Tree Frog Forestry News

Guest View: Innovation must drive Elliott State Research Forest

By Josh Laughlin, executive director of Cascadia Wildlands
The Register-Guard
January 16, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Josh Laughlin

The Register-Guard’s editorial headline “Elliott Forest plan could be a win for everyone in 2020” (Dec. 30) is correct. A change in management of the Elliott State Forest is a tremendous opportunity for Oregonians to protect salmon and wildlife habitat, store carbon to combat runaway climate change and conduct cutting-edge research with a focus on jobs-based, restoration forestry. But Oregon State University’s initial concept for creating an Elliott State Research Forest falls short of these goals. OSU’s College of Forestry has run modeling scenarios that would clearcut tens of thousands of acres of forests, spray the forest with up to three rounds of herbicides after the cut and perform “animal control,” that typically means killing black bears and mountain beavers. Although it’s called “research,” there is little to learn from clearcutting the Elliott. …we need to use older forests … as a refuge for salmon, marbled murrelets, Pacific fishers and other  old-growth dependent species.

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