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Conservation

May 2024
1min read


Sir: I am an enthusiastic reader of AMERICAN HERITAGE magazine and read each issue from cover to cover.

Also I am a conservationist and support all efforts to preserve our environment in a livable condition and to correct the pollution of air, water, and land while still carrying out the necessary operations for life.

In your December, 1969, issue you depict a logging scene in your second full page spread which I would guess was in the redwood region, although it could easily be Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, or other species. The implication is that this is despoiling our land and forests, while in fact it is as much of a harvesting scene as a cornfield after picking.

Modern forest management has found that clear cutting is desirable to get the maximum forest reproduction in most coniferous species. In a few years the scene you show will be a beautiful stand of young trees. In seventy to eighty years it will be ready to harvest, if this is redwood, and the yield will surpass the crop just harvested.

This type of timber cropping must not be confused with the cutting of the very old redwood groves which occur on the valley floors. Most of the old groves are now in parks. If we are to have lumber for houses it must be grown and harvested.

I am irked by the confusing of timber harvesting with resource despoliation, and it has been frequently done in articles dealing with conservation problems. Timber is a renewable crop which is necessary for our needs.

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