Spotted Owl and Conifer Trees Saved from Logging Companies
September 19, 2008
The Deschutes National Forest is one of the most beautiful and popular recreation forests in the Pacific Northwest, with over 8 million visitors enjoying this wilderness area each year. Home to many different species of plants and animals, including old-growth mixed conifer trees and the northern spotted owl, the Deschutes National Forest was almost threatened by logging. But, once again the Sierra Club, along with other environmental groups, has won a court decision saving these forests from destruction. The decision by US District Court Judge Michael Hogan, forced the US Forest Service to modify the Five Buttes Project; in effect halting any logging on over 4,000 acres of old growth forests, including areas specifically set aside to help protect the threatened spotted owl. The Five Buttes Project was originally developed to reduce the risk of wildfires, with the Forest Service claiming that logging older forests in the reserve would prevent the spotted owl habitat from future wildfires. This argument went against strong scientific research stating exactly the opposite; that logging mature forests actually increases the severity of future wildfires, a fact that the Forest Service’s own analysis agreed on. But the decision did more than just protect the old growth forests, it will also be used to inform forest legislation that is currently being drafted as well as highlight the importance of maintaining old growth forest reserves in the Pacific Northwest. And finally, this decision will allow those 8 million visitors to the forest to continue to enjoy the beauty of this natural area.
Details and Documents:
Court Decision Safeguards Old-Growth Forest Reserve on Deschutes National Forest
September 16, 2008 by Cascadia Wildlands Project, Yubanet.com
See other "Promoting Resilient Habitats" cases.