Deke Gundersen

Dr. Deke Gundersen’s email tag says it all: ‘Perhaps one of the most potent rebellions of this time is the refusal to walk in the mainstream western herd, conforming to expectations and values that have ultimately ravaged the Earth.’ When you read about Dr. Gundersen’s impressive educational, research and publication history, you understand that he is highly skilled but with a different perspective.

Gundersen will be the presenter at the first 2020 North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection (NCCWP) “Speaking Truth to Power” educational event from 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, at St. Mary by the Sea in Rockaway Beach.

Since 2000, Gundersen has been a professor and currently is the director of the Environmental Studies Program at Pacific University in Forest Grove. His academic publications include articles in 20 journals and books, many research grants and consulting service to a variety of agencies concerned with water quality.

Gundersen’s presentation will review the chemicals used by the timber industry and the consequent health risks to fish, other animals, and people. He has been called as an expert witness in court proceedings; early in February, he may be called as an expert witness for the defense in the trial of Ken Ward, the man who turned off the valve to the pipeline that brings tar sands oil down to the US from Canada.

The presentation will provide a basic understanding of toxicology, including chemical testing, and the impacts chemicals can have on human health, followed by an in-depth discussion about logging-related activities, how they impact ecosystems and human health, and what can be done about it.

In preparing for this event, NCCWP organizers discussed the following chemicals and industrial timber practices that impact human and ecosystem health: Trihalomethanes resulting from treating turbid water; pesticides applied in industrial forests; smoke from slash and broadcast burning, as well as Napalm, that may be used during burning operations, and Hampton’s Tillamook mill that has a permit from the state to release cadmium and chromium.

The first half hour of the event will be a "meet and greet." Maia Holliday will signal the beginning of the presentation by singing a song that she has written, followed by brief updates on NCCWP activities.

Our name, North Coast Communities for Watershed Protection (formerly known as Rockaway Beach Citizens for Watershed Protection), reflects our working together on a regional basis to insure that the air we breathe and the water we drink are safe.

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