'Worth more standing': Protesters take on Forest Service over old-growth trees

In Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax,” the famed rhyme-writer conjured a furry, mustachioed creature to “speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” 

Outside the U.S. Forest Service Region 1 headquarters in Missoula last Monday, the trees spoke for themselves. With seasoned activists dressed up as trees, a group of protesters from a cross-section of environmental and wildlife conservation groups assembled on the steps of the agency’s office at the historic Fort Missoula at 12:30 p.m. With signs, petitions, maps, speeches and hot chocolate — and a few pine boughs taped to heads and extremities — the group demonstrated for an hour amid soft snow and chilly temperatures. 

A group of protesters from a cross-section of environmental and wildlife conservation groups assembled on the steps of the agency’s office at the historic Fort Missoula on Nov. 14, demanding a permanent rule to protect mature and old-growth trees from being cut down.

Their core demand was simple. They wanted the Forest Service to make a permanent rule protecting mature and old-growth trees from being cut down. The threats to those trees, however, are far more complex, they said, ranging from logging projects and forest treatments aimed at reducing wildfire risk (the

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