Thursday, August 18, 2011

Moving the forest for the trees

It’s come to this: now we’re moving forests to accommodate climate change.   
Recognizing the threat that continuing weather changes pose to British Columbia’s 9 billion dollar wood and paper products industry, the Canadian government is experimenting with moving its forests up to 200 miles beyond their native range. 
The Ministry of Forests and Range has been experimenting by extending the range of 15 species of timber species. Research by the Future Forest Ecosystems Initiative has led to a plan to plant 250,000 larch seedlings in areas that scientists believe will be hospitable to that species as climate change accelerates.
Humans are nothing if not adaptable. It remains to be seen whether our forests will be as accommodating.
What do you think of this attempt?


  1. I think there is a  lot to be said for adaptation.  The tree planters are just facilitating a process which will happen naturally.

    I've always said, the reason there are tree farms instead of tree ranches is because it's so hard to  move the stock to summer pasture and back.

    As I understand it, we can do our part to slow global warming, but it has huge momentum and is already in process.  It took a century to get this ball rolling, and it will take another century to stop it completely.  And, in global experience, as in our normal lives, if it's not one damn thing, it'll be another.  Dealing with the situation as it progresses seems the best solution.

  2. I wonder about the habitat that already exists 200 miles away.  Does that not have "value"?  Throughout human history we have changed our environment to meet our needs of food, clothing, and shelter.  For some reason, I am uneasy about this plan.

  3. I sort of agree with FlyingFish3, but then I wonder about the critters that inhabit that places where they are planting the larches. Will they be displaced by the new forests? We've done so much mucking around already that this does sound like just accelerating the process.   BTW, thaks for the tip on that other blog and my writin style!

  4. ooh, typos in my last message, I could not see the bottom line as I was typing! 

  5. Interesting question....

  6. I hadn't realized that British Columbia was taking steps to ensure forest sustainability as the tree lines continues to move north.  It sounds like a good idea, but the last word will come from Mother Nature as she does her own adjusting.