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Imagine - No more clear cutting in the Oregon Coast Range
Oregon Coast Notes - News

Driving through the verdant timberlands of Oregon's Coast Range, Matt Fehrenbacher pointed out a mountainside where every tree had been clearcut.

"That's business as usual," said Fehrenbacher, a forester with The Pacific Forest Trust, a conservation group that manages private forest both to produce lumber and to store carbon as a hedge against global warming.

Later Fehrenbacher walked through the forest he manages for the Van Eck Forest Foundation, showing off tall Douglas firs that are breaking into a new growth spurt after trees around them were cut to let in more sun, dead logs with mushrooms sprouting from them left behind on the forest floor, and hemlock seedlings planted next to stumps left from logs sold for lumber.

"There's a sweetspot where a landowner can potentially balance your timber value with your carbon values," said Fehrenbacher. "As this market emerges it's becoming more of a reality. Landowner's interest is very high right now."

The Van Eck Oregon Forest that Fehrenbacher manages is not yet getting paid for the carbon it stores, but it is positioning itself for the day when it will be, either under an emerging voluntary market for carbon credits, or if climate legislation — one of President Obama's top priorities — is enacted in the U.S. Senate.


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