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Should we not cut any trees at all?

LISTENING STUDY: All responses indicate that some cutting of trees is necessary to supply human needs. One response states that logging should be done only on private lands while others suggest that non-wood fibers be used first as an alternative to tree fibers. Still others emphasize the importance of managing forests to provide a sustainable resource.

From a social and economic perspective, our National Forests are far more valuable standing, growing, dying, and regenerating where they are than cut down and converted into two by fours and paper products. National forests provide many social and economic contributions to the nation, simply by existing as natural ecosystems. - National Forest Protection Alliance

Could we? - Michael Snyder, Forester

In many cases trees are an important and effective source of fiber. - Victoria Mills, Project Manager, Corporate Partnerships, Environmental Defense

Wood is the most environmentally-friendly source of building materials and fiber available. Compared with other materials (steel, concrete, non-tree fibers), wood requires less energy, creates less pollution, and is recyclable and biodegradable. In a managed forest we can maintain almost all biodiversity values, while those dependent on old growth or wilderness can be maintained in special management areas (mostly public lands). - Robert R. Bryan, Forest Ecologist, Maine Audubon

We should cut and harvest trees sustainably to help protect the environment. Harvesting trees through sustainable forestry practices increases the use of greenhouse gas neutral materials, provides rural communities with valuable income, and supports a tremendous volume of recyclable consumer goods. In fact, if we were to stop cutting trees to make paper in America there would be opportunities for less developed countries to cut trees at an unsustainable pace and, for the large part, in an unsustainable manner. In addition, small non-industrial private landowners in the US would lose revenue generated from growing forests. Stopping the cutting of trees would actually create an incentive for landowners to sell their forestlands for development and permanently eliminate the forest. - International Paper

Humans need wood for a wide variety of purposes and will continue to cut trees. However, we may not need to cut trees for paper if we use non-tree fibres and recycled paper. - Susan Hammond, Executive Director, Silva Forest Foundation

We should cut trees to supply needs that cannot be met with post-consumer or other fibers. - Frank Locantore, Co-op America

Trees are a renewable resource and with sustainable forest management can provide us with the fiber we need for paper, building, fuel, and other uses. These sustainably managed forests also provide us with additional benefits such as enhanced wildlife habitat, increased forest vigor, recreation opportunities and forest fire prevention. - Stora Enso

There are those who argue that we should cut fewer trees and use less wood and that this would be good for the environment. A closer look at how we use wood and other resources reveals just the opposite - that we should be growing more trees and using more wood, not less. In particular, if we use less wood we will inevitably use more nonrenewable materials and fuels to build and maintain our civilization. . . .
     Deforestation is a difficult subject for the forest industry because it certainly looks deforested when all the trees are cut down in a given area. But it's only deforested if the area is not reforested. . . . Deforestation means the permanent removal of the forest, the most common cause of which is clearing for agriculture and cities. . . .
     Preventing the further loss of the world's forests has little to do with forestry and everything to do with managing our population, growing more food on less land, and ending urban sprawl. . . . A large parking lot is the ultimate in deforestation and the automobile is arguably the most destructive technology ever invented by the human species. . . . - Transcript from Trees Are the Answer, video hosted by Dr. Patrick Moore, Green Spirit, 2001

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