Sustainable logging practices at work in MERA Trails Unit

By Observer editorial September 01, 2010 01:47 pm
Forest Capital Partners, owner of two-thirds of the timber in the county-owned Mount Emily Recreation Area, is in the process of logging the Trails Unit of the recreation area. Forest Capital appears to be doing a superb job in the way it is going about the logging operation. The logging that was scheduled for this summer was the subject of an intense effort this spring to buy the Trails Unit timber for preservation and selective logging. The fundraising effort came up short of funds, despite several extensions by Forest Capital. But as it has turned out, fears that Forest Capital might decimate the area have proven unfounded.

The logging that is under way is, as Forest Capital pointed out, an exercise in sustainable logging. The result is what appears to be a healthier forest, one that leaves some of the big trees but clears the understory so that fire danger is reduced.

The type of logging that’s going on in the Trails Unit isn’t unique. It’s happening on private forest lands throughout the region. And it should serve as an example of what our national forests could become if similar management principles could be put to work.

The result would be healthier forests and reduced fire danger. Too, there could be a continual timber supply that, once the economy turns around, could help keep community economies healthier.

There really is a middle ground in the forest debate. The Trails Unit logging is a prime example.