When we weren't out fishing, I was engrossed in reading Jerad Diamond's book "Collapse". As I looked down on the forested lands, I could not help but consider several of Jerad's comments on deforestation and it's impact on the failure of several cultures and societies of the past. Climatic conditions for this area is not conducive to rapid tree growth and the shallow soils would be highly susceptible to devastating water erosion without vegetative cover. The massive area of tree removal is providing a situation where a single age class of new trees will result in the lose of diversity and exacerbate the opportunity for devastating large wildfires in the future. I was impressed with the fact that reforestation was allowed to occur by natural sources rather than using the plantation approach with single tree species and single age class trees. Nature was attempting to provide some diversity and appeared to be doing a pretty good job.
The area is recovering and the trees look healthy.
Canada is fortunate to have a low population density and many acres of forested lands but, Diamond's book offers a history lesson for forest scientists, that demands a re-evaluation of our current forest land management goals and principles. We talk today about how we are in a global economy and what happens in another country affects us. I suggest, the same consideration must be applied to the science of forestry. We have already lost slightly over half of the forest cover our planet once had. We have numerous examples of the effect of deforestation on failing societies of the past. We are dealing in global forestry today and what happens in China, Japan or any country, directly affects us worldwide! We must focus on managing our forests and stop our focus on what we can take from the forests!