10 November 2016
Benefits of Clear-Cut Logging
Logging truly is the most ancient of civilized industries mankind has created. It is something of great prosperity and, now days, great controversy. However, that great controversy is only surrounding a certain type of logging, not logging in its entirety. The type of logging engulfed by criticism is called Clear-Cut logging. In this method a team of tree fallers and equipment operators systematically cut each tree out of a specific area, leaving short stumps and tree tops. When done poorly and or inconsiderably Clear-Cutting can cause deforestation; deforestation can cause habitat loss, extinction of animal species, and severe land hazards such as erosion and water contamination. When done correctly this technique of logging increases growth of possibly rare species of plants, manages wildlife populations, provides sustainable energy alternatives, and has huge revenue for workers in the industry, as well as many natural products that our society needs today.
Natural disasters often result in a young forest after several years have passed. Natural disasters, like wildfires and hurricanes, are unpredictable and can cause serious devastation to populated areas. A study conducted by a state funded organization says total costs of the average wildfire in America is $880 million CITATION Dia12 l 1033 (Diaz). Some wildfires are only contained, and not extinguished, for the purpose of clearing an old, dying, forest in hopes to grow a new young one. This can be extremely risky as the fire can spread due to wind or dry weather, causing said amounts of damage that total into the hundreds of billions. The most controllable way to trade in an old decrepit forest with a young, healthy, life bearing one is to Clear-Cut the forest. By doing this it does as a wildfire would, removing the trees, however, with exception of many other plants like flowers and types of shrubs. Some years later new trees will sprout and take foot in the now nutrient replenished soil. In the absence of overly dominant trees more delicate and rare species of trees and other plants can flourish abundantly.
Many areas in the United States have either an over population of deer, which can cause disease, destroy gardens, and be a danger to road ways, or an over population of feral hogs, which can also spread disease, cause car accidents, and even become aggressive to humans and their pets or livestock. Our conservation department does a great job at managing species of animals so that they do not become a nuisance to society, however it isn’t always enough. Texas’s government issued an article of the nuisances wild hogs and over abundant deer can cause. “While not active predators, wild hogs may prey on fawns, young lambs, and kid goats. If the opportunity arises, they may also destroy and consume eggs of ground nesting birds, such as turkeys and quail.” CITATION Tay15 l 1033 (Taylor). Extreme measures by hunters have been taken, to the point that there are nearly no restrictions on hog hunting. The one way we can truly push them away from our cities and towns is to clear cut the woods they reside in and drive them to new homes. In this way we do not take their lives, but relocate them.
As Clear-Cutting relocates wildlife, it will relocate our power consumption methods, at least enough to make a difference. “According to the US Energy Information Administration, fossil fuels meet 81% of U.S. energy demand.”, says The Institute for Energy Research. The amount of crude oil we are harvesting from the earth could literally fill up rivers. Our fossil fuel consumption is so high it is burning holes in out ozone layer and is subsequently raising the earths average temperature. This global warming is causing our ice caps to melt at a much more increased rate, now becoming a detriment to many arctic species, like the Polar Bear and Penguin. Wood burning alternatives can save not only our ecosystem but our paychecks. A home with a wood stove heater, instead of common electrically generated heat, will save annually on average $64 to $255 according to a study done by House Logic.
Along with personal financial benefits, Clear-Cutting reaps economic benefits. Clear-Cutting helps circulate thousands of dollars weekly, which benefits our economy. One, possibly dead, White Oak tree in mid-Missouri can bring around $300 at a lumber mill. A large Hickory tree with dead, hanging limbs that could fall, could bring around $700 to mills that specialize in furnishings. With more logging taking place it would increase job outlook or the industry of forestry by the tens of thousands. This would provide incomes for many struggling families. Not only does loggings provide more job opportunities It allows land owners to make profit as well. A land owner will earn at least half of the profit a load of trees will bring in a mill or other buying platforms, which could total into the tens of thousands! Clear-Cutting on flat regions can provide the opportunity to start a crop field, which yields many food staples out society needs and, again, increases cash flow. After overhead expenses are deducted, there is nothing but profit for everyone involved.
Finally, the demand for wood products is remaining the same, through the roof. A more comical approach to reasoning logging is to ask someone if they “have ever tried to wipe their butt with plastic?”. Toilet paper is a product of wood. A more recreational ideology is to ask a person if they find paper and pencil a valuable commodity; both products of wood. The most practical form of wood products today is still for shelter. Homes are constructed of primarily steel and wood. “The typical 2,400 square foot, single-family home requires about 16,000 board feet of framing lumber and over 14,000 square feet of other wood products including plywood, oriented stand board, glulam beams, wood I-joists, laminated veneer lumber, hardboard, particleboard and medium-density fiberboard” says Idaho Forest Products Commission, in a study to determine how much wood is actually used in a home (Idaho FPC). The only way to provide that much wood to hundreds of homes is to Clear-Cut certain areas.
One might say that Clear-Cut logging isn’t as efficient as Selective-Cut logging. Selective-Cutting is the process of only taking certain trees in a given area, not every tree. This seems like the best way to log because it sounds like more trees will stay living. In reality the only reason to Selective log is for cosmetic reasons. The Economics of Selective-Cutting are far worse than Clear-Cutting, as in Selective-Cutting there is little profit. Nature does not benefit from this either because when a tree is fell it normally rakes and pulls its surrounding trees, causing them to break their branches and possibly break them all the way down to the base. This leaves younger trees broken and, like a weak human body, susceptible to sickness and disease, says an article wrote by a landscaping journal (BH;G). That disease can spread through miles of woods, not intended for tree removal, unintentionally causing far too much timber removed. When cut clear there is no chance of breeding new diseases, as only new, young plants and trees will sprout and create a healthy forest.
In conclusion, Clear-Cut logging not only is mightily beneficial to nature, but to our society and economy as well. Clear-Cutting out does other techniques through its strategy and astonishing ability for new forestry to grow in its place. An immense amount of timber is converted into many products we use religiously today. Our future, in this case, is not to look forward, per say, but to perfect what we have started. In Clear-Cutting, patience is needed, much like money in a savings account, but like the latter it is quite profitable in the end for all parties involved. So next time you see a truck full of logs, think of what those logs will be made into, and what kind of new life the woods in its place will bring.
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