deforestation and butterflies

Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX Norbert.Kondla at
Mon Sep 18 10:57:41 EDT 2000

Correctamundo.  Here in British Columbia, old growth forests (with its
plethora of technical and non-technical definitions) has and continues to be
a topic of very active consideration in the social, political and resource
management domains.  In short, some old growth forests have been protected
through legal designation of protected areas like parks; while other prime
areas of forest with old growth attributes are actively being identified and
reserved from harvesting for a period of time while other parts of the land
base are harvested.  We call these 'old growth management areas' as required
by law in this province.  Last week I spent 90 % of one day meeting with a
particular forest licensee who wanted to log a particular patch of old
growth forest with superior attributes.  The answer given several times as
they tested our bureaucratic resolve, was a resounding "NO".  Of course
planning to retain a prescribed percentage of the landscape in old growth is
a challenge with those ecosystems where periodic razing by wildfire is the
natural norm and old growth was naturally highly circumscribed.  There will
continue to be debates about which particular spots need to be protected of
course but the topic is being vigorously pursued on a number of fronts.
Sadly, I must report that old growth forests here, at the wet end of the
moisture gradient, are not all that wonderful for the butterflies.  Great
lichen and bryophyte diversity however :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: Roger Kuhlman [mailto:rkuhlman at]
Sent: Friday, September 15, 2000 5:35 PM
To: leps-l at
Subject: Re: deforestation and butterflies

I agree with you that fire suppression, particularly of natural fires, is a 
bad thing in the western US and western Canada because these forests are 
adapted to and flourish with periodic natural fire. The same might not be 
true in other forested ecosystems especially those in the tropics--how often

does large-scale burnings occur naturally in the rainforests of Brazil.

It's not my general understanding that the word 'deforestation' applies
to forests that have undergone transformation by natural fires. To me the 
term applies clear-cutting of old-growth forests or the large-scale 
application of artificial fires in slash-and-burn agriculture to remove 
forests for various purposes(things like cattle farms).

A good resource manager I would say would be concerned with planned and 
regulated timber harvesting when it involves the clear-cutting of old-growth

forests that most of the timber industry is always clamoring for.

Roger Kuhlman

>The monarch topic and a morning field trip with a forester into the real
>world caused me to think about something that seldom gets mentioned and
>which many people may not be aware of.  Firstly, deforestation is not de
>facto a bad thing, unless one has philosophical leanings that way.   
>process periodically de-forests parts of forested landscapes and organisms
>have adapted to that, or gone extinct - all very natural.  There is
>documentation that shows in the western USA and western Canda,  we actually
>have more forested landscapes now (after 100 years of fire suppression) 
>we had when mother nature ruled the wilderness and there were no loggers
>around.  As a biologist and resource management practitioner, I am far more
>concerned about forest encroachment and forest ingrowth in certain
>ecosystems than I am about planned and regulated timber harvesting.  Trees
>are not always good things and tree planting in one park (parks supposedly
>protect things) in southern ontario contributed to the demise of the karner
>blue in Canada.
>Norbert Kondla  P.Biol., RPBio.
>Forest Ecosystem Specialist, Ministry of Environment
>845 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, British Columbia V1N 1H3
>Phone 250-365-8610
>Mailto:Norbert.Kondla at

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at

More information about the Leps-l mailing list