Study: Protected Forests on Public Land Burn Less Severely Than Logged Areas

For Immediate Release, October 26, 2016

Contacts: Curtis Bradley, Center for Biological Diversity, (520) 345-5710, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Dr. Chad Hanson, John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute, (530) 273-9290, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, Geos Institute, (541) 482-4459 x 302 or (541) 621-7223 cell, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

TUCSON, Ariz.— A new study published in the scientific journal Ecosphere finds that public forests that are protected from logging burn less severely than logged forests. The study is the most comprehensive investigation of its kind, spanning more than 23 million acres and examining three decades’ of forest fire data in the West. Among the major findings were that areas undisturbed by logging experienced significantly less intensive fire compared with areas that have been logged.

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Obama Administration Should Protect Tongass National Forest Old Growth To Achieve Urgent Climate Change Goals

For Immediate Release on June 30, 2016

– Tongass Logging Plan Ignores Fast Exit from Old-growth Logging

– Agency Relies on Old School Forestry Tactics

– Contradicts Secretary of State John Kerry’s and President Obama’s Climate Statements

Media Contact: Dominick DellaSala, GEOS Institute | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 541- 482-4459 x 302; 541-621-7223 (cell)

Ashland, OR – The release of the Forest Service’s old-growth logging plan (Final Environmental Impact Statement) for the Tongass National Forest stalls urgent climate change protections and runs counter to the Obama administration’s climate change directives. The plan contradicts the US-led Paris Climate Change Agreement that includes measures to protect vast amounts of carbon stored in forests to help head off dangerous global warming. The Forest Service’s plan calls for continued logging of old growth trees for another 16 years, which threatens 43,000 acres of Tongass old-growth rainforest. The unnecessarily long timeframe will release the equivalent emissions of 4 million vehicles annually over the next 100 years at a time when nations are looking to cut back on emissions.

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Tongass Logging Plan At Odds With Paris Climate Change Agreements

For Immediate Release on January 11, 2016

tongass flyover

Contacts: Dominick A. DellaSala: 541-621-7223 (cell); Jim Furnish: 240-271-1650

Ashland, OR – a logging plan on the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska conflicts with President Obama’s commitments to the Paris climate change agreements reached in December. 

In November, the U.S. Forest Service issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement to transition the Tongass out of old-growth logging but the agency plans to continue logging carbon-rich, old-growth rainforests as it slowly transitions logging to younger trees.

When rainforests are logged, most of the carbon stored in dense foliage, old trees, and soils is emitted as carbon dioxide pollution, the main culprit in heating the planet. A new report by the Ashland-based Geos Institute, a climate change organization, shows proposed would release global warming pollution equivalent to the emissions from 4 million vehicles annually at a time when the nation is striving to cut emissions.

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Oregon forestry is clearcutting our climate future

For Immediate Release on November 17, 2015

REPORT: INDUSTRIAL FOREST PRACTICES COULD BE OREGON’S SECOND LARGEST SOURCE OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

Despite this, the Oregon Global Warming Commission has failed to track and evaluate the timber industry’s emissions and effects on carbon sequestration capacity 

Contacts: Dr. John Talberth, Center for Sustainable Economy: (510) 384-5724, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Dr. Dominick DellaSala, Geos Institute, (541) 482-4459 x302, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PORTLAND – Clearcutting and use of forest chemicals and fertilizers on industrial forestlands could represent Oregon’s second largest source of global warming pollution and are subverting the State’s climate agenda by making landscapes more susceptible to wildfires, landslides, floods and warm waters that kill salmon. And despite legal requirements to do so, the Oregon Global Warming Commission has failed to track and evaluate the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from forest practices or follow through on commitments to develop and promote alternative management techniques that can transform these lands from a net source to a net sink for atmospheric carbon. The key culprit: a flawed international greenhouse gas accounting protocol that lumps all forest owners into one aggregate “forest sector” and allows the timber industry to take credit for carbon sequestered on forests protected by non-profits, small landowners, and public agencies.

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Scientists Applaud Northwest Forest Plan Anniversary While Calling for More Forest Protections

For Immediate Release on September 28, 2015

Contacts: Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, Geos Institute, Chief Scientist; 541-482-4459 x 302; 541-621-7223 (cell);This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Dr. James Karr 360-681-3163; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; and Dr. Barry R. Noon 970-491-7905; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ashland, OR – Two decades of monitoring and recent scientific studies show that the integrity of old-growth forests and the viability of salmon and spotted owl populations would be far worse today if not for the Northwest Forest Plan. Published in a special feature on forests and biodiversity in the open access journal Forests, “Building on two decades of ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation under the Northwest Forest Plan, USA” is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the plan’s effectiveness in halting the long-term decline in the region’s federal forests.

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