How has the logging industry in America changed to be less damaging to the environment?



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    Instead of clearcutting, it has become more common to engage in either salvage logging (cutting trees damaged or killed in forest fires, in the hope that it would further cut down on the amount of forest fires) or in selection cutting, where only a few trees are selectively logged (generally sparing old growth trees if possible). However, there are issues with both if these practices: with salvage logging, critics argue that the process can slow down a forest’s natural regeration, and many comment that while large trees (some of them still alive) are logged, smaller debris is often left behind, allowing for future fires to occur. There have also been charges of ‘green salvage”, i.e. cutting down perfectly healthy trees that just happen to be in the area of a forest fire. As for selective cutting, in places where trees grow together densely, such as the Amazon rain forest, taking out only a few trees can damage many of the trees around them, in some cases causing more damage than if the area was clearcut. It’s a truly frustrating conundrum.

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