letters

Letter: It’s not all about humans

Indeed we humans depend on biodiversity, but we don’t seem to have realized that yet

It’s not all about humans

Regarding Edward Field’s letter in the July 1 edition, “Some old growth logging part of balance”, I find two problems:

1. “What about areas which will never or very seldom be visited?” This question demonstrates the idea that humans are the species, above all, that matter. We need to learn that ecosystems need to be protected for the well-being of the species that inhabit them, that depend on them, not those that may visit them. All species are important. Indeed we humans depend on biodiversity, but we don’t seem to have realized that yet.

2. “…all trees do eventually die…” Of course this is true, but dead trees, standing or fallen, are essential to maintain biodiversity, as they create habitat for many species. Think of the cavity nesting birds that require standing, dead “wildlife trees”. Think of the “nurse logs” that provide nutrients for seedling plants and eventually contribute to healthy forest soils. Over the years, while they are decomposing, thanks to myriads of fungi and bacteria, these fallen trees retain valuable moisture and provide habitat for many invertebrates and small vertebrates like salamanders.

Whether they are visited or not, all remaining old growth should be saved for the good of all species, including us. Yes, they are worth more, standing. Then, I would add, let them die and recycle in the place where they stood. We can survive with the careful harvesting of younger trees.

Gail Mitchell

North Cowichan

Letters