Crag Law Center has worked since our founding to protect the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. Our forests provide clean drink water, homes for wildlife, inspirational recreational opportunities and carbon storage critical to a stable climate.
Forests and Fire. But what happens when these forests burn? The Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia River Gorge, the Chetco Bar fire in Southern Oregon and other large wildfires in the West impacted communities and tore at the heartstrings of many in our region. Now is a good time to remember that fire is an elemental and critical force of nature. While there will always be places where humans cannot tolerate fire, many plant and wildlife species depend on fire to create habitat. With Pacific Northwest summers getting hotter and experiencing longer periods of drought, we are seeing an increase in big fires. Because drought and wind are the primary drivers of fire, climatic changes further heighten the need for us to protect the remaining wild, old growth forests here in the Pacific Northwest.
Educational Resources. Working with top scientists, Crag has produced a short educational piece that contains the Seven Best Kept Secrets of Forest Fire. Please download and share this document with your friends and family. If you are a librarian, teacher, business owner, leader in a local non-profit and you wish to receive free resources about forest fires and recovery, please contact Ralph Bloemers directly. Crag is working with scientists and educational experts to put together a suite of resources for local schools, libraries, business and organizations that are interested in forest and fire ecology.
Threats to our Forests. Some politicians use fire as an opportunity to declare the forest destroyed and promote an increase in logging in our wild forests and scenic areas. While the Eagle Creek fire was burning, Congressman Greg Walden introduced legislation (H.R. 3715) that would authorize post-fire logging in areas impacted by the fire within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. If passed, H.R. 3715 and its companion bill, the Resilient Federal Forests Act, would require the Forest Service to expedite plans to log the Gorge and throughout the Pacific Northwest, while removing environmental safeguards and ignoring community input. Crag is working to find solutions to support communities impacted by fire while allowing the forest to naturally recover from these dramatic events.
We urge you to take the time to send a letter telling our members of Congress that you value our public forests and what you think of this plan!
Forests & Climate Change. A new study shows that old growth trees and forest soils continue to actively capture and store carbon over time. The remaining old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest and those found in Canada and Russia provide up to 20 percent of the global terrestrial carbon sink. Our older forests remain an important part of the battle to combat climate change, and so scientists are telling us that it is critical that we protect these areas from deforestation.