Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power

The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power


The Corporation is a 2003 Canadian documentary film written by University of British Columbia law professor Joel Bakan, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary examines the modern-day corporation. This is explored through specific examples. Bakan wrote the book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, during the filming of the documentary.
The documentary shows the development of the contemporary business corporation, from a legal entity that originated as a government-chartered institution meant to affect specific public functions, to the rise of the modern commercial institution entitled to most of the legal rights of a person. The documentary concentrates mostly upon North American corporations, especially those of the United States. One theme is its assessment as a “personality”, as a result of an 1886 case in the United States Supreme Court in which a statement by Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite[nb 1] led to corporations as “persons” having the same rights as human beings, based on the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

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Do Trees Communicate?

Do Trees Communicate?


Copied from video description:
In this real-life model of forest resilience and regeneration, Professor Suzanne Simard shows that all trees in a forest ecosystem are interconnected, with the largest, oldest, “mother trees” serving as hubs. The underground exchange of nutrients increases the survival of younger trees linked into the network of old trees. Amazingly, we find that in a forest, 1+1 equals more than 2.

Dr. Suzanne Simard is a professor with the UBC Faculty of Forestry, where she lectures on and researches the role of mycorrhizae and mycorrhizal networks in tree species migrations with climate change disturbance. Networks of mycorrhizal fungal mycelium have recently been discovered by Professor Suzanne Simard and her graduate students to connect the roots of trees and facilitate the sharing of resources in Douglas-fir forests of interior British Columbia, thereby bolstering their resilience against disturbance or stress and facilitating the establishment of new regeneration.

Dr. Simard writes:

Mycorrhizal fungi form obligate symbioses with trees, where the tree supplies the fungus with carbohydrate energy in return for water and nutrients the fungal mycelia gather from the soil; mycorrhizal networks form when mycelia connect the roots of two or more plants of the same or different species. Graduate student Kevin Beiler has uncovered the extent and architecture of this network through the use of new molecular tools that can distinguish the DNA of one fungal individual from another, or of one tree’s roots from another. He has found that all trees in dry interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca) forests are interconnected, with the largest, oldest trees serving as hubs, much like the hub of a spoked wheel, where younger trees establish within the mycorrhizal network of the old trees. Through careful experimentation, recent graduate Francois Teste determined that survival of these establishing trees was greatly enhanced when they were linked into the network of the old trees.Through the use of stable isotope tracers, he and Amanda Schoonmaker, a recent undergraduate student in Forestry, found that increased survival was associated with belowground transfer of carbon, nitrogen and water from the old trees. This research provides strong evidence that maintaining forest resilience is dependent on conserving mycorrhizal links, and that removal of hub trees could unravel the network and compromise regenerative capacity of the forests.

In wetter, mixed-species interior Douglas-fir forests, graduate student Brendan Twieg also used molecular tools to discover that Douglas-fir and paper birch (Betula papyrifera) trees can be linked together by species-rich mycorrhizal networks. We found that the mycorrhizal network serves as a belowground pathway for transfer of carbon from the nutrient-rich deciduous trees to nearby regenerating Douglas-fir seedlings. Moreover, we found that carbon transfer was enhanced when Douglas-fir seedlings were shaded in mid-summer, providing a subsidy that may be important in Douglas-fir survival and growth, thus helping maintain a mixed forest community during early succession. This is not a one-way subsidy, however; graduate Leanne Philip discovered that Douglas-fir supported their birch neighbours in the spring and fall by sending back some of this carbon when the birch was leafless. This back-and-forth flux of resources according to need may be one process that maintains forest diversity and stability.

Mycorrhizal networks may be critical in helping forest ecosystems deal with climate change. Maintaining the biological webs that stabilize forests may help conserve genetic resources for future tree migrations, ensure that forest carbon stocks remain intact on the landscape, and conserve species diversity. UBC graduate student Marcus Bingham is finding that maintaining mycorrhizal webs may be more important for the regeneration and stability of the dry than wet interior Douglas-fir forests, where resources are more limited and climate change is expected to have greater impacts. Helping the landscape adapt to climate change will require more than keeping existing forests intact, however. Many scientists are concerned that species will need to migrate at a profoundly more rapid rate than they have in the past, and that humans can facilitate this migration by planting tree species adapted to warm climates in new areas. UBC graduate student Brendan Twieg is starting new research to help us understand whether the presence of appropriate mycorrhizal symbionts in foreign soils may limit the success of tree migrations, and if so, to help us design practices that increase our success at facilitating changes in these forests.

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Simbolismo de Nuestra Bandera Cascadesa

Simbolismo de Nuestra Bandera Cascadesa

(Click here for the English version)

Escrito por Alexander Baretich

Traducción de Ildefonso de Haro y Tamariz

Diseñé la bandera cascadesa, en inglés “The Doug”, allá por los noventa cuando terminaba los estudios en Europa Oriental. Aunque me enamoré de la gente, cultura y paisaje de esa Europa del Este, me sentía profundamente melancólico, especialmente por los bosques de Cascadia, los árboles que crecen en el valle de Guillameta donde crecí. Un día, al sentarme en una loma con un compañero, tuve una epifanía: la bandera que representaba el paisaje cascadés. Anteriormente al diseño y su creciente popularidad, la idea de Cascadia –especialmente el biorregionalismo- era más bien un concepto abstracto que se reservaban los cartógrafos especializados y los sociólogos progresistas. La bandera lleva más allá de lo tangible, hacia una perspectiva de la demarcación de nuestro espacio; la Bandera captura el amor de las comunidades de Nuestra biorregión. Distinta a todas las demás, ésta no es una bandera forjada en sangre o en la gloria de una nación, sino en el amor por una Región, nuestra Familia ecológica y sus límites naturales; el lugar donde se vive y se ama. El azul representa el siempre húmedo cielo, el Pacífico ondulante, el mar Sálisce, los lagos, los ríos y toda el agua sin derrotero. Nuestro hogar es una continuidad de aguas cascantes desde el cielo hacia las montañas y profundizando en el mar. Cascadia, tierra del agua que cae desde el Océano Pacífico a la faz poniente de las Rocallosas, donde el ciclo hídrico, sea vapor, sea lluvia, sea hielo o nieve, corre en arroyuelos y ríos después para dar vida al color siguiente. El verde, de bosque y campo que alimentan la vida con el agua santa de la Región. El Abeto Oregonés simboliza la fortaleza, el aguante, la persistencia al fuego, al azogue, a la catástrofe, incluso al hombre necio. Éste simbolismo de colores e imágenes se funden en el ser cascadés, en su significado como hombre.
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Cascadia puede definirse por su gran ciclo hidrológico en lo que se llama comúnmente el Noroeste del Pacífico. Como demarcación natural de la biorregión cascadesa, el ciclo comienza con la evaporación del océano. El agua venida del Pacífico en forma de neblina, vapor, nubosidad y humedad en general, se condensa en lluvia, granizo o nieve, llegando hasta las cumbres más alejadas de las Rocallosas. Y por ultimo éstas escapan por la pendiente natural de nuevo al océano. El Océano Pacífico es la cuna del ciclo de la vida. Las Sierras Cascantes, Olímpicas, la Sierra Costera o los Montes Caribú son el catalizador de éste proceso de eterna mutación. Las Rocallosas son la muralla y compuertas que mantienen éste imperio del agua cascante. Éste agua vital gradualmente regresa de donde salió mutando de ser glaciar a simples y hermosos arroyos, corrientes y ríos, todos, fuentes de la vida como son las venas y las arterias. Finalmente éste ciclo no es otra cosa que el ciclo de la vida misma. La esencia de ser cascadés es saberse ser Cascadia. Ser Cascadia es la conciencia total de éste flujo vital, de trascendencia acuática, de ciclos. Y ser Cascadia es respeto al ciclo y a la vida.
Y por lo tanto, ¿qué es el biorregionalismo? Es la conciencia de comunidad con el agua de la región propia, la sangre de la tierra. Incluso el más seco de los desiertos tiene es biorregional, pues el ciclo está presente, no importa qué tan diminuto o imperceptible sea. Así que cada biorregión es un sistema de vida de comunidades interconectadas y movimiento de energía. La filosofía del Tao atribuye el flujo de energía en el cuerpo y los sistemas, es decir, el quí, traducido a menudo como fuerza vital o nombrado como chí, ya muchos lo hemos oído nombrar. El agua que es vida en su ciclo es como el quí dentro de la biomasa de la Tierra. Es un constante flujo de energía y, como seres vivos que dependemos de estos ciclos, es crucial que sostengamos, mantengamos y preservemos estos ciclos de manera sana. Así lo hizo Atlas en la Grecia Clásica también. Como biorregionalistas despertamos al conocimiento de la importancia de estos ciclos y regiones de la Tierra, los convertimos en parte de quién y qué somos. La biorregión impregna el alma misma del habitante despierto. Por lo tanto, un biorregionalista es el que aboga por el despertar de la conciencia y la protección del ciclo de vida del agua.
Un biorregionalista cascadés es el que despierta y hace despertar los sistemas vivos que nos rodean en Cascadia y ve que lo que está siendo causado en la biorregión (envenenamiento por mercurio, la radiación sea de Hanford o Fucuschima, la deforestación, los pesticidas, los cultivos transgénicos, la plaga suburbana, la destrucción de los mercados por el esquema Walmart y tantos otros factores que reducen nuestra existencia como biorregión) se inflige inherentemente en sí mismo, lo que pasa alrededor es lo que pasa dentro de nosotros. Esto significa que la explotación de la biorregión es la explotación de sí mismo del hombre por el hombre. Esto significa que el activismo no es sólo algo que se hace para salvar a un panda en el otro lado del planeta, el activismo biorregional es una forma personal de preservación. Biorregionalismo es también el sostén de lo local. Lo ideal es que el empoderamiento sea horizontal e inclusivo para todas las comunidades (humanidad y naturaleza). Nosotros como biorregionalistas no vivimos en ámbitos aislados, sino en comunidades interconectadas y entrelazadas donde lo local es el punto focal.
La bandera es una declaración imponente «¡Esta es Cascadia y somos Casacadia!»

The 6 Elements of Living in Bioregional Harmony

The 6 Elements of Living in Bioregional Harmony

by Kenny Palurintano

I came up with this idea over the past couple of months, and wrote this on my bus ride to work about a month ago. This is very much a working draft, so please feel free to give feedback so I can flesh it out more. Also feel free to re-post it and such, it’s just something that I want to get out into the consciousness!

SOVEREIGNTY is acknowledging that you are a free, infinite being; completely responsible for everything you do, say, and experience. Sovereignty is also acknowledging that every other person is also a free, infinite being, and just as no one else has the right to initiate violence against or impose their beliefs on you, you don’t have the right to initiate violence against anyone else. This is extremely crucial to any advancement of your consciousness or vision for the world.

UNITY is acknowledging that we are all one. Every man is your brother, every woman is your sister, every animal is your cousin, every plant is your uncle, and every rock is your uncle. Just as every cell in your body seems to be a separate entity under a microscope, WE only look separate from our point of view, but we are actually just cells in the organism that is the Earth (and the organ we make up is our bioregion).

CLARITY is doing your best to see the world as it truly is, and how you want it to be. In watching what happens around you and what other do, this means not having assumptions, and not applying your own beliefs & expectations to other people. Equally, if not more, important, this means not letting others impose their beliefs & expectations onto your reality. In the way you talk & think, this means not using euphemisms created by people trying to oppress you; war is mass murder; arresting is kidnapping; taxation is theft. Watching television, listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, or taking in any other forms of fear-mongering & hypnosis lessens your life experience and restricts your SOVEREIGNTY. What you’re thinking about & giving your focus to creates your reality, so focus on the positive changes, the things that bring you joy, and the things that you want more of in your life.

VITALITY is the love of and care for your physical body. We are energy beings temporarily inhabiting these physical vessels we call the human body, but as long as we are in them, we should take care of them. It’s important to our happiness & growth to keep our bodies healthy, fit, flexible, and purified. Remember, the healthier you are, the healthier the world is. There are many aspects to this, the most important of which I think are:
-Physical practices like yoga or martial arts to keep your body in shape and you in your body.
-Diet: Eating food free of GMOs, pesticides & herbicides, eating mostly raw fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts, and drinking tons of fluoride-free water every day.
-Vibrational intake: Listening to music that makes you feel good, having as few electronics around you as possible, not living near power lines, cell towers, or radio towers. The entire world is vibration, what you see, what you hear, what you feel are all just different frequencies & wavelengths.

CREATIVITY comes from listening to your true self, to the voice of god, source, collective conscious, or the universe, however you refer to it. This creativity can be seen in a musician’s song, a painter’s canvass, a wire-wrap, a book, and many things you may not immediately think of as art. The engineer designing a new water filter, the farming making the perfect soil blend for his crops, and the protester coming up with the catchiest, deepest quote for a sign are all artists practicing their creativity. By picturing ourselves as artists, and the world as our canvass, we can open our minds to that source energy and let new systems & solutions flow through us to create the world we want to live in.

THRIVEABILITY[RESILIENCY] is simply living in balance & nurturing respect with the rest of the Earth. For most people now, life is as far from balanced as it can be, and while we can’t expect to convert immediately to a holistic, sustainable lifestyle, you can certainly keep that vision in mind and consciously take steps towards it every day. Only buying local organic food reduces petroleum use, growing your own even more-so. An electric car is an improvement over gas, public transport is even better, and your feet or a bicycle is better yet. There’s no reason to buy a new product if you can find a used, un-needed one from Craigslist or friends that will suit your needs. Get to know your bioregion, love it, and support it!

I understand that this is a whole lot to take in. I suggest you seriously evaluate where you’re at in life, choose something to improve, and make a commitment to do so. Once that improvement is habit, choose another step and a make a commitment to that one. If you’re 1000 steps from your goal, it may seem like a long, difficult walk. That first step is easy though, and not only does it get you that much closer to your goal, but once you get moving, momentum takes over. Each improvement is another victory, gets you closer to the life you want, and moves the world forward. Celebrate these little changes as you make them. What you focus on is what you experience; when you focus on the positive changes you’re making and other people making positive changes, guess what you’re going to experience more of.

19600_forest_green_forest

The Grange Halls and the growing Cascadian network

Another Cascadian and I have joined our local Grange Hall last night. Several other self identified Cascadians have explored the Granges and we have concluded that together the Grange Movement and the Cascadian Movement could revive our local economies and create a new socioeconomic system that is resilient and very much embracing bioregionalism. Whether it’s the Cascadian Movement or the Grange Movement the essential core focus is actually community. In an age of corporatism and neo-liberal economics where food and materials of need are transported planetary distances just, because of cheap labor and cheap fossil fuels, creating networks of communities focused on resiliency

I want to add a suggestion that people look up the history and socioeconomic and even agronomic function of the Grange movement that dates back to the 1860s. Grange Halls are almost established in every Cascadian community under the yoke of the US American Empire. The Grange Movement was a farming movement (actually a rural revolution) against both the Banking Establishment and the Railroad Companies. Today most Grange Halls still rent their halls and provide space for rural communities. Their focus is obviously farming. I have posted for years that Cascadianism is about localization, community empowerment and the 3Fs (Food! Fiber! & Fuel) which in essence for Cascadians is a route for autonomy while staying under the Police State radar. So my advice is that in every self identified Cascadian within the US seek either membership with the local Grange Hall or work with them to provide classes and community. Classes could be permaculture, canning (actually jarring), education of textiles (nettle and hemp could create a new cottage industry), cooperatives (the Grange movement was link arm in arm with the Farmer–Labor Party that had a direct connection to Co-operative Commonwealth Federation parties in Canada), food preparation and food preservation, bio diesel (from how to make it to converting engines), providing for the needs of our local communities, trade circles and a host of other possibilities.
To me (as has been suggested by other Cascadians) the connecting with the remains of the Grange movement is a natural and very sensible idea. As many have pointed out who know of the Grange movement they seem to be just waiting for a revival of localization and back to basics movement (which is the Cascadian movement). – Alexander Baretich

The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry – Wikipedia

Wikipedia list of Grange Halls

Find and join your local Grange

List of state Granges

 Washington State Grange

Oregon State Grange

Idaho State Grange

California State Grange

Alaska State Grange

Grange Grange_logo-thumb-114x134-353-thumb-225x264-838

The Cascadian Flag: A Transformative Icon

The Cascadian Flag: A Transformative Icon

(En Espanol)

By Alexander Baretich

The blue represents the moisture rich sky above and Pacific Ocean along with the Salish Sea, lakes and other inland waters. Our home is of continuous cascading waters flowing from our sky and mountains back to the Pacific. For Cascadia is a land of falling water from the Pacific to the western slopes of the Rockies where water cycles as vapor and then rain and snow to run through creek and river back to the Pacific. The white is for the snow and clouds which are the catalyst of water changing from one state of matter to another. From liquid into vapor (mist and clouds) and from vapor into solid (ice and snow) and melting back to liquid or vapor. The green is the forests and fields which too carry life giving water through our biodiverse land. The lone standing Douglas fir symbolizes endurance, defiance and resilience against fire, flood, catastrophic change and even against anthropocentric Man. All these symbols of color and icon come together to symbolize what being Cascadian is all about.
SasquatchDougFlag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flag as a transformative icon:

The flag ideally should capture, recall, the awe, love and beautify of the bioregion that we experience whether in childhood or in adulthood. At its deep subconscious level the colors and center icon (the conifer tree) should bring the observer to a sense of wonder and even security that the forests give us.

The history and reason for the flag

When I was in high school (early 1980s) I was fighting against the deforestation and mass building of suburbia around my home in Portland. I was very well in-tune with the forests and the open fields (White Oak Savanna) on the south slope of the shield volcano I grew up on. I would enter the forest after school and just listen to Nature. I would do my version of forest defense which meant pulling up surveyors’ stakes, pulling down real estate signs and sometimes damage to equipment. I would even go into a forest where trees were marked with spray-paint (marked to be cut) and repaint them with paint matching the color of the bark so the hired tree cutters could not figure out which tree to cut. It was a losing battle as suburbia wiped out lots of forests and fields on the edges of Portland’s expanding urban growth boundary. One day at my forest, the real estate developer had secretly ordered the cutting of all the trees while he was supposed to be arguing his case before Portland city council. It was an illegal cut as the city council were discussing if the “development” should take place given neighborhood protests and local media coverage. The damage was done, but as we tried to stop the loggers I realized this was a losing battle. I realized then that I needed to get into the minds of the chainsaw wielding workers and the bulldozer operators who would just scuff at my protest and say “it’s just my job” or “if I don’t someone else will.” I had heard those words repeatedly or from the real estate developer himself “you cannot stop progress.” First of all this was not “progress” it was greed and dominion over Nature. It was death and ecocide and its goal was eventually terracide. It was at that point I started to search for some means to shift the consciousness of people from anthropocentric (human centered) to one that was biocentric (life centered). I knew whatever that was, that catalysis, it had to be emotion driven and needed to have that “aha” moment or epiphany at the human conscious level. I also knew it was not something one necessarily went out and found, but was something that would reveal itself when it was time. So that began a subconscious search for what I would call a transformative icon.

In the academic year of 1994-1995, I ended up doing graduate work in Eastern Europe studying nationalism and ethnic minorities. Though I totally love the people, cultures and landscape of Eastern Europe, I was deeply homesick for the forests of Cascadia, specifically the Willamette Valley forests I grew up around. One day in spring as I sat on a hill with my companion, I explained to her what the landscape of my home looked like. I said those vast vineyards if at my house would be vast green forests; the distant mountains of the Matras would be the snowcapped Cascades with white clouds hovering above; and above that might be the blue sky. The three colors of blue, white and green came to mind and that the pine tree in front of us would be a Douglas fir. The image stuck in my mind and spent a lot of time obsessively drawing the flag which really annoyed my soon to be wife. That period of time was crucial in regards to what was happening in Cascadia at that point. Massive deforestation targeting old growth was happening and salvaging of down trees cause by intentional fires as well as law suits countering clear cutting of endangered species habitat was filling up the courts. The Clinton/Gore administration during the summer of 1995 signed into law “Salvage Rider” which basically back stabbed environmentalists and made all the legal victories pointless. Like what I had realized fighting real estate developers in the 1980s, had again surfaced that we needed to create paradigm shift in the minds of those who had power. The period was marked by “Cascadia Free States” which were environmental blockades and barricades set to stop the logging industry from harvesting national forests.

Prior to the design and its popularity, the idea of Cascadia, specifically the bioregion, was pretty much an abstract concept reserved for radical geographers, hip sociologists, devoted ecologists and “radical” environmentalists. There were bioregional congresses, but they were periodic camp and small workshops that were from an older generation from the 1960s and 1970s. The bioregional congress “movement” or gatherings was an echo of the alternative culture of a bygone generation. The bioregional congress gatherings were also limited to those that already knew about bioregionalism and often to those who could afford both the cost of camping in some distant place and the privilege to do so. What the flag has done is convey something far more tangible than an abstract concept of demarcation of space. The flag gave access to the idea of Cascadia that was not limited to scholarly research or having the privilege of money and time for a camping trip on the other side of the continent.

I tend to look at the meme (viral idea) of the Cascadian flag like it’s a multilayered sphere or onion entering or implanted in the mindscape of the host and then unfolding while releasing its contagion. The meme conveys multiple layers to understanding Cascadia. As the memetic onion unpeels in the deep subconscious of the host some will stay or linger at one or another layer, but I have seen major shifts into the deeper layers by some who I thought would remain at the first several layers and I have seen some stay stuck at the first couple layers who I thought would delve deep into the core of the memetic onion. So the levels or peels. At first the normal reaction, the shallow surface level, is to be of nationalistic. The “oh we are a new country” concept which often ends up being “well if they are America then we are Cascadia.” This is the flying of the flag as a form of simple regional identity, but then there is the deeper layers of consciousness that emerges as the simple concepts of nationalism peels away. The next level then is the awareness that Cascadia is not defined by the limited borders of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, but has greater broader borders that include Idaho, northern California, and southeast Alaska as well as northeastern Nevada, northwestern Wyoming, northwestern Montana and even a little of northern Utah. Then there is the realization that those borders are based on nation-state concepts and imperialism. This realization is that these lines on a map are dictated by the conquerors and oppressors who have destroyed so much diversity. This comes to an awakening that Cascadia the bioregion is based on watersheds or river drainage systems that flow all the way to the Rockies or continental divide. Then a deeper layer of consciousness hits that the flow of water is crucial to a bioregion and that life is based on that water. After that comes the realization that Cascadia or any bioregion is not just a place, but a living complex of interactions and interconnectedness to many communities, human and nonhuman. That at that realization we are not a human in a vacuum separated from Nature, but are extensions of each other and dependent on the health and dynamic interactions with each other. It becomes a consciousness of living dynamic being and is no longer stuck in banal nationalism, but is an awakening to being part of a bioregion which is part of the biosphere which is the living Earth (Gaia).

The Cascadian flag captures that love of living communities in our bioregion. Unlike many flags, the Cascadian flag is neither a flag of blood nor a flag of the glory for a nation, but a love of the bioregion; our ecosystems and the dynamics interplay between tectonics, H20, atmosphere and life; the place in which we live and love.

The flag has been put it in creative commons with some restrictions. The following is cited from the creative common’s license:

The flag was designed by Alexander Baretich during the academic year of 1994-1995 and represents the bioregion of Cascadia.
The design is not to be used for hate (1) or exploitation (2).
1.) Hate speech being defined as words, depictions and actions generated against an individual or group based on ethnicity, religious affiliation (or non-religious association or identity), race, gender identity, sexuality (from orientation to mutually consenting adult activities), familial structure, mobility, educational background (or “lack” of institutional education), caste or economic situation (class) and so forth. Hate speech also maybe disguised as “White Pride” or nationalism. The Cascadian flag by Alexander Baretich does not represent any of these forms of hate and should not be used to represent such hate.
2.) Exploitation being defined by the actions of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work or the violating of Nature for profit at the expense of causing ecological harm. The use of the flag should not be contrary to the ideas of bioregionalism.
When in publication it should be cited that the designer is Alexander Baretich and that it’s the flag of the bioregion of Cascadia or simply as the Cascadian flag.
Alexander Baretich can be contacted at Alexander.Baretich@gmail.com

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Cascadia.svg