This demo is part of the STAO demo collection available free of charge on our website.
Primary industry has been important to the Canadian economy for hundreds of years. In particular, the vast forests in British Columbia and Ontario provide the raw materials for a billion-dollar industry. Forests are also environmentally important as they remove carbon dioxide from the air and replenish the atmosphere with oxygen. Each forest is a diverse community of different plant and animal species. In addition, the roots of trees and vegetation help to absorb water, limiting rain runoff and reducing soil erosion.
There are a several different logging practices, each with economic and environmental advantages and disadvantages:
- • Clear cutting: involves the removal of all trees and vegetation in the area. Although it is the cheapest method of logging, the environmental impact is severe.
- • Shelter-wood cutting is the staged harvesting of strips of trees. Seed-bearing trees are left to regenerate and wind damage is reduced but erosion along the strips is still a problem.
- • Patch cutting involves selectively cutting 100-200 ha patches of trees, leaving connectivity between the remaining forest. It is costly because specialized equipment is required, but less environmentally damaging.
- • Selective cutting is the removal of only the most desirable trees from the forest. This has the least impact on the forest however it is very costly.