Stewardship is not about “cleaning up the mess”

Don’t let timber salvage damage our forests

Letter by Ray Travers (RPF retired)
The Times Colonist
November 24, 2017
Re: “Huge salvage job ahead in B.C. forests,” column, Nov. 16. Les Leyne describes the urgency of salvaging trees killed during the 2017 record wildfire season, before the lumber value of logs degrades. This, however, leaves out what’s important — making sure that large-scale clearcut salvage logging does not result in a double hit to already-stressed forest ecosystems. Forest health is best understood as the rate of recovery from ecological stresses caused by fire, logging, insects, etc. Greater stress means poorer health and longer recovery. Stewardship is not about “cleaning up the mess.” Salvage logging will rarely contribute directly to ecological recovery. Removing undamaged live trees among the dead and damaged must be minimized.

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