The costs of forest loss
Forest loss has many costs: Clearcut logging results in a loss of ecological integrity and biodiversity. The capacity of a forest to sequester and store carbon is suddenly gone, and along with that the stand's ability to moderate climate. Trees shade the forest floor, reducing the rate of carbon loss from the forest floor and soil. Trees moderate flow and and timing of runoff, reducing the environmental damage that intense rainstorms or sudden snowmelt can produce. When a forest is logged there a loss of visual quality and a subsequent loss in opportunity for recreation and tourism. Most of these losses are difficult, if not impossible, to quantify in economic terms.
Certain economic aspects of forest loss can be assessed. For example, we can put a dollar value on the amount of carbon released to the atmosphere as a result of logging a cutblock.