A History of Logging in The Bahamas

Presented by Neil Sealey

Neil Sealey

The pine, Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis, forests of The Bahamas cover much of the northern islands of Abaco, Grand Bahamas, and Andros, and also exist on New Providence. For much of the twentieth century, these forests were logged by a variety of foreign enterprises, first for their lumber, and later for pulpwood. The companies involved established camps and townships, built sawmills, ports and roads, and provided employment for the early populations of these islands. They introduced modern machinery, and even a railway, to communities mainly unfamiliar with these technologies. Their endeavors paved the way for the subsequent wider settlement and development of these islands. The regrowth of the forests has provided new opportunities for their exploitation, in this case more for water conservation, wildlife biodiversity and recreation rather than commercial profit and export. There has been little written collectively about this period and these endeavors, and this short account has depended heavily on the professional work of PWT Henry and a number of historians from the relevant islands. Contemporary photographs and production data are included.

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