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Clear Cutting Essay

990 words - 4 pages

Clear cutting, or clear felling, is a logging practice which involves completely clearing an area of trees, regardless of their size and usability. Remaining scrub and brush are usually burnt in large burn piles that can cast a smoky haze over the area for several days. A clear cut area may be relatively small, or may span for miles, and is often clearly visible through the air, along with the scars of logging roads cut to access it. The abrupt removal of trees can have a serious environmental impact on the surrounding area.

In the past thirty years, people have cleared over half of the world’s forests.
Only Canada, Russia and Brazil have most of their original forests left. Such ...view middle of the document...

Removing trees has a direct impact on the environment, especially when combined with slash-and-burn practices which result in scorched earth and in a serious increase of environmental pollutants. It is known that when we cut down a large amount of trees that the temperature raises as a result, and overall, could add to global warming.

Clear cutting also increases the risk of forest fires because clear cutting removes whole tree trunks, leaving only small, more flammable branches behind, therefore actually increasing fire risk.

Clear cutting can also lead to an increased possibility of rapid runoff. Plus, lack of sustainable economy due to lack of timber products for a long time after clear cutting. Clear cutting also casts a very unattractive visual effect. Plus, there is a greater possibility of unwanted shrub and grasses to be established there, as well as a decrease in property values and hunting and fishing opportunities.

Numerous activists have suggested more environmentally sustainable alternatives to clear cutting, such as selective logging, and hope that as more consumers become aware of the potential dangers of clear cutting, they will seek out sustainably harvested timber.
Modified clear cutting, in strips, patches or by leaving seed tree groups, removes a portion of the stand, leaving enough stems to provide a seed source for natural regeneration. This type of harvesting not only provides a method for obtaining low cost natural regeneration but may be used to help minimize wildlife or environmental concerns. Proper preparation of the land in the area following harvesting is generally needed to create healthy seedbeds.

Selective cutting means that only the older trees in an area of a forest are cut, leaving the younger ones left for further growth. The defective and diseased plants and trees are removed, as
well as the trees which are interfering with...

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