Sunday November 23, 2014

Choose a door, save our forests


Dear Editor

School groups, Scouts, Guides, Brownies, Cubs and every other group that has planted trees need to understand the future of your hard earned investment in our future. Through all sorts of education we’re taught that planting trees is a good thing to do. We learned how to plant them and can admire their success of growth.

I personally took part in several such programs. When planting the trees we were taught that planting the trees too close together was a bad idea, since the trees would all be fighting for food and space resulting in poor growth. We were also taught not to step on the trees already growing because we might kill or severely stunt its growth.

None of us were required to have a degree in science, because the process was fairly simple. There are now millions of trees growing all over Saskatchewan as a result of thousands of participants who all deserve a special thanks from Mother Nature.

Each tree was planted two steps apart, so one square mile of trees planted would be over one million one hundred thousand trees. From this you could calculate a price per tree. In total all of our hard work could be worth billions. This is what we as citizens of the Province of Saskatchewan have donated in order to receive a few cents per tree, for our various causes.

Today there are many logging companies operating under the authority of Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment laws. On a daily basis millions of trees are run over in order to harvest the trees that are desirable to the logging industry’s needs —large, healthy, mature trees. This in itself is a crime, for we were all taught not to step on a tree while we planted the new trees. Question is, was all our hard work for not? The ministry approves this method of harvesting trees over all other possible methods.

In less than one season Saskatchewan Environment can be responsible for wiping out more trees than every man, woman and child has planted since this province was incorporated. What is wrong with this picture? When immature trees are destroyed the forests true potential quickly falls behind. An example would be a 15-year-old tree crushed and killed, providing room for a new tree to perhaps take its place and start from scratch, 16 years gone down the drain.

While we were planting trees five feet apart from each other, Saskatchewan Environment allows the logging industry to walk away from their clear-cut without thinning the pine and spruce trees. Many square miles of trees are now growing up at not much more than a foot apart. The spacing of these trees will result in a competition that equals an overall loss of true potential. The trees are growing so thick a moose with no horns can barely pass, never mind stop to sleep. 

There are many places within our forests that were home to animals that had to leave their home because Saskatchewan Environment approved the logging company to completely destroy all aspects of their sole reason for being there in the first place. Groves of poplar trees that grew at a spacing of over 10 feet apart, with elder trees growing amongst the poplars. In the center of this grove was a lake. Surrounding this grove was spruce, pine and other clear-cuts. Moose love their life in these homes with plenty of food, being mainly elders, plenty of water and a comfortable place to sleep. What more could any moose ask for? Well the deer would come and visit, the ravens would fly over and tell their many stories. The consequences are severe when 10 square miles of prime moose country is destroyed in one cut. Basically the moose had to move out of their favourite home so that a group of humans could make a living. Selective harvesting could have prevented this disaster, along with preserving the food source which is an undesirable tree of the forest industry.

It is time for the people of Saskatchewan to step up and take control of the people that work for them, the Government of Saskatchewan and all the ministries in charge of our environment.

It’s time to choose a door.

Door 1 —Do we start to teach our children our government should be trusted? That it is alright to follow their lead and we can all trample trees in order to make money?

Door  2 — When and if we ever plant another tree should we follow the government’s standards and plant a bundle at a time in one hole and hope for the best?

Door 3 — Should we help the government chase all the wildlife from their homes and make them re-establish ?

Door 4 — Or should we make the people of the government accountable, by not letting this type of malpractice ever take place again?

Let the games begin, minister of environment. Which door do you choose?

I choose Door 4 myself and will only continue to plant trees if you put a stop to meaninglessly destroying the trees that are already growing.

I will invite all of Saskatchewan to participate by making their choice. There seems to be one viable answer.

Dan Dillabough




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