Department of Natural Resources Lockdown
On Tuesday, June 27, five forest protectors locked themselves together inside the rotunda of the WA State Department of Natural Resources to protest the clearcut logging of public legacy forests. They remained there until they were able to speak with DNR’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer Lenny Young and members of the press.
Lorax Coalition members were willing to risk arrest because the DNR, and its governing body, the Board of Natural Resources (BNR), and Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz are ignoring the public who overwhelmingly oppose sale of older legacy forests across Washington.
zephyr elise, founding member of the Lorax Coalition, says, “We have followed all legal recourse and administrative procedures for our concerns to be heard. However, there comes a point when a community must act courageously and non-violently to protect and defend itself on the ground and in the forest when all other channels have failed us.”
The Lorax Coalition thanks the Department of Natural Resources for their fine hospitality, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
We are the Lorax Coalition.
We envision a future in which: * Our great-great-great grandchildren enjoy the same natural abundance that our great-great-great grandparents experienced. * Biodiversity thrives, and the salmon runs are restored. * Forests once again grow to be 1,000+ years old. * Our soils and ecosystems are healthy enough to withstand the coming climate crisis. * Our values and actions are focused on what really matters: connection, clean air and water, healthy food and medicines, safe shelter, and the continuation of life. * We have transitioned to a circular economy. No one takes more than they need, and the only “waste products” become nutrients for something else to grow. * Everyone’s needs are met. All people have the opportunity for meaningful, non-exploitative, and safe work. All forms of life thrive in balance with one another.
We need our forests.
Healthy forests have healthy soil carbon sponges, which means that they can absorb more water in the soil. This extra water reduces wildfires, floods, droughts, and landslides, putting us in a better position to withstand the coming climate crisis. Furthermore, healthy forests stabilize local temperatures, cool landscapes, and sequester carbon, mitigating climate change. Older forests, larger trees, and their interconnected living root systems sequester more carbon than younger trees and newer forests.
Everything we need for life depends on our forests: Wildlife depend on biodiverse forests for their homes. Salmon runs depend on intact forested riparian zones. Our water depends on the health of our forests, which provide the biotic pump needed to jumpstart the water cycle. Even human health and happiness depend on biodiverse, intact forests.
Current forestry and land management practices are a threat to all life.
For too many generations, our shared forests have been cyclically clearcut, covered with biocides, replanted in monoculture plantations, and never allowed to regrow back into the healthy, aged, biodiverse abundance that traditionally supported all life.
In this current time period, this cycle of destruction in the name of profits is speeding up even as salmon runs are failing, wildfire seasons are lengthening, and extreme weather events are increasing due to the extractive economy-driven climate crisis.
The Lorax Coalition
- All life is sacred and interdependent.
- We need our elders (trees and people).
- We need intact families (ecosystems and people).
- We value the ending of all oppressions.
- Everyone has a place in the circle.
- End clearcutting.
- Allow second growth forests to mature into old growth forests.
- Manage public lands for healthy ecosystems and carbon sequestration (not for timber sales and profit).
Any individual or group who shares our values and goals may initiate an action on behalf of the Lorax Coalition as long as that action aligns with these principles: 1. Our actions focus on regeneration (not destruction). 2. We move at the pace of relationships. 3. We prioritize safety. (No drugs, alcohol, or weapons at actions. We meet or exceed all public health mandates.) 4. We are all in this together. (There is no “us vs. them.”)
Current Examples of Successful Ecoforestry
- We Speak for the Forests
- Intelligent Trees
- Teachings of the Tree People
- Zach Weiss: Healing Communities and Ecosystems with Water Restoration
- Kiss the Ground
- WA Climate Assembly Learning Session 3: Environment and Climate Mitigation
- Pacific Northwest Forest Climate Alliance
- Center for Responsible Forestry
- Legacy Forest Defense Coalition
- Universal Wildlands
- Forestry FAQ
- Northwest Native Trees (Tend, Gather & Grow Curriculum – Goodgrub.org)
- Evergreen Conifer Trees (Tend, Gather & Grow Curriculum)
- Can You Hear the Trees Talking? by Peter Wohlleben
- Biodiversity: How Our Health and Happiness Depend on a Thriving Planet
- Clearing Forests May Transform Local—and Global—Climate
- How Rainforests Attract Rain
- Big Old Trees Grow Faster, Making Them Vital Carbon Absorbers
- Rate of Tree Carbon Accumulation Increases Continuously with Tree size
- Salmon Need Healthy Places to Live
- Why Communities Should Invest in Regenerative Agriculture and the Soil Sponge
- Land Use Mitigation Strategies to Mitigate Climate Change in Carbon Dense Temperate Forests
- Intact Forests in the United States: Proforestation Mitigates Climate Change and Serves the Greatest Good
- Amid Climate Crisis, A Proposal to Save Washington State Forests for Carbon Storage, Not Logging