Old-growth logging on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management needs to be halted to reduce the agencies' carbon footprint, said DellaSala, president-elect of the Society for Conservation Biology's North America section.
…Congress also needs to provide new direction for both the BLM and Forest Service to minimize greenhouse gas emissions while optimizing carbon capture and storage on federal lands, he said.
"The more we stress our natural systems the less capable they will be of adapting to rapid climate change," he said, noting that examples of stress include logging and road-building.
"Federal agencies need to build resistance and resilience to climate change by protecting old forests, roadless areas and flood plains," he told the subcommittee. "These systems hold the life-giving natural resources we will increasingly need to adapt to the climate change impacts."
Williams, former supervisor of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, agreed that making changes to reduce emissions ultimately will have a positive economic impact.
"Our national forests and public lands, that's what our country was built on," he said in a telephone interview, referring to timber and water resources. "We need to protect the natural capital of our country."