Press Releases

Call To Keep Intact Forests Free Of Roads


Kriton Arsenis, Member of the European Parliament, RoadFree Initiative, +32 22833537, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

William Laurance, Distinguished Research Professor and Australian Laureate at James Cook University in Australia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Dominick DellaSala, President and Chief Scientist, Geos Institute, United States, +541-482-4459 ext. 302, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Sean Foley, Fellow & Chairman of the Board, The Samdhana Institute, Indonesia, +62 811 199-7560, +856 20 5872-0379, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Barbara Zimmerman, Director, Kayapo Project, International Conservation Fund of Canada, +1 416 487 0879, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BRUSSELS – On the eve of the 2nd International Day of Forests on Friday, March 21st, scientists join MEP Kriton Arsenis in calling for an urgent response to the threats from road development to the world’s last intact primary forests.

Less than a third of Earth’s forests remain undisturbed by human activities. Road building, often driven by industrial activities, is one of the main causes of intact forest loss. RoadFree, an initiative by Member of the European Parliament Kriton Arsenis, was specially created to address this issue.

“95% of forest loss occurs within 50 km of a road. Scientific reports and satellite imagery have demonstrated road building is a major driver of deforestation from the Amazon to Indonesian and Congo Basin forests. Keeping our last intact forests free of roads is a cost-efficient way to protect the climate, halt biodiversity loss and keep illegal traffickers at bay”, says Kriton Arsenis. <read more>


Northwest Forest Plan provides co-benefits to people and wildlife in coastal rainforests

   Dominick A. DellaSala,
Ph.D. Geos Institute, 541-482-4459 x 302
   Patric Brandt, Ph.D. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Garmisch
          Partenkirchen, Germany; Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany;
          +49 4131 677 1571; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ashland, Oregon and Lüneburg, Germany – Scientists from the Pacific Northwest and Germany released new findings in the journal Biological Conservation documenting linkages between the richness of rainforest plants and wildlife and the provisioning of key ecosystem services in coastal rainforests of North America, particularly those managed under the landmark Northwest Forest Plan.

Scientists Question Wyden's O&C Logging Plan

Contacts:         Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D. (541-482-4459 x 302; 541-621-7223)
                         Robert Hughes, Ph.D. (208-354-2632)

Two preeminent scientific societies believe plan increases extinction risks for salmon, other threatened wildlife

Washington, DC —Two international scientific organizations, the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) and the American Fisheries Society (AFS), are questioning the assumptions behind Senator Ron Wyden’s plan to double logging levels on publicly owned Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Western Oregon. In testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the organizations raised serious concerns that the Oregon and California Lands Act of 2013 (S. 1784) abandons science-based management of public lands.

Statement of the Geos Institute on O&C lands

Contact: Dominick DellaSala, Geos Institute, 541/482-4459 x302

Oregon's O&C BLM lands provide drinking water for over 1.5 million people, contain the region's last mature and old-growth forests, and provide habitat for endangered wildlife and salmon. These BLM lands are managed under the guidelines of the Northwest Forest Plan, a global model of ecosystem management and conservation on 25 million acres of public lands from northern California to Washington.

Geos Institute stands ready to work with Senator Wyden to find a common sense solution to O&C lands that provides timber and jobs from appropriate thinning of small trees for fuels reduction and restoration purposes in tree plantations. We urge Senator Wyden not to unravel the Northwest Forest Plan to increase clearcut logging for timber volume because hundreds of scientists have supported the plan's protection of salmon, drinking water, and mature forests.

250 Scientists Concerned about Proposed Post-fire Logging Legislation

MEDIA ADVISORY - October 31, 2013

Contact: Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist, Geos Institute  541/482-4459 x305 or 541/621-7223

In an open letter to the U.S. Congress, 250 scientists request that Congress show restraint in speeding up logging in the wake of this year’s wildfires, most notably the Rim fire in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park.

The scientists raised concerns that currently proposed legislation (HR1526, which passed in the House in September, and HR3188, now before the House) would seriously undermine the ecological integrity of forest ecosystems, setting back their ability to regenerate after wildfires.

The letter also pointed to the numerous ecosystem benefits from wildfires and how post-fire landscapes are as rich in plants and wildlife as old-growth ecosystems.

Click here to see the full text of the scientists' letter to Congress.

Click here for a Nov. 2, 2013 Associated Press article about the scientists' letter.

New Study Shows Saving Tongass Old Growth Can Happen in Just Five Years

For Immediate Release - October 28, 2013

Dominick A. DellaSala, Geos Institute – (541) 482-4459 x 302, (541)-621-7223 (cell)
Catherine Mater, Mater Ltd. – (541) 753-7335

Ashland, OR - A new report prepared by Oregon-based Mater Ltd., using updated Forest Service timber acreage and age class distribution data, shows that the agency could complete transition to supplying a second growth logging economy in Southeast Alaska within 5 years.

In May 2010, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a framework to transition away from old growth logging on the Tongass National Forest, something the Forest Service said it believed could be done “quickly.” Early this month, Forest Service officials announced their “focus on identifying the timber base suitable to support a transition to young-growth management, in a way that supports the continued viability of the forest industry in Southeast Alaska.

The Mater report shows such a transition could take place in as little as 5 years, shifting exclusively to previously logged stands of second growth, in the current land base already designated for logging and close to existing roads. Along with logging and manufacturing infrastructure adapted to work with small diameter logs, the transition would require changes to rules about how soon second growth stands can be cut. The report also recommends an aggressive regime to research and identify new value-added lumber grades and products to meet existing market demand.

First Global Assessment of Roadless Areas Presented at International Congress

Contact: Dominick DellaSala, Geos Institute, 541/482-4459 x302

Last July in Baltimore, representatives of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) participated in a Roadless Area Symposium at the biennial International Congress for Conservation Biology 2013. Scientists described their research about global and regional perspectives on conserving roadless areas and shared preliminary results from the first global assessment of roadless areas.

Defazio Logging Trust Proposal - More Harm than Good

CONTACT: Randi Spivak, Vice President of Government Affairs, Geos Institute (310) 779-4894

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three proposals to address payments to counties were considered today at a hearing of the Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee, including H.R. ____, “Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act” (Hastings); and H.R. ____, “O&C Trust, Conservation, and Jobs Act” (DeFazio, Walden, Schrader); and H.R. 1294, “Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act of 2013” (Labrador).

All three would effectively privatize federal public forestlands by creating legally binding fiduciary trusts for the sole purpose of providing revenues to counties, resulting in industrialized clearcuts across the landscape. The DeFazio-Walden-Schrader proposal would effectively privatize 1.5 million acres of public forests Western Oregon.

Study: Bark beetle outbreak not the culprit in recent rash of western fires

Scott Black, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation; (503) 449-3792, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dominik Kulakowski, Clark University; (508) 793-7383, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
Barry Noon, Colorado State University; (970) 491-7905, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dominick DellaSala, Chief Scientist and President of Geos Institute (541) 621-7223

PORTLAND, Ore.---A new paper published today in the Natural Areas Journal (click here for the full text) indicates that bark beetle outbreaks that have turned millions of acres of forests in the Inter-mountain West a noticeable red coloration (from tree death) do not substantially increase the risk of active crown fire in lodgepole pine and spruce forests as commonly assumed. Instead, “Do Bark Beetle Outbreaks Increase Wildfire Risks in the Central U.S. Rocky Mountains? Implications from Recent Research” documents evidence that active crown fires in these forest types are primarily triggered by dry conditions exacerbated by climate change.

9.6 Million Acres Protected as Critical Habitat for Northern Spotted Owls

Contacts:     Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495
                    Joseph Vaile, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, (541) 488-5789
                    Dominick A. DellaSala, Geos Institute, (541) 621-7223

Decision Reverses Controversial Bush Administration Cuts to Habitat 

WASHINGTON — Conservation groups today hailed protection of 9.6 million acres of critical habitat for the threatened northern spotted owl across federal lands in Washington, Oregon and Northern California, but were deeply disappointed by the exclusion of all private and most state lands, resulting in a 4.2 million cut from the proposed designation. The owl has continued to decline since being protected under the Endangered Species Act in 1990, in part because of continued loss of habitat on private and state lands.

Climate change increases stress, need for restoration on grazed public lands

Contact: Robert Beschta: 541-737-4292 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Eight researchers in a new report have suggested that climate change is causing additional stress to many western rangelands, and as a result land managers should consider a significant reduction, or in some places elimination of livestock and other large animals from public lands.

Conservationists Call for More Logging under NW Forest Plan

New study finds non-controversial timber volume

Jim Furnish: (240) 271-1650
Marc Barnes: (541) 609-0322
Andy Kerr: (503) 701-6298

Portland, Oregon—A new report by conservation organizations finds that logging volume on federal lands in the Pacific Northwest can increase substantially over the next two decades without controversy if carried out with specific ecological criteria.

The report, titled Ecologically Appropriate Restoration Thinning in the Northwest Forest Plan Area, finds that annual federal timber volume could increase 44% over what has been produced on average in the last 15 years while maintaining the clean water and wildlife protections of the Northwest Forest Plan. Under a program of science-based and ecologically appropriate thinning of mostly small diameter trees in degraded forests, BLM and U.S. Forest Service lands could produce 774 million board feet (mmbf) annually, compared to an average of 537 mmbf than has been produced since the Northwest Forest Plan was put into place (1995-2010).

NW Forest Plan Scientists Letter


                                                                                            click here to see the scientists' letter


   Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D., Geos Institute, Chief Scientist (541-621-7223)

   Jim Karr, Ph.D., University of Washington, Professor Emeritus (360-681-3163)

Ashland, OR
– Today 229 scientists called on the Forest Service to uphold the protections afforded hundreds of species, clean water, and salmon, which were established under the landmark Northwest Forest Plan in 1994. While still in formal environmental review, the Forest Service is proposing a plan revision on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in Washington that includes undoing protective reserves and weakening the Aquatic Conservation Strategy of the plan. Citing “new science” and climate change concerns, the agency proposes moving to “whole-landscape level management,” where protective reserves are eliminated and mandatory stream protections become discretionary1. This is the first forest plan revision to pose such radical shifts in the protective elements of the Northwest Forest Plan.