audubon Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of and education about our natural environment, with a primary focus on birds and other wildlife and their habitats.

Equity and Diversity Statement

The birds that Lane County Audubon Society pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. We acknowledge the differences among people and also respect the individuality of each member of our community. We are committed to a community free of any kind of discrimination based on race, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, and national or ethnic origin. 

Just as biodiversity strengthens natural systems, the diversity of human experience strengthens our conservation efforts for the benefit of nature and all human beings.

We encourage positive change in the community and environment.

Conservation Column: Hope for the Environment Amid Cautious Optimism

Under review by the new administration: One hundred (that’s 100!) anti-environmental regulations. Dare we hope that as we move forward, the health of the environment becomes a priority for decision makers? I hear the birds singing and remain cautiously optimistic.

Included in the review is the removal of protections for spotted owls and other old-growth- dependent species, the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act, and regulations that limited scientific and public input in decision-making, including weakening of the National Environmental Policy Act. So far, the leasing for drilling and extraction on public lands in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been halted and regulations around some types of pollution are being reinstated. More locally, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) upheld the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s denial of a key permit that would have allowed the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal and Pacific Connector fracked gas pipeline to move forward.

Bird Flight Patterns and Music Education

Concert Video Exploring Connections in Music and Science

Lane Audubon has purchased access to this new and exciting virtual concert and curriculum to give to local schools and share with our members.  If you would like access, contact us at audubon@laneaudubon.orgYou can see an introductory preview at:

The New Bedford Symphony Orchestra in New Bedford, Massachusetts, offered this opportunity to Audubon Chapters around the country.