Biden administration moves to protect old-growth forests as climate change brings fires, pests (Seattle PI)

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    Biden administration moves to protect old-growth forests as climate change brings fires, pests – By Matthew Brown (Associated Pres) / Dec 19, 2023

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration moved on Tuesday to conserve groves of old-growth trees on national forests across the U.S. and limit logging as climate change amplifies the threats they face from wildfires, insects and disease.

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the agency was adopting an “ecologically-driven” approach to older forests — an arena where timber industry interests have historically predominated. That will include the first nationwide amendment to U.S. Forest Service management plans in the agency’s 118-year history, he said.

    The proposal follows longstanding calls from environmentalists to preserve older forests that offer crucial wildlife habitat and other environmental benefits. Timber companies have fought against logging restrictions on government-owned lands.

    President Joseph Biden’s administration appears to be aiming for a middle ground: It would sharply limit commercial timber harvests in old-growth forests while allowing logging to continue in “mature forests” that have not yet reached old-growth stage.

    CONTINUE > https://www.seattlepi.com/business/article/us-moves-to-protect-old-growth-forests-as-climate-18562813.php

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