The Coast Range Association Vision
To build just and sustainable communities that provide for people and the natural world.
The CRA’s work looks to address the underlying causes of social and environmental problems and seeks to instill common understanding, foster social unity, and provide practical solutions. We make every effort to speak directly to the connecting interests of people, communities and long-term sustainability.
The Coast Range Region and What We Face
The Coast Range is one of the greatest regions of the world. Its natural beauty of forests, rivers, mountains and ocean coast–along with the bounty they provide–are why we live here. The region’s forest, fisheries and beauty provide the pillars of the economy: forest products, tourism and the income brought by retirees. Because of the region’s beauty, particularly along the coast, a great many artistic and creative people call the region home.
Coast Range forests are capable of storing the largest amount of live tree carbon, per acre, than any other forest in the world. This essential fact shapes our work and vision as we proceed to address the climate crisis. 60% of a forests carbon is stored in live trees and 40% is stored in the ground and non-living forest floor biomass.
The Coast Range Association was formed in 1990. Our mission is to make our region a great place to live through the proper stewardship of natural resources and by caring for our friends and neighbors. That duel concern for our neighbors and the land informs our mission statement — To build just and sustainable communities that provide for people and the natural world.
The CRA has always been practical in its work but never in denial of the problems faced. Two problems we see all too often are friends and neighbors struggling to earn a living while at the same large corporate landowners abuse the land through financial forestry. Today, we collectively face a climate crisis due to past deforestation and the use of fossil fuels. At the same time, a new form of financial ownership has taken hold of our private forestlands. Those twin realities underlie our vision of the future.
Clean water and cool flowing streams is a hallmark of our region.
Protecting the region’s natural beauty, clean water and future economy requires appreciating the regions unique contribution to reversing a warming climate – sequestering atmospheric carbon in the forest. We now understand that larger, more natural forests not only provide for the conservation of biodiversity but are a significant answer to the climate crisis. For the forests of Oregon to work for all people and help solve the climate crisis – new forms of land management and ownership are required. The two largest owners of the region are government (federal, state and tribal) and large corporate timber companies. Together they own and manage 91percent of the region’s land. Given the climate crisis, we are not afraid to offer bold, workable solutions.
We know that if done right, protecting forests and solving global warming will pay off in greater regional economic vitality. This is the promise of a socially-based Green New Deal now endorsed by a number of Oregon’s Congressional delegation.
The Coast Range Association has developed significant capacity to advance a new vision of forest ownership. There may be many ways to provide for good land stewardship, but we seek out those strategies that bring people and the natural world into harmony. That is why we are linking our forest vision to the Green New Deal.
We are a small organization in a region with big challenges. Now, as the full impact of a warming earth is becoming ever more known, our region’s forests must play a new role as a carbon dense solution to a warming climate.
As a nonprofit, we live by the quality of our work and the support that work engenders from individual supporters like you. We are one of a handful of Northwest organizations doing front-line forest advocacy linked to climate change. We have no endowment, so our ability to do work relies on our ability to raise funds, marshal volunteer resources, and leverage our capacity through grassroots leadership. As a tax-exempt organization we are limited in our ability to advance new laws. Our work is therefore weighted toward research and education directed toward the highest priority policy and legislative initiatives.
Our region is colonized by companies owned by global capital. Because our private forests are manage on behalf of Wall Street investors, the forestry they practice is strictly a financial forestry.
A Better World is Possible
A new forestry and rural economy is possible. One that contributes to solving the climate crisis. We are exploring how a Green New Deal will build carbon dense forests, provide new rural jobs and transform our rural economy. Putting people before profits is the foundation of our vision.