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Salvage logging of pine beetle infested forests

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Salvage logging of pine beetle infested forests
December 01, 2011 07:43PM
The environmental costs of B.C.'s logging war on pine beetles

FIRST IN A SERIES: The plan was simple: Log and sell as much dead pine as possible before it decayed or burned. But the environmental costs of the large-scale salvaging of Interior forests are still being tallied

By LARRY PYNN, Vancouver SunDecember 1, 2011 6:06

THE INTERIOR PLATEAU -- The province sold the epidemic as unprecedented in North American history.

Biblical plagues of mountain pine beetles sweeping across the Interior landscape in dark clouds, leaving a dead zone more than five times the size of Vancouver Island in their wake.

This was war. And the government fought back with an equally aggressive salvage-logging strategy, initially to try to stop the beetleā€™s spread, and then to harvest as much dead wood as possible before it decayed or burned.

The result? Massive clearcuts with no upper limits, faster approvals for cutting permits, more logging companies taking ever more timber, with industry in charge of conducting its own affairs.

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