Jun 24, 2010

Illegal logging affecting watersheds


Environmentalists at the Courland Estate, where illegal logging has been taking place for sometime. Photo taken by Elizabeth Williams.  Photo Source: www.thetobagonews.com

"This is really a major problem in Tobago at this present time, most of the logging is being carried out on private lands and we have some limitations in that aspect," Forestry Officer Darren Henry said.

"When rain falls the velocity of the rain drops hits the surface that is exposed at a faster speed, and that encourages and causes surface erosion, which can lead to further erosion," Forestry Officer William Trim said.

They both said as a result of wild fires during the dry season some species of wildlife were now becoming extinct. An example was the striped owl, which laid its eggs on the ground.

The forestry officers were hoping that people will realise that their future existence also depended on the environment.

Soil erosion is a major cause of flooding in many areas. The illegal cutting of trees and the destruction of the forest bed protection can only result in problems for the areas so affected. This means that the filtration provided by the forest does not exist anymore leading to the erosion of top soil that clogs the rivers resulting in  a chain reaction that is not good for the environment. 

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