Climate Forests

A Big Win for Big Trees

Nearly four years ago to the day, as America faced unprecedented challenges, the Forest Service began a rushed and rigged process to undermine the only protections for Eastern Oregon’s largest and oldest trees. Just hours before President Biden’s inauguration, a Trump political appointee signed a decision gutting protections known as “the Screens.”

Oregon Wild, conservation allies, tribes, and scientists all joined the fight and challenged the removal of these protections in court. 

Late last Friday, those protections were fully reinstated!

Forest Service urged to bolster protections for forests in proposed policy

More than 120,000 people and more than 170 organizations called on the U.S. Forest Service to strengthen its proposal to conserve old growth trees and forests on federal land. During a public comment period that closed on Friday, people asked for stronger provisions that eliminate commercial logging of old-growth trees and tighten other exceptions to ensure these trees stay in the forest.

Webcast: The Future of Our Forests

In the final weeks of 2023, two far-reaching policy processes were unveiled that could shape the future of our forests for generations to come.

Amending the Northwest Forest Plan

For nearly 30 years, the Northwest Forest Plan (NWFP) has directed management in National Forests in western Washington, Oregon, and northern California. A compromise enacted in 1994, the NWFP aimed to protect and restore old-growth forests and healthy stream habitat for threatened species, while still facilitating logging on public lands.

Fire and diversity in the Cedar Creek Fire area

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. 

Report: Restoring forests a 226 gigaton climate solution

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. 

Hiking in Old-Growth Forests – Seeing the Forest and the Trees

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.

Now's the time to protect mature and old-growth 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.

Subscribe to Climate Forests