Focus on Forests
WA Supreme Court: State Not Required to Cut Forests to Maximize Revenue
On July 21, the current state supreme court said unanimously that the state does indeed have a duty to the schools and other beneficiaries, BUT it also, as the constitution says, has a duty to “all the people.” And the state doesn’t have to cut trees or maximize revenue from state lands. Read more
by Dan Chasan — Post Alley
Forest Products Industry Opposes Jefferson County Commissioners’ Efforts to Protect Old Growth Legacy Forests
Legacy growth forests were last logged prior to World War II and the start of industrial clear-cutting. Jefferson County Commissioners have voiced support for protecting these forests that sequester carbon at remarkable rates.
The Commissioners’ support for protection hasn’t gone unnoticed by the forest products industry, which recently mailed postcards to county residents, asking them to oppose the Commissioners’ efforts. The mailing came from a well-funded lobbying organization called Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities which has no paid staff, and identifies in its public records just one person as a principal–and that person is also the executive director of a Portland-based group called the American Forest Resource Council, a trade association whose members include the Port of Port Angeles (a major log exporter), Hermann Brothers Logging, and the wood products company Interfor.
Send Commissioners a note to thank them for their efforts and ask them to continue working to preserve our legacy forests. Commissioners’ email address — JeffBoCC@co.jefferson.wa.us
Stop burning trees for electricity
Burning forests for electricity – also known as biomass – is dirtier than coal at the smokestack and is destroying some of the most carbon-rich forests in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
The lie: we have been told that forest biomass is made with waste wood, tree tops and branches. The truth: whole trees and forests are being logged to burn in the name of ‘clean energy.’
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Fireside Chat: Northwest Forests in a Changing Climate
Thanks to all those who made it to the August zoom Fireside Chat with Kirk Hanson, Kai Hoffman-Krull, and other forest landowners and managers from around the PNW. Figuring out how to plant, grow, and steward a climate-adapted forest is a fascinating — and pressing! — topic, and it was great to see so much interest in it.
Below are some of the resources mentioned in the chat.
- NNRG’s Climate Adaptation webpage: https://www.nnrg.org/climateadaptation/
- NNRG’s guidebook Climate Adaptation Strategies for Pacific Northwest Forests: View PDF here
- Indians, Fire, and the Land in the Pacific Northwest: This is the book Kai Hoffman-Krull discussed, which includes a chapter by Robert Boyd and Aldo Leopold summarizing a research project by Henry Hansen from OSU on historic species composition in the PNW. It is available for purchase on Amazon, or you can check your local library for a copy.
- Seedlot Selection Tool: Web-based mapping application that can be used to map current or future climates based on different climate change scenarios to inform the selection of seedlings for tree planting as part of reforestation and restoration efforts. https://seedlotselectiontool.org/sst/
Wednesday, September 21 @ 7:30pm | Topic: Increasing Fire Resilience in the San Juan Islands
The Burn Test
Prescribed burns mimic nature in a way. Indigenous communities in the western United States long carried out prescribed burns, but that was before climate change and decades of fire suppression made fires as fierce and unpredictable as they are now. Read more
by Somini Sengupta — Climate Forward
Bull Kelp Urgently Needs Protection
Logging makes forests and homes more vulnerable to wildfires
Many of the nation’s top climate scientists and ecologists recently urged Congress to remove the logging subsidies from the Build Back Better bill. Scientists noted that logging now emits about as much carbon dioxide each year as does burning coal. They also noted that logging conducted under the guise of “forest thinning” does not stop large wildfires that are driven mainly by extreme fire weather caused primarily by climate change. Read more
by Chad T. Hanson and Dominique A. Dellasala
Longer Rotations and Carbon
It’s no secret that contemporary industrial timber practices fall short of realizing the potential of Pacific Northwest forests to sequester carbon. Whether it’s the allure of quick financial returns, the constraints of high discount rates, or the notion of fiduciary responsibility, most industrial owners west of the Cascades cut their evergreen forests soon after they grow to merchantable size — at 35 to 45 years old, depending on the growing conditions on the site. Read more
by Seth Zuckerman — Northwest Natural Resource Group
Service Value Updates
A new FEMA report dramatically reevaluates the ecosystem services value of forests, from $554/acre/year in 2014, to $12,589/acre/year in 2021. Our Pacific Northwest forests are clearly even more valuable than this national average! Read more
Centering Equity in Washington’s Clean Energy Transition
Advancing a Just Transition across Washington State means shifting power back into the hands of frontline communities, stopping what harms us, and building the future we need. That includes building a just and regenerative energy system that puts the health and well-being of current and future generations first at every stage of the energy process, from generating power to lighting and heating our homes. Read more
by Muriel Thuraisingham — Front and Centered
Local and Regional Newsletters
Protect the Amazon
The Indigenous-led Amazonia for Life 80×2025 initiative has laid out a pathway for protecting the remaining parts of the Amazon. It centers on recognizing territorial rights of native populations and legislating protections for 80% of the remaining rainforest. The initiative has been backed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is now gaining traction at the United Nations.
Tell Vanguard to stop financing environmental destruction!
Asset manager Vanguard is complicit in human rights abuses through direct financing of extractive industries causing irreparable damage to our climate and harming frontline and Indigenous communities.
Petroperú is attempting to drill on Indigenous Achuar and Wampis territories in Peru without the community’s Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. As the oil company seeks financing from banks and asset managers – including Vanguard – now is the moment to demand an end to these irresponsible and damaging investments.
Later this month, Amazon Watch will accompany a delegation of Indigenous and affected communities from Peru to Vanguard’s headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania. There we will deliver your signatures demanding an end to Vanguard’s purchasing of toxic bonds from Petroperú.
Stop Government funding of Manchin’s fossil fuel fast-tracking bill
Senator Joe Manchin is trying to ram through his fossil fuel fast-tracking bill into the upcoming government funding bill – which is considered a must-pass resolution in order to keep the government running.
If included, Manchin’s side deal would gut bedrock environmental protections, threaten tribal authority, endanger public health, fast-track fossil fuel projects, cut public input, and force approval for the disastrous Mountain Valley Pipeline that’s been opposed by the community for years.
Tell the Fed: It’s time for climate-risk principles
In December 2021 and May 2022, two major financial institutions – the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) – issued draft principles to support the identification and management of climate-related financial risks. They identify unique characteristics of climate-related risks while also insisting that financial institutions incorporate climate risk into their existing risk management plans.
It’s time that the Fed follows suit and releases its own set of climate-risk principles, which is why we must keep up the pressure and bring our voices to the Fed headquarters in D.C.
With record-breaking heat waves, floods, droughts, and hurricanes that cost billions of dollars in recovery, all the while the fossil fuel industry continues to benefit from its impact on our climate, it’s time for the Fed to take ownership of its role to regulate risk to ourselves and our economy.
The crown and climate
|The new king of Britain, Charles III, has long been outspoken on conservation and climate change. So I want to use today’s newsletter to fill in some context about Charles, the institution he represents, and his country’s efforts to tackle global warming. Read more |
by Somini Sengupta –Climate Forward
What’s the true cost of an induction stove?
What’s the true cost of a heat pump?
Companies Are Buying Large Numbers of Carbon Offsets That Don’t Cut Emissions
With the boom in renewable energy, many of the credits that trade hands merely represent a transfer of money from one profitable enterprise to another. Read more
by Shane Shifflett — The Wall Street News
A daily newsletter by Grist
September 16 — A win for residents of ‘Cancer Alley’
September 15 — Earth just experienced one of its warmest summers on record
September 15 — Governor: Mississippi capital’s water is again safe to drink
September 15– Historic famine looms as drought grips East Africa
September 14 — Minneapolis calls for zero-emissions shipping
September 14 — Cheap transit = lower emissions