Statement of the Geos Institute on O&C lands

Contact: Dominick DellaSala, Geos Institute, 541/482-4459 x302

Oregon’s O&C BLM lands provide drinking water for over 1.5 million people, contain the region’s last mature and old-growth forests, and provide habitat for endangered wildlife and salmon. These BLM lands are managed under the guidelines of the Northwest Forest Plan, a global model of ecosystem management and conservation on 25 million acres of public lands from northern California to Washington.

Geos Institute stands ready to work with Senator Wyden to find a common sense solution to O&C lands that provides timber and jobs from appropriate thinning of small trees for fuels reduction and restoration purposes in tree plantations. We urge Senator Wyden not to unravel the Northwest Forest Plan to increase clearcut logging for timber volume because hundreds of scientists have supported the plan’s protection of salmon, drinking water, and mature forests.

250 Scientists Concerned about Proposed Post-fire Logging Legislation

MEDIA ADVISORY – October 31, 2013

Contact: Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist, Geos Institute  541/482-4459 x305 or 541/621-7223

In an open letter to the U.S. Congress, 250 scientists request that Congress show restraint in speeding up logging in the wake of this year’s wildfires, most notably the Rim fire in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park.

The scientists raised concerns that currently proposed legislation (HR1526, which passed in the House in September, and HR3188, now before the House) would seriously undermine the ecological integrity of forest ecosystems, setting back their ability to regenerate after wildfires.

The letter also pointed to the numerous ecosystem benefits from wildfires and how post-fire landscapes are as rich in plants and wildlife as old-growth ecosystems.

Click here to see the full text of the scientists’ letter to Congress.

Click here for a Nov. 2, 2013 Associated Press article about the scientists’ letter.

New Study Shows Saving Tongass Old Growth Can Happen in Just Five Years

For Immediate Release – October 28, 2013

Contacts:
Dominick A. DellaSala, Geos Institute – (541) 482-4459 x 302, (541)-621-7223 (cell)
Catherine Mater, Mater Ltd. – (541) 753-7335

Ashland, OR – A new report prepared by Oregon-based Mater Ltd., using updated Forest Service timber acreage and age class distribution data, shows that the agency could complete transition to supplying a second growth logging economy in Southeast Alaska within 5 years.

In May 2010, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a framework to transition away from old growth logging on the Tongass National Forest, something the Forest Service said it believed could be done “quickly.” Early this month, Forest Service officials announced their “focus on identifying the timber base suitable to support a transition to young-growth management, in a way that supports the continued viability of the forest industry in Southeast Alaska.

The Mater report shows such a transition could take place in as little as 5 years, shifting exclusively to previously logged stands of second growth, in the current land base already designated for logging and close to existing roads. Along with logging and manufacturing infrastructure adapted to work with small diameter logs, the transition would require changes to rules about how soon second growth stands can be cut. The report also recommends an aggressive regime to research and identify new value-added lumber grades and products to meet existing market demand.

First Global Assessment of Roadless Areas Presented at International Congress

Contact: Dominick DellaSala, Geos Institute, 541/482-4459 x302

Last July in Baltimore, representatives of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) participated in a Roadless Area Symposium at the biennial International Congress for Conservation Biology 2013. Scientists described their research about global and regional perspectives on conserving roadless areas and shared preliminary results from the first global assessment of roadless areas.

Drinking Water for Over 1.5 Million Oregonians At-Risk If Logging Increased on BLM Holdings

Click here for the June 26, 2013 press release on threats to Oregon’s drinking water supplies.

Click here for the full report by Dominick DellaSala: “The Ecological Importance of BLM O&C and Coos Bay Wagon Road Holdings in Western Oregon, with Special Attention to Surface Water Source Areas.”

Click here to see Dominick DellaSala’s June 27, 2013 Testimony to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Click here to read Dominick DellaSala’s July 21, 2013 Opinion Piece: “BLM lands give us clean water.”

Click here to see the “Clean Water or Clearcuts?” video (3.5 min.) from Pacific Rivers Council.

Click here for a “Science Critique of Franklin & Johnson and BLM ‘Ecological Forestry’ Approaches”, by D. DellaSala.

Click here to listen to the July 1, 2013 KBOO Radio interview with Dominick DellaSala.

Click here for the October 17, 2013 OpEd (“Decades of evading laws led to timber woes”) by Ron Sadler, retired chief of forest planning for the BLM in Oregon and Washington.

 

 

Defazio Logging Trust Proposal – More Harm than Good

CONTACT: Randi Spivak, Vice President of Government Affairs, Geos Institute (310) 779-4894

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three proposals to address payments to counties were considered today at a hearing of the Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee, including H.R. ____, “Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act” (Hastings); and H.R. ____, “O&C Trust, Conservation, and Jobs Act” (DeFazio, Walden, Schrader); and H.R. 1294, “Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act of 2013” (Labrador).

All three would effectively privatize federal public forestlands by creating legally binding fiduciary trusts for the sole purpose of providing revenues to counties, resulting in industrialized clearcuts across the landscape. The DeFazio-Walden-Schrader proposal would effectively privatize 1.5 million acres of public forests Western Oregon.

Study: Bark beetle outbreak not the culprit in recent rash of western fires

CONTACTS:
Scott Black, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; (503) 449-3792, sblack@xerces.org
Dominik Kulakowski, Clark University; (508) 793-7383, dkulakowski@clark.edu 
Barry Noon, Colorado State University; (970) 491-7905, brnoon@warnercnr.colostate.edu
Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist and President of Geos Institute (541) 621-7223

PORTLAND, Ore.—A new paper published today in the Natural Areas Journal (click here for the full text) indicates that bark beetle outbreaks that have turned millions of acres of forests in the Inter-mountain West a noticeable red coloration (from tree death) do not substantially increase the risk of active crown fire in lodgepole pine and spruce forests as commonly assumed. Instead, “Do Bark Beetle Outbreaks Increase Wildfire Risks in the Central U.S. Rocky Mountains? Implications from Recent Research” documents evidence that active crown fires in these forest types are primarily triggered by dry conditions exacerbated by climate change.

9.6 Million Acres Protected as Critical Habitat for Northern Spotted Owls

Contacts:     Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495
                    Joseph Vaile, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, (541) 488-5789
                    Dominick A. DellaSala, Geos Institute, (541) 621-7223

Decision Reverses Controversial Bush Administration Cuts to Habitat 

WASHINGTON — Conservation groups today hailed protection of 9.6 million acres of critical habitat for the threatened northern spotted owl across federal lands in Washington, Oregon and Northern California, but were deeply disappointed by the exclusion of all private and most state lands, resulting in a 4.2 million cut from the proposed designation. The owl has continued to decline since being protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1990, in part because of continued loss of habitat on private and state lands.

Climate change increases stress, need for restoration on grazed public lands

Contact: Robert Beschta: 541-737-4292 or robert.beschta@oregonstate.edu

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Eight researchers in a new report have suggested that climate change is causing additional stress to many western rangelands, and as a result land managers should consider a significant reduction, or in some places elimination of livestock and other large animals from public lands.

Conservationists Call for More Logging under NW Forest Plan

New study finds non-controversial timber volume

Contacts:
Jim Furnish: (240) 271-1650
Marc Barnes: (541) 609-0322
Andy Kerr: (503) 701-6298

Portland, Oregon—A new report by conservation organizations finds that logging volume on federal lands in the Pacific Northwest can increase substantially over the next two decades without controversy if carried out with specific ecological criteria.

The report, titled Ecologically Appropriate Restoration Thinning in the Northwest Forest Plan Area, finds that annual federal timber volume could increase 44% over what has been produced on average in the last 15 years while maintaining the clean water and wildlife protections of the Northwest Forest Plan. Under a program of science-based and ecologically appropriate thinning of mostly small diameter trees in degraded forests, BLM and U.S. Forest Service lands could produce 774 million board feet (mmbf) annually, compared to an average of 537 mmbf than has been produced since the Northwest Forest Plan was put into place (1995-2010).

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