Referenced article http://thelens.news/2016/06/14/more-logging-in-washington-state-could-help-restore-forest-health-say-experts
There has not been a “natural” landscape in North America since the end of the last ice age, at least if we define natural as unaffected by humans. We need to abandon the artificial idea of human-free “natural” and the pernicious idea that human intervention in nature is damaging.
Our activities should be mindful and iteratively adaptive in systemic ways that lead to sustainability. This is a higher-duty than the mere hands-off approach. There are many situations where we will indeed keep hands off, but we recognize this as a choice. We re looking for the elegant option, the one that works with natural processes.
Harvesting timber can be damaging; not harvesting can also be damaging. It is important to make the right choices in the situation and time.
A word about sustainability and profit. I hesitate to use the word profit because so many people consider it a distasteful or tawdry thing, even as they seek it. But profit is the price of survival in the human AND the natural worlds. A wolf pack cannot consistently afford to chase moose farther than the expected calorie payoff. It is profit seeking.
A forestry enterprise, as described in the article, must be profitable in the human world in order to be sustainable in the natural one, else the loggers cannot afford to keep on working. It is the way of man and nature.
All sustainable processes are profitable in the long-term in that proceeds must balance or exceed inputs. When they fail to do that, we recognize that system is dying.
We want living, growing and thriving systems, human & natural, and human-natural and so we take responsibility for the difficult and often unobvious choices. Saving trees does not save forests and may harm them. This is hard to explain, which is why it is so important that we continue to explain it.