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Protect the best, Restore the rest: Managing forests for a climate-changed future

November 16, 2023 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

When: Thursday, November 16th at 4:30pm
Where: Western Washington University, Academic Instructional West building Room 204. Map here.
Zoom link available via the Alumni Association at if you cannot attend in person.
Speaker: Alexander Harris, RE Sources Land & Water Policy Manager

Ecological forest management is gaining traction across the Pacific Northwest as a way to produce wood products while fostering biodiversity, forest health, and climate resilience. Ecological foresters manage forests as dynamic ecosystems—not tree farms—to produce a wide variety of benefits in addition to wood products, such as functional wildlife habitat, watershed health, recreational opportunities, and carbon storage. Ecological forestry entails mimicking natural disturbances like wildfire and wind throw to create structurally-complex and biodiverse forest ecosystems.

This can be accomplished through the application of various thinning regimes, extended harvest rotations, small gap cuts, and robust riparian reserves. Another major tenet of ecological forestry is to permanently protect the mature and old-growth forests that still remain.

Ecological forestry is now being wielded as a tool to enhance the resilience of forests, watersheds, and nearby communities to the impacts of climate change. Scientific research has found that structurally-complex forests are more resistant to wildfire when compared to homogenous tree plantations. Recent research has also found that improved forest management practices can augment low summer streamflows—providing more water in our streams and rivers when farmers and fish need it most.

Come learn about the promises (and challenges) of ecological forestry, and get updates on innovative pilot projects currently underway in western Washington.

More info on WWU’s website.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 – AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via Zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link at Paid parking is available in lot C


November 16, 2023
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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Academic Instructional Center West — WWU campus
259-333 21st St
Bellingham, WA 98225 United States
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