NW Forest Plan Scientists Letter

229 SCIENTISTS DECLARE SUPPORT FOR NORTHWEST FOREST PLAN

                                                                                            click here to see the scientists’ letter

Contacts:

   Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D., Geos Institute, Chief Scientist (541-621-7223)

   Jim Karr, Ph.D., University of Washington, Professor Emeritus (360-681-3163)


Ashland, OR
– Today 229 scientists called on the Forest Service to uphold the protections afforded hundreds of species, clean water, and salmon, which were established under the landmark Northwest Forest Plan in 1994. While still in formal environmental review, the Forest Service is proposing a plan revision on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington that includes undoing protective reserves and weakening the Aquatic Conservation Strategy of the plan. Citing “new science” and climate change concerns, the agency proposes moving to “whole-landscape level management,” where protective reserves are eliminated and mandatory stream protections become discretionary1. This is the first forest plan revision to pose such radical shifts in the protective elements of the Northwest Forest Plan.

Great Bear Rainforest Scientists Letter

For Immediate Release on 14 June 2012

Contacts: Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist and President of Geos Institute, Ashland, Oregon; 541-621-7223 (cell); In Rio: Kyle Gracey, Research Scientist and Science Coordinator, Global Footprint Network

SCIENTISTS AROUND THE WORLD CONCERNED OVER LENGTHY DELAYS TO FULLY IMPLEMENT
THE PROTECTION AGREEMENTS IN THE GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST

EXPERTS TAKE MESSAGE TO EARTH SUMMIT IN RIO

Rainforest scientists from around the world, supported by prominent experts speaking at the Earth Summit in Rio, today sent a letter to the Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, calling on her government to fully implement the agreements to protect the world renowned Great Bear Rainforest – announced more than six years ago.

Mature & Old-growth Forests Hold Keys to Adapting to Climate Change

Contact: Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Geos Institute, 541-482-4459 x 302; 541-621-7223 (cell); Reed Noss, Ph.D., Prof. of Conservation Biology, Univ. of Central Florida, 407-489-5778

Ashland, Oregon – Scientists released new findings today on the importance of mature and old-growth forests in preparing the Klamath-Siskiyou region of southwest Oregon and northern California for global climate disruptions. Published in the January edition of The Natural Areas Journal (Volume 32: 65-74) by the Natural Areas Association, the study calls on regional land managers to protect mature and old-growth forests as an insurance policy for fish and wildlife facing mounting climate change pressures from rising temperatures, declining snow levels, and reductions in fog along the coast.

New Global Forest Information Center

Contacts:
Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D., Chief Scientist & President, Geos Institute, 541-482-4459 x302
James Strittholt, Ph.D., President & Executive Director, Conservation Biology Institute, 541-757-0687 x 1

Ashland, OR – Scientists from the Geos Institute, Ashland and Conservation Biology Institute, Corvallis are building a first of its kind global forest-tracking center designed to monitor and call attention to the world’s alarming deforestation footprint. The Global Forest Information Center will be housed in a state-of-the art and Internet-based conservation data-sharing system developed by the Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) that was publicly launched in 2010. Known as Data Basin (databasin.org), the system already contains over 8,000 conservation spatial datasets for environmental monitoring.

Water and science strengthened in NFMA Rule, jury still out on enforceability

Contact: Dominick DellaSala, (541) 482-4459
Geos Institute on Obama’s New National Forest Rules

Washington, D.C. – the Forest Service released its long anticipated final planning rule for the nation’s 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, covering nearly 200 million acres (http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/planningrule/home/?cid=stelprdb5349164).

According to Randi Spivak, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Geos Institute, a science-based climate change organization in Ashland and Washington D.C., “the Forest Service gets credit for a bold vision for protecting and restoring the nations’ fish and wildlife at a time of unprecedented change and for responding to scientists and public concerns by improvements made in the final rule. Enforceability and accountability still remain a concern.”

Dominick A. DellaSala, Chief Scientist and President, also gave the Forest Service high marks for requiring best science to be used in forest plans. “The Forest Service took a major step forward in preparing the nation for a changing climate by emphasizing the role of the nation’s forests in reducing climate change and providing drinking water to millions of Americans. However, the agency needs to do more to ensure wildlife populations are well-distributed to avoid potential extinctions from ongoing resource extraction and climate change.”

New Plan Would Solve County Payments Impasse

Contact:
Steve Pedery, Oregon Wild: 503.283.6343 ext 212
Randi Spivak, Geos Institute: 310.779.4894

Local, state, and national groups unveil plan to replace federal subsidies without resorting to clear-cutting public lands

Eugene, OR — As Oregon county governments receive their last checks from federal taxpayers under the expired county payments program, a coalition of six local, state, and national conservation organizations today unveiled a balanced, three-pronged strategy to solve the looming county funding crunch. With uncertainty around Congress extending this important program, the groups are promoting a shared responsibility approach, where county governments, the State of Oregon, and the federal government would each take responsibility for resolving a portion of the problem. 

Temperate and Boreal Rainforest Book Receives Choice Award for Academic Excellence

Contact:Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, 541-482-4459 x302; 541-621-7223 (cell)

Ashland, Oregon- One of the nation’s premier review journals for scholarly publications, Choice, announced its annual publication awards for the nation’s top academic publications. Listed among the winning authors is Ashland-based forest ecologist, Dominick DellaSala, primary author and editor of “Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World: Ecology and Conservation.”

Choice has been the premier review journal for scholarly publications for more than 45 years and is the leading North American source for reviews of new scholarly books and electronic resources. Choice’s annual “Outstanding Academic Titles” is widely recognized in the academic community for “its sweeping coverage of the most significant scholarly titles published each year.”

The full “Outstanding Academic Titles, 2011” list will appear in the January 2012 issue, featuring 629 exceptional titles spanning 54 disciplines. These exceptional works are truly the “best of the best.”

According to DellaSala, “My idea for doing a book on rainforests started in the early 90s when I was a fledgling biologist, studying the impacts of logging on wolves, deer, and songbirds in the magnificent Tongass rainforest of Alaska. Since then, I’ve been traveling the globe and working with other scientists to raise awareness about the plight of these endangered rainforests.”

Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World, published by Island Press, was prepared with over 30 rainforest scientists around the globe. It is the first global synthesis of these rainforests and the only Island Press publication to receive the Choice award of Academic Excellence in 2011.

In 2011, DellaSala was a keynote speaker at conferences and forest celebrations from Alaska to New Zealand, in recognition of the U.N. declared International Year of Forests. His main message is one of hope – “While rainforests around the globe are at a crisis, there is growing awareness that these forests cleanse the air we breathe, purify our drinking water, and allow us to connect with nature.”

The main findings of the rainforest book are:

  • Temperate and boreal rainforests (northern latitude forests such as those in Canada) make up about 2.5% of the world’s total forests, covering almost 250 million acres globally.
  • In contrast to tropical rainforests, which lie along the equatorial belt, these rainforests are unevenly distributed in both the northern and southern hemispheres from ~35 to 69 degrees latitude.
  • They are largely but not exclusively found along coastlines in ten regions:
    • Pacific Coast of North America (redwoods to Alaska)
    • Inland northwest British Columbia and portions of Idaho and Montana
    • Eastern Canada (portions of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, E. Quebec)
    • Chile & Argentina (Valdivia rainforests)
    • Europe (Norway, British Isles, Ireland, Swiss Alps, Bohemia)
    • Western Eurasian Caucasus (Georgia, Turkey, Iran)
    • Russian Far East and Inland Southern Siberia
    • Japan and Korea
    • Australasia (Australian mainland, Tasmania, New Zealand)
    • South Africa (Knysna-Tsitsikamma rainforests)
  • These rainforests are rarer and at least as endangered as the world’s highly regarded tropical rainforests. Several are Critically Endangered, including California’s Coastal Redwoods (less than 4% remain intact) and rainforests in Japan & Korea, and Europe (almost all have been logged over centuries).

New Risk of Logging in Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve

Old growth valleys must be protected, say 133 scientists and conservation groups

Vancouver, BC – The B.C. government has received an application for cutblocks in the old growth rainforest of Flores Island in Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that was the site of the largest civil disobedience protest in Canada’s history in 1993.

“It’s very disturbing that the B.C. government could approve logging of one of Vancouver Island’s last intact ancient rainforest valleys,” said Dan Lewis, Executive Director of Friends of Clayoquot Sound. “People believe that Clayoquot Sound’s famous rainforests are protected, but they aren’t.”

More than 130 scientists across North America have just signed a declaration calling for permanent protection of Clayoquot’s remaining intact old-growth rainforests. “Given the global importance of the region and the imminent threats posed to intact rainforests, we the undersigned urge First Nations, provincial and federal decision-makers, logging companies, and other stakeholders to cease logging in all remaining intact valleys of Clayoquot Sound,” says the declaration, released today.

A new Sierra Club BC map, also released today, shows that only 21 of Vancouver Island’s 282 rainforest watersheds are unlogged. Of the seven unlogged Vancouver Island watersheds that lack permanent protection, five are in Clayoquot Sound, including the Flores Island watershed now at risk of being logged.

“Our map shows that there is nowhere else left on Vancouver Island, except Clayoquot Sound, that provides extensive high quality habitat for rainforest species such as bears and wolves,” said Jens Wieting, Forest Campaigner with Sierra Club BC.

Clayoquot was designated a United Nations Biosphere Reserve in 2000, but that designation does not confer legal protection. A 1999 Memorandum of Understanding, signed by First Nations and environmental groups, outlined intact rainforest valleys in Clayoquot deserving protection, including the valley now slated for logging on Flores Island, north of Tofino. Yet those valleys are still unprotected.

“Clayoquot’s ancient forests store more carbon per hectare than almost any other forest on earth, and protecting Clayoquot’s old-growth watersheds plays a key role in fighting global warming,” said Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist and President of the Geos Institute in Oregon, one of the signatories of the “Scientists’ Declaration to Protect Intact, Old-Growth Rainforests of Clayoquot Sound in British Columbia.”

The logging company Iisaak applied to the B.C. government for cutting permits on Flores during on-going talks with environmental groups about conservation financing for Clayoquot’s intact valleys. Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Sierra Club BC and other environmental organizations working to protect the intact rainforests of the region are calling on the B.C. government to offer short-term alternatives to logging, in order to allow more time to develop solutions for protection like conservation financing.

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For more information, please contact:

Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist and President of Geos Institute, Ashland, Oregon, 541/482-4459 x302

Dan Lewis, Executive Director, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, 250/725-4218

Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC Coastal Forest Campaigner: 604/354-5312

The Scientists’ Declaration and the Vancouver Island map are available at: www.sierraclub.bc.ca/publications/forests-general

National Forest Planning Rules: Many Good Concepts, But Vulnerable to Flawed Execution and Weakened Wildlife Safeguards

CONTACT:
Randi Spivak, Geos Institute, 310-779-4894 (cell)
Dominick DellaSala, Geos Institute, 541‐482‐4459; 541‐621-7223

Click here to download this press release.

Washington D.C. and Ashland, OR – The USDA Forest Service unveiled its proposed National Forest Planning Rule yesterday that is intended to establish a new national framework for land management plans governing 193 million acres of some of the most ecologically valuable lands and waters in the nation. The proposed planning rule provides guidance on what the agency intends to emphasize on the National Forest System; however, it leaves this mostly open to the discretion of local agency officials.

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