Logging is Not A Solution to Wildfires or Climate Change

Reprinted from The Hill, 9/23/20, by John Talberth. The bodies are still being counted. The land is still burning. Yet Big Timber is wasting no time greasing the wheels in Congress for another round of profiteering from the staggering community losses in the West. In a recent op-ed published on The Hill, the author repeats … Read more

115 Scientists Say Leave Big Trees Alone

On October 13th Forest Carbon Coalition partner Wild Heritage (Berkeley, CA)  submitted a letter from 115 scientists to the USDA Forest Service urging the agency to retain protections for large old trees in eastern Oregon and Washington for their wide range of ecological and climate benefits including carbon storage and resistance to wildfire. The Trump … Read more

Goldstein, A., Turner, W.R., Spawn, S.A., et al., 2020. Protecting irrecoverable carbon in Earth’s ecosystems. Nature Climate Change.

Link: Download PDF here: PDF Summary: The authors estimate the amount of irrecoverable carbon that will be emitted into the atmosphere if ecosystems with high carbon densities are logged or lost to development pressure. Irrecoverable carbon is the not recoverable on timescales relevant to avoiding dangerous climate impacts. Key excerpts: “These three dimensions allow us to … Read more

Boutte, P.C., Law, B.E., Ripple, W.J., Berner, L.T., 2019. Carbon sequestration and biodiversity co-benefits of preserving forests in the western United States. Ecological Applications e02039.

Link: DOI: 10.1002/eap.2039 Summary: The authors use process models and ecological criteria to provide estimates of how much carbon high productivity-low vulnerability forests in the western United States can capture and store by century’s end. These forests are concentrated in the Pacific Northwest. Vulnerability was modeled with respect to fire and drought. Key excerpts: “High-productivity, … Read more

House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis receives FCC’s US forest carbon agenda

In late November the Forest Carbon Coalition, Rachel Carson Council, John Muir Project and Partnership for Policy Integrity led a coalition of 45 scientific, conservation and community organizations across the US to provide detailed recommendations on a US forest carbon agenda to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. The Select Committee is charged … Read more

Zald, H.S., Dunn, C.J., 2018. Severe fire weather and intensive forest management increase fire severity in a multi-ownership landscape. Ecological Applications 28(4): 1068-1080.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.1710 Summary: The authors completed an intensive study of the 2013 Douglas Complex fire in southwestern Oregon and concluded that high biomass loads characteristic of native, old growth forests were not a major contributor to fire severity. In contrast, the authors found that intensively managed timber plantations were a significant driver because of their … Read more

Lutz, J.A., Furniss, T.J., Johnson, D.J., 2018. Global importance of large diameter trees. Global Ecol Biogeogr. 2018: 1-16.

Link: http://www.columbia.edu/~mu2126/publications_files/Lutz_et_al-2018-Global_Ecology_and_Biogeography.pdf Summary: Because large-diameter trees constitute roughly half of the mature forest bio-mass worldwide, their dynamics and sensitivities to environmental change represent potentially large controls on global forest carbon cycling. We recommend managing forests for conservation of existing large-diameter trees or those that can soon reach large diameters as a simple way to conserve … Read more

Perry, T.D., Jones, J.A., 2016. Summer streamflow deficits from regenerating Douglas-fir forest in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Ecohydrology 10:e1790.

Link: https://andrewsforest.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/lter/pubs/pdf/pub4981.pdf Summary: Using 60-year records of daily streamflow from eight paired basins in the H.J. Andrews and South Umpqua experimental forests the authors found that average daily streamflow in summer in basins with 34-43 year old plantations of Douglas fir was 50% lower than streamflow from reference basins with 150-500 year old forests. Key … Read more

Grissom B.W., et al., 2017. Natural climate solutions. PNAS October 31, 2017 114 (44) 11645-11650.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1710465114 Summary: Reversing the degradation of natural forests can accomplish more than one third of the total climate change mitigation required by 2030. Existing forests will store more carbon only if logged less frequently and less intensely. Planting trees offers the biggest and cheapest way to slow the climate crisis. We must act quickly. It … Read more

Houghton, R.A., Nassikas, A.A., 2017. Negative emissions from stopping deforestation and forest degradation, globally. Global Change Biology 24(1)

Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13876 Summary: Avoiding further loss and degradation of primary forests and intact forest landscapes, and allowing degraded forests to naturally regrow, would reduce global carbon emissions annually by about one gigatonne or 1 Gt, and reduce another two to four Gt of carbon emissions through just allowing natural regrowth. If greater negative emissions are … Read more