We should preserve what forests we have. There are not very many century old forests left in the United States. These older generation forests cannot be replaced by simple replanting. We should not allow these to be cut down. England doesn't have any of these untouched forests and it is a big loss to the world.
Few forests remain across the country due to these profligate logging industries and we need to preserve them, if not duplicate them, not only to support the myriad ecosystems but also our own benefit. How can we continue to utilise and harvest forests if there are barely any left anymore?
But yes, we should conserve what forests are still untouched and let loggers handle any of the areas they already log in. An ever increasing number of structures are being constructed with steel, concrete, iron, etc and even though wood is still important, we still have more then enough areas being harvested to protect the rest that havent been touched.
Tearing down forests to sell lumber can stimulate the economy in the short run. Lumber can be sold to other countries or be used to create new houses. However, we always deforest far faster than forests can regrow and create a net loss of natural resources. The loss of a huge chunk of the local ecosystem over a short time can seriously damage the environment. The World Bank - an organization that tries to help the short term development of less developed countries - been criticized for encouraging financially unstable third-world countries to extort their natural resources and export them for profit. In the case of Syria, Lebanon, and various other LDC's have gone through this process and are currently funding massive government reforestation programs.
There is so much undeveloped land and so many forests on our continent that even aggressive efforts to diminish them would not cause massive destruction. We need the things that trees give us more than we need the trees. There will always be enough seeds to use from somewhere else if we need to replant forests in the future.
I know trees come in handy for our everyday uses. But at least we should try to save our forests. Because in a few years or a decade it could be gone. If we need trees so badly than use a certain space for tree farms, and only use those trees. In logging companies it's how they make their profits and how they pay their workers. But they can still make their profits by simply using deserted lands and make tree farms. With this they could grow and use as many trees they want without destroying our national parks and it's forests.
Trees take hundreds of years to grow back. Its literally the definition of unsustainable. They wont grow back at a rate fast enough to replenish the amount cut down. Forests are an ecosystem and recyclable paper and plastic has proven to be useful and efficient. Also, given our CO2 emissions there is no room for error when it comes to the environment.