Re: Tony Greenfield’s letter (Coast Reporter, June 15).
Yes, we do see more pine siskins in clear-cuts and we may hear more song sparrows. To an avid birder, this may seem a wonderful benefit of forest renewal.
However, what we no longer see is moisture and shade-loving mosses, fungi including sought-after edible mushrooms, lichen, orchids and saprophytes, etc. — and all those invertebrates, amphibians and mammals depending on these.
Increased sunshine may be life-giving, but in summer it means much hotter temperatures and dryness within the confines of the recent clear-cut. In winter, the lack of canopy cover leads to colder temperatures and deeper snow pack. Rainstorms can cause erosion. All this leads to distinctly different plant and animal communities.
It takes 90 to 100 years for a mature second growth forest to regenerate, longer still for true old-growth to form. This is much longer than my remaining life-expectancy, longer than the average life-expectancy of the child born today.
There are few areas of mature second-growth and old-growth remaining on our Coast. Hikers and naturalists cherish them for what they are: oases for those species that cannot survive in modern tree farms.