Target: Oregon Department of Forestry
Goal: Revise logging increase that may threaten endangered species
The Oregon Board of Forestry has recently come under criticism for increasing the amount of logging in state-managed forests, home to endangered and threatened species that rely on the forests for survival. About 20% more of the forest will be subject to clear-cutting, imperiling animals such as the Coho salmon and the northern spotted owl. The change in logging management is not subject to scientific review, and the impacts on threatened species are therefore hard to calculate. Urge the Department of Forestry to reconsider its actions.
Balancing environmental and economic interests with regards to the state forest has proven difficult, and the recent change in policy seems to indicate a shift toward economic interest. Though some areas of forest have been highlighted as conservation zones free of logging, the increase in industry—which affects about half a million acres—may negatively impact struggling salmon populations and threaten species already imperiled.
When done responsibly and with a focus on reducing impacts on threatened species, logging increases can in fact be beneficial, reducing forest fires and opening forests so that there is less competition for sunlight and resources. However, the increased logging in the Tillamook State Forest places endangered species at risk. Nor has the policy change undergone scientific peer review that may reveal significant threats to wildlife. Please urge the Oregon Department of Forestry to reconsider its plan and take steps to ensure the protection of threatened species.
Dear Oregon Department of Forestry,
Though I understand the economic reasons for the increased logging in the Tillamook State Forest, I was concerned to learn that endangered species will face greater threats. The Coho salmon and the northern spotted owl populations are just two examples of the animals at risk, should this change in policy negatively impact them.
I ask that you revise your policy change and subject this plan to scientific peer review to ensure that there will be no negative impacts on wildlife. We must not subjugate environmental protections in favor of economic interests.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Tiger635 via Wikimedia Commons