Collapsed - Chapter 1 (Pt. 2)



No one denies metal mining is essential, no one dispute importance of logging to obtain wood for timber and paper making. The question that my Montana friends sympathetic to logging raise is: if you object to logging in Montana, where do you propose to get wood instead?

Rick Laible defended to me a controversial recent Montana logging proposal by noting, "It beats cutting down the rainforest!"

Jack Ward Thomas's defense was similar: "By refusing to harvest our own dead trees and instead importing live trees from Canada, we have exported both the environmental effects of logging, and the economic benefits of it, to Canada."

**** Hirschy sarcastically commented, "There's a saying, 'Don't **** the land by logging'—so we are ****** Canada instead.'

Commercial logging began in Bitterroot Valley in 1886 to provide Ponderosa Pine logs for mining community at Butte. Post-WWII housing boom in US resulted in surging demand for wood, causing timber sales on US National Forset land to peak around 1972 at over six times 1945 levels. DDT released over forests from airplanes to control insect tree pests. to re-establish uniform even-aged trees of chosen species and maximise timber yields and increase logging efficiency, logging carried out by clear-cutting all trees rather than selective logging of marked individual trees. 

Disadvantages of clear-cutting:

water temps in streams (no longer shaded by trees) rose above optimal for spawning and survival of fish

snow on unshaded bare ground melted quickly in spring (opposed to shaded forest's snowpack gradual melting and releasing water for summer irrigation of ranches)

sediment runoff increase

water quality decrease

(most visible disad) super-ugly clear-cut hills

Result debate --> clearcut controversy; Montana ranchers, landowners and general public protested. since Clearcut Controversy, Forest Service…


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