Summary of recent publications relevant to the forest-climate policy debate

News & Views   Forest ‘thinning,’ aka logging, is not going to save us from wildfires Citation: Ric Bailey. June 15, 2023. Forest ‘thinning,’ aka logging, is not going to save us from wildfires. Seattle Times. Synopsis: Longtime forest defender and ex-Forest Service wildland firefighter Ric Bailey points out that commercially driven logging increases wildfire … Read more

Bramadat-Willcock, M. 2022. Experts Are Looking into How Mother Trees Can Help Reduce Risk of Wildfires in Northern B.C. Terrance Standard online.

Link:  with reference to . Key excerpts: “The big old trees help protect biodiversity, keep carbon in the ground and help regenerate the next forest.” Trees might not look like they’re connected but Simard said they do “communicate” with each other below ground through a network of root systems and fungi that transmits … Read more

Hussan, Z., 2022. Friendly fungi help forests fight climate change. BBC News online, June 19th, 2022.

Link: Key excerpts: “The trees in our forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they photosynthesise; their leaves, powered by sunlight, convert that carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar. As a tree grows, the carbon becomes part of its woody ‘biomass’.” “Trees though do not act in isolation; they are entangled with – … Read more

Cannon, C.H., G. Piovesan, and S. Munne-Bosch. 2022. Old and Ancient Trees Are Life History Lottery Winners and Vital Evolutionary Resources for Long-Term Adaptive Capacity.

Link: Key excerpts: “Old and ancient trees cannot be replaced through restoration or regeneration for many centuries. They must be protected to preserve their invaluable diversity.” “The ecological importance of old trees in forested ecosystems has been extensively documented, particularly as small natural features that provide a wide range of services[citations].”

Cavender-Bares, J.M., Nelson, E., Meireles, J.E., et al., 2022. The Hidden Value of Trees: Quantifying the Ecosystem Services of Tree Lineages and Their Major Threats across the Contiguous US. PLOS Sustainability and Transformation.

Link: Key excerpts: “Trees provide critical contributions to human well-being. They sequester and store green-house gasses, filter air pollutants, provide wood, food, and other products, among other benefits.” “We find that the value of five key ecosystem services with adequate data generated by US trees is $114 billion per annum (low: $85 B; high: … Read more

Niemi, E., 2016. Below-Cost Timber Sales on Federal and State Lands in Oregon: An Update. NRE Working Paper 16-04. Eugene, OR: Natural Resource Economics.

Link: Key excerpts: “The sale of timber from federal and state lands in western Oregon declined in the 1990s in large part because of resistance to below-cost timber sales, in which sale revenues didn’t cover the costs that logging imposed directly on taxpayers and indirectly on non-timber sectors of the economy.” “ Using peer-reviewed … Read more

Talberth, J. and E. Niemi. 2019. Environmentally Harmful Subsidies in the U.S.: Issue #1 – The Federal Logging Program. Portland, OR: Center for Sustainable Economy and Natural Resource Economics.

Link: Key excerpts: “[These lands play a unique ecological role because they represent islands in a sea of heavily damaged lands managed by states and private landowners. …”. “One of the key justifications for ending the logging program on national forests is so they can serve as a buttress against the extinction threat posed … Read more

Sorvino, C., 2018. A Billion-Dollar Fortune from Timber and Fire. Forbes online May 14th, 2018.

Link: Key excerpts: “[L]ogging in national forests is costly for taxpayers, says [biologist, Chad] Hanson, who estimates they are on the hook for $1 billion a year, at least $500 million of which is directly related to post-fire salvage.” “That’s the amount the government pays to build roads to remote areas destroyed by fires … Read more

Prats, S.A., Malvar, M.C., Wagenbrenner, J.W., 2021. Compaction and cover effects on runoff and erosion in post‐fire salvage logged areas in the Valley Fire, California. Hydrological Processes 2021;35:e13997.

Link: Key excerpts: “We carried out rainfall simulations after a high-severity wildfire and post-fire salvage logging to assess the effect of compaction (uncompacted or compacted by skid traffic during post-fire salvage logging) and surface cover (bare or covered with logging slash).” “Runoff after 71 mm of rainfall across two 30-min simulations was similar for the … Read more

Kauffman, J.B., Ellsworth, L.M., Bell, D.M., Acker, S.,; Kertis, J., 2019. Forest structure and biomass reflects the variable effects of fire and land use 15 and 29 years following fire in the western Cascades, Oregon. Forest Ecology and Management. 453: 117570-.

Link: Key excerpts: “We quantified total aboveground biomass and composition in forest stands following low, moderate, and high severity fires 15 (2002 Apple Fire) and 29 years (1991 Warner Creek Fire) following fire in low elevation, old-growth forests dominated by Douglas-fir.” “We also sampled postfire responses in forest plantations (harvested prior to fire) and … Read more