Essay on Deforestation of the Pacific Northwest

1213 Words Sep 23rd, 1999 5 Pages
Deforestation of the Pacific Northwest

One of the most controversial areas associated with the global problem of deforestation is the Pacific Northwest of the US. The problem can be broken down into several issues that all tie in together. These include the near extinction of the Northern Spotted Owl, the "business" aspect of logging versus the environmental aspect, and the role of the government in this problem. In 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed. This enabled the
Dept. of Commerce and Dept. of the Interior to place species, either land or marine, as either threatened or endangered. Under these terms species could no longer be hunted, collected, injured or killed. The northern spotted owl falls under the more
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In order to protect the current owl population, the remaining forests would have to be preserved, but this would have a serious negative economical effect. Such a decision would effect jobs, regional economy, as well as the lifestyle of loggers. With such a great effect, to stop the cutting seems to be an exercise in futility. On the other hand, by continuing the destruction of the owls' habitat, the only suitable habitat that will remain will be in the confines of a zoo. Seeing an animal in an artificial environment can certainly not be compared to witnessing an animal in its' natural environment. In my opinion, there can be no price put on the existence of any species on this planet, plant or animal. To think that money has become such an influential part of our society that companies are willing to sacrifice a species in order to make a profit. The northern spotted owl is only one of many species that are on the verge of extinction do to deforestation. Another important consideration in the deforestation of the Pacific North Coast is logging as a business. The investors of a publicly owned company sole concern is the growth of their stock, and this for lumber companies is accomplished by harvesting trees in the most efficient and cost effective manner. Clear-cutting old growth is the best way to accomplish this. This approach leads to quick financial gain but is not best for the long-term or the trees. It is the companies that use this process that is

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