“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
“And after a long time the boy came back again.
“I am sorry, Boy,” said the tree, “but I have nothing left to give you-
My apples are gone.”
“My teeth are too weak for apples,” said the boy.
“My branches are gone,” said the tree.
“You cannot swing on them-”
“I am too old to swing on branches,” said the boy.
“My trunk is gone,” said the tree.
“You cannot climb-”
“I am too tired to climb,” said the boy.
“I am sorry,” sighed the tree.
“I wish that I could give you something… but I have nothing left. I am an old stump. I am sorry…”
“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy, “just a quiet pleace to sit and rest. I am very tired.”
“Well,” said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could,
“well, an old stump is a good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.”
And the boy did.
And the tree was happy.”
― Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree
I grew up surrounded by trees. We lived along a large lake in Minnesota and we purchased the house my grandparents built in the 60s. It was a split-level rambler with large windows opening up to the backyard acre of woods. As a child, the woods were a magical place where we would spend countless hours playing hide and seek, games of tag and cops and robbers. We watched the trees in all the seasons from the brilliant hues of fall to the bareness of winter and the first coating of white sticky snow and to the rebirth once again in the spring, when the trees came alive once again as did our imagination.
I simply cannot imagine a world or life without trees.
“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
While the rate of deforestation worldwide has recently slowed it still continues to alarm most environmentalists. Per a comprehensive 2010 report conducted by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, “the rate of deforestation has slowed over the last 10 years, but each year an area roughly the size of Costa Rica is still destroyed”.
“Between 2000 and 2010, some 13 million hectares of forests were converted annually to other uses, such as agriculture, or lost through natural causes, down from 16 million hectares per year during the 1990s, according to the assessment which surveyed 233 countries and areas”.
In the Amazon alone, an area notoriously known for deforestation, Brazil claims the rate of deforestation in its Amazon region has fallen to the lowest level for 23 years mainly due to the governments tougher laws on illegal logging. The National Institute for Space Research said “6,238 sq km (2,400 sq miles) of rainforest disappeared between August 2010 and July 2011, a drop of 11% from the previous year”.
However, the facts can still not be ignored that many of the worlds’ beautiful forests have already been destroyed, and it can be argued that a lot of the destruction is man-made whether it be in the form of logging, cutting down trees for development or climate change which has caused more forest fires (think about all the fires that have recently stuck the American Southwest and the devastation they have brought).
“It is not acceptable that we continue to see thousands of acres burn because of forest fires, because of poor management on our forests, big kill, and we have these catastrophic situations take place when we are not able to take action”. -Cathy McMorris
It would sure be a tragedy to loose the beautiful forests we have around the world that provide so much beauty and life.
“Endangered forests are being slaughtered for toilet paper”. – Daphne Zuniga
Will the trees be around for future generations? For my great grandchildren’s children? Or will they be gone?
This post is in response to Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post: Natural Resources. To see more entries, click here.
These photos were taken from two posts I wrote on Northern Arizona’s amazing trees: In Search of 300-year-old Firs and Who would have thought that trees could be so amazing?