Old Growth Forests

Independent study finds old-growth forests worth more standing than harvested on Vancouver Island


  • The environmental group (Ancient Forest Alliance) commissioned the two-and-a-half-year study by Vancouver-based environmental consultants ESSA Technologies. Using old-growth forests located in the Pacheedaht and Ditidaht territories near Port Renfrew, the researchers compared the economic benefits of recreation, tourism, carbon storage and coho salmon habitat to harvesting the timber from ancient forests.
  • “If all old-growth forests in the study area were protected, society would be better off by $40 million compared to business as usual old-growth logging,” said Inness. “Tourism alone would make up for any lost jobs by not timber harvesting and would cover almost 66 per cent of lost provincial GDP by not harvesting.”
  • “Inness says that under the same scenario, carbon emissions would be reduced by approximately 570,000 tonnes by preserving the ancient forests in the study area.” 

Large Trees Dominate Carbon Storage in Forests East of the Cascade Crest in the United States Pacific Northwest

  • “In the temperate forests of the western United States, proposed changes to Forest Plans would significantly weaken protections for a large portion of trees greater than 53 cm (21 inches) in diameter (herein referred to as “large-diameter trees”) across 11.5 million acres (∼4.7 million ha) of National Forest lands.”
  • “This study is among the first to report how carbon storage in large trees and forest ecosystems would be affected by a proposed policy.”
  • “A recently proposed large-scale vegetation management project that involved widespread harvest of large trees, mostly grand fir, would have removed ~44% of the AGC stored in these large-diameter trees, and released a large amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.”
  • “Globally, forests store about 862 Gt carbon in live and dead vegetation and soil, with 42% of it stored in live biomass (above- and belowground; Pan et al., 2011). Globally, forests removed the equivalent of about 30% of fossil fuel emissions annually from 2009 to 2018 (Friedlingstein et al., 2019), and 44% of that was by temperate forests.”

4 Global Forest Maps to See the Forest for the Trees


  • “The University of Maryland has carved out the drool-worthy Global Forest Change mapsolely using Landsat data. The key focus is forest extent and change. Forest is defined as vegetation taller than 5 meters. Forest cover loss and gain are highlighted from 2000-2012.”
  • Global Forest Watch is really the mother of all forest monitoring websites. It’s not just one map; it’s a series of forest maps. Each one has cutting-edge algorithms harnessing the power of satellite data and cloud computing.”
  • “Users can dynamically view Landsat’s forest gain/loss data in near real-time. Global Forest Watch takes it a step further showing how forests are being used such as palm oil, mining, logging, etc. It has time animations, forest fire data, and conservation areas.”

Why These Old-Growth Forests Shouldn’t Be on the Chopping Block

  • “One outstanding example of an old-growth woodland is the Białowieża Forest. Stretching 1,191 square miles across the border of Poland and Belarus, Białowieża boasts a diverse array of biomes and represents one of the last bastions of ancient woodlands in northeastern Europe. It’s also home to 900 European bison — that’s about 25 percent of the world’s total population of this rare species.”
  • “Despite the ecological and cultural value of Białowieża, only a small portion of it is protected as a national park. About 84 percent of this gorgeous ancient forest is located outside of that jurisdiction, leaving it unprotected from exploitation.”

An Old Tree Doesn’t Get Taller, But Bulks Up Like A Bodybuilder

  • “Like other animals and many living things, we humans grow when we’re young and then stop growing once we mature. But trees, it turns out, are an exception to this general rule. In fact, scientists have discovered that trees grow faster the older they get.”
  • “”Tree growth rate increases continuously as trees get bigger and bigger,” Stephenson says.”
  • “…in the world of trees, that means the oldest members of the forest are doing the most to pull carbon dioxide out of the air and to store it as carbon in their wood. Stephenson says that’s another argument for preserving old-growth forests.”

What Are Old-Growth Forests and Why Are They Important?

  • “There are an estimated 1.11 billion hectares of old-growth forest left on Earth — an area roughly the size of Europe — as reported by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). According to the IUCN, primary forests make up only 36% of the world’s surviving forests.”
  • “Nearly two-thirds of the world’s remaining old-growth forest can be found in Brazil, Canada, and Russia. Nobody knows exactly how much old-growth forest is left in the United States, partly because of the unclear lines distinguishing primary and secondary forests.”
  • “The Tongass National Forest in Alaska boasts not only the most expansive old-growth forest in the United States, but also the largest old-growth coastal temperate rainforest in the world. This 9.7-million-acre forest is home to 400 animal species, including all five species of Pacific salmon, migratory songbirds, and grizzly bears.” 
  • “Trees are some of the planet’s best carbon storage units. During photosynthesis, they take in carbon dioxide to make food and grow, releasing oxygen in the process. Most of the carbon stored on land is found in forests. In addition, old-growth forests can hold 30% to 70% more carbon than similar degraded forests, making them critical in the fight against the climate crisis.”

Pacheedaht Nation asks again for protesters to leave Fairy Creek, citing wildfire risk

  • “The request was “made in the context of the constitutional right of First Nations to decide what is best for our lands, our waters and our resources, the sustainment and well-being of present and future generations,” the statement read.”
  • “Despite a two-year deferral on all old-growth logging, accepted by logging company Teal-Jones Group and the B.C. government on June 7 at the request of the tripartite request of the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht First Nations, protesters have remained at the blockade sites saying the deferrals are not comprehensive enough.”
  • “When the three Nations asked for a deferral on old-growth logging and were granted it, Pacheedaht elder Bill Jones said in a statement through the Rainforest Flying Squad that First Nations were “locked into unfair contracts that tie their hands” and that the forest protectors “must not stand down.”