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Save the legacy trees in Capital Forest


Dear WIP,

The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is selling off trees to be logged on public land that includes mature (legacy) and old-growth trees. Three parcels with legacy trees in Capitol Forest may be auctioned in the next eight months. For many reasons, the sale of the Juneau, Carrot and Evergreen Gold parcels must not go forward. .

On DNR lands there should be no logging of trees of 80-plus years because we are in a global warming crisis.

According to a United States Geological Survey fact sheet, “Old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest store more carbon per unit area than any other biome, anywhere on Earth.”

Legacy trees sequester and store carbon from the atmosphere for long periods of time. When a tree is cut, most of its carbon is released through waste during harvest and manufacturing. Newly planted trees will take decades before they store as much as these older trees.

Legacy trees reduce flooding and erosion risk by holding water in the soil from heavy rains. They promote biodiversity and provide habitat for wildlife.

Older trees are better able to withstand and recover from fires because they have thicker bark. Some species have lower branch self-pruning, which limits fire crown spread.

We need the legacy trees in our Capital Forest parcels to remain in place.

Heather Yancey Pens

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