Xerces Society Study on Logging to Control "Pests"

Logging to Control Insects:
The Science and Myths Behind Managing Forest Insect "Pests"
This analysis of over 150 relevant studies demonstrates that industrial logging is not the solution to combatting outbreaks of bark beetles or defolitators, such as tussock moth or spruce budworm.

Portland, OR - On October 5, 2005 the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation released an 88-page report and compilation of research summaries that dispels many commonly held misconceptions about forest insect pests.

Logging to Control Insects: The Science and Myths Behind Managing Forest Insect "Pests." A Synthesis of Independently Reviewed Research includes a review of relevant studies on the importance of insects to forest function and the effectiveness of methods used to control forest "pest" insects, and a compilation of summaries of over 150 scientific papers and Forest Service documents.

Key findings in the report include:

Native forest pests have been part of our forests for millennia and function as nutrient recyclers; agents of disturbance; members of food chains; and regulators of productivity, diversity, and density.
Fire suppression and logging have led to simplified forests that may increase the risk of insect outbreaks.
Forests with diverse tree species and age classes are less likely to develop large insect outbreaks.
There is no evidence that logging can control bark beetles or forest defoliators once an outbreak has started.
Although thinning has been touted as a long-term solution to controlling bark beetles, the evidence is mixed as to its effectiveness.

The Xerces Society has issued a report that challenges the validity of logging to control insect outbreaks. This is only an excerpt from their introduction. To read the entire report, click on the link below.