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Rainforests Play a Pivotal Role in Stabilizing the Global Climate

temperate rainforests carbon storageGiven temperate and boreal rainforests are very wet places and trees are relatively long-lived they are highly productive ecosystems that store carbon for centuries in massive trees, dense foliage, and productive soils. In fact, these rainforests are among the world’s champions in storing carbon.  In 2007, these cool-weather rainforests contained roughly 196 gigatonnes of carbon – the equivalent of more than six times the total annual carbon dioxide emissions from human activities.

10 Temperate and Boreal Rainforest Regions of the World

In 2011, Geos Institute and partners completed an updated global synthesis of temperate and boreal rainforests of the world, using advanced computer mapping and local partnerships with 32 scientists to identify just ten regions of the world that qualified as temperate and boreal rainforest:

temperate rainforests ten regions geos

  1. Pacific Coast of North America (redwoods to Alaska containing the greatest extent of these rainforests globally)
  2. Inland northwest British Columbia and portions of Idaho and Montana
  3. Eastern Canada (portions of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, eastern Quebec)
  4. Europe (Norway is boreal; British Isles, Ireland, Swiss Alps, and Bohemia are temperate);
  5. Western Eurasian Caucasus (Georgia, Turkey, Iran)
  6. Russian Far East and Inland Southern Siberia (transitional between boreal and temperate)
  7. Japan and Korea
  8. Australasia (Australian mainland, Tasmania, New Zealand)
  9. South Africa (Knysna-Tsitsikamma)
  10. Chile & Argentina (Valdivia temperate rainforests)

Scientists Urge BC to Speed up Protection of Iconic Rainforest

Half of Great Bear Rainforest remains open to logging

Epoch Times by Justina Reichel

A group of international scientists is urging B.C. Premier Christy Clark to accelerate the fulfillment of an agreement to protect the Great Bear Rainforest that was first announced six years ago.

Currently half of Great Bear, nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountain Range on B.C.’s west coast, remains open to logging, although a 2006 agreement recommended that 70 percent of the natural old-growth forest be set aside.

A letter to Clark, signed by 54 scientists from nine countries, said the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement will be highlighted at the 2012 Earth Summit taking place in Rio de Janeiro this week as a potential model for global forest sustainability.

Dominick DellaSala, the chief scientist at Oregon’s Geos Institute and an expert on temperate and boreal rainforests, says the issue provides an opportunity for Clark to demonstrate leadership by getting the agreement fully implemented within the next year.  more >

Scientists call on BC’s Premier Clark to speed protection of Great Bear Rainforest

by Linda Solomon in the Vancouver Observer

Scientists from Canada and the United States are asking British Columbia Premier Christy Clark to speed up protection of the Great Bear Rainforest.

click here to see the letter to B.C. Premier, Christy Clark

Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist and President  of the Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon, and Lead author of Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World, leads the signatories of the letter which says the Great Bear Rainforest plays an essential role in stablizing the earth’s climate.” 

The signatories are all contributors to DellaSala’s book.  Others include scientists from the zoology department of University of British Columbia, the biology department of University of Victoria, as well as UBC’s Biodiversity Research Centre.  They also reprsent conservation organizations like Northwest Institute and Skeena Wild Conservation Trust in Smithers, British Columbia, and Raincoast Conservation Foundation of Sydney, British Columbia.  more >

Rainforest Textbook Honored for Academic Excellence

By Paul Fattig, Medford Mail Tribune

A scholastic book edited by forest ecologist Dominick DellaSala of Talent is included in the annual academic excellence list by Choice magazine, one of the nation’s premier review journals.  The 336-page book, “Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World: Ecology and Conservation,” is in the “Outstanding Academic Title” list published in the January issue of Choice.  read more >

Temperate and Boreal Rainforest Book Receives Choice Award for Academic Excellence

Contact:Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, 541-482-4459 x302; 541-621-7223 (cell)

Ashland, Oregon- One of the nation’s premier review journals for scholarly publications, Choice, announced its annual publication awards for the nation’s top academic publications. Listed among the winning authors is Ashland-based forest ecologist, Dominick DellaSala, primary author and editor of “Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World: Ecology and Conservation.”

Choice has been the premier review journal for scholarly publications for more than 45 years and is the leading North American source for reviews of new scholarly books and electronic resources. Choice’s annual “Outstanding Academic Titles” is widely recognized in the academic community for “its sweeping coverage of the most significant scholarly titles published each year.”

The full “Outstanding Academic Titles, 2011” list will appear in the January 2012 issue, featuring 629 exceptional titles spanning 54 disciplines. These exceptional works are truly the “best of the best.”

According to DellaSala, “My idea for doing a book on rainforests started in the early 90s when I was a fledgling biologist, studying the impacts of logging on wolves, deer, and songbirds in the magnificent Tongass rainforest of Alaska. Since then, I’ve been traveling the globe and working with other scientists to raise awareness about the plight of these endangered rainforests.”

Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World, published by Island Press, was prepared with over 30 rainforest scientists around the globe. It is the first global synthesis of these rainforests and the only Island Press publication to receive the Choice award of Academic Excellence in 2011.

In 2011, DellaSala was a keynote speaker at conferences and forest celebrations from Alaska to New Zealand, in recognition of the U.N. declared International Year of Forests. His main message is one of hope – “While rainforests around the globe are at a crisis, there is growing awareness that these forests cleanse the air we breathe, purify our drinking water, and allow us to connect with nature.”

The main findings of the rainforest book are:

  • Temperate and boreal rainforests (northern latitude forests such as those in Canada) make up about 2.5% of the world’s total forests, covering almost 250 million acres globally.
  • In contrast to tropical rainforests, which lie along the equatorial belt, these rainforests are unevenly distributed in both the northern and southern hemispheres from ~35 to 69 degrees latitude.
  • They are largely but not exclusively found along coastlines in ten regions:
    • Pacific Coast of North America (redwoods to Alaska)
    • Inland northwest British Columbia and portions of Idaho and Montana
    • Eastern Canada (portions of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, E. Quebec)
    • Chile & Argentina (Valdivia rainforests)
    • Europe (Norway, British Isles, Ireland, Swiss Alps, Bohemia)
    • Western Eurasian Caucasus (Georgia, Turkey, Iran)
    • Russian Far East and Inland Southern Siberia
    • Japan and Korea
    • Australasia (Australian mainland, Tasmania, New Zealand)
    • South Africa (Knysna-Tsitsikamma rainforests)
  • These rainforests are rarer and at least as endangered as the world’s highly regarded tropical rainforests. Several are Critically Endangered, including California’s Coastal Redwoods (less than 4% remain intact) and rainforests in Japan & Korea, and Europe (almost all have been logged over centuries).

New Risk of Logging in Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve

Old growth valleys must be protected, say 133 scientists and conservation groups

Vancouver, BC – The B.C. government has received an application for cutblocks in the old growth rainforest of Flores Island in Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that was the site of the largest civil disobedience protest in Canada’s history in 1993.

“It’s very disturbing that the B.C. government could approve logging of one of Vancouver Island’s last intact ancient rainforest valleys,” said Dan Lewis, Executive Director of Friends of Clayoquot Sound. “People believe that Clayoquot Sound’s famous rainforests are protected, but they aren’t.”

More than 130 scientists across North America have just signed a declaration calling for permanent protection of Clayoquot’s remaining intact old-growth rainforests. “Given the global importance of the region and the imminent threats posed to intact rainforests, we the undersigned urge First Nations, provincial and federal decision-makers, logging companies, and other stakeholders to cease logging in all remaining intact valleys of Clayoquot Sound,” says the declaration, released today.

A new Sierra Club BC map, also released today, shows that only 21 of Vancouver Island’s 282 rainforest watersheds are unlogged. Of the seven unlogged Vancouver Island watersheds that lack permanent protection, five are in Clayoquot Sound, including the Flores Island watershed now at risk of being logged.

“Our map shows that there is nowhere else left on Vancouver Island, except Clayoquot Sound, that provides extensive high quality habitat for rainforest species such as bears and wolves,” said Jens Wieting, Forest Campaigner with Sierra Club BC.

Clayoquot was designated a United Nations Biosphere Reserve in 2000, but that designation does not confer legal protection. A 1999 Memorandum of Understanding, signed by First Nations and environmental groups, outlined intact rainforest valleys in Clayoquot deserving protection, including the valley now slated for logging on Flores Island, north of Tofino. Yet those valleys are still unprotected.

“Clayoquot’s ancient forests store more carbon per hectare than almost any other forest on earth, and protecting Clayoquot’s old-growth watersheds plays a key role in fighting global warming,” said Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist and President of the Geos Institute in Oregon, one of the signatories of the “Scientists’ Declaration to Protect Intact, Old-Growth Rainforests of Clayoquot Sound in British Columbia.”

The logging company Iisaak applied to the B.C. government for cutting permits on Flores during on-going talks with environmental groups about conservation financing for Clayoquot’s intact valleys. Friends of Clayoquot Sound, Sierra Club BC and other environmental organizations working to protect the intact rainforests of the region are calling on the B.C. government to offer short-term alternatives to logging, in order to allow more time to develop solutions for protection like conservation financing.


For more information, please contact:

Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist and President of Geos Institute, Ashland, Oregon, 541/482-4459 x302

Dan Lewis, Executive Director, Friends of Clayoquot Sound, 250/725-4218

Jens Wieting, Sierra Club BC Coastal Forest Campaigner: 604/354-5312

Temperate and boreal forests can help fight global warming; but without better management, they may become part of the problem

National Wildlife Federation
John Carey- 9/15/11

THE TROPICAL RAIN FOREST gets most of the press. After all, it has become the symbol of primeval wilderness and a poster child for protecting the natural world. But it’s worth also taking a look at woodlands closer to home. Forests are growing all around us: stately white pines and spreading oaks in the Northeast; delicate longleaf pine and rich bottomland hardwoods in the South; silvery aspen and gnarled pinyon pine in the Southwest; magnificent redwoods in California and a vast expanse of spruce and fir all across Canada. Read more…

Related Links: International Year of Forests

Prominent speakers featured at Rainforest Festival


PETERSBURG-AK (2011-09-08) Petersburg hosts a variety of visiting scientists, artists and educators during its annual Tongass Rainforest Festival this week. They include the editor of a new book about temperate and boreal rainforests, a flying squirrel researcher, and an artist who draws her inspiration from the forest. Matt Lichtenstein has more…

Protecting The Rainforests Of Washington And British Columbia
Steve Scher 


Temperate and boreal rainforests are found in only 10 places on the planet. The most familiar might be the coastal rainforests that stretch from the redwoods of California, through the rain forests in the river bottoms of the Olympics, and the slopes of the Cascades on up through British Columbia and Alaska.  Read More…

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