Plans for an Ailing Forest Include Logging. Environmentalists Object.

In the New York Times today:

Plans for an Ailing Forest Include Logging. Environmentalists Object.

Officials in Oregon say they need to cut trees, including some healthy ones. The reaction shows how complex land management has become as forest health declines.


Across a patch of the Pacific Northwest, one of North America’s most important tree species is dying at an alarming rate. This spring, as in the past several years, the needles on Douglas firs are yellowing, turning red and then dropping to the ground in forests across southwestern Oregon.

Experts blame a combination of factors, including insect attacks, drought and increased temperatures caused by climate change. Decades of fire suppression have exacerbated problems by disrupting the natural balance of ecosystems.

“The droughts and heat and climate change are killing trees widely, and there’s no clear way to put that genie back in the bottle,” said Rob Jackson, an ecologist at the Doerr School of Sustainability at Stanford University who is researching the ways climate change affects forests and grasslands. “We are priming our forests to die.”

Dominick DellaSala, the chief scientist at Wild Heritage, a forest protection advocacy organization, has visited the forests with Mr. Ruediger to witness the Douglas fir die-off and also said he remained suspicious about the agency’s motivation. “What the agencies will do, they’ll cherry pick the science to fit the desired outcome,” he said.

“You’ve got to tackle climate change, because that’s a lot of what’s driving this,” Dr. DellaSala added. “And you’ve got to reduce the pressures on forests through these kinds of logging events.”

2 thoughts on “Plans for an Ailing Forest Include Logging. Environmentalists Object.”

  1. I’m trying to figure out what the objective/purpose of this article is. They included a lot of photos of places that have nothing to do with what the BLM is proposing. Did the reporter even visit the area? Judging from the photos I wonder if they did.

  2. Hmm a climate change prof from Stanford

    and DellaSalla.. New York Times list of folks to call about SW Oregon is .. remarkable.

    They did quote an OSU forest policy prof (economist) so there’s that.. sigh. You’d think field ecologists, entomologists and silviculturists might know something relevant to a story of why trees are dying…


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