“Trees grow back! As long as we replant the trees, why shouldn’t we cut down the old-growth forests?”
This is a common contention, which is addressed in this latest video by filmmaker Darryl Augustine about some of the key differences between BC’s old-growth forests and the ensuing second-growth tree plantations that they’re being replaced with. Our old-growth forests – centuries or millennia-old – have far greater structural complexity than second-growth plantations, which are re-logged every 50-60 years, never to become old-growth again. Hence, old-growth logging under BC’s forestry system is a non-renewable activity akin to fossil fuel extraction.
The distinctive features of old-growth forests (well-developed understories, multi-layered canopies, large amounts of woody debris, lots of canopy epiphytes of hanging mosses, ferns, lichens, etc.) support unique and endangered species that can’t survive in second-growth plantations (spotted owls, mountain caribou, marbled murrelets, etc.); store twice the amount of accumulated carbon per hectare than ensuing second-growth plantations; are vital pillars of BC’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry (tourists are not coming to see clearcuts and tree plantations!); conserve and filter clean drinking water for human communities and wild salmon; and are vital parts of many First Nations cultures: ancient cedars are used for carving canoes, totem poles, masks, etc. and old-growth ecosystems are used for food and medicines.
See interviews by TJ Watt (Ancient Forest Alliance photographer and co-founder), Dr. Andy MacKinnon (forest ecologist, co-author of the Plants of Coastal BC), and Ken Wu (Ancient Forest Alliance executive director and co-founder).
Please SHARE far and wide!
View the original video here.