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Clear cutting, the act of systematically taking every tree from a landscape for lumber, is probably the cheapest and quickest form of logging, and has been used for thousands of years on some level. However, it carries a heavy ecological cost, as well as a heavy long-term economical cost. The ecological costs are pretty obvious, and I dont think i need to go into detail here. But even economically, clearcutting isnt a very good idea if you look in the long term. In addition to loss of viable forest, it silts up streams, ruins harbors, kills fish, and causes landslides. However, in todays society we use wood, we need wood, and if all the granolaheads chase all the loggers away, we will import wood, from places where we can't regulate the logging practices. Forests are adapted to disruptions like fires, landslides, and tree death due to disease.. so logging can be done with little harm to the forest if done well.

Sustainable logging is the practice of taking only some trees, in ways which cause the least amount of harm. Scattered trees are taken, opening holes in the canopy, and allowing other trees nearby to grow more vigorously. At the same time, some large trees are kept as shade and habitat for animals. Brush and debris can be burned, causing the beneficial effects of fire in a controlled environment. It is possible to 'clear-cut' small areas - only an acre or two in size - because this replicates natural processes such as localized crown fires or bark beetle kill areas. Sustainable logging also ensures the forest remains, which also ensures the jobs of the loggers in the future. If we clear-cut all our forests (in the US), we would probably run out of lumber in 15-20 years, and have lost all our forests, valuable, scenic habitat for numerous animals and plants, and the logger's way of life. If we ban logging, people will still demand wood, and lots will come from the rain forest or other important areas. So, to me, it seems clear that sustainable logging is the way to go

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