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Environmentalists challenge Northwest logging plans

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Andrew Kumler
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Cascadia Wildlands
The site of the Flat Country Timber Sale, which will affect old-growth trees.

Environmental activists are challenging logging on federal land, including in Oregon.

In April, the Biden administration ordered federal agencies to develop conservation policies for old-growth forests, but environmentalists said more needs to be done, sooner.

Climate Forests—a coalition of over 100 organizations—issued a report called “Worth More Standing." It identifies ten old-growth forests they deem the most threatened, including three in Oregon.

Some agencies are still opening contracts to bidders. For a sale in the Willamette National Forest, the Forest Service cited decreased wildfire risk as a benefit of tree thinning.

Bethany Cotton is the Conservation Director for Cascadia Wildlands.

“It makes absolutely no sense to acknowledge the importance of protecting these forests and not protect them while you develop the policy.”

Cotton said old-growth trees, which capture carbon, help combat climate change. She hopes that public pressure leads to stronger federal action.

Nathan Wilk is a KLCC Reporting Intern through the Snowden Internship Program. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Wilk began volunteering in radio at 11-years-old, and he has served as a radio DJ and host on multiple local stations. Today, he is a Journalism undergraduate at the University of Oregon with a focus in local artistic communities. In his free time, Wilk enjoys writing music and reading old horror novels.