On April 7-10, 1988, approximately 140 people gathered at the Breitenbush Retreat Center in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The people came primarily from western Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia — the place coming to be known as Pacific Cascadia — and worked as peers for three days to articulate a broad collection of visions, values, and plans on a variety of ecological and social issues pertaining to the bioregion. The proceedings of this congress have been collected here for use both by participants and by anyone else concerned about building an ecologically sound and socially responsible future in Pacific Cascadia. The statements and resolutions of the congress begin on page 6, after some background on bioregionalism and the purpose of bioregional congresses. Below are the images and proceedings from that event.
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The Second Bioregional Congress of Pacific Cascadia —1988
Proceedings, Resources, and Directory
April 7-10,1988 Breitenbush Retreat Center Detroit, Oregon.
The second Bioregional Congress of Pacific Cascadia: Proceedings, Resources, and Directory
Editing and Production: Lance Scott and Julie Carpenter Various indispensible assistance: Karin Herrmann, Kate Sterry Photography: Linda Putman
The Proceedings were computer typeset on a Macintosh in Palatino typeface. The paper is Catalina newsprint. Printing by Argus Printing, Portland, Oregon.
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Dissemination of the information contained in these proceedings is encouraged. Therefore, rights are granted to private individuals and nonprofit organizations to copy and share reports and statements from this publication. Source credit should be included. The Bioregional Congress of Pacific Cascadia is sponsored by the Cascadia Education Project, a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation.
About This Document
On April 7-10, 1988, approximately 140 people gathered at the Breitenbush Retreat Center at Breitenbush Hot Springs in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The people came primarily from western Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia — the place coming to be known as Pacific Cascadia — and worked as peers for three days to articulate a broad collection of visions, values, and plans on a variety of ecological and social issues pertaining to the bioregion. The proceedings of this congress have been collected here for use both by participants and by anyone else concerned about building an ecologically sound and socially responsible future in Pacific Cascadia. The statements and resolutions of the congress begin on page 6, after some background on bioregionalism and the purpose of bioregional congresses.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: BCPC IN CONTEXT…………………………………………………. 2 THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST AND PACIFIC CASCADIA……………………. 3 RESOLUTIONS AND STATEMENTS OF THE BIOREGIONAL CONGRESS OF PACIFIC CASCADIA………………………… 6 CAUCUSES: ANARCHIST/ENVIRONMENTAL DIRECT ACTION………………………….. 7 LESBIANS……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7 MEN………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8 PARENTS………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8 PEOPLE OF COLOR………………………………………………………………… 8 WOMEN………………………………………………………………………………………………… ‘.’S COMMITTEES: ARTS AND CULTURE……………………………………………………………………………. 9 COMMUNICATIONS…………………………………………………………………………… 10 COMMUNITY-BASED ECONOMICS…………………………………………………. 11 EDUCATION………………………………………………………………………………………… 15 ENERGY AND APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY………….. 16 FORESTS AND WILDERNESS……………………………………………………………. 18 HEALTHCARE…………………………………………………………………………………….. 19 JUSTICE AND EMPOWERMENT/GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY…. 20 LAND AND HOUSING: HUMAN SETTLEMENTS……………………………. 21 SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS………………………………………………………. 25 WASTE AND RECYCLING…………………………………………………………………. 26 WATER AND FISH………………………………………………………………………………. 28 WOMEN/ECOFEMINISM/SEXUAL POLITICS………………………………….. 30 TASK FORCE ON WHOLE SYSTEMS……………………………………………….. 30 STEERING COUNCIL………………………………………………………………………….. 31 WORKSHOPS……………………………………………………………………………………….. 32 BIODIRECTORY………………………………………………………………………………….. 33 LISTING OF CO-SPONSORS………………………………………………………………. 44
BCPC in Context
News of ecological crisis permeates the daily newspaper, is broadcast across the airwaves, and slowly seeps into the consciousness of America. After many years of denial and willful ignorance, Americans are finding some of the latest evidence harder to deny or ignore.
No longer restricted to isolated ecological sacrifice areas, the threats assume national and global proportions. The atmospheric warming caused by the greenhouse effect has perhaps the most far- reaching implications. This year’s drought in the Midwest has been called a harbinger of things to come. Rising sea level and unpredictable changes in global weather patterns will lead to severe disruptions to human societies and ecosystems throughout the world. These disruptions result primarily from, on the one hand, the burning of fossil fuels, creating an excess of carbon dioxide, and on the other, the destruction of the world’s forests, decreasing the earth’s natural ability to absorb carbon dioxide.
Thus, unlike our other global atmospheric crisis, ozone depiction, the greenhouse effect calls into question not just one type of chemical (i.e., chloroflourocarbons), but the very foundations of industrial society (i.e., massive dependence on fossil fuels).
Blossoming in the midst of crisis
In the midst of widening and deepening crises, a new movement is emerging across the North American continent that offers solutions — solutions not only to ecological problems, but social ones as well. In the face of a society growing ever more centralized, bureaucratized, homogenized, militarized, industrialized, and beyond popular control, this movement calls for a scaling down of human institutions and technologies to be more rooted in, and controlled by, local communities, and more adapted to local environments. It calls for more participatory democracy, more cooperation, and more awareness of our interconnectedness — with other people, other cultures, other species, and the earth itself.
This overall movement addresses many different aspects of life, from our political and economic systems to our daily habits and lifestyle choices to our spirituality and ceremonies.
It can be difficult to put a single name on such an all-embracing, still-coalescing movement, but “bioregionalism” and “Green politics” serve as useful umbrella terms* that include many strands of the movement, such as appropriate technology, permaculture, ecofeminism, and community self- reliance and empowerment, as well as more traditional progressive causes such as civil rights, social justice, and peace.
The Green/bioregional movement seeks not just superficial reforms (e.g., a chloroflourocarbon ban), but a fundamental rethinking and restructuring of our culture (e.g., living without fossil fuels and the industrial mega-institutions made possible by them). Here the task is to think globally, and also think, plan, and act locally. The Green/bioregionalist perspective not only criticizes prevailing mass institutions, but creates alternatives that can be controlled by the local community and adapted to the constraints, opportunities, and rhythms of the local environment.
Seeking Sustainability and Self- determination in Pacific Cascadia
People living in Pacific Cascadia, the bioregion west of the Cascades, have begun coming together in Green/bioregional gatherings during the past several years to discuss how to bring about some of the needed changes in our own bioregion. We find that from Eugene, Oregon, to Vancouver, B.C., we are faced with many similar challenges and opportunities.
* Green politics and bioregionalism have emerged in this country as closely linked yet distinct movements, sharing most values in common, yet each with its own orientation. Roughly speaking, it could be said that Green politics has more readily incorporated traditional social justice and peace agendas into its own form of ecological politics, while biorcgionalism has been more concerned with the relationship of individuals and communities to their local environments, or bioregions. In some places, people have taken pains to differentiate between the two movements, even to the point of creating schisms between them, but here in Pacific Cascadia the two have emerged together in a unified movement. The Biorcgional Congress of Pacific Cascadia is rightly seen as both a Green and biorcgional event.
For example, what is an appropriate and sustainable balance between getting jobs and useful products from our forests and preserving the wilderness unique to our bioregion? How can we manage our rivers in a way that balances hydroelectric energy, fishing, recreational uses, and wilderness? How can we meet our region’s energy needs without dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels or nuclear power? How can we reduce our economic dependence on military contracts (especially prevalent in the Puget Sound region)? How can we create community economies that provide sustenance and dignity for all without dependence on unsustainable growth and environmental abuse? How can we honor and learn from the various Indian tribes indigenous to this bioregion?
In Pacific Cascadia, this green oasis that remains relatively undamaged by the industrial juggernaut, can we find a new way before it’s too late?
The states of Washington and Oregon are known as belonging to the Pacific Northwest. “Northwest,” that is, in respect to the 48 contiguous states of the United States. The boundaries of this enormous nation-state constitute the frame of reference within which the designation “northwest” makes sense.
However, some people are finding that defining the places where we live using the Earth itself as a frame of reference makes more sense than defining our places in reference to nation-states.
When we use the continental landmass of North America as the frame of reference, we find that the “Pacific Northwest” is not in the northwest at all. That’s why people who use the Earth as the frame of reference have begun to refer to the region as “Cascadia,” in reference to the major land form in the region, the Cascade Mountains, and also in reference to the plentiful waters cascading from the mountains to the sea.
Some people use the term Cascadia to refer primarily to the region on the western, wet side to the Cascades; others define Cascadia as encompassing the eastern, dry side as well, extending to the crest of the Rockies. To avoid confusion, many people on the wet side are coming to call the region west of the Cascades “Pacific Cascadia.”
Clearly, Earth-based affiliations do not stop atthe 49th parallel, which forms the border between the United States and Canada. To say that the cities of Seattle, and Vancouver, B.C., have more in common with Washington, D.C., and Ottowa, respectively, than they do with each other just doesn’t make good sense. To create a political system that links Seattle with Washington, D.C., but not with Vancouver may not make sense either.
So Pacific Cascadia is a place that crosses one state boundary and one nation-state boundary. It is a lush, green, moist, and temperate kind of place, with many rivers and a thick cover (where it remains) of coniferous forests made up of fir, cedar, hemlock, alder, maple, and associated plant communities. It is home to the salmon, the spotted owl, and approximately 6-7 million people.
When we define our places using the Earth as the frame of reference, taking into account flora, fauna, landforms, climate, and so on, we are talking in terms of bioregions. Pacific Cascadia can be considered a bioregion, with its own integrity of natural characteristics, although sub-regions are distinguishable (e.g., the Puget Sound lowlands [known as Ish River], the Willamette Valley, and the Pacific Coast) that could be considered bioregions in their own right.
Can we move from our status of internal colony of the American industrial system, used for resource extraction and holiday vacationing, to a more self- reliant and self-determining biorcgional community? Can we gain greater control of our common destiny at the local level?
Can we? Perhaps. But it all depends. It depends on what we do and how we do it.
Throughout Pacific Cascadia people arc working to protect the forests, rivers, and coastline from industrial pillage. Working to prevent the construction of garbage incinerators and to establish instead belter systems for recycling our materials. Working to develop ecological farming practices and to support food co-ops. Working to shut down nuclear power plants and to ensure the safest possible disposal of existing nuclear wastes. Working to make our region free of nuclear weapons production and deployment and to reduce economic dependence on military contracts in general.
Working to enhance cultural and ethnic diversity and to protect the rights and opportunities of historically disenfranchised groups. Working to foster more democratically run and ecologically sound businesses.
And more. And yet…
And yet we remain in the margins, on the fringes. We make significant strides forward in some areas, but often it seems to be, at best “two steps forward, one step back,” and all too often “one step forward, two steps back.” The problems seem to multiply around us. And while we win single-issue victories, the deeper changes we need continue to elude us.
The challenge of change is great. Without a clearly articulated, collective vision for what we want to do and coordinated strategies for how to move forward, our ability to effect deep and widespread change is
stymied. Is there a way to create greater “connective tissue” between various parts of our movement for change, so that we can strengthen and nourish one another? Can we interject a clear and comprehensive agenda for change into the stale debate that passes for politics these days?
These are the kinds of concerns that led some people within Pacific Cascadia to begin organizing biorcgional congresses, which provide opportunities
Can we interject a dear and comprehensive agenda for change into the stale debate that passes for politics these days?
For bioregionally concerned and active people to meet face-to-face to make agreements about how to move forward. So far, three bioregional congresses have been convened in Pacific Cascadia:
The first Cascadia Biorcgional Congress (CBC), held in Olympia in July 1986, was the first congress convened for the entire bioregion;
The Ish River Confluence, held in Bellingham in August 1987, was the first sub-regional congress, representing the Puget Sound/Strait of Georgia drainage basin;
As a successor to CBC, the second Biorcgional Congress of Pacific Cascadia (BCPC) was held at Breitenbush Retreat Center in April 1988.
— Lansing Scott
BCPC: Toward a politics of place
BCPC was designed to build upon the work done at CBC. Fifteen committees were designated to carry forward the committee work from CBC. (For list of committees and their resolutions, see page 6). Congress planners had broadened the scope of issues to be considered by the committees to include greater emphasis on social justice and peace issues within the bioregion than was present at CBC.
Unfortunately, due to a variety of considerations, the “Peace and Nonviolence” committee had to be cancelled and the “Social Justice and Empowerment” committee had to be combined with “Grassroots Democracy.” Articulating strong social justice and peace agendas for our bioregion within a “politics of place” framework remains a critical task to be taken up at future congresses. Other additions were committees on health care and on land and housing issues.
Another new twist was added at BCPC — identity caucuses. Whereas committees grouped people together according to interests, the identity caucuses grouped people according to their identities. (For a list of caucuses and their resolutions, see page 6). Caucuses were scheduled at different times than committees so that people of different identity groups could caucus together without missing out on valuable committee work. The caucuses were designed to help make us aware of the diversity of needs and experiences of different groups in our movement in order to move toward a sense of unity in diversity. At this congress they also helped remind us of our current lack of diversity — caucuses for indigenous people, people of color, and gays were represented sparsely or not at all. Outreach to these constituencies remains a priority for future congresses.
It is primarily the work of the committees and caucuses that make up these proceedings. All committees and caucuses made decisions by consensus, meaning that everyone in the committee or caucus had to agree in order to pass a resolution, or at least agree to disagree without blocking progress. In order to be adopted as resolutions of the congress, committee and caucus resolutions had to be adopted by consensus of the entire body during the final plenary session held on Sunday.
In addition to committees and caucuses, in which everyone met as peers, workshops were also held at the congress, led by people with some special knowledge or expertise. The workshops were oriented toward developing organizational skills for building the movement. (See listing, page 32.)
To round out the schedule, the congress had two ceremonies — one for the opening and one for the closing — pre-dinner circles, and cultural evenings, where participants had a chance to share music, poetry, storytelling, etc. with one another.
For all who participated, the congress was an opportunity to meet people from throughout the bioregion who held similar values and were working for similar goals in many different ways. Together we shared visions, discussed experiences, developed a broad bioregional agenda, and celebrated our community and the life of our place on the planet.
Beginning to take back control of our lives at a bioregional level is a formidable task, and we still have a great deal to learn about how to go about it. Consensus decision-making is a challenging process, and most of us who participated in BCPC are just learning how to use it effectively. Participants came with widely varying degrees of group process skills and bioregional knowledge. The (all-volunteer) organizers of the congress were too few and too overworked to ensure that everything always ran as smoothly as it could have. Given the amount of work the congress tried to accomplish in just three days, the pace of our activity seemed like a kind of self-imposed insanity to some of the participants. And future congresses will surely want to work toward stronger representation from several constituencies, such as people of color, indigenous people, working-class people, small-town and rural dwellers, people in leadership positions in environmental and social-change organizations, and British Columbia residents.
BCPC was another important step in what will surely be a long and difficult process of transforming our society from the ground up. Our efforts have not yet had dramatic impact on the way of life in our bioregion, but we’ve begun to build the foundation of a new kind of politics and have set out a plan for how to continue to build for the future (see page ??). As our efforts move forward, and as the ways of the past prove increasingly unworkable, we arc prepared to be shapers of our own destiny. Ho!
— Lansing Scott
Resolutions and Statements OF THE Bioregional Congress of Pacific Cascadia- 1988
What follows arc the resolutions and statements of the committees and caucuses of the second Bioregional Congress of Pacific Cascadia, convened April 7-10, 1988, at the Breitenbush Retreat Center in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon.
“Resolutions” were adopted by consensus of the full body of the congress; “statements” were presented to the full body of the congress, but either did not require, or did not achieve, the full consensus of the entire body.
Committees were planned for 15 issue areas (see below). They worked on articulating visions, statements of values, strategies, and action plans for their particular issues.
Identity Caucuses were designed to group people together according to identity, rather than interests. (Sec list below. Since the categories are not mutually exclusive, some people had to choose which “identity” they wanted to identify with.) Recognizing that we live in a society where white heterosexual men hold most of the power and privilege, congress planners created the caucuses to give historically disenfranchised groups (e.g., women, people of color, lesbians/gays, etc.) an opportunity to meet, build solidarity, and give voice to their specific concerns within the congress and the bioregional movement. It was hoped that this would help avoid replicating patterns of inequity within our own movement. The lack of representation in some of the identity categories helped serve as a reminder that we must make special efforts to reach out to these constituencies. In addition to the “identity” caucuses, two caucuses were created at the congress itself that were not based on identities in the same sense, but dealt with important concerns not otherwise addressed at the congress: spirituality and anarchist/direct action.
All resolutions herein should be considered working agreements; they are not the final word on anything, but will continue to evolve as our movement evolves.
Arts & Culture
Energy & Appropriate Technology
Forests & Wilderness
Justice & Empowerment**
Land & Housing: Human Settlements
Peace & Nonviolence*
Sustainable Food Systems
Waste & Recycling
Water & Fish
People of Color
Anarchist/ Environmental Direct Action
Whereas, all life forms have a right to exist;
Whereas, there must be an immediate end to logging in the national forests;
Whereas, we support the direct action projects that arise out of all other BCPC committees; In light of the extreme ecological crisis and social injustices, we support non-violent, direct action as a means of achieving the social and ecological changes needed to attain harmony with nature.
Anarchist/Environmental Direct Action Caucus Subcommittee on Hemp
Proposed Resolution (no consensus):
Whereas this issue is relevant to, but not addressed by, the committees and caucuses at this biorcgional congress, including: Art and Culture; Community Based Economics;
Energy and Appropriate Technology; Food and Agriculture; Forestry and Wilderness; Grassroots Democracy; Justice and Empowerment; Health Care; Peace and Nonviolence; and
Whereas the use of hemp pulp as an alternative to the harvesting of our forests is a viable choice; and the growing of hemp by the grass-seed industry is a possible solution to the field-burning problem; and the civil rights of adults who wish to grow hemp for personal use in their own homes arc endangered whenever they exercise these rights, including those of rights to privacy, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
We propose that we endorse a resolution calling for the legalization and development of a new hemp food, fiber, and energy industry to meet our growing food, fiber, paper and energy needs, and to meet the need to preserve a few remaining ancient forests.
We also propose a resolution calling for the legalization of hemp for cultivation and personal use by adults in the free exercise of their civil and spiritual rights.
We were refreshed and encouraged to see lesbian and gay identity caucuses listed in the congress brochure.
We sec the congress as potentially strong grounds for building alliances between lesbians/gays and heterosexuals. We want to encourage congress members and others to make a commitment to acknowledge, challenge, and move through homophobia.
Confronting your own fears and discomforts in creating emotional and physical closeness with members of your own sex;
Consciously educating and asserting ourselves on lesbian/gay liberation issues through fostering personal and political relationships with lesbians/gays and actively working with lesbian and gay identified organizations;
Recognizing that lesbian/gay individuals and their relationships are in every way as valid and valuable as heterosexual individuals and their relationships;
Noticing our own oppressive stereotypes and assumptions which blind us to who lesbians and gays arc as individuals;
Becoming aware of the social, economic, and legal privileges of heterosexual relationships and working to extend them to gay and lesbian people and their relationships;
Working to pass lesbian/gay rights legislation which legally ensures our human rights.
We encourage respect and recognition of all peoples’ inherent value. This requires speaking out to interrupt oppression in any form that it exists and living in ways to abolish all oppressive behavior.
The Men’s Caucus is seriously concerned about the issues of masculinity and sex roles. The place for men to work on these issues is with other men; we must own our own issues. In the men’s caucus, we found support and understanding in working out these painful issues. We need this support to continue to develop positive connections with women and to heal the wounds caused by centuries of hurt and oppression.
We as bioregionalists desire to live in a healthy, sustainable environment and society, and we believe education and integration of children and youth are essential tools for achieving an improved environment and society, and whereas
We all have a responsibility to extend biorcgional consciousness, and we value our parents, children and youth
We therefore now mandate future Biorcgional gatherings to be committed, in aspects of time, emotion, and finances, to the inclusion of children, their biorcgional education, and their care. To accomplish this, we mandate the inclusion of a childrens’ and youth coordinator in the initial stages of each steering committee.
We believe that just as biological diversity is necessary for ecological health, ethnic and cultural diversity is essential to the health of the BCPC and the bioregion. We feel, therefore, that the long term viability of the movement is partly contingent upon the involvement of people of color. This involvement must take place in the beginnings of the movement in order to create a more comprehensive and representative vision for our bioregion. Early involvement will also help us to avoid the internal contradictions (ie. racism) which constrain our efforts and weaken us.
Therefore, BCPC must make a conscious examination of the barriers to involvement for people of color and initiate a program of outreach. We recommend the following:
Racism Workshop(s) at BCPC III to identify the ways racism, as a cultural norm, shapes BCPC.
Outreach to people of color: a) advertising bioregional events in media serving people of color;
seek to establish relationships with people of color as individuals or through organizational affiliations in order to listen and learn c) take into account accessibility of location when scheduling BCPC events d) overcome economic barriers by providing scholarships for future congresses!!
The Women’s Caucus asks the Congress and members of our bioregion to adopt the following:
A commitment to learning to empower each other, including giving support to women’s needs openly;
A stance that encourages women to work on gender issues with each other, and men to do the same;
A creative process of being together which is health-giving (wholistic) in moderating obsessive goal orientation, attending to the body and feelings, which allows for free time, recognizing that work includes play, and that creativity thrives in centered people.
Acknowlege and accept people’s varying styles and forms of communication;
Take responsibility for dealing with out-ofprocess behaviors;
The steering committee should explore and propose a dispute-resolution policy and process that can be implemented at all levels of our group interaction.
The arts speak the languages of the senses (through words, images, sounds, color, touch, movement). In expressing these more intuitive parts of ourselves, artistic activity is fundamental to re-balancing our lives and creating a sustainable society. The arts are also vital for educating people about the past, present issues, and our future visions.
For the promotion of a healthy society, noncompetitive education in the arts is an important issue to address. We advocate supporting art in the schools by helping to find both local governmental and alternative funding sources. We also encourage local artists and the community to contribute time, experience, and resources to these efforts. We encourage diversity in art education including hands-on and theoretical approaches, exposure to the arts of other cultures and experience with a variety of media, techniques, and content. We support the integration of the arts into other areas of the curriculum, such as history, math, and the sciences to promote a holistic perspective.
The Artist and Society
We encourage an expanded concept of the artist’s role in society. Ways that artists could be integrated into the community could include:
reflecting current issues and posing alternative solutions;
creating in a way that directly fosters healthy relationships between people and the earth;
helping others to find their own true expression; and
serving as creative consultants on community projects.
Support for Non-Mainstream Art
We support the unique visions and voices of artists underrepresented in the institutionalized art mainstream, including but not limited to women, people of color, people with disabilities, children, lesbians, and gays.
Cultural Identity and Exchange
We seek to use the arts in developing a bioregional culture that will be part of a global exchange.
Artists and Bioregionalism
Artists can play effective roles in both education and bioregional outreach, but to get more artists involved we need to know that our talents are valuable to the movement. We propose that:
artists and bioregionalism be jointly served through mutual fundraising events (“homegrown” evenings of local organic produce and cooking, regional art, and performances).
more artistic representation and expression be brought to future congresses including: multimedia cultural evenings featuring both performing and visual arts in an open-mike format with wall space and/or slide projector; congress workshops that use arts, movement, and music as healing strategies to help participants explore individual and group issues and creativity; and workshops on art and ceremony.
We urge exemption of all artists from that section of the 1986 Tax Reform Act that requires artists to keep inventories of their work and disallows artists to deduct materials unless they are attributed to specific artworks and only when said artworks are sold. This presents an extreme hardship for artists, is unfeasible, impractical, and looks upon artists as manufacturers. Please contact your congressional representatives and ask that all artists be exempt from this section.
Arts and Culture Committee participants:
Norelle Pratt (convener)
Kristen Van Anden
Active bioregionalists need to communicate with each other to exchange information, resources, and plans, and to ensure a functional group process. We also need to share our common visions, policies, and projects with people who arc not yet active in the bioregional movement, telling the bioregional story in languages they understand.
We envision a bioregion-wide communication network supported by a structure that is in harmony with our values, and tied into individuals and organizations in other bioregions. This network should include many different forms of communication, from interpersonal communication to emerging telecommunication technologies. It should create and utilize its own vehicles for communication whenevever possible, and work to disseminate information to and oversee responsible coverage by the mainstream media.
in discussing the cultural, political, economic, and ecological implications of a bioregional perspective, bioregional communication should be honest and non-violent. We should avoid “We’re right, you’re wrong” statements, giving a balanced presentation which includes divergent views without condemnation, positive criticism without polarization. We cannot claim privileged access to the truth, but can simply present our many truths to a culture that docs not often hear them.
As a standing committee of the congress, the Communications Committee will oversee development of the following guidelines and policies for approval by the’eongress as a whole:
coverage of congress events by television, radio and print media, including the dissemination of press releases, empowerment of contact persons, and initial handling of issues which arise concerning media coverage;
production and distribution of thorough and accurate information packets and proceedings in a timely manner;
exchange of proceedings and other informational resources with other bioregions;
providing of communications tools and resources to assist committees in conducting their work;
preparation of press packets for spreading bioregional visions, values, and projects.
We affirm the right of the congress to choose the form and content of information disseminated about the congress, and encourage the maximum appropriate coverage of congress events without prior restraint.
There shall be a daily conferencing of reperesentatives from each committee during the congress.
Resource Directory. We endorse the creation of a bioregion-wide resource directory.
June 1,1988: Put together a single hard copy listing of all groups in the bioregion working for political, social, and ecological change.
September 1, 1988: Generate funds for project, check, correct, and update listing.
December 1, 1988: Print as many copies as funds allow.
Innuarv 1 # 1989: Distribute first annual resource directory.
Eugene, Portland, and Olympia: the Alliance newspapers.
Seattle: Erik Haugland
Bellingham: Lisa Friend
Goal: Encourage new local editions of the Alliance newspaper.
Strategies: Work with individuals in Seattle and Bellingham to develop local editions.
Action Steps: 1) We have developed a draft six month start-up plan for consideration by local workers. 2) Alliance workers are willing to travel to Seattle and Bellingham for meetings.
In addition to the above action plans, we move that the congress endorse the following:
Radio/TV — The creation of bioregional radio and cable access programs to be exchanged among stations within and outside of the bioregion.
Compendium — The development of a compendium of the proceedings of the various congresses.
Journals — The creation of, and cooperation with, various journals that share the ideals of bioregionalism. We ask that a statement of support be offered to the children’s quarterly to be produced by the Aprovecho Institute (Skipping Stones — see Education Committee), and that representatives from this congress ask that the NABC offer a statement of support for the creation of an academic journal covering bioregional issues and research. We also move that existing journals with a bioregional emphasis be contacted to offer an exchange of ideas, materials, and services.
Armstrong, David. A Trumpet to Arms: Alternative Media in America. 1981
Beach, Mark. Editing Your Newsletter. 1982 Bagdikian, Ben. The Media Monopoly. 1987 Brand, Stewart. Media Lab. 1987 Galvin, Kathy. Media Law. 1984
Grossbrenner, Alfred. Complete Guide to Personal Computer Communications. 1984
Grossbrenner, Alfred. How to Look It up Online. 1987 Horowitz, Lois. Knowing Where to Look. 1984 Mander, Jerry. Four Arguments fort he Elimination of Television. 1978
Schroeppel, Tom. Bare Bones Camera Course. 19S2 Thorn, Randy. Audio Craft. 1982
MediActive: The Media Network Newsletter Democratic Communique: Union for Democratic Communications
Link Up: Communications and the Small Computer ReSet: News on Activist and Grassroots Computing Community Television Review: National Federation of Local Cable Programmers Alternative Media: Alternative Press Syndicate The Independent: Foundation for Independent Video andFilm
Networking Newsletter: The Networking Institute Extra!: Nrwsleller of Fairness and Accuracy in Media Jump Cut: Alternative Viewpoints on Film Video Guide: Satellite Video Exchange Society Information Technology: Newsletter of thelnformation Technology Institute
TIES Newsletter: Technology Information Exchange Services
Nexus: Public Interest Computer Association
Communications Committee participants:
Chris Hough (convener)
This committee wishes to adopt the resolutions from CBC I (listed below), with the single change of the word “Transnational” replacing “Multinational” in resolution #4. (Transnational is defined as “Outside the control of and having no loyalty to any one nation.”)
Resolution: (Adopted from CBC I )
Whereas, since the modern human economy up until now has largely ignored ecological realities, as bioregionalists we believe that the economic activities must be clearly in sustainable alignment with ecological systems and directed in a humane and just fashion towards providing for both the survival and life-enhancing needs of all current and future inhabitants of the Earth.
Overriding all other principles, we promote the consciousness and balance between ecological sustainability, self-reliance, economic democracy, and responsibility to the whole web of life.
Ecological Sustainability and Regeneration
Whereas, the Earth and its resources are the common heritage of all life on the planet: we promote policies of land use and access to resources that reflect and further the practice of trusteeship and
stewardship. We promote an economy which should be self-regulating and self-regenerating, and consistent with promoting the web of life, modeled after and in alignment with the Earth.
Whereas, over-centralized ownership and control underlie most current economic processes, thus leading to disenfranchisement of large sections of populations from productive processes, and from the self-determination of systems that effect their lives: we promote and encourage individual, community, and regional self-reliance and autonomy, wherever possible, in meeting survival and life-enhancing needs. We encourage a sense of responsibility to the well-being of the region.
Democratic. Equitable, Just, and Cooperative
Whereas, cooperative, worker-owned, democratic forms of economic activity promote trusteeship and stewardship in the production and service process, and whereas, the current economic process exploits social classes, sexes, races, ages, and other oppressed groups of people: we promote economic forms of production, distribution and ownership grounded in a social contract on consent, justice, and ecological consciousness.
Social and Global Responsibility
Whereas, the concentration and centralization of capital, resources, and industrial productive capacity as occurs, for example, in transnational corporations, reduces the ability of most of the Earth’s inhabitants to meet their basic needs: we promote the exportation of resources only when a bioregion’s own needs have been met,the equitable redistribution of resources regionally and globally, and the minimalization of consumptive patterns in a way that empowers the self-reliance of individuals, communities and regions worldwide without jeopardizing sustainability.
Quality of Life
The community is responsible for seeing that basic human needs arc met: food, shelter, health care, education and a spiritually nurturing environment. Human beings need fulfilling work and vocations of choice. Basic survival needs should be the concern of the larger community as well as the individual and not be dependent upon the selling of our labor. We are working toward an economy where the individual has an opportu nity for a democratic and holistic involvement in work processes and the right to the full fruits of her or his labor. The future economy shall provide work that is socially useful and ecologically sound. It should reward what has been traditionally unpaid labor, such as parenting, homemaking, care of elders and childcare. The job structure should recognize the human needs for leisure time, recreation and community life.
Resolution: (New this year)
This committee asks the Congress to adopt the following strategies:
Projects which put some aspect of a bioregional economic lifestyle into practice.
Redirecting money to bioregional economic projects through taxes, contributions, grants, loans, and investments.
Information and resource generation and dissemination including: forming and strengthening networks, alliances, and task forces; establishing data banks, skills centers, and resource centers to provide technical assistance and models; performing appropriate research.
Effecting changes in existing organizations and government policies to promote bioregional economic lifestyles.
Effecting changes in attitudes through education of ourselves and others. This would include the encouragement of changing our patterns of personal consumption such that they be in harmony with bioregional visions, in terms of how, where, from whom, and what is produced. In the spirit of Approvecho, we encourage people to “make best use of ” the world’s resources.
The Conmiittee has listed some suggested exam-pies of strategies for community-based economics. These examples were not proposals that needed the consensus of the congress.
Projects which put some aspect of a bioregional economic lifestyle into practice.
Establish and support worker-owned and consumer-owned co-ops;
Support socially responsible business and management consultants;
Establish and support Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS);
Establish mall co-ops where we can buy a wide range of ecologically sound products, locally made when possible;
Work toward establishing a co-op bioregional bank;
Work toward establishing a model community where people can live without money;
work toward establishing a regional currency based on something universally useful (such as cord wood);
*h) create and support groups to care for and harvest fruit trees, to promote full use of fruit and avoid wastage.
Redirecting money to bioregional economic projects through taxes, contributions, grants, loans, and investments.
Support regional and local revolving loan funds and sustaining funds;
Work toward the establishment of a bioregional bank/crcdit union;
Develop regional cooperative banks as sources for technical assistance and loan monies to enterprises consistent with the first Cascadia Bioregional Congress principles and goals with the capacity to advise on local community economic development;
Work toward establishing a locally based voluntary tax system;
* Target numerous small loans to start cottage industries rather than a few large loans to large businesses;
* Examples of projects to offer financial support would include recycling projects, family farms, and sustainable agriculture.
Information and resource generation and dissemination including: forming and strengthening networks, alliances, and task forces; establishing data banks, skill centers, and resource centers to provide technical assistance and models; and performing appropriate research.
Establish local economic groups within our bioregion and encourage more frequent meetings;
Establish resource centers and libraries where interested people can get easy access to tools and information about bioregional economics and socially responsible investing;
Develop regional or local networks of interacting and interlinking, worker-owned cooperatives, and self-managed firms which mutually support each other;
Provide technical and other assistance to community groups to start coops;
Create a bioregional consumer/conserver directory;
Establish a network of small business development corporations;
Support local workers’ struggles;
Research how to best use local resources;
Develop a detailed model of the material aspects of an alternative ecologically-sound lifestyle;
Establish a “Utopia Center” where people can visualize an economically sustainable and responsible model (see Critical Path by Buckminster Fuller);
Develop an economic model for urban places, similar to Rodale’s Economic Regeneration Project and the Homegrown Economy by David Morris;
Analyze how money is spent in a region and figure out how it can be redirected to the ecological economy;
Study economically depressed communities to find ecologically sound alternatives to teach; empower and educate the people;
Establish a Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS) task force;
Study the examples of some co-op models from the Third World where more women are leaders.
Effecting changes in existing organizations and government policies to promote bioregional economic lifestyles.
a) Lobby for tax on companies that manufacture non-biodcgradable or toxic products to cover costs of disposal and education;
*b) Integrate those people now dependent on the state into a bioregional economy;
*c) Lobby for government grants for welfare recipients to develop their own businesses;
*d) Encourage study and implementation of a Belgian program where a person may take a sabbatical from their job, collect unemployment, and be temporarily replaced by someone on welfare;
*e) Encourage edible landscaping at our institutions and make this produce available to low- income people. (This might be incorporated into a program where people would be learning how to raise some of their own food.);
Support economic conversion initiatives (such as the Oregon Economic Conversion Iniative);
Reform the current tax structure toward economy, simplification, and equity; reversing, recirculating, and redistributing the concentration of wealth;
Send more taxes back to local communities.
Effecting changes in our attitudes through education of ourselves and others. This would include the encouragement of changing our patterns 1 of personal consumption such that they be in harmony with bioregional visions, in terms of how, where, from whom, and what is produced. In the spirit of Approvecho, we encourage people to “make best use of ” the world’s resources.
a) Support a four-day work week, flexible hours, and job sharing (to encourage full employment);
*b) Encourage ride-sharing and better rural bus systems: hitch hiking might be socially accepted;
Be aware of how our local economic decisions and policies affect global societies;
Empower low-income people to help themselves;
*e) Promote alternative education;
*f)Promotc student research projects in appropriate areas.
‘This entire list of examples is only a first draft from a lengthy brainstorm. The committee was not asked to consense on the examples of strategies. In addition, at least one person questioned the inclusion of each item marked with an ” * “.
Any members of this Congress or anyone interested in sharing their thoughts, feelings, ideas or any other input concerning this committee’s work and the attainment of the bioregional vision, especially in terms of economics, is invited to do so.
A1 LePage Portland, OR 97212 503/284-3434
Linda Greenway 35th NE Seattle, WA 98125 206/365-3655
Adams, Frank and Hansen, Gary. Pulling Democracy to Work: A Practical Guide for Starting Worker- Owned Businesses.
Bodner, Joan, Ed. Taking Charge of Our Lives: Living Responsibly in the World.
Briarpateh Community. The Briarpatch Book: Epcricnccs in Right Livlihood and Simple Living.
Domini, Amy and Kinder, Peter. Ethical Investing: How to Make Profitable Investments Without Sacraficing Your Principles.
Elgin, Duane. Voluntary Simplicity: An Ecological Lifestyle that Promotes Personal and Social Renewal.
Greenwood, William A., Haberfeld, Steven, and Lee, Lloyd C. Organizing Production Cooperatives- A strategy for Community Economic Development. National Economic Development and Law Center, 2150 Shattuck Ave., Suite 300, Berkeley, CA 94704
Hickel, Walter. Who Owns America?
Honigsberg, Peter, Kamoroff, Bernard, and Beatty, Jim. We Own It: Starting and Managing Coops, Collectives and Employee Owned Ventures.
Institute for Community Economics- pub. The Community Loan Fund Manual. 151 Montague City Rd., Greenfield, MA 01301.
Lappe’ Frances and Collins, Joseph. Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity.
Meeker-Lowry, Susan. Economics As If The Earth Mattered: A Catalyst Guide To Socially Conscious Investing.
Melman, Seymour. An Economic Alternative to the Arms Race: Conversion From Military to Civilian Economy.
Morris, David and Hess, Karl. Neighborhood Power: The New Localism.
Phillips, Michael. The Seven Laws of Money.
Phillips, Michael and Rasberry, Salli. Honest Business: A Superior Strategy for Starling and Managing Your Own Business.
Poor, Riva. 4 Days 40 Hours and Other Forms of the Rearranged Work Week.
Ronco, William. Food Coops: An Alternative To Shopping In Supermarkets.
Schumacher, E.R. Small is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered
Silk, Leonard. Economics in Plain English: All You Ever Need To Know About Economics- In Language Anyone Can Understand.
Vocations for Social Change. No Bosses Here: A Manual on Working collectively
Willens, Harold. The Trimtab Factor: How Business Executives Can Help Solve the Nuclear Weapons Crisis.
We, the education committee of the Bioregional Congress of Pacific Cascadia view education as the root of change.
We affirm the importance of awareness and acknowledgement of the bioregion. Bioregional education will emphasize the interdependence and kinship of humans with all that exists, based upon our understanding of local ecosystems and their relationships with the planetary ecosystem.
We seek to help people develop a reverence for all life, the earth, and its resources. We value self- respect and respect for one another as essential components of respect for other life forms and ecological processes.
We support the uses of a variety of learning means. Intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual interactions with one’s environs all have great learning potential. We honor cognitive learning where it is grounded in the joy of cooperation, the power of self-awareness, and the affirmation of spirit.
We support listening to the land and basing our actions upon what we hear. We seek to foster the ability to walk in balance with the earth. Bioregional education must facilitate personal relationships with the land for all people — the earlier in life this begins, the better.
Bioregional education recognizes no separation of learning from life. We are all teachers and students. The entire world is our classroom. The process of bioregional learning is one of active participation and sharing within the human community and the natural environs. This necessitates wholistic and integrative avenues of learning.
We seek to assist bioregional education by publicizing existing and developing new clearinghouses for networking information on ecological data, theory, social ecology, local knowledge, and methods of innovative learning.
Bioregional education affirms the importance of handing down the traditional local knowledge and wisdom — and that the implementation of this knowledge and wisdom be carried out in right relationship with, and guidance of, the elders of such knowledge and wisdom.
For what we present to be fully implemented, we recognize the necessity for a transformation into the emergent cultural paradigm. This transformation is already manifest in the visible failing of our institutions to address the needs of individuals, families, communities and our environs. Our task is to build systems, and teach people to build systems, which affirm our needs for balance with ourselves, each other, and the biosphere. We see a great need for support and respect of all participants in the current educational process (of people in the world).
It concerns us that efficiency and cost effectiveness have led to mechanized education at the expense of individual student’s learning. Priorities for funding, programming, and administration should instead be guided by integrative, wholistic, earth-oriented values.
The Education Committee Recommends:
New publications and periodicals that could become forums for bioregional education and an understanding of the permeable limits thereof.
Exploring the uses of other print and broadcast media to further the visions stated earlier.
The development of model schools and programs designed to implement as fully as possible the vision of bioregional, earth-based education as articulated by the Committee.
The provision of teacher-training workshops designed to help those teachers integrate earth-based learning into their work.
Experiential means of education to maximize the learning potential of various curricula.
Maximize time spent outdoors.
An in-school gardening program.
A teacher-training program to emphasize problem-solving, nonviolent dispute resolution, cooperation, and bioregional ideals.
The discriminating use of T.V. — if at all. T.V. specifically — and mass media in general — is a cultural reality. Educational tools that promote experiential rather than passive means are far more effective. If T.V. is used in an educational setting, the value of the message must be weighed against the message of the medium.
Public education to include more local government funding, smaller classes, increased teacher pay, and multi-cultural education.
Public school programs Which emphasize outdoor education starting with sensory awareness in K-2, exploring local ecosystems in grades 3-5, a camp setting focused on ecological concepts for grades 6-8, and for grades 9-12, a program including assisting the outdoor education of younger people, outdoor adventure and backcountry field study, safety, social development toward tribal and cultural awareness, and implementing sustainable agricultural and technological systems.
Cultural and environmental diversity, a place for children to share concerns, insights, and explore alternatives. It will seek to publish creative, thought-provoking material, mostly from children themselves, which reflects appreciation for and guardianship of our human and natural resources. Skipping Stones will feature: People and Places, Many Lands, Many Languages, Nature of Things, Energy and Ecology, Peace, Justice and Social Issues, Creative Expressions, Alternative and New Ideas, Calendar and Networking, Cooperative Games,
Book Reviews, Conflict Resolution, Noteworthy News, Critical Awareness of the Media, Letters to the Editor, and many more interesting spaces in each issue. Skipping Stones is now accepting art and literary work, pen pal letters, poems, songs, stories, games, interviews, drawings, etc. as well as endorsements, sponsorships, and subscriptions.
Skipping Stones, c/o Arun Toke,
Aprovecho Institute, 80574 Hazelton Road, Cottage Grove, OR 97424; 503/ 942-9434.
The Education Committee discussed with enthusiasm the proposed children’s magazine: “Skipping Stones.” Skipping Stones is proposed to be a non-profit, multi-ethnic journal celebrating
Education Committee participants:
Marion Dresner (convener)
Energy and Appropriate Technology
The following slightly amended resolution was endorsed from CBC I.
Technology is appropriate when it enhances the physical and spiritual well-being of humans and other species, minimizes depletion of the nonrenewable energy base, contributes to the further development and re-establishment of species in their rightful ecosystems, is responsible to future inhabitants of the earth and bioregion and is harmonious with the natural and human history of the region.
Small-scale, decentralized energy sources and conservation are to be encouraged as beneficial to the self-reliance of both the individual and the bioregion.
Nuclear energy, owing to its high centralization, unsolved waste disposal problems, and huge future ecological and economic debt, is not an option and should be discontinued.
Move towards increased bioregional self- reliance in energy, food production, fisheries, and forestry.
Educate ourselves to be wise users of technology.
Technology should enhance the quality of life, encourage personal growth, and discourage consumerism.
Appropriate technology should support greater regional autonomy.
Transition — phasing out of “inappropriate” technology for “appropriate.”
Educating ourselves and others as to quality of life vs. quantity.
Pursue appropriate technologies applicable to lesser developed countries, being careful not to impose these technologies on these countries and learning from technology they have to offer.
Criteria for “Appropriateness”
My usage doesn’t jeopardize others’ enjoyment, well being, and health, including other species, (with special emphasis on mortality and the planet).
True replacement cost taken into account (e.g., reforestation and rehabilitation costs of strip mining).
Doesn’t violate aesthetic sensibility
Durability and/or simplicity of design, repairability by ordinary people.
Low -entropy technology.
Centralized “heavy” technologies may be inappropriate.
Favor use of local labor, local materials, and local resources.
Promote cyclic and sustainable technology.
° Concern for human and natural history of the place.
Enhances our worklives.
Decrease need for transportation by decreasing mobility and decreasing the distance between home and work.
Education: raise awareness that the energy crisis is not over.
Establish bikeways paralleling all artcrials.
Get bioregionally minded people elected on
local transportation and planning bodies.
Promote hitch-hiker stop zones and repeal antihitch-hiker laws.
Shift government subsidies from road systems to mass transit and bicycle systems.
Establish gas taxes to suport mass transit and bike systems.
Energy and Appropriate Technology Committee participants:
Lansing Scott (convener)
In addition to endorsing the above work of CBC /, the committee developed the following statement.
We have identified the following bioregional needs and problems that must be addressed in a comprehensive bioregional agenda for energy and appropriate technology.
We see a need for:
Information about current energy situation in this bioregion;
Assessment of existing technologies;
Less energy-intensive food production and distribution;
Appropriate alternatives to wood-based products;
Restoration of houses and domestic products;
Education around use of renewable energy and
Problems that need to be addressed:
Massive use of non-renewablc petroleum for transportation (sec below);
At the core of our vision for the future we strongly support the strategics of the first Cascadia Biorcgional Congress for long-term stewardship of public lands: “local operators to be responsible for all aspects of the work process, i.e. planting, thinning, harvesting, milling, etc.” Furthermore, we envision local communities developing this responsibility into a lasting relationship with the forest. Stable communities with viable and permanent forest- based economics would rise from this transfer of responsibility. Furthermore we wish to expand the statement: “Entire watersheds are viewed as unitary biotic zones where all values, including fish, wildlife, genetic diversity, recreation, and utilization are considered” by encouraging the connection of these fragmented watersheds into stable ecosystems as a necessary step in preserving the health of our bioregion.
Prior to local control of forests we endorse a series of interim economic alternatives including:
implementation of selective logging to increase jobs;
revitalizing cut lands;
re-tooling of mills to second growth (smaller) logs;
recycling of wood products;
research to support the economic aspects of this policy.
Educate people about forest and wilderness issues:
Make presentations to:
city networks — community centers, park programs, etc.
college and public school groups
hunt and fish clubs
plant and mycological societies
information tables at markets/fairs/public events.
Guide hikes, cross-country ski trips, sledding, white-water boating, etc. for people to experience the spirit of old growth forests. Advertise through above groups.
Invite above groups to adopt an area of their local forests. Encourage a committment to place to be shared with others and passed on to future generations. This program can also be extended into ecosystems including suburban and urban areas. We encourage that all persons involved through the Bioregional Congress adopt this program and record/document a journal about their special place and that Journal updates be shared between members of the Congress.
Concerts (for example, Friends of Cathedral Forest Annual Concerts in the Forest)
when sales auctions of “your place of commitment” are held
when legislative actions happen
any event of procedure occuring within your local Forest Service district.
Earth Week (third week in April) /John Muir Day (April 21)
network to make it a national focus
involve above groups and organizations.
Establish an environmental curriculum to be implemented into schools in your region.
Determine who is already working on this
Spread the word/information.
door to door
letter writing campaign.
(Incorporate recycling of forest products)
Public Relations Materials
support all above activities with fact-sheets on Old Growth.
pamphlet on politicians’ voting records.
Statement: The following was not endorsed by the congress plenary and was returned to committee for further work.
Congress and Change
Letter Writing Campaign
tables at Public Events
have people express outrage and suggest alternatives.
Meeting with the office
Help select-elect candidates
national and local
volunteer time, money, support
Other congresspeople from non-logging states/areas
identify and lobby
ask for support in lobbying
We as the BCPC Health Committee recognize that personal and planetary health are one. A radical, sustainable vision is needed based on empowerment, compassion, and knowledge. It is our view that a viable model will be community-based. Because of this relationship between individual health and community life we affirm the inseparability of our efforts and the efforts of the other standing committees.
The Vision: A Model of a Healthy Community
What follows is a combination of a committee brainstorm and congress feedback on what this community would include and/or be like (no consensus required):
A high level of personal responsibility for one’s health (with compassionate responsibility toward others)
A strong emphasis on education and life long learning
Health skills for all (decreasing reliance on health care specialists)
A health system emphasizing: a) alternative, low -tech and preventive care and b) the wise use of present high-tech options
Clean, safe environment (water, food, air)
Reduction of home, business, and medical toxic wastes
Clean, nutritional foods, coops, home, and community gardens
Affordable and accessible health care for all
Insurance coverage of alternative health practitioners
Pooling of resources and other tactics to minimize health care’s economic impact on community
Community-based work (Mom & Pop stores, cooperatives)
Support of healthy family units, parenting and childcare
Attention to child abuse
Community cultural activities — More play!
More research on non-damaging birth-control methods
Integration of other-colored, people with disabilities, and all age groups
Community involvement from birth to death: support of personal birth choices, hospices
A focus on AIDS education and care, esp. in high-risk populations and communities with
Rural and urban health centers
A model that doesn’t separate spiritual, psychological, and physical health
Our committee intends to continue to work on this issue after BCPC to compile a resource list, finalize the statement, and compose proposals and strategies.
We resolve that the next BCPC Planning Committee take health into far greater consideration, so that our process reflect the changes we seek in the world. Specifically, a less pressured schedule, more time for reflection and play, and more movement throughout the day.
The Justice and Empowerment/Grassroots Democracy Committee acknowledges and accepts the goals of the Equality Committee of the Ish River Confluence and the resolutions of the Grassroots Democracy and Community Building Committee of the Cascadia Bioregional Congress.
We, the committee for Justice and Empowerment / Grassroots Democracy, propose that:
All decisions made and actions taken by the BCPC and the bioregional movement cultivate a social environment that fosters personal empowerment and encourages people to respect the inherent value of the earth and all its inhabitants.
Empowerment recognizes and promotes the understanding that as any one of us is diminished or degraded, so is each one of us diminished or degraded. We accept and affirm all sources and forms of personal, collective, and bioregional values.
Our commitment creates a bioregional identity of cooperation and involvement of all peoples, and revitalizes the quality of life, maximizing the use of personal and collective energies.
We support basic social justice and will actively work toward its achievement.
We encourage bioregionalists to seek out and develop creative and visible vehicles by which all individuals can cultivate their own forms of empowerment, by involving and acknowledging them as meaningful participants in their own lives.
Suggested Strategies for Empowered Change
Using consensus, recognizing that the power of one is equal to the power of all.
Improving and exercising our skills in group facilitation and active listening.
Using and appreciating silence in personal and group process.
Working individually and together to consciously support and enhance self-respect and self-acceptance for people of all ages.
Participating in all areas of personal and political interest with a committment to recognition, equality, respect, and acceptance.
Actively reaching out to others we perceive as being different from ourselves; historically disenfranchised, and/or previously unrecognized populations.
Justice and Empowerment/Grassroots Democracy Committee participants:
We submit ourselves to the Bioregional Congress as an ongoing Land and Housing: Human Settlements standing committee in service to the bioregion until the next Bioregional Congress is convened.
Membership in this committee is open to all who wish to contribute or participate at any time. We welcome and encourage all input, suggestions, questions, and ideas about human settlement issues, opportunities, and concerns for Pacific Cascadia. Contact: Paul Fischburg, 1426 33rd Ave., Seattle, WA 98122; 206/325-9809.
Our attitudes and behavior about human settlements needs to evolve, from the present consumptive/destructive patterns, to responsible/sustainable ones.
To achieve this, our human settlements will need to incorporate the complexity, efficiency, conservation, and self-regulation of natural ecosystems.
Augmenting this will be an unfolding of ourselves, from individual isolation to healthy, symbiotic communities designed around the strengths, limitations, and carrying capacity of our bioregion.
This committee recognizes the work already accomplished in resolutions from CBC I and the Ish River Bioregional Confluence, and acknowledges that the concerns and issues dealt with therein closely reflect our own today.
In the interest of advancing the work of the Bioregional Congress of Pacific Cascadia, it is our intention to proceed beyond the philosophical and develop specific strategies to deal with these concerns. To accomplish this, we have narrowed the focus of our committee, and identified six issues we believe to have the most immediate and/or detrimental effect on all life. The criteria we used to select these issues are:
It is an immediate problem.
It is an issue that we can affect by personal action.
It is a condition that degrades the environment.
Proposal for Urban Areas
An immediate rc-assessment of consumption patterns, an emphasis on a higher level of more holistic production, and a special look at patterns of return.
To help the inhabitants of the city stay more in tune with the rhythms and sense of our region we propose the following:
Significant greenbclts, greenways, parks, and other natural areas dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of native plant and animal species.
Return where possible of above-ground drainage — natural streams and reservoirs.
Establishment of community and rooftop gardens and edible plants throughout the city.
Passage of solar access laws.
Strong neighborhood organizations to stem crime and foster community and neighborhood recycling systems.
Steps to lower urban reliance on the private auto.
Housing that is affordable, promotes conservation, local self-reliance, and fosters a sense of family and community.
We request research and planning to question patterns of growth in Pacific Cascadia to find appropriate levels of urbanization and other forms of development.
In order to carry out work and communication on Human Settlement issues associated with our Bioregional concerns, we propose to establish a network and database of relevant and interested individuals and organizations. This database information will be available to all in the bioregion and can be accessed by contacting Paul Fischburg, address above.
We welcome additions to the database in the following categories:
Leckic, et. al. More Other Homes and Garbage. Kourik, Robert. Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally.
McHarg, Ian. Design with Nature.
Milne, Murray. Kcsiaennal Water Re-use.
Olkowski, Helga and Bill, et al. The Integral Urban House.
Register, Richard. Eco-City Berkeley.
Van dcr Ryn, Sim, and Calthorpe, Peter. Sustainable Communities:Self-Reliant Living in the City.
Watson, Donald and Kenneth Labs. Climatic Design. Wells, Malcolm. Gentle Architecture. Wright/Andrcjko. Passive Solar Architecture. Wright, Frank Lloyd. The Natural House.
Sustainable Food Systems
We agree with the values and actions expressed by the Permaculture and Food Systems Committee of NABC II, and have amended and adopted its opening value statement to read as follows:
We recognize that food systems arise from natural systems, for which we must maintain a reverence in recognition of our total interdependence with all of the natural world. We seek to create sustainable food systems that are ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just, and humane.
We support the application of permaculture, biodynamics, and other sustainable food production techniques for the purpose of integrating the Earth’s principles of design with our human needs for food, water, shelter, energy, recreation, aesthetics, and community.
Our Major Foci
How do we, who accept these values, do a better job of putting them into practice? How do we communicate these values to others? How do we more effectively stimulate dialogue with those who do not share these values?
How do we more effectively stimulate changes in the behavior of consumers and institutions?
Practice home gardening in a sustainable manner.
Explore growing and using bioregionally viable foods (e.g., quinoa, amaranth) that can replace foods which we regularly eat.
Preserve local foods naturally for out of season use.
Use non-polluting technologies to expand the growing season (solar greenhouses, cloches, cold frames, cogeneration, and drip systems).
Social and Institutional:
Create activities to share, learn, and educate each other about bioregionally based diet (e.g. school and church dinners, potlucks, co-op classes).
Demand that our local, state, and federal government enforce and strengthen currently existing laws and regulations governing pesticide use.
Encourage our schools to implement existing garden/nutrition curricula (e.g. SNAP, Let’s Grow, Project Life Lab), and encourage the refinement of those curricula to reflect a bioregionally-based diet.
Support a ban on food irradiation.
Request that food stores provide discounts on organic products to low-income people.
Pledge a minimum of 50 percent of purchasing power for fresh fruits and vegetables to buying and/or producing organic products grown in the bioregion.
Request a dramatic increase in public and private funding of sustainable agriculture research and development, including but not limited to: production methods, marketing studies, and widespread dissemination of educational materials and expertise.
Request development of community foodprocessing kitchens to provide easy access to food preservation for all people. Suggested groups and facilities include churches, schools, and other community resources.
Join and contribute energy and money to supporting organizations, i.e. Tilth, NCAP, PINA, and other plant preservation groups. People can also reach out to supporting groups more within the mainstream culture like Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, Audubon, etc.
Investigate the possibility x)f updating the book The Future is Abundant.
We, as a standing committee, arc establishing a task force to complete the following:
Create a data base which describes the current status of our food systems, including:
the true costs of food production and distribution, in terms of BTUs, fossil fuels, fossil water, soil, and general ecology.
the extent of our dependence on food imported from beyond our bioregion.
In light of their findings, the task force will develop specific proposals to increase sustainable and self-reliant food systems within our bioregion by the next biorcgional congress.
The task force, will share resources and other guidance materials to empower smaller, more local projects of this type.
In recognition of the need for timely action, we have decided to continue our work as a standing committee of BCPC. We assume responsibility for providing continuity of structure and personnel between now and BCPC III, and researching means of funding and implementing this committee’s resolutions.
Sustainable Food Systems Committee participants:
Than Sperry (convener)
Waste and Recycling
We believe that “waste” issues are better viewed as the misuse of resources. Serious environmental degradation and threats to health have resulted from the widespread misuse of resources. In addition, current waste management methods are proving inefficient when compared with management methods such as recycling, reuse, reduced consumption/waste reduction, and materials substitution.
In consideration of the above, we resolve that in order to implement cost effective and safe waste management methods, it is crucial that education of the public be promoted in conjunction with effective advocacy of safe and environmentally sound management methods.
We work for and encourage any efforts toward reduced consumption, waste reduction and recycling, so that we may restore and maintain an unspoiled environment and a high standard of health in our bioregion and on the planet. It is critically important to work toward increasing society’s awareness of these issues.
When possible, we believe safer materials and products must be substituted for non-reusable, non- recyclable, and hazardous materials and products. Government actions, such as tax penalties, should motivate businesses to use and manufacture reusable, recyclable, and non-hazardous materials. Research on developing safe alternative materialsmust also be encouraged and supported.
It is crucial to launch extensive consumer education campaigns in Cascadia in order to effect widespread materials substitution. The public must be made aware of alternatives to household toxics, plastics, and other undesirable materials. The commercial sector must be informed of alternatives to raw materials and marketed products.
No waste management program can succeed without waste reduction; reducing at the source the amount of waste that is not compostable or recyclable is particularly essential.
With this in mind, we envision a comprehensive waste reduction program focused on non- biodegradable and non-recyclable wastes such as styrofoam and plastics. We advise the following strategies for dealing with this problem:
Increase public awareness in order to change consumption patterns. Many consumers are unaware of the extent of the problem, and with more awareness will choose to consume differently. We suggest for example, leafletting at stores to educate people about the reasons for choosing paper over plastic bags, and ideally, for bringing their own
Boycott users/producers of waste intensive products. These include fast-food restaurants and over-packaged consumer goods. We suggest not only boycotting these goods and encouraging others to do so, but writing letters to offending businesses to explain intentions and reasons for the boycott.
Find alternative products or markets. On a large scale or a small scale, alternative products oftenexist, such as re-usable containers, cloth diapers, and paper bags.
Make non-biodegradable and non-recyclable products less economically viable by including the cost of their disposal in their prices. We suggest legislation to impose a tax on producers of these products to cover disposal costs.
Recycling and Reuse
We believe that, second only to waste reduction, recycling and reuse of products and materials are the most effective alternatives to landfilling and incineration. We perceive intervention by government agencies and industry with vested interests as a deterrent to increased recycling. This condition should be reversed, to provide legislation that will support and encourage recycling. In addition to household recycling, we believe the commercial sector, which generates a great percentage of the waste stream, should be targeted for intensive recycling efforts.
To promote and support recycling and reuse, we recommend the following strategies:
Public awareness of the issues involved;
Participation in recycling programs, composting programs, and waste exchange efforts.
We suggest all bioregionalists familiarize themselves with programs such as the Seattle Tilth composting project.
Work toward governmental mandates to support recycling and reuse.
Encourage waste exchanges between businesses and individuals. We suggest establishing local information clearinghouses for this purpose. We also suggest the formation of depots for recycling and reusing building materials, and we encourage other industries to do the same.
Referred for further study
After waste reduction and recycling/reuse, what’s left over needs to be handled safely and effectively. Wastes such as hazardous, solid, liquid, and existing nuclear wastes, all need to be carefully treated and stabilized for placement into secure facilities. With increasing possibility of waste recovery, such stored wastes need to be made available for redevelopment into useful items for our bioregion.
Waste stabilization of hazardous wastes, reactive wastes, and nuclear wastes is in its infancy of development. We support more research and technological advancements through research grants and applied technology, backed by strong citizens’ support.
Further comments: No more nuclear waste should be produced. We have produced too much already. No reuse of nuclear waste unless it is peaceful, healthful, and environmentally sound.
Any grants for helping deal with hazardous waste should go to independent, objective research groups rather than the industries involved.
Producers must pay for more programs by independent, objective research groups.
Finally, public awareness and support of waste reduction, whether at home or in the work place, needs to be supported through government and public actions.
We are opposed to incineration as a solution to the waste management crisis for reasons both political and environmental. The use of incineration discourages recycling efforts and diverts funding from recycling products. It also promotes a waste-intensive society, and encourages consumption.
Emissions and residues from incineration of waste create toxic substances which pollute our air, the earth, and ground water. These pollutants are formed from the indiscriminate burning of household hazardous wastes, infectious wastes, waste from business and industry, and municipal solid waste.
To promote alternate methods of waste disposal, we recommend the following strategies:
Public awareness of the political realities and environmental hazards of incineration. We suggest all citizens attend hearings on incineration and disseminate applicable literature.
Public involvement in developing alternatives to incineration. We suggest all citizens write to local, state, and federal legislators.
Legislation: local, state, federal. This legislation would promote licensing of incinerator operators as well as research and development of alternatives to incineration and clean-up, and enforcement of existing laws.
Enforcement: The government must enforce these laws.
Landfills in the bioregion have historically been poorly sited and managed, thus creating many environmental and social problems. Foremost among these are the many types of pollution, including pollution of the air from the formation of gases, and pollution of surface and ground water from heavy metals and toxins. Landfills arc also a public nuisance, adding to traffic and noise problems, and creating noxious odors and visually offensive sites. Landfills designated for hazardous wastes or incinerator ash must receive special attention because of the concentration of pollutants. This special treatment should be paid for by producers of these toxics. Closure of these same landfills creates problems with immediate and on-going containment, clean-up, monitoring, and ultimate financial responsibility.
Multinational seafood corporations’ must stop their unchecked depletion of marine resources.
Our economy must shift to a balanced sharing of our fisheries resources.
We must respect the sustainability of all life forms and their habitats by:
Presentations at all related public hearings;
Boycott specific brands;
Picketing corporate offices; and
Distributing consumer information.
Encourage indigenous species;
Use indicator species (mussels) to monitor water quality;
Include responsible aquaculture; environmentally synergistic types not destructive to environments;
Encourage cooperatives to sell locally grown seafod;
Do research on economics of scale, size, and environmental impact; and
Research on size of aquaculture systems and their environmental impact.
Of the consumer
Local direct marketing
Coop outlets for fisheries products
Of the fishers
Encourage a holistic view of their work
Encourage workers’ rights and safety
Encourage local marketing
Encourage participation in food coops
Encourage fishers’ change in lifestyle
Encouage grassroots organizing
Of the educators
Adopt a holistic view rather than industry special interest research
Responsible research be monitored
Researchers be accountable
Approach faculties, education boards, and agencies
Water and Fish Committee participants:
Doug Dobyns (convener)
Stan Detering Constance Maytum
WATER AND FISH
We have tried to simplify this cycle to offer a symbolic diagram of taking responsibility within a watershed. (1) Bioregional values are determined by the natural water bystem, becoming further informed by (2) our learning. (3) We examine these values (4) before attempting solutions (5) just as we plan before using the system to suit our human needs. (6)(7) We become involved in public policy and (8) help evolve a new water law. (9) The control of growth to obtain sustainable living systems is supported by individuals taking control of their personal actions in water use and the planning for best water supply. (10) Finally, we, as bioregionalists, assist in planning for the best urban systems engineering to conserve resources and curtail the damage to the marine and estuarine environments.
Wc, the members of the Women/Ecofeminism/ Sexual Politics committee, learned a lot and realize that we have a lot more to learn. In that spirit, we would like to suggest, for future congresses, that there be a panel workshop on Eco-Fcminism, prior to the committee meetings, and that the committee focus on Womens’ Issues and Sexual Politics!
Ecofeminism Bibliography (thanks to Jacinta McKoy)
Caldecott, Lconic and Lei and, Stephanie (eds). Reclaim the Earth. London: The Women’s Press, 1983.
Daly, Mary. Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of a Radical Feminism. Boston: Beacon Press, 1978. David, Donald. “Ecosophy: The Seduction of Sophia?”Environmental Ethics. 8.2 Summer 1986: 151-162.
Dubiago, Sharon. “Deeper than Deep Ecology: Men Must Become Feminists”. New Catalyst. Winter 1987/88:10-11.
Easlca, Brian. Science and Sexual Oppression: Patriarchy’s Confrontation with Women and Nature. London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1981.
Griffin, Susan. Women and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1978.
“Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?” Women and Culture and Society. Ed. Rosaldo, M.Z. and L. Lampere. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1974.
Kolodny, Annette. The Land Before Her. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1975.
La Chapelle, Dolores. Earth Wisdom. Silverton: Finn Hill Arts, 1978.
Merchant, Carolyn. The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1980.
Plant, Judith. “Searching for Common Ground: Ecofeminism and Biorcgionalism”. New Catalyst. Winter 1987/88: 6-7.
Radford Ruether, Rosemary. “Mother Earth and the Megamachine.” Liberation Theology. New York: Paulist Press, 1972.
—, New Woman/New Earth: Sexist Ideologies and Human Liberation. New York: The Seabury Press, 1975.
Salleh, Ariel Kay. “Deeper than Deep Ecology”. Environmental Ethics. 6.4. Winter 1984: 339-345.
Starhawk. Dreaming the Dark. Boston: Beacon Press, 1982.
—, Truth or Dare. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987.
Warren, Karen J. “Feminism and Ecology: Making Connections”. Environmental Ethics. 9.1. Spring 1987:3-20.
Zimmerman, Michael E. “Feminism, Deep Ecology, and Environmental Ethics”. Environmental Ethics. 9.1. Spring 1987: 21-44.
The Bioregional Congress Steering Council met each day during the congress to discuss emerging issues within the congress itself and also to plan for the continuation of work beyond the congress. The committee was composed of congress organizers, committee conveners, and anyone else interested in participating. The Steering Council developed the following resolutions, which were adopted by consensus in the final plenary.
Scheduling of Future Congresses
The Steering Council feels that in order to get the bioregional movement more firmly rooted, and to develop deeper and broader representation, it is very important to convene community congresses (at the local level) as well as larger bioregional congresses.
In the interest of facilitating the coordination of the scheduling of these various (potential) local community congresses, we propose that:
We do in fact convene a third Bioregional Congress of Pacific Cascadia, and
That it be held in three years (1991), leaving next year (1989) for congresses at the subregional level (see diagram) and the following year (1990) for community congresses at the local level.
Participants in the plenary discussion of this resolution made a provision for the Continuation Committee (see below) to review the progress of subregional gatherings, and to determine whether or not to skip directly to a convening of the next Bioregional Congress in 1990 in the event that subregional congresses are not held. The schedule of congressing would remain the same unless altered by future directive of the BCPC.
Continuation Committee of BCPC
The Steering council proposes the formation of the “Continuation Committee,” which will consist of one member from each committee, one regional representative from each “sub region” and at-large members.
Statement: Each member of the Continuation committee recognizes a three year committment to the committee which would likely involve two meetings a year for the first two years and a meeting every two-three months in the final year (with alternating locations) and duties between meetings.
Resolution: CEP Sponsorship
The steering committee proposes that the “Cascadia Education Project” continue as the umbrella organization for the third Biorcgenional Congress of Pacific Cascadia.
Task Force on Whole Systems
We are forming a working group concerned with whole systems. Our purpose is to explore the interconnnections found in the proceedings of the various committees. We intend that our group will work toward becoming a standing committee at the next Bioregional Congress. Presumably, our name would be the “Whole Systems Committee.”
Contact: Chuck Wilier 1316 SE 23rd Portland, OR 97214 503/233-5976
John Miller 8959 SW Boone’s Ferry Portland, OR 97219 503/245-4960
Developing Green Strategies — Jeff Land Discussion of the Green movement in America today, and how we can organize for Green -politics in Pacific Cascadia.
Bioregional Communications and Self-Governance — Lansing Scott and Mike Barnes A model was presented that integrated community resource centers, computer networks, local and regional resource directories, community congresses confederating into bioregional congresses, and a regional monthly newspaper with local editions.
This model is an extension and refinement of structures already in place with the Alliance newspaper and the Bioregional Congress of Pacific Cascadia.
The Ecology of Fundraising — Frank Seal Exploring the underlying dynamics of philanthropy in the U.S., our attitudes tozvard money and the people who have it, and some techniques to help us attract funds for our work.
Consensus Decison-Making — Caroline Estes All decisions at the congress were made by consensus. Consensus decision-making is a special kind of process, and special skills are needed to make it work well, especially in large, heterogenous groups.
Gender-Relations in Group Dynamics — Constance Maytum and Jacinta McKoy Identifying and understanding patterns of group dynamics related to gender and cultural training in gender issues.
Consensus Facilitation — Caroline Estes More on consensus, with special emphasis on facilitation skills.
Citizen Initiatives — Lloyd Marbet. When are citizen initiatives a good idea? How do we transform them from good ideas into successful campaigns? Lloyd Marbet drew on his extensive experience with citizen initiative campaigns in Oregon to describe the nuts and bolts of initiative organizing.
Organizing Bioregional and Community Congresses – Lansing Scott. For people interested in organizing a local congress in their own community next year, or working on the next congress of Pacific Cascadia. What to do and what not to do, based on the experience of organizing three congresses in this bioregion.
BioDirectory portion coming soon!
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