Here are some excerpts from the story.
While many policymakers look to shiny new technologies to solve the climate crisis, advocates say that safeguarding trees has long been a simple way to store carbon dioxide, preventing the potent greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere and warming the planet.
“We often call it the climate solution you don’t have to invent,” Ellen Montgomery, public lands campaign director for Environment America, told The Climate 202. “Trees are literally standing right there in front of us.”
If “safeguarding” trees seems easy, perhaps they haven’t been talking about wildfire management/suppression (think WFDSS) nor APHIS import regulations. While it can’t hurt to not log them., there are difficulties with considering them a climate solution on the same level as technological fixes. That’s the argument people make about offsets, anyway.
Their specific demand is for the U.S. Forest Service to begin crafting a rule to protect all old-growth trees on federal lands from logging.
But what is “old growth”? Maybe some of you remember in the 90’s there was an effort to define old growth with TNC and R&D folks. There’s quite a bit of literature from that time including this one that looked at different definitions for different types. This might be a good time for those of you who were involved to give a historical perspective.
In addition to Environment America, the groups launching the campaign include the Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, Natural Resources Defense Council and Wild Heritage. Their specific demand is for the U.S. Forest Service to begin crafting a rule to protect all old-growth trees on federal lands from logging.
- In 2001, under President Bill Clinton, the Forest Service enacted a “roadless rule,” which prohibited road construction and timber harvesting on nearly 50 million acres in national forests.
- However, most trees on federal lands are located elsewhere, according to the groups.
“Right now, there isn’t anything that protects older parts of our nation’s forests,” Kirin Kennedy, director of people and nature policy at the Sierra Club, told The Climate 202. “So we’re looking to put those protections in place.” (my bold)
I guess I thought old growth was discussed in forest plans. It should certainly be considered as part of NRV. But maybe old trees are “old growth” and there’s another definitional gap. Or maybe forest plans aren’t “permanent” enough?
Since the Admin signaled from the beginning that it would go back to the 2001 Rule in Alaska (in gesture that seemed what we would call “pre-decisional” if a district ranger were to do it), is this a recognition that Roadless is won and it’s already time to push for more?
“We’re really in favor of protecting the Tongass because of what it holds as a natural resource — and because of the benefits it provides not only to Alaska, but to the United States as a whole,” Kennedy said.
I wonder how much “old-growth logging” takes place on the Tongass and in the rest of the country.
Here’s a link..to the press release.
So gather your favorite old growth papers, memories or stories and we’ll explore this topic further.