Vote Cascadia aligns itself with the philosophy of 'Bioregionalism'.
A bioregion is defined in terms of the unique overall pattern of natural and cultural characteristics that are found in a specific place. The main features are generally obvious throughout a continuous geographic terrain and include a particular climate, local aspects of seasons, landforms, watersheds, soils, and native plants and animals, and from which common concerns and shared values arise.
Bioregionalism to us is the only possibility, the only real idea out there that we see out there that provides a path forwards for humans to exist on this planet with a real way forward.
Cascadian bioregionalism deals with the connected ecological, environmental, economic and cultural ties prevalent throughout the Pacific Northwest and distance the area from their eastern counterparts. The argument is that those in Washington and Oregon have much more in common with those in British Columbia than those in Washington D.C. An argument which continues to gain ground as we enter a more global age, and as efforts to create integrated transportation and economic systems, stem pollution and global warming, and support sustainable alternatives increasingly requires the commitment of larger regional players.
The Cascadia Bioregion also referred to as the Pacific Northwest Bioregion) encompasses all or portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, British Columbia, and Alberta. Bioregions are geographically based areas defined by land or soil composition, watershed, climate, flora, and fauna. The Cascadia Bioregion claims the entire watershed of the Columbia River (as far as the Continental Divide), as well as the Cascade Range from Northern California well into Canada. The delineation of a bioregion has environmental stewardship as its primary goal, with the belief that political boundaries should match ecological and cultural boundaries.
The area from Vancouver B.C. down to Portland has been termed a megaregion by the U.S. and Canadian governments, especially along the 'Cascadian Corridor'. Megaregions are defined as areas where "boundaries begin to blur, creating a new scale of geography now known as the megaregion. These areas have interlocking economic systems, shared natural resources and ecosystems, and common transportation systems link these population centers together. This area contains 17% of Cascadian land mass, but more than 80% of the Cascadian population. Existing US and Canadian borders continue to be broken down in the face of further economic, political and cultural integration which such programs as the enhanced drivers license program - which can be used to get cross the Canadian border within Washington and British Columbia.
Principles of Bioregionalism:
All life is sacred, water dependent, and has a right to its place on this planet. Watersheds divide the world into bioregions, each with its own life giving rivers, lakes and streams. As all living things within a bioregion relies on the same source of life, these natural boundaries represent our planet’s true borders. These borders are not static, rather they are continually eroding, growing and changing. Bioregionalism values the interdependence watersheds create, and recognizes all life that raises or falls together within them.
Colonialism carved up the earth with arbitrary geopolitical borders, most often proving divisive, exploitative and disruptive to both the land, culture and people living there. Alongside natural borders, Bioregionalism respects indigenous ways of being, as they have evolved with each bioregion for thousands of years, and work with a way of living with the earth. While there is no return to a pre-colonial past, our thriving future must learn from the sustainable models pre-existent in each bioregion.
Earth abounds with diverse life, abundant resources and a balanced way of being within each bioregion, and with each other. Encouraging sustainable practices in farming, construction, industry and technology shifts away from a global supply chain model of reaping rewards in one bioregion by raping the resources of another to a life where the resources used to live are the ones you live with. The symbiotic relationship living bioregionally engenders allows all life to thrive as synergies not energies are exploited.
Just as biodiversity adds value in nature, diversity in society benefits humans. Each bioregion will be different, with different offerings and needs, and each community will be different, with different specialties and needs based on those environments. Each community will be the best suited to speak for itself and its own needs, and this diversity is the greatest strength of bioregionism, which relies on building mutual and collaborative networks that thrive on this biological and cultural diversity. Just as in nature, as we face the challenges of a changing planet, diverse perspectives and ideas increase the likelihood of successful outcomes. The bountiful life Bioregionalism offers begins as we stop allowing differences to divide us, and harness their strength to unite us.
Every living thing is an equal stakeholder in the survival of our planet, yet equity rarely exists in the way we live on it. Bioregionalism focuses on creating equitable communities where humans live, work and learn locally in support of an integrated economy that benefits all. Where a bioregion is unable to address the needs of its people, engaging in foreign trade should maintain the principles of sustainability, fairness and inclusivity to ensure that the value of global life rises in concert.