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Activism

Conservationists to Buy Old Growth Forests in Washington

If all goes as planned, conservation groups such as the Sierra Club will be buying 3,000 acres of land that was previously set for a clearcut. The parcels, located in Washington’s Skykomish Valley, include ecologically sensitive old growth forests and provide the scenic view that the neighboring areas are known for having.

Charlies Raines of the Sierra Club, who is spearheading the project, insists that the trees in these parcels are “not even high-value” for logging companies. On top of being valuable for the environment, they might bring in more money as trees than they would as lumber and paper.

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At least eight prominent conservation groups have signed on to preserve the land, which is owned by international giant Brookfield Asset Management and managed by Longview Timber. After becoming aware of a nearby clearcut in 2008, the Sierra Club wrote a letter to Longview Timber urging that they hold off on future clear cuts until a preservation deal can be made. Surprisingly enough, Longview quickly agreed.

Longview say that it has no 2009 plans for the parcels, so it is more than willing to work out a deal with the coalition. The conservation coalition is confidant that it can raise the needed funds to pay market value for the land parcels if given the appropriate time. Last year, 1.2 million dollars were raised for a similar purpose.

The plans to preserve the forest are being supported financially mostly by locals, who want to see their area remain pristine. While the residents of the humble towns might not take the same approach as the energized youth have, it is important to note the growing support for our environment by people of all ages and backgrounds.

Photo Credit: Clover 1 on Flickr under Creative Commons license.




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