Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Phillip Elden Discusses Preservation and Conservation Efforts in Oregon

Phillip Elden
As an active outdoorsman and a member of the mountain climbing organization the Mazamas, Phillip Elden holds a particular interest in conservation issues that have greatly affected Oregon in recent years.

Q: What is the overall goal of Oregon environmentalists?

Phillip Elden: Making sure that our native species and plants remain strong and are allowed to flourish in their natural environment is extremely important.

Q: What major issues need to be addressed in terms of Oregon wildlife?

Phillip Elden: Chief concerns include water quality, wetlands restoration, and logging. As soon as officials start cutting down trees, it will alter the precious habitat of Oregon wildlife. The same theory applies to the contamination of wetlands, home to countless birds, butterflies and other species.

Q: How can water quality influence the environment for these species?

Phillip Elden: If the water becomes contaminated, especially from local runoff with high levels of phosphates, it greatly affects the ability of these species to survive. There are only so many times that these species can be displaced before simply dying out.

Q: What areas of Oregon are in most need of assistance?

Phillip Elden: At this time, the primary locations for these preservation efforts are Wildhaven Preserve, Willow Creek Preserve and Williamson River Delta Preserve.

Q: How can these particular sites be addressed properly?

Phillip Elden: For example, volunteer caretakers from Wildhaven Preserve have supervised hikes and maintained spectacular preserve facilities. At Williamson River Delta Preserve, the Conservancy has been able to restore wetlands to about 7,000 acres. Meanwhile, another 750 acres are committed to organic alfalfa farming. While there will remain challenges, the results have been encouraging.

Phillip Elden, who has scaled six of the mountains in the Cascade Range, lives with his wife and their Weimaraner in Eugene, Oregon.