EFS Events

VIEWTIFUL DRE – <i>Speaking for the Trees</i>

VIEWTIFUL DRE – Speaking for the Trees

Andre Cole

September 9th, 2015


Tonight at 6 p.m., the Bijou Art Cinemas will host Speaking for the Trees, which organizers describe as “a film festival to explore the impacts of forest management in Western Oregon.”

The festival consists of three short documentaries that address different aspects of forest management in Oregon. The film producers and event sponsors will be available before and after the screening with information on how you can get involved.

The short documentaries include:

Behind the Emerald Curtain

Directed by Shane Anderson and presented by the Pacific Rivers Council, Behind the Emerald Curtain is as “a documentary/exposé” that chronicles “the destruction of Oregon’s watersheds and the consequences to human health and our public commons from weak logging laws under the Oregon Forest Practices Act,” despite more protective rules in neighboring states. These measures include the use of toxic chemicals — chemicals banned by the European Union — from Wheeler to Rockaway Beach, in forests well outside “the beauty strips.”

“What we’re arguing for is balance,” one source tells us in the trailer’s closing moments, “in how these resources are managed.”

By touching on the use of herbicides and other drastic deforestation methods, as well as the need for balance, Behind the Emerald Curtain previews both of the documentaries that follow.

Drift: A Community Seeking Justice

Created by senior students in the University of Oregon’s Environmental Leadership Program, in collaboration with the residents of Gold Beach, Drift addresses the spraying of herbicides near populated areas — specifically a 2013 incident in Gold Beach in which a helicopter made multiple passes, spraying herbicide on homes and residents. Gold Beach residents tell the tale, describe their experiences trying to resolve the medical problems that followed, and urge Oregon to reform its guidelines on aerial spraying.

Seeing the Forest

Directed by Alan Honick, Seeing the Forest takes a much more optimistic approach than Drift or Behind the Emerald Curtain. While those focus on showing why logging reforms are needed, Seeing the Forest shows how effective restoration can be when it’s done properly. In the early ‘90s, the Siuslaw National Forest had been devastated by over-logging. This led to landslides, as well as compromised streams and roads. In 1994, the Northwest Forest Plan was adopted, and two decades later, the results are positive. New and former U.S. Forest Service members explain how things got so bad, and what has been — and continues to be — done to fix the forest.

Speaking for the Trees begins Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. at Bijou Art Cinemas. Tickets are $10 and available online, or at the Bijou Art Cinemas box office. Proceeds go to the event’s sponsors: Oregon Wild, the Pacific Rivers Council, Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, and the Many Rivers Group of the Sierra Club.

Andre Cole is a junior at the University of Oregon, pursuing a degree in public relations. He likes to divide his time between video games, movies, and friends, sometimes combining all three. Viewtiful Dre is an irregular column in which he provides critical analysis of films screening locally.

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