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OPINION: Clearcutting betrays biases of a culture with blinders on

We humans are blessed with a narrow and selective vision that enables us to believe whatever we choose to do is good. We prefer not to see the wider interconnectiveness in our natural world.
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The Wentworth Valley, with the ski hill and Highway 4 in the distance, seen from atop Higgins Mountain, site of the current Northern Pulp clearcut. (JOAN BAXTER)

By CAROL HYSLOP

The other evening, I learned that people employed in the lumbering industry believe they are managing our forests in a responsible manner. I heard a clearcut area could produce mature trees in 30 years. I heard that clearcutting takes the place of natural forest destruction such as fires or wind and is therefore a natural way to manage forests.

I did not hear that a forest is more than trees. That a forest is habitat for myriad species of animals, birds, insects and plants. When a forest is clearcut, what happens to these? What do they do for 30 years as the trees are regrowing?

SEE ALSO: How a government loan helped wreck Wentworth Valley vistas

I heard no concern about what happens when clearcutting is done in areas that supply water to a community. Nor did I hear concern about streams that usually run clear being filled with silt.

We humans are blessed with a narrow and selective vision that enables us to believe whatever we choose to do is good. We prefer not to see the wider interconnectiveness in our natural world. If we continue on the path we are following at present, we will surely be rudely awakened in the future.

Carol Hyslop, Wentworth Valley

Editor's note: Wentworth Community Development Council arranged a meeting earlier this week to speak of its concerns about clearcutting in the middle of an area being groomed for outdoor tourist activities and to try to reach some sort of agreement with the industry that would satisfy both parties.

 



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