Mature forests in the Pacific Northwest provide a variety of ecological services important to humans and other creatures. Our forests have been shown to capture and store more carbon than even the rainforests of the Amazon, and support an amazingly high diversity of unique species of plants and animals. However, these same forests are under increasing threat by climate change, urban sprawl and practices by logging companies, private land owners and management agencies. We must preserve our mature forests, but preservation needs to be balanced with our need for lumber and paper products. Research is providing some of the answers, but everyone needs to be involved in ensuring our public officials and decision-makers are acting responsibly and in the interest of the public.
What we're doing
We're working to document the complicated value of mature trees with the goal of changing how they are managed in natural and urban ecosystems. Through supporting research in carbon storage, climate change, biodiversity values and habitat quality, we're helping quantify the benefits that mature trees have for people and the planet.
We fund a number of researchers at Oregon State University and the University of Oregon who are looking at mature forests as natural climate solutions - addressing subjects like fire ecology, biodiversity and the effects of large predators on ecosystem function across the west. The results are profound, with long-term management implications around the world. These scientists, and many others working on similar studies, have documented the critical importance of preserving large tracts of mature and old forests for the essential values they have combating climate change and loss of biodiversity.
We also help interpret the findings of these studies for the general public and our federal and state representatives. There is often a disconnect between academics and these two groups, resulting in misguided laws and public confusion. Making this information accessible is an important step to creating change.
Looking to get involved?
Become educated on the issues happening in your own community, state, region, country or world.
Contact your local representatives and express your feelings about forest health, global climate change and the effect of logging on our public (and private) lands.
Support efforts to plant trees and other vegetation to regenerate some of the ecological functions lost through logging, ranching and other "management" activities.
Support our work through donations, volunteering and shared SOCIAL MEDIA posts.