Washington State’s forest lands pegged for role in climate-change struggle

Wed, 2007-08-15 09:52Bill Miller
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Washington State’s forest lands pegged for role in climate-change struggle

As climate change brings more severe weather, forest advocates see timberlands as an invaluable buffer against floods and drought. Environmentalists and some lawmakers envision a time when clean watersheds and undeveloped spaces become increasingly valuable public commodities.

But the exploding human population – especially in western Washington – has led to fears that, as foresters continue to sell off huge parcels to developers, the entire timber industry may collapse.

“I tell everybody I'd rather see timberlands than a strip mall, even a clearcut, because at least it can come back,” said state Senator Ken Jacobsen. “We've got plenty of shopping malls, and we are losing 1 percent of the timber base every year.”


I was surprised recently, after having not been to the Seattle area in a number of years, that new suburban development has reached all the way to snoqualmie falls.

Washington state in general has always been a bit more willing to endeavor in that sort of thing than Oregon traditionally has…hope that OR can hold on to its urban growth boundaries even with all the pressure against it nowadays. Wouldn’t want to see a strip mall at multnomah falls.


This is a guest post by Zach Roberts.

As a documentary producer, I watch more than my fair share of environmental protest documentaries — probably about 20 a year. And almost all of them have the same, vague message: we need to do something!

Their scenes re-play like a bad video montage in my mind: earnest young people speaking at podiums, boring climatologists rambling on about the coming end of the world, forest fires, melting ice shelves, you know how it goes. In the lefty journalism world, we call this “preaching to the choir.”

Then there's Disruption,...

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