Before and after clearcutting
Clear-cut forest lands can look very different. Typically, most of the trees, without consideration of age or type, have been cut down at the same time leaving the ground covered with stumps, shrubs, and branches. The forest companies claim to minimize damages from heavy harvest machines being used but still there is often severe soil and water damages left behind. They also claim to show consideration by leaving small patches of forest untouched. These small areas can be a narrow strip along a stream, or a small collection of trees in the middle of the clear-cut areas. Often these small forest remnants end up where it is difficult for harvest machinery to operate, and not where the species in need of protection happen to be.
Photos and film
Photos and film provide a clear picture of the enormous transformation of forests brought on by clear-cutting. When the trees are gone, the sunlight can reach all the way to the ground. Environments that previously were cool and humid are transformed into dry open spaces with withered blueberry bushes and peats. Dead wood on the ground, that many species depend on, gets too hot and dries out.
Species in dire need
Clearcutting is the most serious threat to several so-called, red-listed species, i.e., animals, insects, plants, or fungi that are vulnerable, threatened, and endangered. The solution is markable increase in the area of protected forest in combination with gentler forestry methods to ensure that these species, that all play their part in our ecosystem, survive. Here you can find the species that have vanished from specific areas due to clear-cutting. Note that areas left by the forest companies rarely correlate with the habitats of the endangered species.