As I drove from the urban jungle of Seattle to the crest of the Washington Cascade Mountains to start the new year, I was both reminded of how far we have come in conserving our natural resources and shaken at the thought of how much remains to be done before we effectively preserve a reasonable portion of them. As I drove higher in elevation, I entered state and national forest lands, green and then white as rain turned to snow. The high‐elevation forest is worked lightly now thanks in part to the Northern Spotted Owl. Forests are maturing, and logging of surrounding private lands keeps a mix of forest ages on the landscape. Most species that live in and comprise these forests are viable; the long‐term prognosis is that a diversity of forest ages will be maintained by owners and managers. This is the good news. The bad news comes as I begin my return trip, battling traffic through one the “best” examples of urban sprawl in the United States. In western Washington, as elsewhere, much of our most productive lowland forests have been converted to suburbs. Globally, about 6% of Earth is covered by impervious, anthropogenic surface,
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 2002
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