Logging in Tongass rainforest would imperil rare species

While logging can be carried out in a manner that reduces damage to the environment, most logging in the rainforest is very destructive. Large trees are cut down and dragged through the forest, while access roads open up remote forest areas to agriculture by poor farmers. In Africa logging workers often rely on “bushmeat” for protein. They hunt wildlife like gorillas, deer, and chimpanzees for food.

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A solution that can halt illegal logging in rainforests. Watch the video to learn how it works

Sustainable Logging in the Rainforest

Dry forests occur in locations such as ridges, where fire is a more commonoccurrence. Fires become more likely after roads bring an increase of humanactivity into a forest. After logging in rainforest buffer zones, the regrowthof fire-promoting species such as eucalypts can increase fire danger tothe adjacent rainforest.

NASA images show expansion of logging in Congo rainforest

Much of the logging occurring in tropical rainforests is illegal, accounting for perhaps as much as 65% of the world supply of timber (Haugen, 2002). Illegal logging occurs even in national parks and reserves, and includes the cutting of protected species, underreporting and overcutting, smuggling, and logging without permits, among other violations. This type of activity is rampant especially in Southeast Asia, some African countries and parts of Brazil. The loss of revenue to the government of Cambodia from illegal logging is equivalent to the entire national budget of that country, but the high government officials control this trade (along with the remnants of the Khmer Rouge). And Cameroon lost 50% of its potential tax revenues because of illegal logging during the decade of the 1990’s (Abramovitz, 1998). Much of the wood imported into the United States and the European Union is derived from illegal sources, yet it is not mandatory to confiscate these imports. Such official complaisance – indeed, complicity – with illegal activities to satisfy domestic markets is driving much tropical deforestation today.

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