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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Balancing Act

Environmental Issues in Forestry

In Balancing Act Hamish Kimmins calls for a balanced, more objective approach to forestry issues. He argues that these issues are too often debated without any common understanding of what forestry is really all about or about how forest ecosystems work. This new edition of the bestselling book has been revised to reflect new thinking about sustainable forestry and includes three completely new chapters. In the first few chapters of the book, the basic principles of forestry and ecology are outlined. The major issues facing forestry in the 1990s and beyond -- not only in British Columbia but worldwide -- are then discussed. These include clearcutting, slashburning, management chemicals, old growth, biological diversity, ’new forestry,’ climate change, acid rain, the comparison between temperate and tropical forestry, long-term decisions in forestry, and the sustainability of various forest values. The new chapters look at the ongoing debate over the meaning of ’sustainable forestry,’ ’respect for nature,’ ’ecosystem management,’ and ecosystem ’health and integrity.’ This new edition of Balancing Act goes further in clarifying the issues at the heart of the forestry/environment debate. Readers will gain a new understanding of how our forest ecosystems work and how they can be managed sustainably.

310 pages

Table of Contents


1 Words, Pictures, and Reality

2 The Peter Pan Principle in Renewable Resource Conflicts

3 Causes and Time Scales of Environmental Change

4 A Brief Primer on Ecology and Forest Ecosystems

5 A Brief Primer on Forestry

6 Clearcutting: Ecosystem Destruction or Environmentally Sound Timber Harvesting?

7 Slashburning: Responsible Land Management or Playing with Fire?

8 Chemicals in Forest Management: Responsible Use or Environmental Abuse?

9 Are Old-Growth Forests Forever?

10 Where Have All the Species Gone? The Question of Loss of Biological Diversity

11 From “Old Forestry” to “New Forestry,” and Thence to “Ecosystem Management”

12 Forestry and Climate Change

13 Acid Rain: Is It as Bad for Forests as It Is for Lakes?

14 “Brazil North”: Is Forestry in British Columbia Comparable to Deforestation in the Tropics?

15 “Future Shock” in Forecasting Forest Growth, Ecosystem Conditions, and Timber Yields: How Cloudy Is Our Crystal Ball?

16 Ecosystem Health and Integrity: Does Forestry “Destroy” Ecosystems, and Can They Be “Unhealthy?”

17 Respect for Nature: The Ecological Foundation for Sustainable Forest Management

18 Certification: A Market-Driven Mechanism to Promote Sustainable Forest Management

19 Sustainable Development and Forestry: Can We Use and Sustain Our Forests?

Epilogue: Reality, Pictures, and Words

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