I enjoy conservation because it seems like a great use of land. We get to use the resources from the land, yet do not take so much away from it that future generations can not use it. Forests are a great example of this. On my recent trip to Canada we visited a logging site and the view behind us of the government owned hillside was a great example of conservation in action.
|Example of Canadian Forestry Management|
When I explain the exploitation, conservation, preservation continuum to people, often people think think of one extreme or the other, but between removing every single tree and not removing any of the trees is a medium that is economically productive, on land that aside from hunting is otherwise economically unproductive. The negative aspect is that in this part of British Columbia the trees are in the neighborhood of 70 years old when they are harvested. With growing cycles that long sustainability takes on a complex meaning. It is good to know that somewhere in the world people are attempting to plan environmental practices decades into the future, and not only for the sake of recreation, but for an economic benefit, every year.
Finally, it is worth noting that increases in carbon dioxide levels and rising global temperatures will increase the rate of growth of northern (and I suppose far southern) trees. In other words, the CO2 levels have gone from about 310 ppm to 390 ppm from 1960 to 2010 so a 70 year cycle in the past might only be a 50 year cycle going forward. The negative of this is that the wood will be less dense, and thus a slightly lower quality. The positive is, there will be more wood available to harvest. In a perverse way higher CO2 levels and warmer temperatures will help the logging industry reduce the time between harvest cycles.
Clearly, forestry, and wood, paper and related products, are one tiny aspect of the global resource pool yet a complicated topic whose best practices we are still learning. In short, Canadians, nice job, it seems like you are thinking about all of these things in a proactive manner!