Compromised for decades



In response to John Gleeson’s editorial concerning Elphinstone Living Forest (“We need peace on the mountain,” Sept. 23), compromise has been the order of the day for decades. We have compromised biodiversity, water quality and lost economy. May I explain?

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• Native plant and animal communities need a reasonable amount of old growth forest, significant mature forest and a degree of “natural disturbance” to thrive. Let us presume that logging is a natural disturbance; in the Sunshine Coast region, it is a holocaust of disturbance.

• Further, fragmented forests of less than 640 metres across have little or no forest interior and therefore lack any chance for complete biodiversity.

• The best filter and conditioner for pure fresh water is old growth forest. We have reduced fresh water opportunities to a staggering degree by disturbance and forestry activity. Witness domestic water concerns and loss of fish habitats.

• Mature forests have provided useful mushrooms and a renewable economy during the past century up until about 1980, when the many mushroom buyers either moved or quit. I recall mushroom buyers seasonally up and down the Sunshine Coast Highway. Gone due to reduction of forest and reduction of forest age.

• Value-added forest production on the Sunshine Coast has declined and much of what is left is sustained by off-Coast timber.

Have we been compromised? Yes we have.

What is needed is more depth of understanding of our world and what sustains us, especially over time.

John Dafoe, Halfmoon Bay

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