Waldo Lake and the forests and trails all around it is one of my “happy places.” Every summer, I love to paddle and swim in the clear, deep blue water and pick huckleberries for camp breakfast. I’ve hiked through the young forest on the north side of the lake, recovering slowly from the Charlton Fire that severely burned the high-elevation area. And I included the Black Creek trail, leading from the west side of the Waldo Lake Wilderness through diverse forests to the edge of the lake, in my ancient forest hiking guide.
A new report published in Nature underscores the need to preserve existing forests rather than just planting new trees to fight climate change. The report, from 200 scientists worldwide, stated that allowing forests to reach maturity and become old-growth has tremendous carbon storage and biodiversity conservation potential — a win-win natural climate solution.
Visitors to old-growth forests may know that these forests are ecologically important, but for most people, myself included, it is the more emotive aspects of an old forest that inspire and motivate us. A brief summary of a few hikes in the Willamette National Forest illustrating some of this diversity is provided below.
We’re excited to announce that Oregon Wild and the Spring Creek Project have awarded Jenna Butler the 2023 Environmental Writing Fellowship and Residency on the theme of Oregon's Climate Forests.
For its nearly 50 year history, Oregon Wild has been working to protect our public forest lands from the onslaught of logging and road building that devastated them for decades. We’ve worked to protect forests as Wilderness and through the Roadless Rule, and by fighting individual timber sale projects that would harm these vital ecosystems. And while Wilderness and Roadless Areas have safeguarded over 4 million acres of public forest lands, many of the additional mature and old-growth forests remain unprotected from the threat of logging.
Hundreds of activists join together in Eugene to call for mature and old-growth forest protection.
America’s federal forests are incredibly valuable. In Oregon, they are home to imperiled wildlife like the northern spotted owl, coho salmon, marbled murrelet, and more. Our forests filter drinking water for millions of Americans. But did you know that our forests also help us fight climate change, absorbing and storing carbon?
Rain fell steadily on our drive into the mix of public and private lands southwest of Roseburg last month, the clouds and mist casting an eerie feel over the stark clearcuts we drove through on the way to a proposed logging unit in the 42 Divide Project area. In November 2021, the Roseburg District of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sent an initial proposal for the 42 Divide Project out to the public for comments, calling for logging over 5,000 acres of forests up to 200 years old.
A year ago, Oregon Wild advocates joined activists from across the country and urged the Forest Service to restore protections and end old-growth logging on forests across the Tongass National Forest in Alaska.
This week, those efforts finally paid off! From the New York Times: