Winter Timber Sale

Forestry group responds to old growth inventory report

The Society of American Foresters responds to reports inventorying mature and old forests on federal land.

Photo by Peter H.

The Society of American Foresters responded to a report from the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management defining and inventorying mature and old growth forests on federal lands. The inventory was completed under an Executive Order from President Biden.

“The next phase of the directive calls for an analysis of threats to these forests, and as forestry professionals, we know that the greatest threats to old-growth and mature forests are climate-amplified disturbances like wildfire, drought, insects, and disease”, according to the SAF statement.

“The inventory released today does not provide information on the health of our mature and old-growth forests. However, we know from tracking climate-amplified disturbances that our older forests are not safe from catastrophic losses. In fact, the unprecedented rate of mortality from these disturbances means that many forests in western states are now emitting more carbon than they sequester annually,” the SAF said. “Though it is commonly assumed that mature and old-growth forests are stable, resilient systems, they are often the forests most at risk of severe wildfire,” according to the statement.

Read the statement from the SAF is here:

In November, the SAF issued a statement “Addressing Proforestation on Public Lands” (a preservationist movement that sought to ban forest management, asserting that forestland was best left unmanaged), particularly mature and old growth forests. “Forest Management offers strategies to manage for carbon sequestration, including forest regeneration and afforestation, carbon stored in durable wood products, and improved resilience to carbon -emitting disturbances like wildfires and insect epidemics,” the SAF statement read in part.

“Proforestation” grew out of a paper by professors, William Moomaw, retired from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and Susan Masino, of Trinity College, and an ecological researcher, Edward Faison of the Highstead Arboretum in Connecticut.

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