fighting for the trees

Seeing the forests for the trees

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.

What we're doing

We're working to document the values of mature trees and to effect change in how mature trees are managed in natural and urban ecosystems.  The value of tree to humans is complicated, but through supporting research in carbon storage, climate change, biodiversity values, and habitat quality, we're helping quantify the benefits that mature trees have for humans and the planet.

We're funding a number of researchers at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon who are looking at fire ecology, biodiversity, and the effects of large predators on ecosystem function across the west.  

But our main value in these efforts is interpreting the findings of these studies and making that information available to the public.  Often, academic studies are not widely distributed but stimulate discussion between researchers and other academics.  We try to break down those silos and make findings widely accessible.

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What you Can Do

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

  • 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.

 

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.