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Measuring the big old trees on federal land, and how much carbon they hold

old growth

The clock is ticking on President Biden's executive order on old-growth forests: last April, he gave the Interior Department a year to complete an inventory of old-growth forests on federal land.

A couple of conservation groups got out ahead of the federal government. Woodwell Climate Research Center teamed up with Wild Heritage and the Natural Resources Defense Council for their own inventory, recently published in a science journal.

It measures the age(s) at which trees can be consider mature--it differs for species and location--and measures the carbon captured and sequestered by trees. We unpack the major findings in a visit with lead author Richard Birdsey from Woodwell, and Dominick DellaSala from Talent, the chief scientist at Wild Heritage.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.