Appeals court rules against PDX in 'home of the clearcut' airpor - KPTV - FOX 12

Appeals court rules against PDX in 'home of the clearcut' airport ad case

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Ad rejected by the Port of Portland in 2013. (Image: Oregon Wild) Ad rejected by the Port of Portland in 2013. (Image: Oregon Wild)

Nearly four years after the Port of Portland rejected an airport advertisement saying, "Welcome to Oregon, home of the clearcut," the Oregon Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling against the port's decision.

 A circuit court previously ruled the port violated the Oregon Constitution in rejecting the advertisement. The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld that ruling this week.

The issue first generated attention in September 2013.

A campaign funded by Oregon Wild, The Sierra Club, Audubon Society of Portland and the Center for Biological Diversity featured a postcard-like design with an image of a clearcut on Oregon's coast range.

It was not allowed to be posted at Portland International Airport.

At the time, the Port of Portland released a statement saying, "We did this because PDX rules restrict the placement of religious and political advertising in the airport to maintain neutrality on religious and political issues."

The American Civil Liberties Union joined Oregon Wild in submitting a letter to the port saying it had a "legal obligation as a government agency to abide by the Oregon constitution and its safeguards for freedom of speech."

Mat dos Santos, legal director at the ACLU of Oregon, released a message after the appeals court ruling this week describing this as a "well-settled issue."

"Our state constitution allows each Oregonian to choose for themselves what to read, see, or hear. It is not the government's job to make those decisions for us," dos Santos said.

Sean Stevens, executive director of Oregon Wild, said the conservation group plans to submit a new ad to the Portland of Portland immediately, "to make sure Oregonians and visitors understand the threats now facing public lands and forests."

The Port of Portland released a statement about the situation Friday.

"The primary function and priority of Portland International Airport (PDX) is the safety and comfort of the traveling public. The Port of Portland's advertising policies are consistent with the unique nature of airports and the Port's role of serving the traveling public. While the Port will follow the court's ruling, we are disappointed in this result and are considering our options for appeal," according to the statement.

At the time the ad was rejected in Portland, a version of it was on display at the Eugene Airport.

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