Logging is promoted by agencies and the timber industry as necessary for public safety and restoration. However, most logging on National Forests takes place in the backcountry, far from human communities. Logging in remote wildlands does not keep people safe. Home hardening, working around homes and communities, and emergency preparedness are far more effective strategies for protecting people and communities.
We need to protect biodiversity, clean water, and the climate.
Instead, we are losing the remaining ‘last-best’ habitat in our region to logging, and exacerbating the climate and biodiversity crises.
The photos below are only a few examples of the widespread, landscape scale logging taking place in eastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. Usually, we focus on documenting on-the-ground-conditions in proposed sales– before logging occurs– so that we can fight to protect areas from logging before it happens. However, we’re increasing joint efforts to document the aftermath of logging and shine a light on what’s agency “restoration” projects actually look like in far too many cases. Even when logging is not as intensive, the ecological costs also include, all too often, habitat loss, soil damage, erosion, and degradation of water quality and stream habitats.
The photo below is the Forest Service’s example of “Free Selection” thinning, which the agency provided in their environmental analysis for the Big Mosquito sale:
Here are real-life examples of “Free Selection” thinning, which BMBP found in the Big Mosquito timber sale– much different than the agency’s depiction:
Unfortunately, protections for large trees in National Forests in eastern Oregon and southeastern Washington were rolled back in 2021 under the Trump administration. The Forest Service now has even more discretion to log big trees. This puts mature and old forests at an even greater risk of logging, and threatens wildlife, fish and clean water across our region.
It’s increasingly clear that human health and safety is inextricably intertwined with protecting the ecological integrity of natural ecosystems. We depend on nature to provide us with clean water and air, a stable climate, food security, and more.
Please help ensure that forests and streams on public lands are protected– for the good of all life on earth.
Thank you for caring about the plants, animals, fungi, and all native species that depend on the last-best habitats in National Forests for their survival!