Strong reactions against clear cutting have been around British Columbia for decades. The subject continues to surface in "letters to the editor". The forest sector and the professional forester community responds by pointing out that clear cutting is an acceptable silvicultural system. It is a situation where a good section of the public has got the sense that something is not quite right. The forestry sector has brushed it off as a lack of understanding.
Is there a problem and can it be solved?
A silvicultural system is the process by which forest stands are tended, removed and replaced by new stands. Three elements of forest stewardship are involved:
- Regeneration of the stand of trees
- The form and quality of the trees and timber to be produced
- Arrangement of stands of various ages in the forest landscape to provide a continuous economic timber supply while ensuring the health and protection of the forest ecosystem
- Clear cutting where the stand is removed at one time and replaced by planting seedlings or natural regeneration
- Shelterwood where the stand is removed in stages as regeneration takes place underneath
- Selection system where mature trees are removed on a gradual basis and regeneration likewise so that there is always a stand of full height containing various ages of trees
- Coppice involving sprouting from cut stumps of species such as poplar with the sprouting habit