As the semester comes to an end and I am tasked with various new projects and wrapping up others, as I move forward another one of the projects I will be working on will that be related to helping track Big Timber money.
As previously stated in another post, it has been reported that the Timber industry is the number one emitter of greenhouse gases in the state of Oregon. This is in slight opposition with the assumption that Oregon is a green state both literally and metaphorically. The Pacific Northwest is well known for its lush, dense and evergreen forests which give locals and various tourists the opportunity to take hikes to areas that aren’t impacted by heavy industrialisation.
Furthermore, these trails are immersed in the hills, valleys, creeks and lakes of the state, and not only allow people to hike but are also designated shooting areas and places where timber is harvested.
The presence of forests has benefits for both the human and nonhuman worlds. Moreover, as a carbon-neutral economy is being crafted through various policies, they are also seen as one of the many possible a carbon sinks for the world. Thus, the potential for forests of the northwest is immense when related to how they can be used in adapting to global warming and climate change. However, to further complicate this matter one must also consider that not all carbon is created equal. The opportunity for carbon sinks in old growth forests is greater than that of newer monocrop ones that are reforested as part of timber practices. Additionally, the potential for carbon storage rests on the age of the forest and thus newer ones will only be helpful after 100 years.
And so as the management of the forests of the Pacific Northwest changes in lieu with the demands of environmental policies, one must also consider the ways in which the forests are to be maintained as current fire suppression practices put the forests and their surrounding areas at great risk in the event of a fire, such as that in Eagle Creek. Furthermore, the Eagle Creek fire of 2017 was exasperated by many other factors notably that of keeping the forests of Oregon dense and lush, which greatly contrasts with their natural state of health as 100 years ago, they were less dense and with more defined layers.
Thus in the fight for protecting forests, one must also consider the ways in which they are to be managed and whether or not they will be restored to their previous state- which would allow some type of logging, or if they are to be managed as they are and recreated completely.