Wednesday, January 19, 2022

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Groups representing young people in Montana hope to stop a slate of election laws from going into effect before a June primary; Texas falls short on steps to prevent the next winter power outage.

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Democrats get voting rights legislation to Senate floor; Sec. of State Antony Blinken heads to Ukraine; a federal appeals court passes along a challenge to Texas' abortion ban.

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New website profiles missing and murdered Native Americans; more support for young, rural Minnesotans who've traded sex for food, shelter, drugs or alcohol; more communities step up to solve "period poverty;" and find your local gardener - Jan. 29 is National Seed Swap Day.

Virginia Forests Join National "Network" to Protect Them

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017   

RICHMOND, Va. – A conservation group wants to designate an old-growth forest in every county in the United States that has forestland - and four in Virginia already are on the list.

The Old Growth Forest Network estimates only about one percent of the original forestland in the eastern U.S. is still in pristine condition, and only five percent out West.

Ernie Reed, president of Wild Virginia, said almost all the forested land in Virginia was logged, burned, developed or overtaken by invasive species in the past 150 years or so – and what's still standing is in recovery.

"These forests that we have are extremely precious and extremely important, but they aren't what was here before," Reed said. "It's our job to kind of actively bring them back, as best we can. We can have areas where the natural processes dominate what's going on."

He said protecting large forested areas is critical because their genetic diversity makes them more resilient, giving them better odds against continued threats from invasive plants and animals.

The Virginia forests in the old-growth network so far are the Fernbrook Natural Area, Glencarlyn Park, Whiteoak Canyon and the James Madison Landmark Forest.

According to Joan Maloof, executive director of the Old Growth Forest Network, about three out of four counties nationwide have forests worth preserving. She said tall trees help identify an older forest, but tree age isn't the only consideration.

"You will find some trees that are larger than you would find in a more recently logged forest, and they're home for so many organisms: so much fungi, so many insects, so many reptiles and amphibians," she explained.

Maloof added volunteers are key to saving forests across the country and her group is looking for people who can help.

They also take nominations for areas to be considered for inclusion in the Old Growth Forest Network, online at oldgrowthforest.net.


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