Old Growth Controversy

Topics: Ecology Pages: 2 (650 words) Published: March 4, 2013
“The United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (Agencies) have issued a draft supplemental environmental impact statement (the 2006 EIS), potentially allowing over 140 timber projects that have been enjoined since January, 2006 to proceed” (Till). The forest sequestration controversy, also known as old-growth vs. young-growth forests, is a controversial topic in not only the United States but in places all over the world. Some believe that old growth trees should be cut down and replaced with younger faster growing trees, others argue that old growth trees should be protected and should not be cut. This document will define old growth and explore both sides of this controversial argument finally identifying the writers point of view.

Old-Growth is a term used to describe forests that have not been subjected to the destruction of human hands or machinery. Old-growth forests have not gone through any forced alterations such as logging, burning etc. for over 100 to 150 years. Old forests are made up of a variety of aged trees, some young, some fully grown, and some expired trees that are still standing. These trees also provide habitation for an assortment of wildlife animals. One significant fact about these old forests is their ability to recover quickly from natural destruction such as windstorms or fires, however it can take decades to recover from the destruction of human hands such as logging. There is much controversy associated with the question of whether to leave these forests standing or cut them down and replace them with younger faster growing trees.

The controversy surrounding old-growth trees stems from which option is better at sequestering and isolating carbon from the atmosphere. There is much debate within the scientific groups as to whether old-growth forests or fast growth forests isolate carbon most efficiently. Some insist that the younger faster growing trees will store and capture more carbon. M....
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