March 5th 2023
Rally To Save Our Legacy Forests!
Join us on March 5, 2023 to rally near the Aldwell timber harvest site. Invite your friends, family and neighbors! Together let's raise awareness and learn about the new vision for the Elwha River Watershed. We need YOU to take action so our old forests in the Elwha River Watershed and statewide are protected, not destroyed! It's time our state hears our voices - No More Logging of Legacy Forests!
Sunday March 5th 2023 – 12pm-2pm
@Elwha River Observation Area on Hwy 101
239555 Olympic Hwy, Port Angeles 98363
Event Contact: nsarmie2 @ gmail.com
Pre-Press Release – Post-Press Release
Peninsula Daily News Coverage – Port Townsend Leader Coverage
Aldwell is a legacy forest, naturally re-grown and not a monoculture plantation forest. It contains old growth trees, complex forest canopies & understories, and legacy forest characteristics, including snag and large wood on the forest floor.
According to the DNR’s Aldwell – Old Growth Assessment form, some trees are over 250 years old, with one measuring 280 years old!
Because the Elwha River watershed is a primary source of water for the city of Port Angeles, the Port Angeles City Council requested that this auction be put on hold, but the DNR has ignored the request.
Elwha River Watershed
Little River and the Elwha River
With the removal of the 2 dams on the Elwha River, there’s over a $320 million dollar effort to restore the Elwha watershed. This includes work to restore salmon access to the Little River. The Aldwell legacy forest is part of the watershed that feeds directly into Little River from the north side, which flows into the Elwha River.
Legacy forests play a crucial role in protecting water quality. Trees in these forests act as natural filters, removing pollutants and contaminants from the water before it reaches streams, rivers, and lakes. They also help to prevent soil erosion and sedimentation, which can clog water sources and decrease their quality. Additionally, the root systems of trees in legacy forests help to regulate water flow and reduce the risk of flooding. Cutting down this forest would impact the quality of water sources in the area.
Before and after comparison. Drag and slide the green bar to see the change. Logging has started in the Aldwell legacy forest (second image taken on 3/21/23). This will be updated as logging continues.
Recreation and Impact on Small Businesses
The Aldwell forest is in a recreation & vacation destination, with the bulk of it located between Highway 101 and Little River Road at the Elwha River. Logging it will create a scar on the landscape for a decade or more and will affect local businesses, like eco-tourism company Magic Forest Tours, which earns money giving tours of legacy forests like Aldwell.
Wildlife and Biodiversity
The Aldwell Forest provides a habitat and travel corridor for a diverse species of plants and animals adjacent to Olympic National Park. Logging it will displace or kill all of these.
- Black-tailed deer
- Black bear
- Cougar / Mountain Lion
- Mountain Beaver
- Barred owl
- Bald Eagle
- Pacific giant salamander
- Pacific tree frog
- Pacific chorus frog
- Douglas fir
- Western red cedar
- Western hemlock
- Pacific silver fir
- Bigleaf maple
- Red alder
- Vine maple
- Devil’s club
- Sword fern
- Fiddlehead fern
- Rattlesnake-plantain orchid
- Western Fairy Slipper orchid
- Columbia Lily
- Ghost Pipe
- Many species of epiphytes
- Many species of mushrooms and fungus
What can we do?
1. Contact DNR
Make a public comment at the Next Board of Natural Resources Meeting – details here.
and call/email the Commissioner of Public Lands:
Phone: (360) 902-1000
2. Visit the Center for Responsible Forestry’s (CFR) website
- Sign a Petition to protect all Legacy Forests
- Visit the CFR’s page on Aldwell and see more images
- Sign up for the CFR’s newsletter and action alerts (bottom of page).
3. Spread the Word
- Host a presentation in the community
- Tell 5 friends/neighbors about the Aldwell timber sale & pass on the actions info
4. Support the following Washington State Legislation
5. Contact your Representatives
Use the sample language:
l oppose the State logging in the Elwha River watershed, in particular, the “Aldwell” timber sale. It is a structurally complex forest with large diameter trees adjacent to the Little River and Elwha River, which are hoped to be a recovery area for salmon. These older forests store and remove carbon from the atmosphere and play a key role in fighting the climate crisis when they are intact. I have serious concerns about how logging will impact Port Angeles residents’ drinking water, salmon habitat restoration efforts, and endangered species. The “Aldwell” timber sale should be included in the DNR Carbon program or otherwise protected. Please halt the “Aldwell” timber sale while we work to find solutions.
Email the Port Angeles City Council:
Email the 3 Clallam County Commissioners and ask them to support the City of Port Angeles’ request to DNR regarding pausing the Aldwell Timber sale and express your concerns about logging old-growth and legacy forests in the Elwha River Watershed. Ask for a response!
- Senator Kevin Van De Wege email@example.com
- Representative Steve Tharinger firstname.lastname@example.org
- Representative Mike Chapman email@example.com
- Senator Maria Cantwell 206-220-6400 or message via website
- Senator Patty Murray 206-553-5545 or message via website
- WA State Teacher/Student/Parent Petition to protect Legacy Forests
- Pacific Northwest Forest Climate Alliance – Call to Action
- Olympic Climate Action
- Carbon Myths Presentation
- 2022 Presidential Executive Order on preserving mature and old growth forests – Climate Forests Summary
- Climate Forests – Older Forests Factsheet
All images are ©Forest2Sea. Please contact us if you’d like to use any of these images to help save our legacy forests!
Thank you for this Scott!!! What beautiful, if some heart-breaking photos!! Makes the situation so clear and important! Thank you for the wealth of information you added to it…really a gorgeous and infinitely valuable resource!! Thank you for your time toward Our Community. Blessings! Mary
Thank You for your efforts to save this natural resource. I have written a letter to all the political offices you provided.
Thank you so much Stanley, we appreciate you taking the time to take action!