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.”

Comments

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.

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A U.S. District Court judge ruled on June 27 that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service both wrongly approved expansion of the West Elk coal mine in Somerset, Colo., because they failed to take into account the economic impacts greenhouse gas emissions from the mining would have.
 
The federal agencies said it was impossible to quantify such impacts, but the court pointed out a tool is...
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