Clear Cutting and Ethical Environmental Issues

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Clear Cutting and Ethical Environmental Issues Doug Royston Soc.120 Intro. To Ethics & Social Responsibility Instructor: Barbara Carter March, 15 2010 Clear cutting has been a common practice since the 1800’s and has changed significantly in order to become friendlier to the environment. Clear cutting started as the need of transporting goods increased, and railways and roadways needed constructing, as well as the need for agricultural purposes. The lumber was then used for the building of homes, fire wood, and furniture. There was no selective logging, just cut everything down and send it to the saw mills. As a result of this careless practice erosion was created and plants were no longer able to grow in the soil. Mud washed down into fresh water streams that was used for washing, drinking, and cooking and contaminated the water from the excess silt deposits that are left behind. Often newly planted trees are not allowed to mature before they are harvested. Some companies only wait twenty years before clear cutting the same area as before. This creates a problem as the trees are not given the chance to grow. It is common sense that if these companies would wait another couple decades they would get a bigger harvest from the trees and they would not have to cut as many trees down. Whenever logging companies choose to use the same types of trees to replace what they have cut down they run the risk of the entire new forest becoming riddled with disease and insects that thrive off of the types of trees that have been planted. When the diseases start to appear it does not take long before all of the newly planted trees become sick and die. Now the land becomes unusable to the logging companies so they just abandon it. Not all countries replant what they cut, and Costa Rica is a Prime example of this. In Costa Rica the laws of clear cutting are very lenient and logging companies take advantage of this fact. “In Costa Rica, until only about 15 years

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