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Ancient Forest Roadshow

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Conservation Northwest launched the Ancient Forest Roadshow in 2004, a two-year project touring a huge slice of Douglas fir around the US to talk about the logging of old growth in the Northwest.

Hugging the Doug around the US

Portland launch of the Ancient Forest Roadshow
Portland launch of the Ancient Forest Roadshow

In 2004, Conservation Northwest, at the time called Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, created a roadshow to get the message out about the need for old-growth protection. Staff members and volunteers with the Ancient Forest Roadshow wanted to tell the nation about the logging still occurring in old-growth forests on our public lands.

They used photos, educational literature—and a cross-cut of a 420-year old Douglas fir, donned "the Doug." The Doug was a seven-foot-high, 1,000-pound representation of the ancient giants being lost to logging in the West.

From its original home in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon, the Doug traveled over 25,000 miles and across 28 states on a flatbed trailer reaching as far east as New York.

More than 20,000 people had the opportunity to get close enough to touch a tree that had been alive when Shakespeare was born. Most onlookers had no idea that old growth was still being cut on public lands. They were inspired to write letters and join local forest groups.

Hugging the Doug in New Mexico.
Hugging the Doug in New Mexico.

“One woman cried when she watched our slideshow and later told me that her dream was to see the famous ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest but that she was afraid they would all be lost before she made it,” said Demis Foster, Ancient Forest Roadshow director.

Ancient Forest Rescue Expedition

This tour was reminiscent of an earlier time, in 1989, when founder and Executive Director Mitch Friedman launched the Ancient Forest Rescue Expedition to tour a section of 700-year-old Douglas fir log around the country to raise awareness about the clearcutting of old growth in national forests. Northwest Ecosystem Alliance twice led the expedition to nationalize the plight of our Pacific Northwest forests.

Both roadshows were successful in making a local issue important to people around the country.

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