Protect large trees for climate mitigation, biodiversity, and forest resilience

Society for Conservation Biology – Protecting the climate system requires urgently reducing carbon emissions to the atmosphere and increasing cumulative carbon stocks in natural systems. Recent studies confirm that large trees accumulate and store a disproportionate share of aboveground forest carbon.

In the temperate forests of the western United States, a century of intensive logging drastically reduced large-trees and older forest, but some large trees remain. However, recent changes to large tree management policy on National Forest lands east of the Cascade Mountains crest in Oregon and southeastern Washington allows increased harvesting of large-diameter trees (≥21 inches) that account for just 3% of all stems, but hold 42% of total aboveground carbon.

Read the study at Society for Conservation Biology