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General News · 16th May 2022
Bruce Ellingsen
It is only “good” for making money in the short term but definitely not good!! for long term forest sustainability. But the choice is ours.

The Old Growth Temperate Rainforests of B.C., here until about two centuries ago, arose through a very long process following the end of the last Ice Age.
Forest ecosystems developed and nutrients slowly accumulated in forest soils from many generations of trees growing, dying, being recycled and replaced, creating a reservoir of organic soil and nutrients. It takes, on average, about 500 years to build one inch of soil.!!

Each truck load of logs extracts from the forest ecosystem approximately 50% of the nutrients required to grow those trees, loaded on logging trucks, never to be recycled. Each harvest cumulatively diminishes the nutrients in the soil required for the growth of the next generation of trees, leaving around 50%,
25%, 12.5%, 6.25% of the original nutrients. That is the dynamic inherent in our conventional approach to managing our forests.

Do you think that is “Sustainable Management”?

The fundamental key to sustaining the life of any living system, of any size or over any time frame, is nutrients: the ability to acquire, generate and/or retain sufficient amounts to develop and maintain the health of its systemic complexity. Lack of sufficient nutrients leads to its slow or rapid decline/death.

Regarding long-term sustainability of our forests, the only thing that I can see that will actually allow our forest ecosystems to sustain themselves is to dramatically reduce our harvesting rate and greatly extend our harvest rotations, allowing them time to recover from the impacts of harvesting and gradually replace the removed nutrients.

Anyone interested in seeing the global change in forests over just the last 21 years should link to and check it out!