Research paper: Factors accounting for forest degradation in New Brunswick

Published under category: Writing Ideas | 2015-06-01 22:12:57 UTC

Context: Environment and Forestry

Forests in New Brunswick are very important because they are a source of many services. Among the services that they provide are moderation of temperature in and around communities; protection of water resources such as streams, rivers and wetlands; slowing down soil erosion; preventing flooding and providing cleaner air. Despite the numerous benefits that forests provide, forests of New Brunswick are facing degradation due to human activities and climate change.

Forests in New Brunswick are faced with degradation due to increased logging activities. Unlike in the past where logging was down by humans with small tools that caused little harm, logging activities in New Brunswick forests have developed to include the use of heavy machinery that result in unsustainable logging practices. The loggers employ the use of a clear-cutting method that has resulted in a gradual reduction of biomass. The logging activities are unsustainable since old trees are cut without replacement. This has resulted in the reduction of forest cover in New Brunswick. Clear-cutting has wiped out large swaths of forest and wildlife habitat. It has resulted in the reduction of biodiversity, and there is run-off into the streams and rivers.

Large tracts of forests are being converted into lands for cultivation; whereby people apply herbicides after the trees have been cut down to prevent the growth of other trees. Large areas of forests have, therefore, been cleared and are now used for agricultural purposes. Besides, people are also creating roads in the forests hence interfering with its ecosystem. The heavy machineries that are used in cutting down trees result in the compacting of the soil in the forest. The forest, therefore, loses the productive area.

Forest degradation has also been caused by a change of climate. The overall increase in temperature and altered precipitation has resulted in some species of trees in the forests having a hard time to grow. The older species of trees are finding themselves in a marginal habitat hence poorer growth. The changing climate has also resulted in the introduction of new species of trees and plants resulting in competition for the habitat. The changed climate has also resulted in invasive pests hence an increase in infestations, especially in plantations.

In order to prevent forest degradation, sustainable forestry practices should be adopted by the companies that harvest timber in the forests. The old trees that have been cut should be replaced by other trees in order to maintain the forest cover. Clear-cutting method of logging should be outlawed as it leads to the reduction of forest cover. The government should set up organizations that examine the activities of logging companies and then offer them with sustainable practices certification for their products. Consumers will be able to see the certification on the products that they purchase.

The government should create further policies aimed at conserving older forests that have a variety of native species of trees. Such forests should be closed to logging companies and preserved as national heritages that can generate money through tourism. The trees will be able to provide the ecological services that are required by people and animals in the area.

Deforestation practices that involve built development, building of roads and other forms of land conversion should be limited in order to help conserve the forests.

Lastly, the genetic diversity of indigenous species of trees should be conserved or restored. Conservation of the native trees will help in ensuring that trees have the potential of naturally adapting to new climatic conditions.

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