Deforestation of the Pacific Northwest

1216 WordsOct 8, 19995 Pages
Deforestation of the Pacific Northwest One of the most controversial areas associated with the global problem of deforestation is the Pacific Northwest of the US. The problem can be broken down into several issues that all tie in together. These include the near extinction of the Northern Spotted Owl, the "business" aspect of logging versus the environmental aspect, and the role of the government in this problem. In 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed. This enabled the Dept. of Commerce and Dept. of the Interior to place species, either land or marine, as either threatened or endangered. Under these terms species could no longer be hunted, collected, injured or killed. The northern spotted owl falls under the more…show more content…
Guest speaker Jerry Howe would fall into this category as a private land owner. As a land "steward," he believes he can do what he wants with his land. The term "steward" is used to mean that no one can truly "own" the land, it can only be used or under the care of a person. He uses clear-cutting when it has the smallest effect on the environment, he also uses strip cutting in which the forest is cut in strips to provide a buffer zone and is more aesthetically pleasing. His methods are better for the forest due to conservative forestry practices that speed up the regeneration of the forest. This produces a more sustainable yield than clear-cutting alone. While neither of these techniques is good for the environment, using wise management practices can still produce a large profit while conserving precious ecosystems. For large companies, such as Pacific Lumber, to switch to using conservative forestry practices would take more than proposals by environmentalists and the Forest Service to help the environment to change their current ways. For these companies to switch, it would cost them money to follow the more sustainable approach while also decreasing their profit due to less tree cutting in the short-term. In my opinion, it is up to the government to set standards that force these companies to switch by making regulations more strict as well as a greater number of them if need be. The role
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