Clear cutting has been used exclusively in BC since H.R. MacMillan became Minister of Forests in the 1940s.
We need to take another look at selection management as a major tool especially in the Kootenay mix forest. We need to have respect for the harvest not wanton destruction of the source of our bounty.
This beautiful mixed forest of a dozen species lends itself to select cutting. There is always a difference to shade tolerance which allows a species to take its place in the canopy.
Our decisions of logging seem to be based on short-term economics — cut and run — to where?
Logging plans are based on equipment not on the forest. It’s like the forest companies know that the forest produces the wood but they don’t care if it ever happens again. The forest has been cut in a checker board — they are starting to log the leave strips now.
A network of roads gives access so select logging becomes economic. Linear boundaries cause wood to die so feathering dead, diseased and dieing wood into the block — produce an opportunity for small scale loggers. This prepares the stand for another select harvest in 15 to 25 years.
Careful select cutting of leave blocks may save us. We will create a vastly different economy but an economy none the less.
Huge forest gobblers will collapse. Small mills with modular homes and furniture factories will spring up. Kootenay folk will sway away from a resource based economy to cottage industries which our people are well suited.
We live in the Kootenays because of our beautiful forests and our people have shown to be artful creators.
Act now and we will survive!