The clearcut is not a universally accepted practice. Opponents of the practice of cutting every tree within a specific area contend it degrades the environment. Forestry professionals and resource managers argue that the practice is sound if used properly.
According to foresters and forest scientists, a complete clearcut "usually creates the best conditions for regenerating stands" under certain conditions and should be used when those conditions occur.
This is opposed to a "commercial" clearcut where only trees of marketable species, size and quality are cut.
1. Clearcutting for Optimum Sunlight
Clearcut when regenerating tree species
that must have full sunlight to stimulate seed sprouting and seedling growth.
2. Clearcutting for Tree SalvageClearcut when faced with salvaging over-mature stands and/or stands killed by insects, disease or fire.
3. Clearcutting At-risk TreesClearcut when dealing with sparse or exposed or shallow-rooted trees that are in danger of being damaged by wind.
4. Clearcutting for Same Age ManagementClearcut when trying to produce an even-aged stand.
5. Clearcutting for RegenerationClearcut when regenerating stands of tree species that are dependent on wind blown seed, root suckers or cones that need fire to drop seed.
6. Clearcutting for a Species ChangeClearcut when converting to another tree species by planting or seeding.
7. Clearcutting for WildlifeClearcut to provide habitat for wildlife species that require edge, new ground and "high-density, even-aged stands".