Logging in the Sierra Nevada

Logging In The Sierra Nevada

Logging in the Sierra Nevada

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Logging in the Californian Sierra Nevada arose from the need to support growing communities in the area. The Gold Rush created a high demand for timber to build housing, for mining procedures, and especially to build railroads. In these days use was unregulated and in the first 20 years after the rush, a third of the timber in the Sierra Nevada was logged . Concern for the forests created a movement towards conservation at the turn of the 19th century creating state and national parks (Yosemite, Sequoia and Grant Grove) and forest reserves. The Sierra Club, a non-governmental organization (NGO), was founded around this time by the famous preservationist John Muir. Between 1900 and 1940 agencies like the U.S. Forest Service and The National Park Service regulated the use of the Sierra Nevada’s resources. The economy boom after World War II dramatically increased timber production in the Sierras using clear-cutting as the dominant form of logging.


One method of logging is clear-cutting, removing all trees from a tract of land, which has caused major disturbances in the Sierra Nevada environment leaving patches of densely packed, single-specie, same-aged, tree plantations among the diverse old growth forest. Low-impact logging meets current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This typically means smaller periodic harvests and removing the worst trees to eliminate danger to high value trees. Forest management,...
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