Clear Cutting: Day 78

I have strong connections to the redwood forest in Northern California. I love trees. Whenever we fly over clear cut areas in the forest, it makes me sad. The redwood forest is a healthy forest with very good logging regulations to keep it that way. However, much of the forest in Washington and Oregon are clear cut. This type of logging leads to monocropping which leads to weak soil and easily diseased trees.

There are people who believe that my clear cutting the forest will be better because it gets cleaned out and there is more room for the trees to grow. This is false, however. The reasoning behind clear cutting is monetary. It is easier for the logging companies to come in, build a few roads and just start chopping. The cleanup is quicker and easier. The cutting itself is even easier without the other trees getting in the way.

This kind of logging leads to erosion because the trees and undergrowth are what keeps the soil in place. The driving of tractors over the soil also loosens it making it easier to wash away. It also destroys natural habitats chasing animals off to live somewhere else. And it kills the plants that the animals would have eaten had it remained. The animals cannot come back until some of the other plants do. Some of these plants will come back no problem, but some need certain conditions, like a fire, in order to regrow.  Disease can also infest a monocrop much faster than a mixed crop. The just go from tree to tree wiping out many acres in a season. Then it is highly susceptible to fire.

Clear cutting and monocropping our forests are not the answer to our wood needs. Yes, it helps give us wood quickly, but it is poor land management. There are other things we can do for the wood than wiping our acres at a time every year.

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