Erin Ross Profile picture
14 Sep, 14 tweets, 4 min read
Julie Parrish is 1) not a scientist and 2) on the board of Timber Unity, which was formed to fight climate change policies. The group is increasingly affiliated with far-right extremist groups and white supremacist groups. She is, these days, their primary talking head.
Yes, this is an op-ed and not a reported piece. But it was clearly included, along with a much more accurate piece, to give the image that there are "two sides" to the debate.

But there's only one reason to assume management is the reason for the fires: climate denial.
And it certainly felt that news orgs had long since come to agree that when it comes to the scientific consensus on the reality of human-caused climate change: there is no "other side."
I'd also like to address something Parrish said in the story -- that the state of Oregon lost a lawsuit for not fulfilling their forest management obligations. It's a deliberate misrepresentation of what happened.
Parrish is conflating logging with anti-fire forest management techniques.

Many rural schools and districts get their funding from logging. Because people haven't been purchasing those logging contracts, rural areas didn't receive ~1.1 billion in income from logging.
The intricacies and pros/cons of that system are another story for another time. BUT the key thing here is that the logging Parrish mentions has nothing whatsoever to do with fire suppression. It's clearcutting, not thinning.
We ARE behind on fire suppression in this state... but not because we aren't thinning enough. It's because we aren't *burning* enough. We have a massive backlog of thinned lands waiting for federal funding to start burning.

opb.org/news/article/w…
The idea that Oregon has de-prioritized logging over the last 20 years, which Parrish promotes, is also not supported by data.

OPB science & environment investigative powerhouse @tonyvschick threw this graph together while watching Peppa Pig with his daughter. A legend.
As noted, the type of logging Parrish is talking about is clearcutting, not thinning.

And there's evidence clearcutting & tree farming can make fires worse, as @radiojes reported last year

opb.org/news/article/w…
VERY important correctio - I should have said that Timber Unity is increasingly ASSOCIATED with white supremacist and far-right groups, not AFFLIATED. The groups are present at their rallies and prolific on their online message boards, but there is no official link between them.
And twitter needs to give us an edit button pronto because this is a BIG error on my part. I blame my 6AM brain.
Here is more information on the association between Timber Unity and far-right extremist groups in Oregon, and Parrish's response to calls for violence on their facebook groups.

wweek.com/news/state/202…
Here’s more context on Parrish’s history with the timber lobby.
Her history with Timber Unity is fraught, too. Founding members say she took it over and turned a grass-roots rural-Oregon-based movement into one that centers urban politicians and weaponizes rural experience and concerns to further her own agenda.

wweek.com/news/state/201…

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More from @ErinEARoss

14 Sep
This is a good question with a longish answer. But the short answer is no.

The long answer (thread) Forest management practices (which have nothing to do with 'raking forests') have absolutely contributed to the size and intensity of wildfires over the last 100 or so years.
Basically, for a long time, if there was a fire you did one thing: put the fire out, ASAP.

But fire is a natural part of forest ecosystems, so that lead to fuel buildup, which increased the intensity of fires.

What a healthy forest looks like depends on the ecoysystem.
In healthy ponderosa forest, for example, is open and park-like. Regular fires clear the underbrush, downed limbs, and young trees. You can walk through these forests with outstretched arms without touching a tree.
Read 44 tweets
12 Sep
You may have seen a certain twitter journalist beloved by white supremacist groups blaming people with "out of state plates" for starting Oregon fires.

I and other OPB reporters have spoken with multiple eyewitnesses who saw downed powerlines start many of the fires.
There has been one arrest for alleged arson in the Almeda fire near Medford. The arson occurred after the fire was already burning, and eventually that area was overtaken by the original fire.

Nothing else is confirmed. Check your sources. Don't spread rumors.
And for an example of how fast these rumors spread: OPB reporter @MrOlmos was approached by two men with rifles in Molalla while he was interviewing a couple and independent photojournalists were taking pictures.

They were accused of being Antifa. For reporting.
Read 10 tweets
7 Aug
When people ask if it's safe to dine indoors, Oregon officials say there's "no clear evidence of significant transmission in bars or restaurants" in Oregon's data. #thread

Rule #1 of science journalism: always read the methods section. So I asked them to tell me more.
I figured there'd be some selection bias at work here, like I described in this thread:

Turns out there's a simple reason there's no clear transmission in Oregon's indoor dining. It's not that we're magically safer than other states.

We aren't actually tracking cases in patrons of bars or restaurants. Case investigators don't ask about it.

opb.org/article/2020/0…
Read 17 tweets
23 Jul
I've said it, and I'll keep saying it: if your primary source federal police actions in Portland is national news, you're missing the bigger picture. Support the local staff and independent journalists who have inhaled tear gas for 55 nights, doing their job, often without pay.
You can support Portland's independent journalists by tipping them here. All those photos and videos you see on national news? They're the ones who are getting it. This is also a great resource for who to follow.

docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u…
Here's what happened last night, as told by those who have been covering it for *two months*.
Read 22 tweets
24 Jun
Hey! National news! An Oregon county is not "mandating masks, but only for white people." Stop. That is not the headline. That is not correct, and it's irresponsible, and race-baiting and dogwhistling. Say WHY the county is allowing exemptions.
Don't think it's a dogwhistle? Look at the replies to this tweet from Andy Ngo, who has been frequently criticized for his alt-right-friendly coverage.

Here is what is happening: in the weeks leading up to Oregon Governor Kate Brown mandating masks in seven counties, a number of public health officials and leaders and representatives from BIPOC communities raised concerns about any mask mandate that is legally enforced.
Read 20 tweets
18 May
This picture of a mountaineer on the Adams summit is the best photo of the Mount St. Helens eruption, bar none.

I think about it all the time - especially this time of year, when I'm usually climbing both mountains.

Imagine it...
You've been pushing up the slopes of this volcano since long before the sun came up. You might have even started the previous day, and slept on a lava flow a little over two miles from the summit. Either way, your day started in the dark, cold and wind chapping your skin.
You have to start early: you want to make the top before the snow gets soft and the slog gets harder. The last two miles to the top are the worst. The ground is ice, and you kick your crampons in with each step. Each step higher means heavier winds, biting cold.
Read 16 tweets

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