Saving forests pre­vents ero­sion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

I am a firm be­liever that there is a happy medium be­tween de­for­esta­tion and farm profit. In the past year, I have no­ticed more wood­lots have been cleared and hedgerows have been re­moved then I have ever seen be­fore. The num­ber of logs leav­ing P.E.I. on trucks is quite stag­ger­ing. What con­cerns me is the lack of ac­tion taken by the gov­ern­ment to pre­vent ero­sion, soil loss and fish kills which could be averted by of­fer­ing tax in­cen­tives or some­thing equally as at­trac­tive to wood­lot/ hedgerow own­ers.

A stim­u­lus that would make a wood­lot equal to a crop. We know that in ad­di­tion to pre­vent­ing ero­sion, forests of­fer water­shed pro­tec­tion and mit­i­gate cli­mate change as well as pro­vide im­por­tant wildlife habi­tat. We have all seen the red snow cre­ated by soil drift­ing off fields, pictures of fish kill and run­nels of wa­ter cas­cad­ing af­ter a heavy rain. More and more in­for­ma­tion is com­ing forth on the value of trees for men­tal health. The gov­ern­ment has been of­fer­ing re­for­esta­tion pack­ages to recre­ate hedgerows and re­plant open ar­eas. Why not pre­vent the cut­ting in the first place by mak­ing it fi­nan­cially vi­able for a wood­lot owner to man­age his for­est in a healthy prof­itable way for him/ her­self and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to come?

Martha Howatt, Bor­den-Car­leton

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