To Clear-Cut or Not to Clear-Cut?

As a forester for the past 15 years I have seen many changes in how forests are described. It strikes me that until we can come to some concensus on what an old-growth or ancient forest is, we cannot fully manage this type of forest (or for that matter any forest) and determine whether it is to be harvested.

Some form of consensus-building entity needs to be created. Perhaps from this a new "myth" will come into existence that will allow both timber harvesting and the growing of older forests. This idea of growing older forests is widely held by many practicing foresters. This approach, however, will need to consider economic realities and policies that have been in place for a long time. Todd A. Merritt, Rochester, Wash.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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