Re: "We need to address the demand AND the supply." / [Biochar] [usbiochar] New Research Article on Forest C Sequestration vs. Bioenergy #bioenergy #sequestration

Kelpie Wilson

Thanks Frank for sharing your story. The history of human relationship to forests is long and complex. Generally the forests lose, and in the end, we will lose as well. I think Tasmania has lost even more of its forest than Oregon. I remember sitting in jail in a small timber town on the Oregon coast back in 1987, and reading a National Geographic article about the massive citizen protests against the Franklin Dam in Tasmania that would destroy a huge amount of primary forest. We were in jail because we had chained ourselves to a yarder on an old growth logging site in the Siskiyou National Forest where the liquidation of primary forest was accelerating. We were eventually successful: after another 15 years of direct action protests, lawsuits and lobbying, we stopped the logging of old growth and roadless area forests on public lands. However, the private industrial forest lands are still being clearcut and subjected to short rotation forestry, with terrible consequences for soils and streams. Many of my colleagues in forest protection have moved on, like me, to advocate for ecological forestry on the managed lands. There are many benefits to be had, including timber, clean water, biochar and some biomass energy. There are still some environmentalists who are so distrustful that they don't want any logging. That is not realistic. There are still some in the timber industry who want to expand industrial forestry across the landscape and think that you can raise trees like a corn crop. That is not realistic either. Heck, you can't even raise corn like a conventional crop without damage to soil and water!  We need to change the way we do things or we are toast. The UN has warned that soils around the world are heading for exhaustion and depletion, with an estimated 60 harvests left before they are too barren to feed the planet. The Amazon rainforest is at risk of turning from carbon sink to a carbon source within 15 years. We cannot let that happen, so protecting forests is still the highest priority, in my view. Jeff Waldon has pointed out that there are opportunities in the US Southeast to convert degraded pasture land to pine plantations. Great idea. Those are the opportunities we need to look for. And the first, highest and best use of biochar IMHO, is to use it in tree planting to give those new forests a kickstart.

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