Woodsman, Spare the Tree! (especially the old ones)

As described in the story on page 2, President Biden has issued an Order urging that we preserve and protect our forests, particularly old growth forests:

Despite their importance, the world’s forests are quickly disappearing; only a small fraction of the world’s mature and old-growth forests remains.  Here at home, the primary threats to forests, including mature and old-growth forests, include climate impacts, catastrophic wildfires, insect infestation, and disease.  We can and must take action to conserve, restore, reforest, and manage our magnificent forests here at home and, working closely with international partners, throughout the world.

Even before the President made his Order, the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy was advocating for protection of our old growth forests.  In our comments on the Forest Service’s proposed Upper Cheat River project, our Public Lands Committee said this:

We also again urge the Forest Service to reconsider proposed harvests in existing stands that are over 120 years old.  Old forests constitute important reservoirs of stored carbon that are critical on a nation-wide and global basis for mitigating the ongoing acceleration of climate change, and old forests provide habitat and species diversity within the otherwise intensively managed watershed.  Old forests are currently near desired levels on National Forest land, and likely are less common on more intensively managed private lands within the project area.  

We will continue to advocate for forest preservation, particularly old growth forests.