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2023 Talberth Report

The forests of the Clearwater, like the vast cedar and fir forests of the Mallard-Larkins above, contain millions of metric tons of carbon. Logging remains the greatest emitter of forest carbon on national forests. Haverstick photo.

Climate Impacts of the Nez Perce – Clearwater Revised Land and Resource Management Plan

A preliminary analysis of impacts from logging, road building and grazing activities.

By John Talberth, Ph.D. Senior Economist
Center for Sustainable Economy 1322 Washington Street Box 705 Port Townsend, WA 98368 (360) 344-2080
www.sustainable-economy .org

Generous funding for this work was provided by the Charlotte Martin Foundation

Key findings:

  • The policy and regulatory framework governing revision of national forest land and resource management plans requires careful consideration of how proposed management activities will amplify or mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • The draft revised land and resource management plan (LRMP) and environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Nez Perce – Clearwater National Forest fails to disclose or mitigate the climate impacts associated with logging, road building, grazing and other land-disturbing activities even though the methods and sources of information to do so are readily available.
  • To demonstrate, this report provides preliminary estimates of GHG emissions associated with logging, road building, and grazing activities and reviews the many ways these management activities could make the land more vulnerable to climate change.
  • Across the five alternatives considered in the DEIS, GHG emissions from these activities are likely to range between 335,000 and 1,200,000 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent per year. At the high end of this range, this is equivalent to putting 250,000 new passenger vehicles on the road.
  • Logging, road construction and grazing activities are also likely to amplify the effects of climate change by making the land more susceptible to heat waves, droughts, water shortages, wildfires, wind damage, landslides, floods, warming waters, harmful algae blooms, insects, disease, exotic species, and biodiversity loss.
  • To comply with recent National Environmental Policy Act guidance and other climate policy directives, the LRMP and DEIS should be supplemented to incorporate this information and minimize climate impacts.

Full Report

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