Re: “Province not doing enough to protect biodiversity: report,” Feb. 22.
B.C. auditor general John Doyle reported that not enough is being done to protect biodiversity, necessary for providing the “the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and many of the resources vital to our economy.”
Keeping managed forest land in good working order increases biodiversity protection. The criteria for success is a diverse and resilient forest at local and regional scales.
The Menominee people of Wisconsin have practised biodiversity conservation since 1854 in their 100,000-hectare managed forest. Their rate of logging has never exceeded their forest’s capacity to self-renew.
When Menominee logging operations completed the first pass, their new forest had regrown to its previous value and volume. Since 1854, the entire volume of their original forest has been logged twice.
Until biodiversity protection becomes part of the logic of forest production, it will not be adequately conserved. Ecological studies confirm the more species in a forest, the higher its productivity.
In 1994, Sweden’s new forestry law gave equal priority to twin goals of timber production and biodiversity preservation. Current practices are closing the gap between adverse cumulative effects of previous short-rotation clearcutting by creating a “greener forest” combining lower impact, longer rotations, commercial thinning and growing high-quality wood to sustain revenue and jobs.
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