Letter: A tree not just a potential log

A tree is an eco-system

A tree not just a potential log

Re: “Some old growth logging part of the balance”, (Citizen, July 1)

The letter writer in last week’s edition has missed the point, in my opinion. It appears he can’t see the forest for the trees!

He seems to suggest that the forest has less value if it won’t be visited, so I must ask, visited by whom? Just because the forest doesn’t have human visitors doesn’t mean it doesn’t have visitors, or value. In fact, you can bet that the forest is thriving in our absence. So much life exists there, from the tiniest to the largest, all interacting in the web of life. Our kind is removed from it, and best so because we rarely bring anything good to such places.

All trees die even if one doesn’t log them, the writer continued, as if a dead tree might as well have been a logged tree for all the good it is now. How wrong we can be when we don’t understand! A dead tree means as much to the forest as a living tree. New life springs from a dead tree in many ways. A dead tree is fodder for those that are the tiniest, they’re the decomposers, the bottom of the food chain that puts the whole web of life in action. Scientists have called them, “the little things that run the world”, because they’re extremely important to the survival of all life, including ours.

A tree shouldn’t be thought of as a potential log, a consumer product. A tree is an eco-system, and the larger and older the tree, and the forests created by trees, are all biodiverse ecosystems. I believe that this is what people are so desperately trying to convey when we talk about protecting forests. We must open our eyes to see the forest that is in the trees.

Jacqueline Sherk

Lake Cowichan