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:: Home > The Forest > Reproduction Methods > Clearcutting > Hot Topic: Clearcuts & Wildlife > How do Clearcuts affect Wildlife?
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How Do Clearcuts Affect Wildlife?

The Wildlife Habitat Development Cycle

Each part of a forest cycle provides habitat that favors some animal species and not others. At each stage of a forest’s development, new habitats—each home to a different variety of animals—became prominent, only to fade and be replaced during the next stage. Click on the forest cycle below to explore how each stage of forest development favored certain animals:

Clearcuts and the Wildlife Habitat Development Cycle

When trees are cut, they’re clearcut in patches.

Each clearcut is the beginning of a new forest, and the start of another habitat development cycle. What we get is a patchwork of clearcuts and young and older stands. This provides a lot of habitat diversity, and that gives us wildlife diversity.

You can usually find several stages of forest development somewhere in the landscape; and each these forest types supports different groups of wildlife species. As long as most stages are present at the same time, the requirements of nearly all species are met somewhere.

Alternatives to Clearcutting

Clearcutting is only used when and where absolutely necessary, and accounts for less that 20% of all harvesting methods used in Oregon. Other harvesting methods include thinning, and partial cutting, each with different impacts on wildlife habitat.

Sources: Dr. Mike Newton, Dept. of Forest Science, OSU College of Forestry

Renewal by fire Clearcutting roles in the cycle Older forests Young open forests Middle age forest