July 27, 2009

Old-growth forests rarely logged now

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Quietly, the logging of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest has all but ground to a halt, Matthew Preuschwrites for The Oregonian. Only about two-tenths of 1 percent of the old-growth at the heart of the spotted owl battles of the 1990s was actually cut between 1994 and 2003, Preusch reports. The Obama administration seems poised to, if anything, restrict such logging further. So maybe the tree-sitters actually won?

Perhaps. One unanswered question: What happened during the final years of the Bush administration, from 2003 to 2008? The most recent figures aren’t in yet. During that time the Bush administration made a number of concessions to the timber industry,  which took legal action to boost harvest rates.

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