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Why are timber companies allowed to clear-cut forest instead of leaving some trees to prevent erosion?

Jason Gonzales

Q. How come timber companies are allowed to clear-cut forest instead of leaving some trees in order to prevent wind and soil erosion? I am referring specifically to the clear cutting that is under way on Maco Road and Colon Mintz Road near Leland.

A. The clear-cutting or harvesting of trees is regulated by the N.C. Forestry Service.

According to the rules and guidelines set forth by the state, loggers are hired to clear all trees within a given space. Clear-cutting is often preferred.

“Preserving some areas of forest may be appropriate if the purposes are for reasons other than to grow trees,” according to the guidelines. “However, it’s important to recognize that trees do not live forever. If they are managed through scientific forestry principles and harvested in accordance to best management practices, trees can provide an abundance of renewable natural resource materials after being harvested, while also providing many environmental benefits.”

The guidelines go onto say that “while the immediate appearance of some clearcuts may not be attractive to all, there are biological and silvicultural benefits of a properly implemented clearcut harvest. Considering the long-term management of forests, as measured in decades, the relatively short period of time that a clearcut harvest appears unsightly should not be considered as a permanent loss of forests.”

Silvicultural refers to the care and cultivation of forest trees.

And often times, after a harvest of trees, new seeds are planted to restore the area’s forest cover. However, in the case of a land clearing, it is usually done to make room for land development.


Who is responsible for four dead trees at Forest Hills Drive and Wrightsville Avenue?

Why is logging going on along Eastwood Road near Autumn Hall?

User-contributed question by:
Timothy Bush

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