Old Growth Deforestation
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that 18 million acres of forest are lost each year due to human activity and reallocation of land. While the logging industry has increasingly become more sustainable with their practices by using thinning harvesting methods rather than clear-cutting in addition to massive replanting efforts, whether or not we should be logging old growth forests continues to be up for debate.
The age of an old growth forest may range from 100 to 1,000 years old and is generally defined as an ecosystem that has experienced little to no significant human disturbance. Whether or not you believe that old growth forests have intrinsic value aside from human benefit, the forests are argued to sustain valuable, natural water resources as well as flora and fauna biodiversity; all of which have scientific and educational benefits for the future.
Logging is a necessity for human development and when done responsibly can actually benefit the forest itself through thinning out invasive or overpopulated species as well as helping to control the spread of wildfires through eliminating dead standing trees. Although logging is inevitable and the industry overall should be supported, it seems evident that any effort to reduce our consumption of lumber by using alternative products will decrease the rate old growth deforestation and in turn benefit future generations.
The Better Than Logs Team at Olympic National Park