Climate Crisis & Private Forests
Naomi Kline is right about climate change: it changes everything.
The evidence is overwhelming – we are in a climate crisis that threatens the future of all Oregon communities. The climate crisis is driven by atmospheric carbon – mostly in the form of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). The latest CO2 reading is now 415 parts per million in the atmosphere. This is a CO2 concentration that has not happened since humans evolved on earth. We are in a climate emergency that requires CO2 be removed from the air and that is exactly what trees do when they grow. In fact, Western Oregon’s forests have a higher carbon density than almost any other forest type in the world. Therefore we argue:
- Oregon’s private forests must transition to storing the maximum volume of carbon while providing a livelihood for people and communities.
- Federal and state forests must transition to missions of maximum carbon density.
- A comprehensive Forest Green New Deal must be developed for Western Oregon that addresses rural communities and industrial forests.