Grim reading

  A consortium of six scientific groups reports that the Eastside forests of Washington and Oregon are in perilous ecological shape. According to the scientists, who did their work at the request of seven U.S. representatives, the forests are almost completely fragmented or debased, and streams are in such bad shape that "large numbers of fish and amphibia taxa now face extinction in watersheds throughout the Eastside." There are a host of villains: road building, logging, fire suppression and grazing. The situation is so serious that the scientists have made draconian interim recommendations: Do not log any late successional/old-growth forests; do not cut any tree older than 150 years or with a diameter greater than 20 inches; do not log dominant or codominant ponderosa pine from any forest; and permit livestock grazing in riparian areas only under strictly defined conditions. The report was edited by James R. Karr and Ellen W. Chu at the Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Washington, Seattle. Participating groups were the American Fisheries Society, the American Ornithologists' Union, the Ecological Society of America, the Sierra Biodiversity Institute, the Society for Conservation Biology, and the Wildlife Society.

Copies of the 245-page report are available from the Wildlife Society, 5410 Grosvenor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814-2197 (301/897-9770). The cost is $15 to Wildlife Society members and $18 to others.
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