Logging sales of legacy forests shouldn’t fund new schools

A recent story in Cascadia Daily News, “Whatcom’s ‘Box of Rain’ forest may be logged,” suggests that the 25 to 30 percent of trees in the forest knocked down by wind should be dragged out of this diverse mature forest with ground-smashing machinery to make logs so they don’t emit carbon.

Dead trees provide critical nutrients and habitat in mature forests. According to “Intact Forests in the United States: Proforestation Mitigates Climate Change and Serves the Greatest Good,” “Intact forests also may sequester half or more of their carbon as organic soil carbon or in standing and fallen trees that eventually decay and add to soil carbon.”

Running heavy equipment into these forestlands to pull out downed trees destroys soil structure and habitat.

All revenue generated from the clear-cutting of the Box of Rain trees is earmarked to help fund statewide K-12 school construction. This is a senseless waste of public resources, given that the state Superintendent of Public Instruction has said that timber trust dollars have come to play a diminishing role. According to the March 2021 Seattle Times article, “Amid climate crisis, a proposal to save Washington state forests for carbon storage, not logging,” Reykdal said, “This is not the future of school construction. It just isn’t.”

Until we begin paying for our infrastructure without devastating our forests, we should protect natural stands 80 years and older, while focusing harvest on younger, plantation lands.

Kate Lunceford


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