How Much Ice is Right? Collaboratives and forest ecosystems

“In my mind the right amount of trees, wildfire, juniper, bark beetles, is whatever exists. All of these are controlled by climate, just like the amount of ice that covered the continents and mountains was dictated by climate. Climate will decide what density of trees can grow on any particular site.


“One of the assumptions of many collaboratives, agencies like the Forest Service, and of course the timber industry is that logging emulates natural processes. There is a very small amount of truth in that logging as well as wildfire, beetles and other natural agents do kill trees. However, that is like suggesting that someone shot to death by a gun is analogous to dying from old age because in both cases, the person is dead. The sad truth is that most so-called “restoration” is degrading our forest ecosystems.”

GR:  Wuerthner debunks many of the forest management myths and irresponsible policies. I think his most important point is that logging, the harvest of timber, is always harmful in all its guises.  The U. S. Forest Service, on behalf of timber companies, has developed numerous false arguments that support logging.

I agree that the current mass extinction would slow if we did what Wuerthner advises–just leave the forests alone.  That is true, but there are other serious problems.  Careful scientific analyses of global warming projections indicate that by century end, many forests will be gone.  Climate is changing too fast for the trees to move to new locations or adapt to the new conditions.

Worldwide, agribusiness is clearing and replacing them with crops and pastures that supply food to the bulging human population.

We are past the point where improving land-use practices can save nature. We are at the point where our environmental writers need to attack greenhouse gas emissions, and human population.

2 thoughts on “How Much Ice is Right? Collaboratives and forest ecosystems


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.