Friday, December 05, 2008

Underwater logging

Sounds like a joke, but it's not. Ghana is planning to log trees submerged in a man-made lake in 1964. The trees remain useful underwater because decomposition is slowed underwater.

Canada also has a substantial underwater logging program underway, and efforts will likely show up wherever there is wood underwater. Check out this breathless prose that describes an underwater logging machine:

Triton's Sawfish™ Underwater Harvester represents the first true arrival of viable marine technology in underwater forests. Developed and manufactured by Triton, it is the world's only deep-water logging machine, combining proven elements from timber-harvesting and submarine vehicle technology on an innovative platform.
This is not new, in the US northwest, logs were pulled out of streams to "clean" them, but also because it's an easy way to make a timber quota, haul a few logs out of a stream by a road to top off a year's logging.

There is a risk that mucking about underwater will harm underwater habitat even while it offers the possibility of sparing forests on land.

4 comments:

Thomas said...

And in our own Lake Washington:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002167714_lakelogs02m.html

Me! said...

I would be REALLY concerned about disruption of underwater habitats, considering most of those trees have been sunk for years.

Colin said...

Interesting post. We have a house in Maine that is near a lake that is filled with old logs. What are the other impacts on the ecosystems if these logs are removed. The lake is considered one of the best for fishing in the area because of the logs.

Also there are really no roads that line the lake. Would this make an impact.

Miriam Goldstein said...

My first reaction was "Of course it's great to deploy temperature loggers all over the world!" Oh.