Resident looks at BC logging practices

A Salmo resident suggests that bad logging has been a BC thing since the turn of the 20th century.

Bad logging has been a BC thing since the turn of the 20th century.

Initially, logs were extracted for settlement and railroads. They took out the best products and left the rest. This caused stand degradation. The extent of the logging was near roadsides. This early logging was usually converted into farmland so wasn’t too detrimental.

In the ‘20s and ‘30s road building became more extensive, due to mining. Logging continued to be exploitative depending on the need for products.

Towards the end of the ‘30s some people became closer to the forest. “Forest husbandry” seemed to be imported from Europe.

The logging was single tree selection where stands were culled along with the removal of some but not the best large pieces. This led to the gradual improvement of genetics of the forest. Good quality trees seeded in openings vacated by harvesting. My father and grandfather logged this way, using horses, and were justifiably proud of it.

Then came the downturn — enter the “diameter limit cut”. The biggest and best down to 14 inches were cut. This left the poor quality trees to make the future stand. Poor trees breed poor trees!

The next step of degradation was the clearcut which came to be in the ‘50s. Clearcut eliminates all of the trees (genetic material) on the site. This results in soil erosion and site degradation. New genetic material is introduced by planting.

These trees are a monoculture and make survival of the forest a poor bet! This creates a plantation that doesn’t have the biodiversity to be a forest.

The wood produced is of poor quality — short fibered, soft grained and very knotty. These trees grow fast with a large percentage of early wood and a small amount of late wood. This product tends to delaminate! The world doesn’t want this substandard wood!

When we change the genetic makeup of forests, we interrupt the millennium-old ability to adapt and survive! Respect and reverence of old forests is necessary for human survival.

Jim Dorey



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