In response to Dug Wards letter, Logging a part of good forestry management (Herald, Feb. 21): This seemingly emotionally motivated response to a disagreement with Nathan Coe (Letters, Herald, Feb. 13) was unfortunately fairly well lacking in any substance or truth.
I, too, have walked some of these ¨thinning projects¨ around Durango and have been absolutely appalled at the level of destruction. I have also walked vast areas of true clear cuts in the Northwest, literally devoid of life. Fortunately, this is not yet the case here, but it does not justify the level of destruction present in our forests around Durango.
Natural forests thin themselves to an old-growth state, which is ecologically ideal and balanced.
Ward seems to be trying to show that we must manage these dog hair stands to produce a healthier forest through forest management. In reality, many of these stands were caused by manmade events such as logging and fire suppression. However, the pinnacle for biodiversity and carbon sequestering occurs in old-growth forests, and these forests take hundreds of years to form. With only 5 percent of old-growth forests remaining in the U.S., they are a vital resource. The hypocrisy is that many of these unhealthy stands are the intentional cause of the logging industry and designed to create more marketable timber.
Contrary to Wards point of increased wood prices, the statistics show wood prices plummeted in 2010, a result, in part, of the drop in the housing market, which is entirely outside the scope of this debate.
We must begin by managing ourselves and our out-of-control consumption of the Earth. If healthy forests, biodiversity and dealing with carbon footprints is truly our intention, we must be willing to log less and conserve more tracts of land, allowing them to reach full ecological potential.
Lets not use ungrounded facts or rhetoric about socioeconomic issues to sway peoples thoughts away from the true topic: We are destroying forests, not managing them.
Travis Custer, Durango