Logging is Not the Only Threat to Northwest Forests

River and trees along Highway 2 Photo by: Bryn Fluharty
With Thanksgiving now merely hours away I stop to think about what I am thankful for. One of the things that I am more thankful for in the Pacific Northwest is the ability to get out and enjoy our pristine and beautiful forests here in the Pacific Northwest.

I grew up in Seattle and have always appreciated the ability to explore and discover the old growth forests within an easy drive of the city. Some of our forests have been here for hundreds of years and are part of our region’s history and culture. From environmentalist to loggers and the wildlife dependent upon the forests for food and shelter; everyone here in the Pacific Northwest has a connection to these trees. As climate change continues to alter our climate these icons of the Pacific Northwest are in danger.

Recently the Seattle Times reported on the invasion of the Bark Beetle which is tearing through the forests of Eastern Washington, threatening to kill off thousands of trees. The report documents the scramble of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) attempts to curtail this invasion by targeted logging of trees.

While there is hope that their efforts will help to minimize the effects of this outbreak the continuing impacts of Climate Change mean that these issues will only increase. As our climate warms fewer and fewer insects will die during the winter chill. We are already seeing an increase in damage to our forests by insects and diseases. There are many different  reasons for the increasing infestations of insects such as the bark beetle and Climate Change is one of these drivers.

Our forests are a precious resource and are a vital part of our culture, economy and wildlife habitat. As Climate Change continues to impact these forests we run the risk of losing these natural beauties.

Thankfully there are things that we can all do to help protect our forests and fight Climate Change! Learning about the impacts of Climate Change such as the Bark Beetle is a step you can take towards helping us protect our forests and wild areas for the future. You can also discover more about Climate Change/Global Warming and what you can do to help through the National Wildlife Federation!

Don’t forget to ‘like’ the National Wildlife Federation Pacific Regional Center on Facebook to discover more about what is going on in the Pacific Northwest!