Forestry Practices

From oxygen production to water conservation to carbon sinks to stratospheric ozone regulation to medicines and homes for all kinds of creatures, forests are indispensable to human and animal life and must be protected.

Globally, the planet has already lost 50% of our pre-colonial forests and the plant and animal communities they supported. Our rapidly increasing numbers, high-consumption rates, and profit incentives have resulted in massive forest destruction due to logging and development, and the Earth’s remaining rain forests are being destroyed and transformed into cattle pastures or mono-crops for bio-fuels production.

The increase in tree die-off in the U.S. and elsewhere in the last few decades is alarming. The causes are multiple: pests, diseases, climate change, acid rain, other forms of pollution, and increased UV radiation due to our thinned ozone layer.

In our Eastern woodlands, for example, the normal pre-pollution background mortality rate would be 0.5 to 0.7% per year. That translates to the death of one tree out of 100 living trees each year. Anything over a 2 or 3% mortality rate per year is considered a disaster. Yet, we are now witnessing local tree die-offs of 30 to 40% and even higher!

The fact is that the pollution inherent to our industrial production and lifestyles has weakened the resistance of the interconnected ecosystems we call forests. Malnourished due to acid rain’s destruction of their roots, and bombarded by unusually high UV radiation, our forests are falling victim to a host of diseases and pests. Forestry practices such as clearcutting also destroy the mycorrhizal fungi with which trees have a symbiotic relationship, and regeneration is slowed or impossible.

We should call for actions to protect our forests:

  1. Overhaul state and U.S. Forest Service rules to protect our forests and use them wisely.
  2. Review, reform and restructure all federal and state landuse policies so that our practices become environmentally sustainable, and so that forests provide a continuing supply of high quality wood products.
  3. Stop building logging roads in national forests at taxpayers’ expense. These roads not only cost more than the revenue from timber sales that they expedite, but they also contribute to soil erosion and silting of streams, which ruin fish habitats.
  4. Ban the harvest of Ancient Forests.
  5. Ban the export of raw logs and other minimally processed forest products (pulp, chips, carts, slabs, etc.), which causes American job loss.
  6. Offer subsidies to local watershed-based mills. This will maximize employment opportunities through value-added processing, and promote sustainability and worker control.
  7. Use work projects, goats, and other sustainable methods to control undergrowth rather than spraying herbicides, especially near communities.
  8. Grow and use hemp as a plentiful and renewable resource for the manufacture of paper and other forest products.
  9. Protect significant archaeological, historical and cultural sites.
  10. Support the rights of people indigenous to the rainforest, and their ecologically sound use of the forest, such as rubber extraction, nut gathering, and collecting medicinal herbs. End the importation of rainforest beef.
  11. Forgive the debts of Third World countries that need help in halting the destruction of their rain forest lands.
  12. Develop labels that identify ecologically sound forest products. This would help consumers to support ecologically sound forestry.
  13. Protect wildlife habitats, fisheries, biodiversity, scenery, and recreation. We must accept responsibility for the affect local actions have on the global economy and ecology.
  14. Mandate that all U.S. Government offices use 100% post-consumer waste paper processed chlorine free, and that any new fiber necessary to the process come from alternative sources such as hemp or kenaf. Where recycled paper is inappropriate, such as for archival quality paper, high quality fiber such as hemp should be the primary source.
  15. Ban all clearcutting on publicly owned lands and in privately owned “old-growth” forests, and strictly regulate clearcutting in private sector commercial forestry.

Source: Green Party

About mekorganic

I have been a Peace and Social Justice Advocate most all of my adult life. In 2022, I am again running for U.S. Congress in CA under the Green Party. This Blog and website are meant to be a progressive educational site, an alternative to corporate media and the two dominate political parties. Your comments and participation are most appreciated. (Click photo) .............................................. Paid for by Michael Kerr for Congress with Peace and Justice C00803577
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