What is a tree worth?
The Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is home to some of the oldest trees in the country. For decades, they were felled indiscriminately for lumber. Will the remaining trees be protected?
Old-growth trees are at the heart of a political debate on logging and climate change. That’s because they hold a disproportionate amount of carbon in their trunks. If they’re cut down, most of that carbon escapes into the atmosphere, where it contributes to global warming. But they’re also worth thousands of dollars as lumber.
Post climate editor Juliet Eilperin traveled to Alaska to learn about the forests firsthand, and to speak with some of the people who have built their lives around logging.