Timber Wars

‘Timber Wars’ episode 2: The ancient forest

By Aaron Scott (OPB)
Sept. 22, 2020 1 p.m.

For most of America’s history, trees were seen as crops, and the plan was to log the country’s last virgin forests and make them de facto tree farms. We see forests very differently today. How did things change so quickly?

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Hosted and produced by by OPB’s Aaron Scott in collaboration with 30 Minutes West (“Bundyville,” “Outside Podcast”) and with original music by the singer-songwriter Laura Gibson, “Timber Wars” is a seven-part podcast series from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Episodes are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, the NPR One app and at opb.org.

OSU scientists detect a tagged hermit warbler in the canopy of an old growth grove in the Oregon Cascades. Learning how the small song birds travel over the course of a day could provide insight into why bird populations are doing well in old growth forests while declining in other warming landscapes of the Pacific Northwest.

OSU scientists detect a tagged hermit warbler in the canopy of an old growth grove in the Oregon Cascades. Learning how the small song birds travel over the course of a day could provide insight into why bird populations are doing well in old growth forests while declining in other warming landscapes of the Pacific Northwest.

Greg Davis

“Timber Wars” tells the behind-the-scenes story of how a small group of activists and scientists turned the fight over ancient trees and a bird that no one had heard about into one of the biggest environmental conflicts of the 20th century.

Related: ‘Timber Wars’ episode 3: The owl

In addition to the podcast, OPB is releasing an accompanying e-newsletter series that combines the podcast with further OPB reporting to take readers through the history of this epic battle — and explores the ways it’s playing out still — in stories, images, videos and more. You can explore the series here.

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