NW Tribes, Already Feeling the Impact of Climate Change, Taking Action

"Pacific Northwest tribes are focusing on progressive forestry and renewable energy measures to build climate resilience."

"The Yakama Nation manages about 632,000 acres of forestland in southern Washington, but it doesn’t plan on cutting too many of those trees.

“We don’t have a tree farm — we have a forest,” said Doug Olney, tribal member and the timber resource manager at Yakama Forest Products. Just 300,000 acres are subject to timber harvest, less than half the tribe’s forestland. The rest is set aside for reforestation, wildfire resiliency, and habitat restoration. Some of those projects are conducted alongside state agencies, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Nature Conservancy through the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative. The tribe requires all logging contractors to have master loggers on site, and it brings Yakama youth into the forest to encourage and inform the next generation of forest managers. All that culminated in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative giving the Yakama Nation its 2019 President’s Award.

“We manage carbon better than anyone else,” Olney said. “We manage at a level that’s sustainable for all species. Our goal is to make it work so that it’s beneficial to future generations.”"

Maggy Lehmicke reports for Bitterroot November 8, 2019.

Source: Bitterroot, 11/13/2019