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Trees are an integral component of storing carbon and fighting the effects of climate change–they’re one of our most effective tools. This is also why any plans to thin forests must be undertaken thoughtfully and not hastily. We also know that big, mature trees play an especially important part in fighting climate change through their unique carbon-storing potential. Any plans to clear these trees must proceed with the utmost diligence.
Finding a Compromise: As the East Oregonian explained, the U.S. Forest Service has had a long-standing provision that prevents the harvest of trees greater than 21 inches in diameter on six national forests in eastern Oregon and Washington.
The limitation on harvesting trees of that size was put in place 25 years ago under a land-management plan amendment known as the Eastside Screens.
But in the wake of record wildfires in the Pacific Northwest, forest managers are asking for a reconsideration of this rule. NOAA’s recent environmental assessment suggests that cutting down large trees would “better protect old trees and better provide for resilience of forest stands to future climate and disturbance stressors” like drought, wildfire and destructive insects.
The U.S. Forest Service is currently reviewing comments on the draft of their plan to try to accommodate concerns about carbon storage. The service is considering felling smaller trees and only cutting down large trees in extreme scenarios.
Verra, a non-profit that sets the standards used to assess carbon reduction projects and certifies their effectiveness, announced that it has strengthened its forest preservation and restoration standard, updating it based on its ten years of experience in evaluating projects and on the latest science.
Why this Matters: We cannot hold warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius without nature-based solutions such as preserving existing forests and restoring others
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer For all the high-tech solutions proposed to draw carbon out of the atmosphere, the low-tech of the natural world can be just as effective. Planting trees falls into this category. So does farming kelp. As Maine Public Radio reports, Portland-based Running Tide Technologies is growing “massive amounts of seaweed” […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Palm trees are the iconic imagery of warm coastal cities like Los Angeles and Miami. In fact, in Miami, palms make up over 55% of the city’s total tree population. Yet climate change and rising global temperatures are forcing city leaders to rethink the prominence of the palm. Miami […]
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