Change for Good in August: KS Wild

This month's featured organization in the new Change for Good register round-up program is KS Wild (short for Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center). 

KS Wild is one of the most prominent land conservation and stewardship organizations in the region. They focus on the Klamath-Siskiyou region, which includes large swaths of Southern Oregon and Northern California (inculding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument). This bioregion is one of the most diverse in the country, home to populations of wolves, rare plants and unique geographic formations.

KS Wild is also the parent organization of Rogue Riverkeeper, an advocacy group for local waterways and member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. 

Below are many of the programs that KS Wild works on - and some campaigns you can take action on. And put KS Wild's annual dinner & auction on your calendar for September:

Join KS Wild's 2020 Annual Dinner & Auction: At Home in the Wild
Silent Online Auction: open bidding September 21st - 25th
Live Online Event: September 26th, 6:30-8pm
More information here: https://www.kswild.org/annual-dinner-2020

Forests:
ForestWatch monitors and influences public land management across seven forest districts and two federal agencies, across the 8 million acres of public lands in the Klamath-Siskiyou region of southwestern Oregon and northwestern California. It is at the heart of KS Wild's conservation mission and advocacy.
Learn more here.

Climate:
KS Wild’s Climate Program engages policy makers and land managers at the local, state, and federal levels to take bold action to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, while also advancing on-the-ground projects that prepare our region for coming changes. 
Learn more here.

Waterways:
KS Wild protects rivers and their fish by opposing projects that harm salmon and water quality while advocating for actions that help restore riparian health. Along with our Rogue Riverkeeper program, KS Wild works to retain streamside forest canopy cover, prevent destructive in-stream mining activities, and reduce the impact of poorly maintained logging roads on streams and creeks are continuing priorities.
Learn more here.

Wildlife:
The forests, wildlands, and rivers of the Klamath-Siskiyou provide refuge for a remarkable variety of wildlife. By preventing the logging of our old-growth forests we are protecting many species, but especially sensitive, at-risk species. KS Wild also collaborates with our conservation allies to petition the US Fish and Wildlife service to list at-risk species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act including the Siskiyou Mountain Salamander, Pacific Fisher, Wolverine, and Lamprey.
Learn more here.

Stewardship:
As part of our mission to protect wild places, roadless areas, wildlife habitat, and watersheds, KS Wild collaborates with agencies and community members to restore natural areas through land stewardship projects. Public Lands and You (PLAY) is our volunteer-based stewardship program that protects important wildlife and botanical habitat from further degradation on public lands. Many of these areas are threatened by unauthorized off-road vehicle use, cattle grazing, and irresponsible recreation.
Learn more here.

Specific Campaigns & Actions:

 

Monitor Grazing
For decades the Klamath National Forest has authorized and encouraged extensive grazing of the Siskiyou Crest that damages meadows and springs in the backcountry. The Klamath National Forest believes grazing public lands for private profit trumps all other values of these special places. Every year the cows released by the Klamath on the drier south side of the Siskiyou Crest trespass onto the wet meadows and headwater streams on the north side of the Siskiyou Crest in the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest. The private cattle ranchers benefit from this trespass grazing while botanical hotspots, meadows, and watersheds pay the price. It's easy to get involved by simply documenting what you see during hikes in sensitive areas. Click here for our grazing manual and impact report form, which includes a how-to guide, where to go and park along the Siskiyou Crest for monitoring, and a form to submit a report if cows are evident.

 

Climate Executive Order
Oregon's forests are a powerful tool for carbon storage and slowing climate change. Unfortunately, we are not using the tool to its fullest potential. If we take action, Oregon's forests could make a far greater contribution to the global climate effort by storing far more carbon. Take action to demand that ODF work with the Oregon Global Warming Commission to take Oregon's Climate Executive Order seriously and reform Oregon's forest practices to store carbon, protect water quality, and prevent air and water pollution. 
Take action here.
 

More Co-op News

Masks Required for All In-Store Shoppers

To protect the health of Co-op staff and shoppers, all shoppers and other visitors on Ashland Food Co-op property must wear face coverings over mouth and nose except when dining in an approved area. As of November 11, 2020, face shields will not be permitted unless worn with a mask. 

From the Board: Co-ops Look in the Mirror

By Annie Hoy, Board Secretary and Chair of Owner Engagement Committee

Food Co-ops around the nation proudly display signage saying EVERYONE WELCOME. Or they use the slogan, “Anyone can shop. Anyone can join.” But are food co-ops, and other cooperative businesses, walking the walk? 

November/December GM Update: Overcoming Challenges

It’s probably already cliche to say “it’s been one heck of a year.” There have been challenges a-plenty for all of us, whether we’re working or shopping at the Co-op - but I’m so proud of how all of us have persevered. 

End of year wrap-up on Strategic Energy Management at the Co-op

Hi there. I hope this finds you well. It’s me, Nina Friedman, Strategic Energy Management (SEM) intern for the Ashland Food Co-op. The global and local crises have only devolved into further chaos since we last spoke. As we sit with the reality of coworkers, neighbors, and friends who’ve lost their homes and businesses to the recent fires, and thousands more across the nation losing their loved ones to COVID-19, I imagine many are feeling frozen and powerless to help those that are suffering.

SNAP in the Co-op Kitchen and Thanksgiving

Use your SNAP EBT benefits for all Co-op Kitchen items through November 20th, 2020!

Recognizing the difficulties in food preparation for families who lost their homes in the local wildfires, the State of Oregon has expanded SNAP benefits to be used for hot foods, like made-to-order and hot bar meals from the Co-op Kitchen, through November 20.

And starting on November 16, you can get an early taste of Thanksgiving as the Co-op Kitchen hot bar rolls out the full Thanksgiving spread. 

Black Lives Matter

We acknowledge that the Ashland Food Co-op has not had a culture where all employees and community members felt safe sharing their experiences of discrimination in our store. We apologize for this. We are on a learning journey. We have reached out for help, and are listening to our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) employees and owners who want to be part of the positive change we seek.

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Vendors & businesses donating to relief efforts

From day one of the Almeda Fires, the Co-op team wanted to help the community. They reached out to vendors across the region and country to ask for their help with products, supplies and food to get to the fire victims.

And that help came through in big ways, getting nutritious food to displaced families, home supplies in high demand, and wellness and food for first responders and firefighters. Thank you for supporting these businesses as thanks for their help in our community's relief efforts.

October news at the Co-op

October is typically Co-op month, to highlight how differently cooperatives do business. But instead of talking about the 7 Cooperative Principles, or the ownership benefits of being part of the Co-op, we only need to look at the past four weeks to see what being a cooperative really means.

As part of the co-op family, you've helped the entire community immensely. 

Support Co-op staff to rebuild

The Ashland Food Co-op is dedicated to helping our community and our staff rebuild after the Almeda Fires in early September. 

For immediate support, the Co-op gave $1,000 to staff who lost their homes in the fires, as well as $250 for food and other household needs for anyone displaced due to a level 3 evacuation order.

We are thankful for the connection that so many of you have to our staff - you depend on us for recommendations, special requests, and quality customer service; and we depend on you for smiles, kindness, and interactions that brighten our day. 

Smoke Safety

There are some straight-forward and helpful ways to look out for your health when smoke is in the Rogue Valley. Here are a few suggestions:

Smoke Safety Tips

10 Things to Do in Ashland (When It's Smoky)

Ashland is a paradise for the outdoors - but sometimes Mother Nature has different plans for us.

When smoke from wildfires becomes an issue, there are still plenty of great activities to enjoy around our wonderful town. Check out this list for some inspiration!

Change for Good in September: Southern Oregon Land Conservancy

For the month of September, Ashland Food Co-op shoppers can round up at the register to support Southern Oregon Land Conservancy. Since 1973, SOLC has been working on multiple fronts to improve land quality and conservation for humans and nature alike. Check out some of the projects below that SOLC has been working on recently. And mark your calendar for Saturday, October 24, as SOLC hosts an Open Lands Day hike and tour on the Rogue River Preserve.

Chatting about community giving with JPR's "Jefferson Exchange"

Recently, Julie O'Dwyer, Ashland Food Co-op board vice-president, joined a panel of guests on Jefferson Public Radio's "Jefferson Exchange" to discuss how the pandemic has led to an even greater need for community giving and support of local non-profits.

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