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Sustainable Forestry and State Forests

Sustainable forests provide not only a steady flow of valuable timber, but they  also provide a wide range of other goods that are greatly valued by our society — such as fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, and drinking water.  And we now know that forests have a vital role to play in sequestering carbon.
Moreover, what we do in our forests affects people and resources downstream.  For example, past forest management has contributed to lowland flooding and excessive sediment in estuaries.  Careful forest management can help ensure healthy runs of salmon.

Because forests are part of interconnected ecosystems, we support a  balanced and long-range approach in which commodity production is a key value — but it is set among and consistent with the production of many other values.

We accept clear-cutting as an efficient method to produce the lumber that our society demands, but we believe that it should not be the eventual treatment for most of the state forests.  Some areas should be managed with a stronger conservation emphasis to ensure a balanced and diverse flow of goods and services for today and for the future.

The current forest management plan includes almost no areas with a permanent conservation designation, except for the inner 25 feet around some streams.  But the plan does designate 50% of the forest to grow into larger and older trees.  These areas that are designated for “complex” forest are a good start, but the Wild Salmon Center supports the long-term designation of some watersheds as Salmon Anchor Habitats, where salmon conservation takes the highest priority.