The Southwest Forest Alliance has launched a new campaign called Old Growth Forever! designed to protect the remaining old growth forests on the Kaibab Plateau, gateway to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and throughout the Southwest.
“Ninety-five percent of the Southwest's old growth forests have been cut down in the past century. Perched on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the Kaibab Plateau is home to the greatest remaining density and distribution of these ancient pines and the species that depend upon them for survival,” states Dave Sherman, the campaign coordinator.
The Plateau is home to the largest population of imperiled goshawks in the Southwest. According to the Forest Service, approximately 70% of the goshawk’s prey species depend on mature forests for survival. The unique Kaibab Squirrel is also threatened by continued logging in the area. In 1991, the National Biological Survey declared old-growth ponderosa pine forests to be one of the most threatened ecosystems in the country.
“Despite the overwhelming evidence highlighting the importance of old growth forests, the Forest Service continues to allow it to be logged. Often a mere two or three miles from the rim of the Grand Canyon itself. This cannot be allowed to continue,” according to Sharon Galbreath, the Alliance’s Executive Director.
The Southwest Forest Alliance’s new campaign is designed to educate the public about the continued destruction of our old growth heritage in the Southwest. Our slide show covers the history of old growth in the Southwest, its ecological value, threats to remaining old growth stands and the need to preserve special places like the Kaibab Plateau. For a list of current slideshow presentations, check out www.swfa.org/calendar.html. To find out what you can do to help preserve our remaining old growth forests, visit www.swfa.org/take_action.html.
The Southwest Forest Alliance is a forest advocacy organization based in Flagstaff, Arizona. We are a coalition of sixty-three environmental and community organizations in Arizona and New Mexico working together to protect old growth forests and restore damaged forest ecosystems and watersheds. Our member organizations range from national environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society and the Wilderness Society; to regional groups like the Center for Biological Diversity and Sky Island Alliance; and local organizations such as the Flagstaff Activist Network, Prescott National Forest Friends and the White Mountain Alliance.
For more information about the Southwest Forest Alliance or our current campaign, please visit our website at www.swfa.org. You can also contact us at (928) 773-1064.