Healthy Forests

More than half of Oregon is federally owned land. If properly cared for, this forest landscape can continue to exist and provide clean water, native fish and wildlife, and help deal with the causes of climate change.  In various venues, Crag has been called upon to explore the link between climate change, forests, soils and oceans. Our clients are taking action to encourage state and federal agencies to fully consider the implications of climate change and the potential increase in drought, fire, rain and windy weather in our natural systems.

Mature and old growth forests must be preserved because these older forests are far more effective at storing carbon than young fast growing plantations.  In addition to preserving old growth forests, the most effective practices to increase carbon sequestration are reducing deforestation and increasing forest planting on bare ground, a strategy known as afforestation. By reforesting open lands and increasing the resilience of existing forests, we can increase the amount of carbon that our nation’s forests hold.

Forest management is not a partisan issue, it affects all communities equally. The legal and scientific issues may appear complex, and the solutions that American forest need may seem elusive first blush.  Yet workable solutions are not out of reach and all Americans are fully capable of understanding these issues.

The Crag Law Center works with its conservation clients and people from across the political spectrum to advocate for sound forest stewardship, sustainable forest practices and restoration of our public lands.

Crag’s clients aim to stop out-of-control logging when it threatens wildlife habitat, degrades soils, fills our streams and rivers with sediment, exposes humans to dangerous chemicals, threatens public natural spaces, and reduces the forests’ natural ability to protect our climate.

The Crag Law Center is frequently asked to represent local interests in challenges to projects which do not adhere to the National Environmental Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Forest Management Act and the Northwest Forest Plan.  The Crag Law Center helps its clients investigate and participate in the public process on land management projects.

Explore the Best Available Science on Healthy Forests and Climate Change:

Mark Harmon’s Testimony for an oversight hearing on “The Role of Federal Lands in Combating Climate Change”

Harmon Testimony Attachment 

INR Climate Change White Paper

Regional Climate Change Impacts: Northwest, US Global Change Research Program

Current Cases:

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