Geos Institute helps communities build resilience in the face of climate change

Program: Temperate Rainforest

British Columbia poised to lose ‘white rhino of old growth forests’

In the public imagination, British Columbia is swathed in green and famous for its towering old growth forests. But while the provincial government says 23% of BC’s forests are old growth, a new study finds that a mere 1% remains with tall trees.

Intense pressure is now being put on the remaining trees by a forestry industry eager to capitalize on nations desperate for new “carbon neutral” sources of energy, including the revamping of coal-fired power plants to burn wood pellets.

A lot is riding ecologically on whatever policy decisions are eventually enacted in BC.

Dominick DellaSala is president and chief scientist of the Geos Institute in Oregon. He specializes in studying rare ecosystems globally and says of BC’s temperate, old growth forests: “From my research, there are only two other regions on earth like it — southeast Russia and Siberia. These forests are important and rare. They have the highest richness of lichens of any place in the world, a main food source for the mountain caribou, which is circling the extinction drain. Some trees are estimated to be 1,600 years old. And they are being wasted by logging.”

DellaSala underlined the fact that old growth forests are a large, stable source of carbon: “If we are going to fight climate change, we need to get off fossil fuels and hang onto on our remaining primary forests.”

Read the complete article by Justin Catanoso published on 22 June 2020 at Mongabay

B.C. says firms can chop down whole trees for pellet fuel if they are ‘inferior’

By Carl Meyer
Canada’s National Observer
Published April 30th 2020

Companies can cut down whole trees to be ground into pellets for fuel if they are “inferior,” says British Columbia’s natural resources ministry, a position that has led to concerns the government is “rebranding” old growth forests as low-quality in order to justify logging them.

B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development told National Observer on April 27 that “timber harvesting has evolved over time” and that the industry is now focusing on sending “high-quality” lumber to sawmills.

Other whole trees, the ministry said, can get sent to plants that manufacture wood pellets, a type of biomass fuel that is burned for heating or electricity and is made by compacting together wood material. Keep reading.

Amid forestry struggles, panel finds ‘surprising’ consensus on old-growth logging concerns in B.C.

Conservation North, supported by Geos Institute science, pushes for ban on old growth logging in world class inland rainforest in British Columbia.

When professional foresters Al Gorley and Garry Merkel were appointed to lead a sweeping review of how B.C.’s old-growth forests are managed, they made a deal with each other before hitting the road.

They wouldn’t come to a single conclusion until they had wrapped up what Gorley calls their “listening phase” — four months touring the province and gathering input from people of all walks of life, from forestry company executives to people who came in “off of the street or out of their garden and just wanted to share a personal perspective.”  

After visiting 30 communities, the duo is taken aback by the consensus they’ve encountered as they prepare to wrap up the “listening” phase of the old-growth strategic review this week.

Keep reading: “Amid forestry struggles, panel finds ‘surprising’ consensus on old-growth logging concerns in B.C.“, by Sarah Cox, published Jan 27, 2020 at The Narwhal.

From the Ridgetop to the Reef

Please join Dr. Dominick DellaSala at his Ridgetop to the Reef presentation titled “How Coastal Rainforests Can Help the Climate” on Thursday, January 9th, 6:30 PM at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center in Newport.

Abstract:

Receiving as much as 200 inches of annual rainfall on average, the forested western slopes of the Oregon Coast Range unsurprisingly fits the definition as rainforest. In fact, much of the Pacific Coast of North America does in the area between Northern California’s redwoods and Southeastern Alaska. This region, along with the Canadian boreal forest and the world’s tropical forests are considered the ecological lungs of the planet, filtering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to create oxygen, while also storing the carbon in long-lived trees, dead standing and downed wood, and in roots in the soil. While all plants provide this function, the quick growth rates and large sizes that our coastal trees attain provides a powerful mechanism to help absorb the additional carbon dioxide that is dangerously warming our planet.

States foreshadow legal battle over Trump’s Tongass rule

Originally published in E&E news by Marc Heller on December 17, 2019

Attorneys general in six states urged the Trump administration yesterday to withdraw a proposal to open more of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to logging, saying it violates several aspects of federal law.

None of the administration’s alternatives that would scale back the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule in the Tongass are lawful, said the officials, representing California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Washington state in a letter to the Forest Service that could telegraph future legal action.

“The undersigned States therefore urge the Forest Service to correct these fundamental legal defects or withdraw the Proposed Rule,” they said.

In their letter, submitted in advance of today’s deadline for public comments on the proposal, the officials criticized the administration for ignoring potential environmental impacts such as effects on carbon sequestration and climate change, and for inadequately consulting with the Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries.

‘Hundreds of hectares of moonscape’: B.C. spruce beetle infestation used to accelerate clear cuts

The largest spruce beetle epidemic in decades is attacking B.C.’s rain-rich interior, intensifying logging in forests that provide habitat for imperilled species like mountain caribou. But scientists and ecologists say resilient trees will survive and the forest will recover if we only give it a chance

By Sarah Cox, Originally published on October 16, 2019 at The Narwhal

Retired B.C. government forester Judy Thomas bushwhacks down a steep incline in B.C.’s Anzac River valley, north of Prince George, in search of a spruce beetle the size of a mouse turd.

To find one of the marauding insects Thomas has to chop through the coarse bark of an old-growth spruce to its soft inner layer, where a single beetle lays as many as 1,200 eggs. Extended ‘galleries’ of beetle larvae feed on the sapwood, killing the tree in tandem with an associated blue stain fungi.

“Let’s see if they’ve flown the coop,” says Thomas.

She points to telltale signs that the tree, still green and healthy-looking, has been under siege as part of the largest spruce beetle infestation B.C. has witnessed in 30 years.

Frass — a reddish brown sawdust-like substance that is a mixture of beetle poop and chewed tree debris — is sprinkled in bark crevices. The bark also has pitch tubes, appearing as tiny blobs of sap, that form as the tree tries to expel its miniature attackers.

Continue reading at The Narwhal

Not Just Brazil: Troubles In Temperate Rainforests

The world took notice of the summer’s fires in the Amazon region of Brazil.  The tropical rainforests are often called “the Earth’s lungs” for the oxygen they supply. 

Far less notice is taken of the fate of rainforests in temperate zones, including in the Pacific Northwest.  Logging continues on both sides of the US/Canada border, and that concerns a pair of scientists well-versed in the workings of those forests. 

Jens Wieting is with Sierra Club BC and Dominick DellaSala is with Geos Institute based in Ashland. 

They visit the studio to discuss their concerns for the temperate rainforests and the creatures that depend upon them.  

Listen to the exchange: https://www.ijpr.org/post/not-just-brazil-troubles-temperate-rainforests#stream/0

Clear Cut: Saving BC’s Inland Rainforest

An ancient rainforest in BC’s interior is at risk of disappearing after decades of logging

By Daniel Mesec, published August 19, 2019 at Cascadia Magazine

An ancient rainforest, nestled at the northern edge of the Rocky Mountains, has flourished for thousands of years. But this isn’t just any forest. Towering with western red cedars, western hemlock, spruce, and subalpine fir, British Columbia’s inland temperate rainforest has all the hallmarks of a coastal rainforest, yet it is nearly 1,000 km (621 miles) inland. It’s one of the rarest ecosystems on the planet.

Stretching for more than 200,000 hectares along the Upper Fraser Watershed, this diverse and ecologically sensitive forest is home to a vast array of flora and fauna. The interior cedar hemlock ecozone is not only home to thousand year-old western red cedars, but also mountain hemlock, Engelmann spruce, and subalpine fir. These damp, surprisingly lush forests support habitat for black bears, grizzlies, wolverines, pileated woodpeckers, owls, and many other animal species. But this trove of biodiversity that few people know about is now under threat from recent clear-cut logging.

Only 9 percent of BC’s inland rainforest has been designated as protected areas or parks by the provincial government, leaving more than three quarters of the remaining land open to clear-cut logging, which has removed more than a quarter of all the old-growth cedar and hemlock over the past half century. There is no end in sight.

‘Deliberate extinction’: extensive clear-cuts, gas pipeline approved in endangered caribou habitat

Scientists warn another B.C. caribou herd could disappear as the provincial government approves 78 new logging cutblocks in critical habitat for the Hart Ranges herd, while construction of a pipeline for LNG industry takes out another chunk of boreal forest

By Sarah Cox, Originally published on Aug 7, 2019 at The Narwhal

Standing near the summit of a clear-cut mountain in B.C.’s interior, overlooking the brown and emerald green Anzac River valley, scientist Dominick DellaSala has a bird’s eye view of why the Hart Ranges caribou herd is at risk of extinction.

Only a fringe of forest remains around the distant mountain peak where the declining herd seeks protection from wolves and other predators in ever-shrinking habitat northeast of Prince George.

“The difference between this and Borneo is that there aren’t any orangutans behind me,” says DellaSala, pointing to extensive clear cuts covering much of the mountain side.

“You’ve got caribou at upper elevations. That’s their habitat out there. And they’re being squished to the top of the tallest mountains because all the habitat’s been taken out down below. The species is migratory, it goes up and down.”

DellaSala, chief scientist and president of the Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon, is touring parts of B.C.’s ancient inland temperate rainforest as part of an Australian-led study documenting the world’s most important unlogged forests.

Continue reading at The Narwhal

 

‘Deliberate extinction’: extensive clear-cuts, gas pipeline approved in endangered caribou habitat

Scientists warn another B.C. caribou herd could disappear as the provincial government approves 78 new logging cutblocks in critical habitat for the Hart Ranges herd, while construction of a pipeline for LNG industry takes out another chunk of boreal forest

By Sarah Cox, Originally published on Aug 7, 2019 at The Narwhal

Standing near the summit of a clear-cut mountain in B.C.’s interior, overlooking the brown and emerald green Anzac River valley, scientist Dominick DellaSala has a bird’s eye view of why the Hart Ranges caribou herd is at risk of extinction.

Only a fringe of forest remains around the distant mountain peak where the declining herd seeks protection from wolves and other predators in ever-shrinking habitat northeast of Prince George.

“The difference between this and Borneo is that there aren’t any orangutans behind me,” says DellaSala, pointing to extensive clear cuts covering much of the mountain side.

“You’ve got caribou at upper elevations. That’s their habitat out there. And they’re being squished to the top of the tallest mountains because all the habitat’s been taken out down below. The species is migratory, it goes up and down.”

DellaSala, chief scientist and president of the Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon, is touring parts of B.C.’s ancient inland temperate rainforest as part of an Australian-led study documenting the world’s most important unlogged forests.

Continue reading at The Narwhal

 

Canada’s forgotten rainforest

Less than one-third of the world’s primary forests are still intact. Deep in the interior of British Columbia, a temperate rainforest that holds vast stores of carbon and is home to endangered caribou is being clear-cut as fast as the Amazon

By Sarah Cox, Originally published on Jul 27, 2019 at The Narwhal

On a balmy day in mid-July, in the heart of British Columbia, Dominick DellaSala steps out of a rented truck to examine the remains of one of the rarest ecosystems on the planet.

DellaSala, a scientist studying global forests that hold vast stores of carbon, is silent for a moment as he surveys a logging road punched through an ancient red cedar and western hemlock grove only days earlier.

A spared cedar tree, at least 400 years old, stands uncloaked in the sun beside the road, an empty bear den hidden in its hollow trunk.

“I haven’t seen logging this bad since I flew over Borneo,” says DellaSala, president and chief scientist at the Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon, a partner in an international project to map the world’s most important unlogged forests.

“It was a rainforest. Now it’s a wasteland.”

Continue reading at The Narwhal

Geos Institute working to save imperiled owls in British Columbia rainforests

pnw northern spotted owl USFWSAt the world’s first breeding centre in Langley, B.C., spotted owls are hatched in incubators, given around the clock medical care and hand fed euthanized rodents in a last-ditch effort to save the species from Canadian extinction. All the while scientists warn that the province has yet to recognize the endangered raptor as a symbol of our escalating failure to protect old-growth forests. Read the entire in-dept piece by Sarah Cox at The Narwhal.

DellaSala likened the spotted owl to the quintessential canary in a coal mine. The owl is an indicator of a “whole complex ecosystem with all the parts that are in jeopardy,” he said. “This is just one of the parts and it’s telling us we have not done a responsible job of maintaining the old-growth ecosystems upon which the owl and thousands of other species depend.”

Keepers of the spotted owl

pnw northern spotted owl USFWSAt the world’s first breeding centre in Langley, B.C., spotted owls are hatched in incubators, given around the clock medical care and hand fed euthanized rodents in a last-ditch effort to save the species from Canadian extinction. All the while scientists warn that the province has yet to recognize the endangered raptor as a symbol of our escalating failure to protect old-growth forests. Read the entire in-dept piece by Sarah Cox at The Narwhal.

DellaSala likened the spotted owl to the quintessential canary in a coal mine. The owl is an indicator of a “whole complex ecosystem with all the parts that are in jeopardy,” he said. “This is just one of the parts and it’s telling us we have not done a responsible job of maintaining the old-growth ecosystems upon which the owl and thousands of other species depend.”

Dominick DellaSala, Barbara Zimmerman and Andy MacKinnon: Call for action on B.C.’s old-growth rainforests

As scientists, we have travelled the world’s rainforests on several continents. Few temperate places rival B.C.’s rich rainforest tapestry and its life-giving benefits.

Canadians are fortunate that B.C.’s globally rare old-growth rainforests are working behind the scenes all the time — helping to stabilize the climate, upholding irreplaceable cultural values of Indigenous peoples, and supporting tourism and recreation jobs. All of that is at risk, however, if logging continues at its current liquidation rate.

This alarming trend recently caught the attention of over 220 of the world’s scientists, who sent a letter to Premier John Horgan calling on the government to protect the remaining intact rainforests.

Unfortunately, British Columbia lacks a provincewide policy for protecting old-growth rainforests. On the one hand, the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement — forged in 2016 by provincial and First Nations governments — is a global conservation model. On the other hand, logging on Vancouver Island and in the Interior is a complete reversal of Canada’s responsible forest management commitments. If B.C. is going to survive the coming climate-change storm, it needs to unify its forest protection policies before its old-growth forest legacy is gone.

Keep reading at The Province

Hundreds of international scientists call for urgent action to protect B.C’s rainforests

SFU student explains why the logging of these forests can be disastrous

By: Srijani Datta, Assistant News Editor
Originally published July 18, 2018 at The Peak 

On June 28, 223 international scientists called on the British Columbia government to stop the incessant logging of temperate rainforests in the province. The scientists addressed their concerns in a letter titled “International Scientists’ Call for Action to Protect Endangered Temperate Rainforests of British Columbia, Canada.”

The letter was organized by Dr. Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist at the Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon. In a press release announcing the release of the letter, DellaSala highlighted the significance of BC’s forests and discussed how rare they are.

223 international scientists call for urgent action to protect British Columbia’s endangered temperate rainforests

For Immediate Release June 28, 2018

Contacts: Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, President, Chief Scientist, Geos Institute,  Ashland, Oregon, Cell 541-621-7223 | Dr. Barbara Zimmerman, Director, International Conservation Fund Canada, b.zimmerman@wild.org | Dr. Andy MacKinnon, BC Forest Ecologist, Cell 250-889-6453

Ashland, OR —The Government of British Columbia must take urgent and immediate action to protect the globally unique ecological values of BC’s remaining primary and intact coastal and inland temperate rainforest, say 223 prominent scientists from around the world in a letter released today.

The scientists specifically call for action to protect temperate rainforests along BC’s south coast and Vancouver Island, and inland rainforests on the windward side of the Columbia and Rocky Mountains, all of which remain at risk with insufficient conservation.

The letter was organized by Dr. Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist at the Geos Institute in Ashland, Oregon and author of Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World: Ecology and Conservation (Island Press). According to DellaSala, “BC’s temperate rainforests are globally rare, they offer habitat for many imperiled species and globally the vast majority of these unique rainforests has already been logged. Protection of remaining intact tracts of these carbon-rich, climate saving forests is a global responsibility and can help Canada to contribute to the 2020 UN biodiversity targets and the Paris Climate Agreement.” Recently, the ninth largest Douglas-fir in Canada was cut down in the Nahmint Valley near Port Alberni. The tree, which was 66 metres tall and three metres in diameter, was in an old-growth cut block auctioned off by the BC government. 

Temperate rainforests are rare, constituting just 2.5 per cent of the earth’s forests. British Columbia is home to one quarter of that total and BC’s inland rainforests are one of only two such areas worldwide.

“It is hard to overstate the cultural significance of these rainforests to the Indigenous peoples who have inhabited this part of the world for millennia,” said Dr. Barbara Zimmerman, Director of the International Conservation Fund Canada. “Their loss would be an enormous blow to all Canadians and all people of the world. Destruction of the last remnants of ancient old-growth forest with their magnificent trees and complex web of life is a rapidly unfolding tragedy and the vast majority of Canadians are unaware that it is even happening.”

According to recent estimates by Sierra Club BC, logging of old-growth temperate rainforest is currently destroying 10,000 hectares per year on Vancouver Island—the equivalent of two soccer fields per hour, 24 hours per day. Productive old-growth rainforests in lower elevations have been reduced to less than 10 per cent of their original extent. Plants and animals that depend on these rainforests are not just losing habitat, but also are suffering climate change impacts such as extended droughts, extreme rainfall and severe storms, threatening to push ecosystems to limits. Similar losses are occurring in the inland rainforest region where logging of old-growth rainforest has been extensive and is contributing to the demise of mountain caribou.

“BC has inspired the world with conservation solutions in Haida Gwaii and the Great Bear Rainforest. The province should take similar action to safeguard what remains of these globally outstanding ancient forests in other parts of the province,” said BC forest ecologist Andy MacKinnon. “The provincial government should follow through on its promise and take action for old-growth conservation using the same model and its multiple benefits for biodiversity, communities and the climate.”

Forests absorb atmospheric carbon through the process of photosynthesis and store it in long-lived plants and soils. In doing so, they help to cool down the planet. Cutting down forests releases most of their stored carbon as a global warming pollutant.

The experts are urging the provincial government to follow through on the promise to use the ecosystem-based management approach implemented in the Great Bear Rainforest to safeguard British Columbia’s endangered old-growth rainforest.

The signatories to the letter live and work in many countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Mongolia, Norway, the United States and Scotland.

-30-

The letter is available online at: https://geosinstitute.org/past-initiatives/forest-legacies/scientist-network/

 

BC Rainforest Scientist Letter

Over 220 international scientists called on the British Columbia government to halt the rapacious logging of temperate rainforests in the province. BC coastal and inland rainforests are globally rare and strategic to Canada’s commitments to the Paris climate change accord. Read the full letter here

bc forest logging

Old Growth BC rainforests are among the most carbon dense forests on Earth, playing a strategic role in Canada’s commitments to the historic Paris climate change accord. (Photo credit: Conservation North)

Click for the June 28, 2018 press release.

Media Coverage

You can also learn more about this and other temperate rainforests in “Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World” by Dr. Dominick DellaSala.

 

BC Rainforest Scientist Letter

Over 220 international scientists called on the British Columbia government to halt the rapacious logging of temperate rainforests in the province. BC coastal and inland rainforests are globally rare and strategic to Canada’s commitments to the Paris climate change accord. Read the full letter here.

bc forest logging

Old Growth BC rainforests are among the most carbon dense forests on Earth, playing a strategic role in Canada’s commitments to the historic Paris climate change accord. (Photo credit: Conservation North)

Click for the June 28, 2018 press release.

Additional Information

You can also learn more about this and other temperate rainforests in “Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World” by Dr. Dominick DellaSala.

 

Video recordings of two recent talks at UNBC

Watch and listen to two recent talks given by Dr. Dominick DellaSala at the University of British Columbia (UNBC) Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute. Videos are available on the UNBC website, or click below to go directly to Dominick’s talks. 

 

Temperate and Boreal Rainforests Book

temperate rainforests bookTemperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World: Ecology and Conservation

Edited by Geos Institute Chief Scientist, Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D.

News about the book’s 2012 national award, naming it “best of the best” for academic excellence.

Temperate and boreal rainforests are biogeographically unique. Compared to their tropical counterparts, they are rarer and at least as endangered. Because most temperate and boreal rainforests are marked by the intersection of marine, terrestrial, and freshwater systems, their rich ecotones are among the most productive regions on Earth. Many of them store more carbon per hectare than even tropical rainforests, contain some of the oldest and largest trees on the planet, and provide habitat for scores of rare and unique species including some with affinities dating back to the supercontinent Gondwanaland and when dinosaurs were king.

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.

-30-

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

KFSK

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

KUOW.org
Steve Scher 

05/03/2011

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…

Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World

KBOO Community Radio
Corvallis, OR
Barbara Bernstein 
December 13, 2010 

In this episode of Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with Dominick DellaSala, president and chief scientist at the Geos Institute in Ashland. He is the editor and principal writer of Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World a  book recently published by Island Press, that brings together more than 30 forest scientists from around the world to describe the ecology, conservation and threats to these lesser known rainforests.

Listen to the interview.

New Book Recognizes Climate Impact of the ‘Forgotten Forests’ in our Backyards

NOVEMBER 18, 2010
Pacific Forest Trust 

More evidence is out that temperate rainforests like those in western Oregon, Washington and Alaska store more carbon per acre than tropical rainforests, according to a new book by more than 30 leading forest scientists from around the world.  Read more…

‘Forgotten’ forests store carbon

Published: Nov. 19, 2010 on UPI.com

WASHINGTON (UPI) — While the deforestation of tropical rainforests is seen as a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, the impact of cool-weather rainforests tends to be overlooked when addressing climate change, a panel of scientists said.  Read more…

Cool rainforests store more carbon, book finds

November 18, 2010
By Juliet Eilperin
The Washington Post

Cool rainforests store more carbon per acre than tropical rainforests, according to a new book that synthesizes the work of 30 international scientists, a finding that could shift the way policymakers approach climate policy.  Read more…

U.S. temperate rainforests play starring role storing carbon and regulating earth’s climate

CONTACT:
Dominick DellaSala
President and Chief Scientist, Geos Institute
(541) 621-7223

WASHINGTON – Cool rainforests found at high latitudes store significantly more carbon than any other forests in the world, surpassing even tropical rainforests, according to research compiled by leading international ecologists.

New book about rainforests sheds light on our own backyard

Ashland forest ecologist releases new work on rainforests of the world which, surprisingly, includes Oregon

November 10, 2010
By Paul Fattig
Mail Tribune

When most people think of rainforests, chances are they envision the tropical green jungles in the Amazon Basin or the steaming forests of Borneo.  Read more…

Sign up to stay updated on our current initiatives and receive information you can use to build resilience in your community.

Sign up for our eNews

84 Fourth St. Ashland OR 97520
© Geos Institute. All rights reserved.
Site developed and hosted by Rogue Web Works.

1 Percent for the Planet