Old-Growth Forest with Astonishing Biodiversity

Astonishing biodiversity exists in Congaree National Park, the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States.  Source: www.pinterest.com

GR:  This is a region that has received little protection from development and has survived simply by chance.  Small bits are protected, and we can add to those.  But rather than saving a specimen of this beautiful place, wildlife survival requires that we connect the bits and save a large portion of the surrounding region.

Cascades study may rewrite the textbook on forest growth and death

“A century-long study in the Oregon Cascades may cause scientists to revise the textbook on how forests grow and die, accumulate biomass and store carbon.

“However, since the stands in Harmon and Pabst’s study have continued to accumulate biomass steadily for 150 years, the optimum harvest cycle may be considerably longer than 50 years. It is likely, they wrote, that some Douglas-fir forests have been harvested many decades before they reached a point when the rate of biomass accumulation slowed.”

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-cascades-rewrite-textbook-forest-growth.html#jCp.

GR:  It might not surprise anyone to learn that for the past century, the U.S. Forest Service and it’s timber companies have been harvesting forests too often. This research indicates that forests remain healthy and continue to accumulate biomass for more than 100 years.  Other research indicates that biodiversity and general environmental health are greater in old-growth forests. So–let’s stop cutting our trees until we get our problems with climate change and wildlife decline under control!

Geos Institute – Phase Out of Tongass Old-Growth Logging Can Begin Immediately

“A recently released study of second growth availability on the Tongass National Forest shows that the U.S. Forest Service can end industrial old growth logging there within 5 years while, if it chooses, still increasing the total volume of trees harvested. The Forest Service announced in May that it was considering transitioning timber sales from old growth to second growth but within 10 to 15 years. The new study shows that transition can begin immediately and finish in no more than 5 years, shifting logging to second growth in previously logged and roaded areas outside of sensitive resource lands.”

Source: www.geosinstitute.org

GR:  Large-scale commercial logging is ecologically detrimental in all cases. Allowing old growth logging in the Tongass is typical of the shameful management of the nation’s forests by the U. S. Forest Service. Theodore Roosevelt founded the Service and placed Gifford Pinchot in charge to control the most destructive forestry practices.

Pinchot failed, and massive clear-cutting has never stopped. Timber companies with support from the U. S. Forest Service have cut and exported our forests without regard for biodiversity and ecosystem stability. To a visitor from another planet we must appear as locusts that strip all resources and then move on. The visitor might conclude that we want the Earth to do what the alien said to the humans in the movie Independence Day: “Die.”

Tree growth never slows

Idea debunked that young trees have the edge on their older siblings in carbon accumulation. by Jeff Tollefson   Native forest in Ancares Mountains, NW of Iberian Peninsula. Rubén Portas Copyr…

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