As a student at the University of Oregon, I am outraged by the proposed Thurston Hills “Pedal Power” Timber Sale. Not only will the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed clear-cut of 100 acres of middle-aged forest undo the hard work invested in, as well as beauty of, the newly developed Thurston Hills Natural Area; it will put the lives of local residents at increased risk of fire and flooding.
Undoing more than $100,000 in tax revenue, as well as the hard work invested to create an enjoyable recreation area, the Pedal Power sale will deprive outdoor enthusiasts of the Springfield area of the scenic beauty
of Thurston Hills. Should this hasty BLM plan take effect, hikers and bikers looking forward to experiencing the beauty of the recently developed natural area will be subject to traversing through clear-cuts.
This, likely resulting in fewer visitors coming to Thurston Hills, will mean fewer locals engaging with their environment as well as with one another.
It is highly irresponsible of the BLM to impose such a plan upon the threatened area’s middle-aged forest — a more ideal age for optimal carbon storage. At a time when climate change is the world’s largest threat, it is more necessary than ever to keep intact the structures in which vast amounts of carbon can be stored.
If taken away, the carbon storage capacity of the trees near Thurston Hills will be reduced, making the area less of a contributor in rectifying climate change.