old growth

TJ Watt/Wikimedia ID 10369356

The term "old growth" is one often used and perhaps less-often understood. 

Just big trees?  Big trees and spotted owls? 

No and not quite are the answers; Joan Maloof provides a bunch more in her book Nature's Temples

Maloof is the director of the Old-Growth Forest Network, dedicated to preserving forests undisturbed by humans from coast to coast. 

Miguel V./Wikimedia

Trees make hot days a little cooler.  Well duh, you might say, everyone knows that shade from trees is good. 

But a newly-published study from Oregon State University shows that the quality of the cooling depends on the kind of forest. 

Specifically, old-growth forests with tight canopies and dense undergrowth appear to offer more cooling than single-species tree plantations, a distinction that could matter more as the Earth warms. 

Ending Old-Growth Logging

Jul 7, 2014
Nicholas_T/Flickr

The most contentious portion of the debate over forest management concerns old-growth timber. 

Can the timber industry be healthy without cutting down ancient trees? 

Scientists, including Dominick DellaSala at Ashland's Geos Institute, say yes. 

Geos and other organizations just teamed up on a study showing that old-growth logging could be phased out in Alaska's Tongass National Forest in just six years. 

BLM/Wikimedia

Throw another log on the fire of debate over proper use of forests in the region. 

Scientists from here and Germany just released a study making the case for the benefits of leaving trees standing. 

Our region is right smack in the middle of a band of temperate rainforests from the Redwoods to Alaska.