Primary forests and roadless areas are disappearing at an alarming rate. Earth has lost ~35% of its pre-agricultural forest cover over centuries with only ~32% remaining as primary forest (unlogged). About 80% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface (all cover types) remains free or roads but these areas are fragmented into 600,000 patches, more than half of which are <1 square kilometer and only 7% that are >100 square kilometers. The disappearance of intact areas needs to be a central focus of global sustainability efforts and climate change mitigation and adaptation approaches. Without proper attention, remaining intact areas will increasingly become a causality of what many are now calling the “Anthropocene” or “Great Acceleration.” This comes with grave consequences to biodiversity, ecosystem services, and potentially human health. Dr. DellaSala will present published research on why these areas are key to our own survival and what is being done internationally to call attention to their plight.
Dr. Dominick DellaSala is Chief Scientist of Geos Institute and former president of the Society for Conservation Biology, North America Section. He is an internationally renowned author of over 200 scientific papers and books, including “Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World: Ecology and Conservation” and “The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix” (co-author). He is a member of Oregon’s Global Warming Commission Subcommittee on Forest Carbon and editor of numerous journals and scientific publications. Dominick has appeared in National Geographic, Science Digest, Science Magazine, Scientific American, Time Magazine, NY Times, USA Today, Jim Lehrer News Hour, CNN, NPR, and Fox News.