No matter what criteria is used, if an unbiased study is done, the value of our remaining natural forests is far greater if they are left standing than if they are destroyed by industrial logging. To suggest that the logging industry is providing local jobs is an absurd rationalization. The government and the logging industry have vastly increased the amount of raw logs exported from B.C. over the last 15 years. Every shipment of raw logs is the deliberate export of jobs from B.C.
The value of the forest and the many species which it supports is not measurable in mere dollars. It has been shown that time spent in Nature provides many health benefits for humans. When replanted it takes at least 60 years to begin to become a forest, and another 100 years to begin to obtain the characteristics of an old growth forest. A tree farm is not a forest. Industrial clear-cutting eliminates large, old, dead trees that provide wildlife habitat.
To suggest that the logging roads are beneficial because they provide access to the back country is another absurd rationalization. Motorized access destroys the benefits of the back country – once it has access it is no longer back country. There is incalculable damage done to wildlife habitat by motorized access.
One species being exterminated by logging is the northern flying squirrel. They were plentiful in the forests of Mount Elphinstone, but are becoming rare due to habitat destruction. Many people have never seen a flying squirrel because they are nocturnal. They are a beautiful little animal.
If we are to ever have a better world we must stop the senseless war against Nature.
Rick O’Neill, Roberts Creek