fighting for the trees

THE PROBLEM:

Mature forests in the Pacific Northwest provide a variety of ecological services important to humans and other creatures.  Our forests have been shown to capture and store more carbon than even the rainforests of the Amazon, and support an amazingly high diversity of unique species of plants and animals.  However, these same forests are under increasing threat by climate change, urban sprawl, and practices by logging companies, private land owners, and management agencies.   We must preserve our mature forests, but preservation needs to be balanced with our need for lumber and paper products.  Research is providing some of the answers, but everyone needs to be involved in ensuring our public officials and decision makers are acting responsibly and in the interest of the public.

THE OBJECTIVE:

The primary objective is to affect change in forest management policy and action.  Meeting this objective will help mitigate the effects of global climate change, protect biodiversity, and ensure clean water and habitat for generations.

THE METHOD:

We're working to meet our objective through support and collaboration with scientists and researchers that study and document the importance of forest systems, including westside and coastal forests, and dry-side fire dependent ecosystems.

We're funding a number of researchers at Oregon State University and University of Oregon looking at fire ecology, carbon capture, and biodiversity values across the west.  We also push for changes in policy through the legal and legislative processes -- specifically calling out poor management decisions, rules and laws that contradict current science, and policy makers that fail to consider recent scientific findings.  

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What you Can Do

  • Contact your local representatives and express your feelings about forest health, global climate change, and the effect of logging on our public (and private) lands.  

  • Support efforts to plant trees and other vegetation to regenerate some of the ecological functions lost through logging, ranching, and other "management" activities.

  • Become educated on the issues and what's happening in your own community, state, region, country, or world.

THE INSPIRATION

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Inspiration for our work comes from many sources.  Suzanne Simard's "Finding the Mother Tree" was an early wake up call on the issues of forest management and the destruction of our natural areas.  

More recent work , including Bill Ripple's "World Scientist's Warning to Humanity, a Second Notice" points out the connection between human action and climate change.  This broad-scale view points out how human activities directly impacts global climate. 

 

Work by Bev Law and other forest researchers are making the connection between large trees , carbon capture and storage, and biodiversity.  These findings provide empirical support for our efforts fighting for the trees.  

As the Lorax says "UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

We care a whole awful lot.

Ten acres of bad decisions

Ten acres of a 23,000 acre "forest health" project called West Bend contained approximately 30 trees over 21" diameter -- the size most commonly referenced as a minimum for maximizing carbon storage.  This portion of the project area is located very close to Phil's Trail, a popular mountain biking area outside Bend, Oregon.  The trees with the blue paint are marked for removal.

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A STARK CONTRAST:

We requested a delay in removal of these trees to assess the latest science, hold public hearings, and encourage our local representatives to protect these iconic trees in the name of fire resistance, carbon capture, biodiversity, and scenic value.  

We were unsuccessful.  Without even acknowledging the issue, our elected officials allowed the logging contractor to disregard public sentiment and recent science and remove the trees.