Columbia River Watershed
Past & Future

Railroad Land Grants

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visits since March 10, 2003

John Osborn

Railroads and Clearcuts
Photo Essay

Watching one entire square mile of forest being clearcut, then another, and another, in Montana, Idaho, and Washington during the 1980s began for me a painful journey of understanding. This journey led inexorably to Congress's 1864 Northern Pacific land grant, which lies at the core of the forest crisis.

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Railroads & Clearcuts
Multi-part Series

Dating from the 1860s until the present, original newspaper stories, photographs, and analysis help tell the powerful and moving story of Congress's Northern Pacific railroad land grant. These documents are presented in the Council's journal, Transitions, in a multi-part series:

  1. Overcutting the Forests [Dick Manning series, Missoulian], Dec. 1988
  2. Plundering the Northwest, Feb. 1992
  3. President Coolidge Battles Northern Pacific, March 1992
  4. Liquidating Abe Lincoln's land grant forests, April 1992
  5. Corporations overcut, reach for National Forests, April 89, Log Exports - Series, 1989
  6. 4 Billion Board Feet Exported, May 89, Log Exports - Series, 1989
  7. Conservation as Scapegoat, June 89, Log Exports - Series, 1989
  8. Trouble in the Colonies, July 89, Log Exports - Series, 1989
  9. Logging the Northwest into Poverty, Dec. 89, Log Exports - Series, 1989
  10. Exporting Lincoln logs to Japan, May 1992, Log Exports - Series
  11. Political Leadership?, June 1992
  12. Robber Barons' Stranglehold, July 1992
  13. "Of Grants and Greed", Dec 1993
  14. Forest Disaster: Salvage Rider, June/July 1995
  15. Land Swap Swindles, September 1998
  16. Taking Back Our Land: A History, December 98

Information Links

'A Self-Help Guide to Shareholder Activism' by Bart Naylor

The Catholic Bishops' pastoral letter, "The Columbia River Watershed: Caring for Creation and the Common Good"

BNSF's proposed fuel depot near Spokane, Washington

Weyerhaeuser and the Huckleberry Land Exchange

Landscouncil's Transitions Journal Index

Organization Links

The Lands Council

Railroads and Clearcuts Campaign

Idaho Conservation League

Sierra Club