- Rick Bonetti
Worth More Standing
The Climate Forests Campaign reflects the interests of dozens of organizations wanting to conserve our remaining older forests and trees on federal public lands. "This is one of the country’s most straightforward, impactful, and cost-effective climate solutions." The Campaign urges activists across the country to join together and "tell the Biden Administration that our mature and old-growth forests are worth more standing!"
"On Apr 22, 2022, President Biden recognized the importance of our mature and old-growth trees and forests on federal lands as an essential climate solution and signed Executive Order 14072 on Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities, and Local Economies, which directs his administration to create stronger protections for public forests in an effort to mitigate the climate crisis. Despite this Executive Order, the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management continue to log these essential climate-saving trees and forests at alarming rates.
"Findings show that federal agencies have done nothing to correct the course on any of the original logging projects highlighted this past summer, with the exception of two projects where a judge found agencies were illegally harming an imperiled species. Rather, America’s Vanishing Climate Forests spotlights 12 additional egregious examples of mature and old-growth logging set to take place in federal forests in defiance of President Biden’s order to protect them."m.
Their latest report, America’s Vanishing Climate Forests comes more than 6 months after President Biden’s Executive Order directive and serves as a progress report detailing the urgent, imminent, and continued threat of logging to our federal public lands.
Findings show that federal agencies have done nothing to correct the course on any of the original logging projects highlighted this past summer, with the exception of two projects where a judge found agencies were illegally harming an imperiled species. Rather, America’s Vanishing Climate Forests spotlights 12 additional egregious examples of mature and old-growth logging set to take place in federal forests in defiance of President Biden’s order to protect them.
Check out Climate-Forest's Interactive map and find old-growth forests around the United States. Here are some highlights in Oregon:
Poor Windy Project Oregon - 15,000 acres, including cutting down 4,573 acres of mature and old-growth trees. Logging is underway, but a legal challenge to USFWS biological opinion is pending. In the Bureau of Land Management's Medford District. Oregon Wild says: "effort to log 10,000 acres - including old-growth forests - in southwest Oregon over 10 years is being done under the guise of creating wildfire “resilience” and without adequate environmental analysis."
Flat Country project - Oregon Wild says "the Flat Country project, proposed by the U.S. Forest Service, targets over 2,000 acres of old-growth and mature forests for logging across the headwaters of the McKenzie River. The agency could auction the old growth to be cut at any moment."
Integrated Vegetation Management Project - in the Bureau of Land Management's Medford District this 20,000 acres includes trees up to 36 inches in diameter and more than 150 years old and will have "up to 90 miles of logging roads" The Project has been approved; timber sales, but is "not yet scheduled."
Evans Creek Project - This BLM commercial logging project took place on 1,131 acres, including 82 acres of clear-cuts. The Evans Creek watershed is a significant salmon-spawning area, and some trees in the project area are 150-200 years old. Trees up to 40 inches in diameter have been logged. The BLM declassified 732 acres of northern spotted owl habitat so they could be logged.
Oregon 42 Divide Stand Project - "As part of the 42 Divide Project, the Roseburg BLM proposes logging 5,280 acres of conifer stands, including clearcutting and commercial thinning on 1,728 acres, and building logging roads. Trees up to 200 years old are targeted for logging. The project includes some of the most intensive tree removals that the BLM allows."
Cascadia Wildlands works to protect old-growth forests of trees 80 years or older.
Oregon Wild is urging concerned citizens and organizations to take actions to stop the logging of old-growth forests. They have prepared a sample letter to Secretary Vilsack, USDA, and Chief Moore, USFS - a thank you and comment on the Mature/Old-Growth Rule. Deadline January 24, 2023 (Noon Pacific Time).
Click here for the Sign-on letter for organizations.
In British Columbia there is a similar fight - It was revealed in October 2022 that wood from B.C. old-growth forests is being ground into pellets burned for electricity elsewhere in the world. "This timber won't be used to build homes or furniture, or even to make paper. These logs will be ground and compressed into tiny pellets, shipped to Europe and Asia, and burned to produce fuel for electricity!"