This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
I drove to Oregon because I wanted to see the future. Our rapidly changing climate vexes me, keeps me up at night — perhaps you’ve felt this, too — and recently I’d become particularly preoccupied with trees. In California, where I live, climate change helped kill nearly 62 million trees in 2016 alone, and last year, 4.2 million acres of our state burned. I wanted to know what was in store for our forests and, because we humans rely on them for so much — for clean air, for carbon sequestration, for biodiversity, for habitat, for lumber and money, for joy — what was in store for us.
I’d read about a group of scientists who were not only studying the calamities befalling our forests but also working to help the trees migrate in advance of coming doom. So in May, I headed to a 3-and-a-half-acre stand of roughly 1,000 Douglas firs at a US Forest Service nursery outside of Medford. The grove was situated in a wide valley in the southwestern corner of the state, nestled between the Cascades to the east ... Read more