The Importance of Old Growth Forests

Day 316 – The Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia is the oldest forest in the world. It is estimated to be 180 million years old. To be considered an old growth forest you don’t have to be millions of years old. On average, an old growth forest is around 150 years old.

What is putting the old growth forests in danger?

  1. Canadian lumber exports in 2020 were valued at $33 billion Canadian dollars (US$26 billion) and some of the lumber came from old growth forests.
  2. Old growth lumber is more desirable and old growth forests yield more timber per acre and produces better quality wood.

Though there are some protections for old growth forests, there are so many reasons as to why more needs to be done.

  1. Old growth forests also house tremendous biodiversity.
  2. Many of the species found in old forests are endemic – they cannot survive anywhere else.
  3. Old growth forests protect water quality, prevent erosion and landslides, and remove pollutants from the air.
  4. Old growth trees are more resilient than younger forests to drought and wildfires. 
  5. Old growth forests continue to actively sequester carbon both in their trees and in the soil.

Scientists are constantly making new discoveries about old growth forests. Once lost, it may be impossible to ever replace them. Whatever undiscovered benefits old growth forests hold will be lost forever.” – Earth911

One way you can help save the old growth forests is to avoid purchasing paper products from companies using lumber from these forests. On Day 26, I shared information on toilet paper companies and their sustainability practices. Being an informed consumer will help save the planet.

Tomorrow, the sustainability of honey.

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