On Saturday, August 22nd, a crew of hikers began a 232-mile trek across Southern Oregon to raise awareness about the impacts of the proposed Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline and Jordan Cove Export Terminal. For the next five weeks, hikers will follow the flagged pipeline route as closely as possible on public land, along nearby roads, and where permitted by private landowners. Three hikers will complete the entire journey, with about fifteen others joining for shorter sections along the way
“We’re hiking this pipeline route to amplify the voices of communities that are being trampled by Veresen, the Canadian company that is sponsoring the export project,” says Grace Warner, Coos Bay resident and one of the spokespeople for Hike the Pipe. “This pipeline will have lower safety standards because it runs through rural areas, but people still live here and depend on these watersheds. Southern Oregon will bear the risk and out-of-state corporations will reap the profit.”
Hike the Pipe kicked off Saturday at the junction of the proposed pipeline route and the existing Ruby Pipeline, which runs from Wyoming to Oregon. A dozen people, including affected landowners and community members from Coos, Jackson & Klamath County, walked the first three miles with the hikers.
Hikers will meet the public at several community events along the pipeline route. The next event is a picnic at Upper Rogue Park in Shady Cove, on September 5th at 1:00 PM. There will also be a picnic in Winston on September 15th, and a culminating march and rally in North Bend on September 26th.
Emmalyn Garrett is one of three activists prepared to hike all the way to Coos Bay: “I grew up in the Umpqua watershed, and I think this region deserves better. I’m concerned about the tremendous impact that LNG export will have on our diverse and beloved watersheds. These rivers provide water for drinking, salmon, forests, recreation, and so much more.”
The pipeline will cross over 400 waterways, including four major rivers: the Klamath, Rogue, Umpqua, and Coquille. The construction of the export terminal in North Bend will require further dredging in the Coos Bay estuary, impacting the local oyster and fishing industry and harming numerous threatened and endangered fish species.
The hikers are also concerned about climate change. The pipeline and export project would become Oregon’s largest greenhouse gas emitter after the Boardman coal-fired power plant closes in 2020.
“Rural and indigenous people in these watersheds are already unjustly impacted by climate change due to rising temperatures and drought, and this project will only make things worse,” says Warner. “We are here to stand up for Southern Oregon, and we hope that FERC, Governor Kate Brown, and our other elected officials will do the same.”
#hikethepipe #nolong #stopjordancove
For more information contact:
Grace Warner, Spokesperson- (541) 808-0842/(530) 574-1105
Alex Harris, Spokesperson- (541) 324-1343
Emmalyn Garrett, Hiker (limited service)- (541) 913-2635
Photos available at- http://s1006.photobucket.com/user/hikethepipe/library/"