My name is Jessica Ludwig and I am a volunteer with Cascadia Wildlands, a biology student at the University of Oregon, an avid hiker and outdoorsman, and a forest defense organizer with Climate Justice League. I am also an employee of Nature’s Harvest, a small-scale family forestry business in the Midwest. While I’m not from Oregon, I come from a logging town in northern Wisconsin. My family shows photos of old White Pine that used to grow abundantly throughout the forests surrounding my community. Unfortunately they were mostly logged a few generations before I was born. I see those pictures and I feel at a loss knowing I will never grow up underneath those ancient trees. When I moved out to Oregon I was under the impression that this state was different; that the old growth Douglas Firs were loved by all and were protected. It seems everywhere I look I can’t escape the reality that the old growth and mature forests are disappearing.
The 42 Divide Stand Management Plan located within the South River Field Office, Roseburg Bureau of Land Management District was one of the first forests I visited when I moved here two years ago. I had the opportunity to visit many of the units and developed a connection to the land that’s unique to any I’ve had before. It’s where I found my first chanterelle mushrooms, where I camped out with my newly formed college friends, where I found my passion for field work and love of the Pacific Northwest. Less and less of the forests here are untouched by man. I can’t help but to think of future generations and if the tree I put my arms around will still be standing and growing when I am old. These forests are resilient to many environmental threats like wildfires and they have survived lifetimes before us- let us not be the ones to end their hundreds year old reign. The future depends on the actions we do right now, and the Bureau of Land Management must see that the carbon sequestration of Oregon’s forests is essential to the survival of humanity…
Visit www.cascwild.org for more information about timber sales like 42 Divide, and find opportunities to help protect our old growth and mature forests.
In early May, two northern spotted owls that had been released into a British Columbia forest last year were found dead, potentially reducing the known wild population in the province to a single female. In other words, noethern spotted owls are functionally extinct in the wild in BC.