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Clear Cutting vs Selective Logging

Explains the Economic and Environmental views of Clear Cutting and Selective Logging.

Martin Liu

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of Clear Cutting vs Selective Logging

Clear Cutting
Selective Logging Definitions: Clear Cutting: To log an area by removing all of the trees at one time
in a specific area. Selective Logging: Selective cutting is the method of cutting in which only
a certain selected species or type of trees are cut down. The choice of the type of tree to be cut down could depend on various factors, like intended use. Most
times, trees that are highly valued are more likely to be cut down. Clear Cutting means the felling and removal of all trees from a given tract of forest. Clear Cutting can destroy an area's ecological integrity in a number of ways, including: -the destruction of buffer zones which reduce the severity of flooding by absorbing and holding water.

-the immediate removal of forest canopy, which destroys the habitat for many rainforest-dependent insects and bacteria.

-the removal of forest carbon sinks, leading to global warming through the increased human-induced and natural carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere.

-the elimination of fish and wildlife species due to soil erosion and habitat loss.

-the removal of underground worms, fungi and bacteria that condition soil and protect plants growing in it from disease.

-the loss of small-scale economic opportunities, such as fruit-picking, sap extraction, and rubber tapping.

-the destruction of aesthetic values and recreational opportunities.

-And many more Common Misconception Most people tend to believe that selective logging is better for the environment than clear cutting. However, this is not necessarily true. Environmental Cons of Selective Logging: -Selective logging can harm the trees surrounding the ones being targeted which can be more disastrous than normal logging as it can cause diseases through the trees.

-On average, for every tree that is cut down for selective logging, 4 more are injured and are left. When a tree is cut down, the machinery that is used to log it can seriously damage the nearby trees. Also, when a tree is cut down, it brings downs the vines that form a network with the nearby trees, causing them to lose stability. Meaning they have to cut down more trees to make up for the wasted wood.

-the best and strongest trees are felled, and the weaker ones left behind. This means that a forest in which selective logging occurs will lose its best trees, and only the weaker ones will remain; these then dominate the wooded region, which is not beneficial to the environment.

-Trees also need a lot of light for photosynthesis and growth. Therefore, selective logging, where only one or two trees are cut down over a small area, is not very conducive for regrowth. Regrowth occurs better when there are large tracts of land that receive a good amount of sun light. Selective Logging's Economic Effect Selective Logging is very costly process. Machinery is very difficulty to maneuver in between trees and takes lot of time leading to spending more money. If machinery is not used workers would go in to cut the trees by hand which can be extremely hazardous. Falling trees can knock over other trees and branches leading to injuries or deaths. When the tree has fallen, machinery is till need to haul the tree out of the forest and on the trucks. As opposed to clear cutting were trees are cut one after another without machinery maneuvering between trees.
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