Inherent speckle noise greatly limits the performance of change detection in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images. In order to reduce the influence of such speckle noise, a modified-log-ratio (MLR) operator for change detection of targets in forest concealment is proposed. By performing a logarithm of the linear transform ratio on the pixel amplitude using multilook processing to generate a difference image, the presented MLR operator is theoretically proven to be capable of improved restraining of the negative effect of speckle noise over the conventional log-ratio operator. A Gaussian distribution of the MLR statistics is assumed, which facilitates the adaptive detection of targets using a constant false alarm rate technique. Experimental results based on the public VHF-band CARABAS-II SAR image dataset validate the effectiveness of the proposed operator.