Timber Wars It's the 1990s in the Pacific Northwest. A march of chainsaws clear-cuts the country's last available ancient forests. Protesters bury themselves in front of bulldozers and spend months sitting in the tallest trees in the world. And at the center, the Northern Spotted Owl becomes the most controversial bird in the country. The "Timber Wars" podcast tells the story of how this conflict reshaped the Northwest and the nation as a whole, in ways we're dealing with still. Coming this summer from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Subscribe now.
Timber Wars

Timber Wars

From Oregon Public Broadcasting

It's the 1990s in the Pacific Northwest. A march of chainsaws clear-cuts the country's last available ancient forests. Protesters bury themselves in front of bulldozers and spend months sitting in the tallest trees in the world. And at the center, the Northern Spotted Owl becomes the most controversial bird in the country. The "Timber Wars" podcast tells the story of how this conflict reshaped the Northwest and the nation as a whole, in ways we're dealing with still. Coming this summer from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Subscribe now.

Most Recent Episodes

Ep 7: A Way Forward

Is the Northwest fatally divided, or can we overcome our differences and work together? We tell the story of one group of loggers and environmentalists who have found some semblance of common ground. But it didn't come easy. And no one knows how long it'll last.

Ep 6: The Backlash

Before the Northwest Forest Plan had a chance to succeed, Congress seized upon the threat of wildfires to create a loophole and throw the plan out the window. With old growth once again being logged, the fight to defend it grew both more mainstream and more violent, seeding the tactics for conflicts to come.

Ep 5: The Plan

The Timber Wars grew so hot that one of President Clinton's first acts in office was to fly half his cabinet to Portland to resolve the conflict. The result was the Northwest Forest Plan, the most sweeping conservation plan in U.S. history. But it might never have happened if not for some behind-the-scenes dramas that played out in a Capitol Hill bathroom-turned-office and a presidential lunch buffet.

Ep 4: Mill City

Mill City was one of dozens of flourishing timber towns, where a job in the woods or at the local sawmill could support a good life. But protests and court cases upended that, leaving locals to ask: are owls more endangered than loggers?

Ep 3: The Owl

Depending on who you are, the northern spotted owl is either the hero of this story, or the villain. And the Endangered Species Act is either an incredible conservation tool, or a hammer that smashes rural economies. But those beliefs miss the fact that it was a single sentence in an entirely different law that locked up the forests. How a reclusive bird halted the march of chainsaws.

Ep 2: The Ancient Forest

For most of America's history, trees were seen as crops, and the plan was to log the country's last virgin forests and make them de facto tree farms. We see forests very differently today. How did things change so quickly?

Ep 1: The Last Stand

When loggers headed into the forest on Easter Sunday in 1989, they found a line of protesters blocking the road. The ensuing battle would help catapult old-growth forests into a national issue, and become known as the "Easter Massacre."

Timber Wars Trailer

It's the 1990s in the Pacific Northwest. A march of chainsaws clear-cuts the country's last available ancient forests. Protesters bury themselves in front of bulldozers and spend months sitting in the tallest trees in the world. And at the center, the northern spotted owl becomes the most controversial bird in the country. The "Timber Wars" podcast tells the story of how this conflict redefined how we see the forest and reshaped the Northwest and the nation as a whole, in ways we're dealing with still. Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting.

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