Aggressive harvesting has been going on for 50 years

Editor: You don’t have to imagine what landscapes will look like after salvage harvesting has occurred.


You don’t have to imagine what landscapes will look like after salvage harvesting has occurred.

Aggressive harvesting has been going on in many areas of the Lakes District for the past 50 years.

You can drive, ride your bike or horse, run or walk to almost any height of land and witness it for yourself. However, unlike Judy Stratton’s futuristic forest and flood Armageddon landscape you may not even notice that clear cut harvesting had at one time occurred … although now with all the dead pine surrounding the old cut blocks they are easier to see as they are generally the only spaces that are green.

And what is our alternative to aggressive harvesting of dead pine?

I would guess fire storms, deforestation for agriculture, pipelines and a mass exodus of the majority of our human population.

In my 25 plus years of forest contracting and basically living on clear cuts, I have grown to view them as vibrant forest landscapes that critters like mule deer use as new habitats and corridors more than they use the adjacent mature stands.

Human harvesting of the forest is much like wildfire except in my opinion better as we tie up the carbon and prevent it from becoming a greenhouse gas by building our homes and shelters out of a renewable resource.

By exporting lumber and raw logs around the world we can reduce the use and depletion of other non renewable resources. Since the time of the implementation of the forest practices code our water sheds have been carefully considered and monitored before and after harvesting and are always left intact with buffers of trees that act as wildlife shelter, something a wildfire would not discern.

Generally, the riparian corridors are heavier to spruce and aspen anyway and those species are not being targeted by the uplifts in annual allowable cut to facilitate the harvest of the more pure pine stands.

If the dead pines represent a 62 per cent increase to flooding then it would be far more effective in reducing the flood risk by careful well planned aggressive harvesting followed by prompt aggressive silviculture to ensure immediate green up.

The real threat to our watersheds is fire storms like we saw with the Binta fire and projects like the Northern Gateway Pipeline.

Dead tree huggers and arm chair environmentalists have become a great asset to big oil company’s as blind protectionism of the forest diminishes human populations within the forest which in turn makes it easier for industries that are out of sync with our natural world to cross our landscapes without consequence or accountability.

Let’s live in the forest and adapt our lives, industries and economics to be in harmony with its natural cycles.

It looks like a great Huckleberry crop forming on some big Comfor clear cuts and for a fee, I can provide a map to their location.


Chris Paulson