(photo from Portland State University Vanguard, c.1982)

CLEARING began in 1978 as a project of the Environmental Education Center (School of Education) at Portland State University, and was intended to provide information about resources for the newly emerging field of environmental education for teachers in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area. Initial funding for the project came from a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, along with additional support from Portland General Electric and the Environmental Education Association of Oregon (EEAO).

After seed funding dried up, the magazine was on its own to support itself through subscriptions, grants and community donations. The publication grew in circulation to include the entire state of Oregon and some of Washington.

In 1982, with the formation of the Environmental Education Association of Washington, CLEARING’s circulation grew to encompass both Oregon and Washington, and was beginning to expand outward to reach educators in surrounding regions. Members of EEAW received CLEARING as part of their dues benefits. Pretty soon the magazine had a subscription base that extended throughout the Pacific Northwest, with scattered subscriptions around the country.

In 1988, the offices of CLEARING moved from PSU to the John Inskeep Environmental Learning Center in Oregon City, Oregon. There the magazine continued to grow, and the art of desktop publishing made cutting and pasting a thing of the past. Many volunteers provided artwork, writing, and subscription support during that time. The magazine was adopted as a membership benefit by the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME) and the EE Provincial Specialists Association (EEPSA) in British Columbia.

In 1998, CLEARING left the ELC and became independent. By then, CLEARING had become known to environmental educators across the nation, and remains one of only two such EE publications in all of North America.