Why can’t we just let the forest grow naturally? This is a common question. The shortest answer is that we can’t afford to. That’s not merely a matter of money. It’s more a matter of goods and services, some of which we need in order to survive as a species.
Let’s examine that word “naturally.” What is or is not natural can be argued; however, most people might agree that “naturally” means without further human intervention. Many people may not realize that the forests of today are largely a product of historical human intervention which is often catastrophic. The result has been significant differences in composition, structure, and function from the forests of, say, two hundred years ago. In this way, our current forests are far from “natural.”
Here is where we get into what might be called philosophical considerations. The notions of “good” and “bad” regarding natural processes are largely romantic products of human perception. This is not to say these perceptions are unimportant. However, care should be taken when applying them to nature in pragmatic ways. Whatever someone might think is “good” will not likely be the path a forest will take if left unmanaged. read more >>