Logging industry must think long-term

Re: “Some old-growth logging is necessary,” letter, July 29.

Yes, logging old-growth would maintain a healthy industry for a few years, maybe a decade or two, but then that high-value timber would be gone, and the industry would be stuck with only the low-value timber (second growth) remaining.

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To maintain some old-growth timber in the logging mix, as the letter writer suggests, sustainable logging should have started 100 years ago on the basis of an 800-year rotation. “Old-growth” logging means timber of roughly that age.

That was never done. Now there is very little old growth left that is not protected by “land-use planning,” as the letter-writer notes.

This has left us with a stark choice: Log what old-growth is left on an 800-year rotation basis, even though that would apparently be insufficient to maintain a “healthy industry,” or simply quit logging old growth for 400 to 500 years to build a sustainable old-growth stock back.

The third alternative, which the letter-writer seems to be suggesting, is to log what old-growth is left now unsustainably to maintain a healthy logging industry for a decade or two, after which it would die a quick death.

Philip Symons

Victoria

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