“Clearcutting in California”
a video production by
Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (CSERC)
Clearcuts – More than Ugly
Clearcutting harms the forest ecosystem in numerous ways.
Clearcutting first removes all the profitable sawlog-sized trees on a clearcut site. Then most clearcuts are bulldozed after logging to strip the site of bushes, young trees, or other plants that might compete with a crop of new conifer seedlings.
Herbicides are almost always used to kill the grasses and groundcovers that may survive the bulldozing. The resulting denuded hillside exposes bare soil to heavy winter rains or spring snowmelt. Erosion often causes topsoil to be washed off the clearcut into downslope streams and rivers. Critical habitat values such as large trees, snags, and down logs are usually removed.
A natural forest is converted into a nearly sterile tree plantation- an uninhabitable environment for much of the diverse native plants and animals that are part of a forest ecosystem.
For more information, visit Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center.