Should the U.S. keep old trees around to store carbon or cut them down? It’s a heated debate

By Rick Brewer
Harvest Public Media
December 18, 2023
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

In fiscal year 2023, national forests in Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana and Illinois sold a combined $32 million worth of convertible wood products. While how many trees should be harvested on national forests has been a long debate — now the discussion centers around climate change. Several estimates show that forests capture roughly 13% of the nation’s carbon emissions each year. Yet conservationists and Forest Service officials don’t always see eye-to-eye on a path forward to maximize forest health as a natural way of snatching up carbon. …The report concludes that climate-induced stress will lead older trees to release more carbon dioxide than younger ones over the next five decades. …Carolyn Ramirez, at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Chicago, said the report’s carbon outlook could lead to more logging, she said, which in turn will hurt forests’ ability to capture more carbon and harm climate security.

Read More