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Study: Owl timber cutbacks helping with carbon footprint in region

July 26th, 2011 - 5:31am

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - A new study finds that court-ordered logging cutbacks to save spotted owls and salmon from extinction have also helped the climate by storing more carbon.

Researchers from the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State University found that reducing timber production by more than 80 percent on national forests in western Washington, Oregon and Northern California since 1994 turned those forests into a carbon sink for the first time in decades.

Growing more and bigger trees to store carbon that would otherwise contribute to greenhouse gas emissions is a strategy in the effort to control global warming.

The study was published in the online edition of the journal Forest Ecology and Management. It was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the North American Carbon Program.

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