Oldgrowth Logging on Western Oregon Public Lands to Increase?
The below excerpt is from a recent opinion piece in the Statesman Journal newspaper of Oregon. The Forest Service's "Western Oregon Plan Revisions", aka WOPR, could lead to large scale logging of Oldgrowth Forests on public lands in the Pacific Northwest.
The Klootchy Creek Sitka spruce was estimated to be 750 years old and died a natural death. However, across Oregon we have millions of acres of old-growth forests, ranging in age from 100 to over 1,000 years old, that face the threat of a very unnatural death at the whirring blades of a chainsaw.
Our forests have faced a consistent onslaught over the past seven-plus years as the Bush administration has ignored science and the public will in an attempt to increase logging of our old growth. Their most recent plan is the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR). This scheme would increase clear-cut logging of old-growth forests by 700 percent on over 2 million acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) forest in western Oregon.
That means the Bush administration wants to drastically increase logging of trees-some older than the Klootchy Creek giant-even while the broad majority of Oregonians want these trees protected.
Luckily, the Bush WOPR plan isn't the only game in town. In recent months, Representative Peter DeFazio and Senator Ron Wyden have been talking up plans to put forest management agencies on a path towards a sustainable future. Both Oregon officials say they want to protect the old growth we have left as a legacy for future generations and focus work in our forests that restores the natural landscape.
- Jonathan Jelen of Portland is the old-growth campaign coordinator for Oregon Wild (formerly Oregon Natural Resources Council).