Surprised by continuing unnecessary cutting of trees

People who live on the Prairies used to plant trees around their homes as windbreaks

Surprised by continuing unnecessary cutting of trees

Every time I go for a drive either northwest or southeast on the Island Highway (my mother used to say this island is cut on the bias) I am surprised with the sight of a new section of freshly clearcut forest, piles of slash and stumps waiting for burning or to be carted away. No doubt for agriculture or housing, we humans have always been great clearers of land.

People who live on the Prairies used to and maybe still do plant trees around their homes as windbreaks, as one of the benefits of trees is their ability to absorb the force of the wind. As more trees are removed, and removing them we are, witness the number of loaded logging trucks on the highway, there is less and less resistance for the wind. I recently drove through the ruins of Cathedral Grove, devastated by the force of the Dec. 19 storm. Small patches of forest are no match to these increasingly strong displays of nature.

The rainforest climate which produced the giant oldgrowth is drying up, water tables are lowering, at least partly in response to the deforestation. I am astounded that old growth trees are still being cut for commercial use. I have heard that many times the big trees simply explode from the force of their fall, leaving their corpses shattered on the ground and useless as timber. The lives of these elders and their contribution to the quality of life on earth were better understood by ancient peoples who may well have been tuned into the finer energies of nature. Certainly we know of their fundamental ability to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, and I’m willing to believe there are many more abilities that living stands of trees offer us besides being a brake on the wind.

Marilyn S. Weland

North Cowichan

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