Trump appointees a threat to national forest and climate refugia

Dominick DellaSala was interviewed in a recent Climate Central article "Food Security, Forests At Risk Under Trump’s USDA". 

The wildfire threat will not be reduced by efforts in Congress or in the Trump administration to increase logging, said Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist at the Geos Institute, a climate change think tank.

“As climate change results in more extreme fire weather in places, throwing more money at the problem won’t result in a fire-fix as climate increasingly becomes the top-down driver of fire behavior,” he said.

DellaSala said it’s also important that the USDA manage and preserve forests — especially Alaska’s rain forests — as carbon sinks in order for the U.S. to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement. The pact calls for countries to cut climate pollution to prevent global warming from exceeding 2°C (3.6°F), a level considered dangerous by the United Nations.

Read the full article at Climate Central

Northwest Forest Plan Under Review

south kalmiopsis dellasalaSince 1994, the Northwest Forest Plan has been providing protections for millions of acres of old-growth forests, imperiled spotted owls, hundreds of rare species, and wild salmon on federal lands in Washington, Oregon, and California. Without the Plan's protections, all old-growth forests, aside from remote areas, would likely have been destroyed sometime this decade by unsustainable logging. This is why hundreds of scientists and conservation groups have worked hard to uphold the protections afforded these forests for over two decades.

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Forest Legacies 2016 Year End Report

What We Accomplished and What’s Needed Next

FL 2016 YearEndReportForests are the nation’s first line of climate change defense. This is because forests are nature’s “cooling towers,” absorbing vast quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and helping to cool down run away climate change. Forests also are nature’s “water towers,” storing and gradually releasing clean water especially during dry summer months when water is most precious. And, where they are intact (free of roads and logging), forests are a refuge for countless plants and wildlife seeking a safe haven in a changing climate.

Download the full report to learn more about our progress towards

  • Protecting millions of acres of older intact forests in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska for their climate, clean water, and wildlife values.
  • Protecting a climate refuge in southwest Oregon from destructive mining.
  • Promoting responsible wildfire management in fire-dependent forests.

 

Study shows roads have fragmented the planet's wilderness areas

"A global map of roadless areas and their conservation status", published by Science, is the most comprehensive inventory of roads and roadless areas in the world and shows just how fast we are losing wild places across the planet. Geos Institute's Dr. Dominick DellaSala is one of the co-authors. You can listen to him talk about the study in a Jefferson Exchange interview

Roads have done much to help humanity spread across the planet and maintain global movement and trade. However, roads also damage wild areas and rapidly contribute to habitat degradation and species loss. Ibisch et al. cataloged the world's roads. Though most of the world is not covered by roads, it is fragmented by them, with only 7% of land patches created by roads being greater than 100 km2. Furthermore, environmental protection of roadless areas is insufficient, which could lead to further degradation of the world's remaining wildernesses.

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