Opinion: Support loggers, don’t vandalize them. They’re environmental heroes harvesting a renewable resource

The Catchacoma Forest is governed under Ontario’s Crown Forest Sustainability Act, enacted in 1994 under then-New Democratic premier Bob Rae. In this type of forest, loggers cut selected trees, and protect the health of the forest during operations, writes Peter Kuitenbrouwer. PHOTO BY WILDERNESS COMMITTEE

By Peter Kuitenbrouwer

During this pandemic, more people have self-isolated at their cottages. Parks, conservation areas and Crown forests received record visitors. These people sometimes stumble on loggers, and some don’t like what they see.

Logging is ugly work. In short order, forest equipment can enter a woodland and make a mess. Still, we need loggers. The trees they cut become stuff we need: paper, tissue, plywood, two-by-fours and furniture. Plus, forests grow back.

Before Christmas, the Peterborough Examiner published an open letter from a logger. Last spring, he wrote, he had been cutting in the Catchacoma Forest, on Crown land about 200 kilometres northeast of Toronto. He left his equipment parked in a clearing for the summer. Loggers generally work in cold weather. Heavy equipment moves more easily across frozen ground, and winter harvest minimizes gouging and avoids damage to tree trunks, roots, waterways, nests and burrows.