National Geographic published a great article on saving the Tongass National Forest from rampant old growth logging.
Key quotes: Forest economists have different ways of describing [old growth] habitats. “Overmature” is one. “Decadent” and “Stagnating” are popular. The favorite is still “Falling down and going to waste”. All imply that where we don’t harvest a forest to stimulate a new round of growth, the system lingers past its prime and decays. Well, they have a point, but only from the standpoint of maximum timer production. In terms of the production of life, they are not seeing the forest for the trees.
Another: For a creature in search of a meal, the gloomy floor of a second growth rain forest might as well be a desert for the next 50-100 years.