We look at this as a rare opportunity to permanently change the course on the policy of liquidating Old Growth forests across the entire country.
After years of relentless assault on old growth forests, President Biden has ordered an end of cutting mature and old growth forests on all federal lands. Without such protections, no old growth forests will be left by the end of the 21st century.
The industry claims they need old growth timber. Right now few mills rely on old growth trees. They will all need to make the transition eventually. It's time to do it now while there are still old growth forests left to conserve.
Here in Oregon, we have already begun to make the transition with the Northwest Forest Plan (with strengthening amendments under way). The entire nation needs to protect all of its old growth.
Public forests are the last stronghold for wildlife dependent on old growth. They also contribute significantly to mitigating climate change. Old growth and mature trees in private forests are not now and never will stop being cut.
New protection of all mature and old growth forests here in Oregon can begin with the establishment of the Douglas-fir National Monument here in the Western Cascades of Oregon. No need to wait for Congressional or Presidential action; it can be managed as a national monument under current Forest Service rules.
Protection of old growth forests is just the start. Mature trees also need protection or there will be no trees in the pipeline to replace the current old growth as natural forest succession takes its toll.
We don't provide letters for you to sign onto; such pre-written letters are all treated as one letter. Individual letters make a real difference and are worth the effort.
In your own words, make these points:
• After over a century of unrelenting logging, old growth forests are nearing the end of the line.
• Wildlife across the country depends on mature and old growth forests for their lives.
• Old growth forests take up a significant amount of climate-changing carbon.
• Private forestlands continue to be converted to tree plantations that will never be allowed to become the large, natural forests that wildlife requires.
• Mature trees must be protected so they can replace existing old growth trees naturally lost to wildfires, insect damage, windstorms, landslides and even volcanoes (think of all the trees lost to the geologically recent eruption of Mt. St. Helens).
• Very few private mills still process those big old growth trees.
Before the end of January, go here to submit your comments: