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[生物的未來-野生動植物保育]

拯救森林?先砍這裡!

 

To save a forest, chop here

作者:艾德•杭特 於華盛頓州,格雷斯河

  你願意砍多少樹來拯救森林?在此,我們先不討論原生森林,而來談談國家的其他森林地。

  在美國,不論私人的或公有的的森林地,絕大多數的森林若未被砍伐過兩次,至少也都被砍伐過一次。大多數森林地都是以經營林場模式,種植具商業價值的單一樹種。這也是一種森林,但即使你讓它生長一百年,還是無法提供相當於原生森林的棲息地。

  它僅能算是一個較老的林場,在美國,我們有許多像這樣的森林。其中一些屬於州立和聯邦的森林地,多數是私人擁有。

  然而,不管是公有或私人林地,「森林如何經營」這檔事,對居住在森林裡的人們和城市裡的人們同樣有著利害關係。森林提供我們所呼吸的空氣,淨化我們的水,並從空氣中吸取二氧化碳。不僅為我們人類社會提供工作機會,也為野生動物和魚等許多物種提供的棲息地。

  所以,做為一個國家和一個社會,什麼才該是我們對那些森林應有的目標?

  一種做法是成立非營利性的組織,籌得貸款來購買那些已遭砍伐的私人林地,以避免被進一步地開發。然後,採用高環境敏感度且有選擇性的森林管理,來賺錢償還貸款。當然,這必定會犧牲一些樹,但卻能終止森林開發和恆續性棲地破壞,進而保護更大面積的森林

  西雅圖地區提出這個主張。在那堙A漫無計劃擴張的公路化和都市化現象,正威脅著百萬英畝的山麓森林。

  近來,華盛頓州的國王郡(King County)在短期間內,花在鋪設路面的錢遠比種植樹木多。事實上,華盛頓州的一家名為WeyerHauser 的大型伐木公司已預見(未來市場),並開創不動產開發的子公司,打算以小單位面積出售被伐除過的森林地。

  Mountains to Sound Greenway的執行長南西•凱斯最近告訴西雅圖周報: 「環境保護論者已開始相信,積極的森林管理比到處都是購物中心的景象,要好得多。」

  對棲息地、空氣和水質來說,伐木產業的最負面影響都比雜亂建築擴張來的好。而且,林業管理的執行,可以採取對森林生態功能較為敏感的方式。

  事實上,根據安德魯•卡瑞和其他在太平洋西北研究站的奧林匹亞林業科學實驗室人員的研究,電腦模擬程式建議,對森林作有效管理比放任單一樹種林場不管,能更快地使棲息地功能回復到原生森林的狀態。在疏伐和建立棲息地之下,我們可從多樣的森林產物中獲得穩定收入。

  人們會非常樂意支付更多錢來購買來自永續經營林場的木材。取得「持續性地森林伐除業務」 的獨立認證之後,會使每呎木板的要價更高。目前,這種「保證持續生產木材」的市場需求要比供給來得多。投資者會最先見識到「保護森林」比「獲得利潤」來得重要。

  另一種做法是只購買土地開發權。這可以讓土地擁有人保有財產。這種方式對小額土地擁有人比較可行。非營利性組織和土地擁有人可達成協議,做好持續性地土地管理。

  社區團體或土地信託也可以從小規模造林地地主手中買下所有開發權,並取得協議,以較大規模、較易實行的社區共有森林的方式來管理這些私有地。木材在當地加工可以提供就業機會,而不必再將原木運送到外地。當地的木材同業可以打開促銷木製品的市場。

  在西雅圖外,從英屬哥倫比亞至北加州,社區共有森林的觀念正以許多不同型式進行試驗。一些私人公司已經在推行這種持續性產量的方法。同時,非營利性組織,如太平洋森林信託(Pacific Forest Trust)已經發展了一些方法以取得、保存和永續管理森林地。

  砍樹來拯救森林,最初以直覺想,似乎是說不通的。然而從長期來看,你會明白,拯救地球並不是真的要我們想出怎麼做。而是要我們學習去整合人類的經濟-標準、資產和價值-和自然世界的經濟,也就是所謂的生態系統。 

  為要完成它,我們的本地經濟價值需要相當的改變,但有些聰明人早就想出這東西了。

  在過去200年以來,我們對自然資源有著兩極的看法。自然世界若不是不受限制的開發,就是毫無異議的被保護著 - 扼殺它或是封閉它。通常第一個觀點會一直盛行,直到只剩一點乾淨的水,或是森林、草地。然後第二個保護主義者的觀點會狠狠的抨擊,要大家去挽救人類這惡魔破壞後所剩下來的東西。

  別把我的想法搞錯了。剩餘荒野地區的絕對保存應該是優先的。在這意思下,我們正在進行一種可以說是-的分類標準-用來拯救那些將被毀掉的極少但還殘留著的自然資源。想要終止築路輔助金嗎?對我來說很好。想要封閉在聯邦土地上剩餘的原生森林嗎?聽起來也不錯。

  然而,像這樣的保護方法,對地球的生命來說,其實是短期的做法。

  對環境而言,沒有什麼比短視考量更來的危險。最終,是不會有社會或經濟可以置身於自然世界之外:我們的確沒領悟到健康的社會跟健康的環境之間的關聯性。

  所以,如果我們真希望拯救地球,我們最好別再把自然和環境只當作是道路兩旁的那一點點小藍小綠。如果我們無法發展能持續使用自然資源的方法,那我們就無法長期保護這地球。道理就是那麼簡單。

  所以,你願意砍些樹來拯救森林嗎?

Ed Hunt是一位自然資源作家和Tidepool.org新聞服務的編輯。在加入此頁到你流覽器的書籤之前,先按here.。編按:更多環境資訊請參考www.tidepool.org

全文與圖詳見: http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/
2000/07/18/fp11s2-csm.shtml

版權所有Tidepool: News for the Rain Forest Coast,環境信託基金會(林修誼 譯,黃媺雯 審校)

中英對照全文詳見:http://news.ngo.org.tw/issue/animal/issue-
animal
01030701.htm

Ed Hunt GRAYS RIVER, WASH. 

How many trees would you be willing to cut down to save a forest? For a moment let's leave the discussion of old growth behind and talk about the rest of the nation's forest land.

The majority of forest land in the United States - both private and public - has been logged at least once if not twice. Most has been replanted tree-farm style with a single commercial species. It's a forest, but even if you let it grow 100 years, it won't provide the same habitat as old growth.

It's just an older tree farm, and out here we have a lot of them. Some of it is state and federal forest lands, a lot of it is private.

Yet, public or private, the people who live in the forest have a stake in how it is managed, and so do the people who live in the city. The forest provides the air that we breathe, it cleans our water, sucks carbon dioxide out of the air, and can provide jobs for our communities as well as habitat for many species of wildlife and fish.

So what should be our goal - as a nation, and as a community - for those forests?

One idea is to set up nonprofit organizations to get loans from investors to buy private land that's been cut to save it from development, then to use environmentally sensitive, selective forestry to generate enough money to pay back the loans. This, of course, is going to involve killing a few trees, but it would end up protecting a much greater area of forest from development, and thus permanent habitat destruction.

This is an idea being put forward in the Seattle area, where a million acres of foothills forest is threatened with being paved and plated and urbanized with sprawl.

Paving-in King County these days pays more in the short term than planting trees. In fact, a major forest company in the state, Weyerhauser, has seen the future and has created real estate and development subsidiaries to turn logged forests into subdivisions.

"Environmentalists have come to believe that it's better to have active forestry than shopping malls everywhere," Nancy Keith, executive director of the Mountains to Sound Greenway, recently told Seattle Weekly.

Even taken at its industrial worst, logging is better for habitat, air, and water quality than sprawl. And forestry can be conducted in ways that are much more sensitive to the ecological functions of the forest.

In fact, computer models suggest that forestry can be conducted in a way that returns the old-growth habitat functions more quickly than if the monoculture of a tree farm is simply left alone, according to research conducted by Andrew Carey and others at the Pacific Northwest Research Station's Olympia Forestry Sciences Laboratory. In doing the thinning and habitat-creating, a steady income can be derived from a variety of forest products.

People are willing to pay more for wood when they know it is harvested sustainably. Obtaining independent certification that the forest practices are "sustainable" would allow more to be charged for each board foot of wood. Currently the market for this certified sustainably harvested wood exceeds the supply. Investors would know up front that the priorities for forest preservation would come before profits.

Another option is to buy just the rights to develop the land, allowing the landowner to keep the property in the family. This arrangement would work better with smaller landowners. Nonprofit organizations could then set up agreements with landowners to manage land sustainably.

Community groups or land trusts could also buy up development rights from small woodlot owners, and gain agreements to manage privately owned land as a larger, more-viable community forest. Instead of shipping raw logs out of the community, the wood could be milled locally to provide jobs. Local co-ops could find markets to promote wood products.

Outside Seattle, the community forest idea is being tried in various forms from British Columbia down to northern California. Some private companies are already putting sustainable harvest methods into practice. Meanwhile, nonprofit organizations like the Pacific Forest Trust have developed a number of tools to help acquire, conserve, and sustainably manage forest lands.

At first, all this seems counterintuitive - cutting trees to save a forest. Yet from a long-term view, you realize that "saving" the planet is not really what we have to figure out how to do. Instead, we need to learn to integrate our human economy - its measures, capital, and values - with the economy of the natural world - otherwise known as an ecosystem.

To accomplish this, our local economic values need to change considerably, but some smart folks are already figuring this stuff out.

For the past 200 years or so, we've had a bipolar view of natural resources. The natural world was either something to be exploited without restraint, or protected without exception - mow it down or lock it up. Usually the first view reigns until only a few areas of clean water, or forest or meadow are left, then the second preservationist view storms in to rescue what's left from the evils of humans.

Don't get me wrong: Preservation of remaining wilderness areas should be a priority. In that sense, we're operating at a sort of triage level of action, working to save what little still remains to be screwed up. Want to end the road-building subsidy? Fine with me. Lock up the remaining old growth on federal lands? Sounds good.

However, such preservation is a short-term fix in the life of the planet.

And there is nothing more dangerous for the environment than short-term thinking.In the end, there is no such thing as a community or economy that exists separate from the natural world: We simply fail to realize the connections between a healthy community and a healthy environment.

So if we really want to save the planet, we better stop thinking about "nature" and the "environment" as just the green and blue bits between the pavement.If we fail to develop sustainable ways to use natural resources, we fail to protect the planet long term. It's as simple as that.

So would you be willing to cut down a few trees to save a forest?

Ed Hunt is a natural-resources writer and editor of the Tidepool.org news service. Before bookmarking this page in your browser, click here. 

The URL for this page is:http://www.csmonitor.com/
durable/2000/07/18/fp11s2-csm.shtml

 

 
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