News & CommentTropical Forests

Is ‘Good Wood’ Bad for Forests?

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Science  28 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5308, pp. 1868-1869
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5308.1868

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Conservation biologists have long believed that the way to save rain forests and the wealth of species inhabiting them is to harvest their trees in a sustainable manner. But that notion has been challenged recently by two researchers who contend that, in some cases, sustainable management can be bad for forests, biodiversity, and loggers. Their heretical prescription for saving at least some rain forests is to permit loggers to cut the most valuable species, and then place the forest off limits to commercial logging. Critics counter that their viewpoint is naïve and damaging to rain-forest conservation.