Letter: The value of old-growth forests

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I want to thank Doug Baughman for his rebuttal to Susan Fletcher’s opinion article, “Taking the Long View: Increased Logging Will Benefit Our National Forests” [June 8, Xpress]. Mr. Baughman’s letter, “More Logging Isn’t the Answer for Our National Forests” [June 29, Xpress] refutes her points about what is good for our economy and our land.

Ms. Fletcher is married to a logger and “chipmiller” and purveyor of other wood products. In our materialistic, nature-destroying culture, I tend to believe science over business, but I always reveal my father’s job after making such a statement. He was a paper salesman. I do understand that people need to be able to make a living. One of Dad’s customers gave him a set of 10 sketches of Paul Bunyan busy in his logging endeavors. Mom matted them in calico, framed them, and they hung in our hallway for many years. So, yes, Dad made a living for us, but he also loved trees and instilled in me his respect for nature and his great appreciation of trees.

Destroying old-growth, and big trees particularly, is not a good way to make a living. If you do not know what big trees do for the forest, consider reading Suzanne Simard’s book Finding the Mother Tree. She was a forester who became a professor of forest ecology. I hope that in their tenure as the loggers at Pisgah View Ranch, the Fletchers did not take most of the big trees for themselves. The citizens of our state would love to experience those trees.

Ms. Fletcher writes that she is “proudly married” to a mountain native who is a logger. I have seen videos of loggers who regretted their leveling of the forests later in their lives. I believe and hope that more of us are coming to believe that we really are “all one” — different peoples, animals and, yes, the plants that nourish us. We can make our communities — plants, animals and human animals — more connected. Our land and people will be better off with our old-growth forests. Suzanne Simard and countless other scientists have enumerated the many environmental benefits of old-growth forest.

Please read Mr. Baughman’s letter. He is a scientist. I am just a person who loves these mountains.

— Carol Diamond


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.