skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Public feedback sought on old-growth forest protections

play audio
Play

Thursday, January 25, 2024   

States such as Minnesota have several old-growth forests, and the timber industry is pushing back against a Biden administration proposal to limit commercial logging in some locations around the country.

The move announced last month would put restrictions on harvesting within a small fraction of lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

Josh Hicks, conservation director for The Wilderness Society, sees the proposal as an important step to conserve the 8% of remaining old-growth forests so they can do what they do best: store carbon and stabilize ecosystems.

"After centuries of logging, and now more recently climate-driven impacts from severe wildfire and drought, there's not a lot of old growth left in the country," Hicks pointed out. "It's just a fraction of what it used to be."

Forests absorb carbon pollution directly from the air and are seen as an important tool for mitigating climate change. But industry groups worry the proposal will prompt lawsuits aiming to block logging projects, including those seen as necessary to reduce the scale of wildfires. Some environmental groups say protections should be extended to mature forests currently managed for timber production.

Hicks acknowledged the new proposal, which is open to public comment through Feb. 2, would need industry to help clear out heavy fuel loads which can lead to bigger and more powerful wildfires. But he noted economics will no longer be the driving factor in some forest management decisions. Managers would prioritize ecological concerns involving old-growth conservation.

"The younger trees that come out of the forest to reduce the fuel loads, the companies that pick up these contracts can still find economic value for this," Hicks contended. "This is not to remove industry, and in fact I feel like industry is part of the solution here."

The forests are home to an abundance of diverse plant and animal species and Hicks emphasized keeping the ecosystems intact can help preserve biodiversity as the fallout from climate change takes hold. He added the policy would not only conserve the last stands of old-growth sites, it will foster the creation of more of them for future generations.

"We are facing an extinction crisis," Hicks stressed. "Given that these old-growth forests are more resilient to these climate stressors, they will become increasingly important for the survival of many species."


get more stories like this via email

more stories
The latest Living Planet Index report finds freshwater migratory fish saw an average 81% collapse in monitored population sizes between 1970 and 2020. This includes massive declines in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Groups in Connecticut are preparing to celebrate World Fish Migration Day on Friday. The biennial event celebrates migratory fish species and their …


Social Issues

play sound

Fewer than 8% of people in Alabama prisons are granted parole when they apply for it. Criminal justice experts got together for a discussion of how …

Social Issues

play sound

A new report is sounding the alarm on Pennsylvania's juvenile-detention capacity challenges, citing understaffing and long wait times for the young …


During Latino Advocacy Week, Hispanic Access Foundation members met with lawmakers to promote equity in the upcoming Farm Bill. (Evelyn Ramirez/Hispanic Access Foundation)

Environment

play sound

It's Latino Advocacy Week in Washington, D.C., and leaders in the Hispanic community are pushing for improvements in the upcoming Farm Bill. The …

Environment

play sound

As Michiganders hit the road this holiday weekend, state lawmakers are brainstorming ways to help close the state's $3.9 billion road funding gap…

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy says a law change, which includes updating the state's public waters list, could provide protections for at least 640 miles of additional waterways across the state. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

What might seem like an under-the-radar administrative task could end up being a lifesaver for Minnesota waterways in need of safeguards against agric…

Social Issues

play sound

Two years ago today, a teenager killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The families of those shot and killed have …

Social Issues

play sound

Amid nationwide labor shortages and high turnover, employment experts say fostering an equitable workplace is key to finding and retaining workers…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021