How many values inhere in Forests?

trees

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trees

Saranac Lake, Adirondack Mountain Park, 1885.

Several economic, ecological, and political facts are relevant to answer this question.
What is your opinion based on the facts?

Today, forests occupy approximately one-third of Earth's land area, account for over two-thirds of the leaf area of land plants, and contain about 70% of carbon present in living things.

Trees, groves, woods and forests have been held in reverence in folklore and worshipped in ancient religions. However, forests are becoming major casualties of civilization as human populations have increased over the past several thousand years, bringing deforestation, pollution, and industrial usage problems to this important biome.

Logging in Oregon mountains

A clear cut, or logged for timber, area of once forested lands in western Oregon.

 

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National Arbor Day Foundation is dedicated to forests being restored, one tree at a time or more because, among many services, trees reduce erosion.

Woods, glades, groves and coppice are all terms that refer to forested places and indicate the varied meaning based on their different values to the inhabitants that forested landscapes have had in the past.

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trees

Paleontology of prehistoric forests

 

Silurian woodsAbout 420 million years ago, during the Silurian Period, ancient plants and arthropods began to occupy the land. Over the millions of years that followed, these land colonizers developed and adapted to their new habitat.

The first forests were dominated by giant horsetails, club mosses, and ferns that stood up to 40 feet tall. Life on Earth continued to evolve, and in the late Equisetum or horsetailsPaleozoic, gymnosperms appeared. By the Triassic Period (245-208 mya), gymnosperms dominated the Earth's forests. In the Cretaceous Period (144-65m mya), the first flowering plants (angiosperms) appeared. They evolved together with insects, birds, and mammals and radiated rapidly, dominating the landscape by the end of the Period.

The earth's forest landscape changed again during the Pleistocene Ice Ages the surface of the planet that had been dominated by tropical forests for millions of years changed, and temperate forests spread in the Northern Hemisphere.

 

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trees

The utility of trees.

 

The majority of timber harvested in the United States goes into lumber production (53%), and pulp products (32%). Other uses include veneer and plywood (7%), and fuel wood (7%).

The United States has 8% of all forest in the world, making it the fourth most forest-rich country with approximately 750 million acres of forestland. The majority of forestland in the United States is located in the Pacific Coast (including Alaska), and Southern regions. Forests are actually sources of water and have been protected over extensive regions for that reason since the 19th century.

  regions acreage in millions
water Southern
214
Pacific Coast
214
North
171
Rocky Mountain
151
 
Total acres of forest
750

There are approximately 689 species of trees in the United States.

Most of the forestland in the US (57%) is managed by private individuals and companies. The remaining 43% is public land managed by local, state, and national government agencies.

forest map

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The origin of the word tree?tree

true (adj.)Dictionary of Etymology - on line.
 
Old English triewe (West Saxon), treowe (Mercian) "faithful, trustworthy," from Proto-Germanic *trewwjaz "having or characterized by good faith" [similar words are: Old Frisian triuwi, Dutch getrouw, Old High German gatriuwu, German treu, Old Norse tryggr, Gothic triggws "faithful, trusty"].

The root word perhaps ultimately from Proto-Indo-European word: *dru, – "tree," as the notion of "steadfast as an oak."

This notion is seen in the same root, Lithuanian drutas "firm," Welsh drud, Old Irish dron "strong," Welsh derw "true," Old Irish derb"sure." 

Now consider the word Druid:
1560s, from French druide, from Latin druidae (plural), from Gaulish Druides, from Old Celtic *derwijes, probably representing Old Celtic derwos "true" and *dru-"tree" (especially oak) + *wid- "to know" ( such as in "vision," or visionary ).
 
Hence, literally, perhaps, "they who know the oak" (perhaps in allusion to divination from mistletoe).
 
Anglo-Saxon, too, used identical words to mean "tree" and "truth" (treow). 

The English form comes via Latin, not immediately from Celtic. The Old Irish form was drui (dative and accusative druid; plural druad); Modern Irish and Gaelic draoi, genitive druadh "magician, sorcerer."
 
Not to be confused with United Ancient Order of Druids, secret benefit society founded in London 1781.
True in the sense of "consistent with fact" first recorded around 1200 AD; meaning that some substance is "real, genuine, not counterfeit" dates from late 14th century.
The sense of meaning true as "agreeing with a certain standard" (as true north) is from about 1550.

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trees

Multiple uses: recreation, water, wildlife viewing and carbon storage.

 

treeBetween private and public land, almost 86% of all forestland in the country is available for outdoor recreation, much of which is located in the west. Between the Pacific Coast and the Rocky Mountain regions there are 10.3 acres of forestland per person, and in the northeast and southeast regions of the country there are still 2.9 acres per person to enjoy.

American forests harbor valuable habitat to thousands of species of animals.

bullmoose

Our forests provide more than half of the country's drinking water originates in forests, and the total amount of carbon stored by our trees offsets around 10% of US emissions from burning fossil fuels.


Conservation efforts: 20% of US forestland is under some type of conservation program, which is almost twice the world average of 11%.

 

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trees

Economics of forests in Oregon and Washington.


treesThroughout the Pacific Northwest lumber operations employ over 109,000 people in logging, milling, and transport. The average wage of a mill worker or logger is $35,000 per year (1990 dollars) . The unemployment rate in the entire region is above the national average at about 9% and in your local area it is closer to 13%. It is estimated that one out of every four teenagers just out of high-school is looking for minimum-wage work. This was the very sort of work that mills once provided.

Many products are derived from these forested lands whose extraction requires extensive, well-managed forests. In addition to timber for construction and pulp for paper, wire grasses growing in the forests are used by Vietnamese & Cambodian refugees to weave baskets which they sell in flea markets. Ferns grow in dark forests and both mature ferns are sold to florists for decorative purposes or young fiddle neck ferns are bought by restaurants as a salad delicacy. TaxusRecently collectors have asked the Forest Service to grant permits to gather truffles -- a root-fungus -- that has become a lucrative trade item as gourmet ingredients in fine food. The sustained yield of these forests is also connected to the survival of salmon fishery stocks in the region. The salmon fishery is a $1 billion sport and commercial enterprise employing 62,000 people in the Washington and Oregon region.
Finally, several years ago, the United States Forest Service had to post armed guards to stop people from stripping the bark from Yew trees, taxus brevifolia, since the bark is a source of a cancer fighting agent now commonly synthesized in the laboratory as taxol™.
The range of Taxus brevifolia, the Yew tree the source of cancer inhibiting drug therapies.

 

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trees

Forest Ecology

Red Fir conifer forest

Ecologically speaking –that is functionally– the "growth of the conifers in 100 - 1000 year old forests depends on a mutualistic relationship between tree roots and a class of fungi, known as mycorrhizae, that infect their roots.

mycorrhizae

ecologyUnable to carry out photosynthesis, these fungi attach themselves to the roots to obtain the sugars they need. The mycorrhizae absorb water, soil nutrients and oxygen, passing these on to the trees. Antibiotic compounds in the fungi protect the tree from root pathogens and act as a protective sheath around the roots to bar parasites. The fungi produce chemicals that speed up the growth of new root hairs and tips. These two mutualistic partners, the trees and their fungi are, in turn, dependent upon symbiotic relationships with a number of small forest rodents such as squirrels, voles, and mice. These creatures feed on the fleshy collection of fungal spores -- called truffles. Once consumed the spores remain undigested, passing back into the soil to grow another generation of root fungus."

 

Without the decaying logs & snags about 1/3 of the mammals would die.

The endangered spotted owl feeds on these rodents and nests in old trees.

 

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 See:

Pacific Northwest U.S. National Forest Map

village

Trees often define borders or boundaries and make ideal buffers.

Terms to define

tree rings

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Do turn in these answers

Dr. Siry

Ecological Problem Solving

Name: ____________________________________

February 18, 2015

 

What is the conflict over the forest?

1. How many groups of people use this forest?

 

 

2. How did this conflict over the uses of the forest occur?

 

 

3. What did you feel were the salient (key or items of over-riding importance) facts in the forest problem?

 

 

4. What was your opinion in reading page 1?

 

 

5. What was your opinion in reading page 2?

 

 

 

6. What is your recommendation to the superintendent of the National Forest?

 

Because of what specific facts, factors and reasoning?

 


These buttons below work as navigational aids.


You are a member of a technical advisory committee to the local Superintendent of the regional National Forest. The citizens committee established by the U.S. Forest Service (NFS) to encourage participation in the decision making process of forestry policy has demanded that the Forest Service open more acreage to logging in order that the local mills have sufficient timber to operate throughout the Christmas season and into the new year. The last superintendent was transferred for saying that at current logging rates the equivalent of 129 football fields / day disappear. What will you do and how will you advise this super to respond to these following issues?

 The NFS is a federal land holding agency with the duty under the Multiple Use Act of 1960 to provide a variety of people access to the resources of the forest lands including, hunters, fisherman, hikers, & lumber companies. Merrill K. Ridd, geographer and Forest Service employee, wrote, in 1965, that "The object of multiple use management is very simple. It is to manage the resource complex for the most beneficial combination of both the present and future uses." Under the 1960 Legislation Congress enacting Public Law 86-517, states, in part, that: "The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized and directed to develop and administer the renewable surface resources of the national forests for multiple use and sustained yield of several products and services obtained therefrom." As Ridd points out "While the doctrine of multiple use is widely accepted, there is still some misunderstanding of how it should be accomplished." And this is why the new superintendent has appointed you as a technical adviser to inform the Service on the best course of action.  

The forested area in question is 85% conifer and mixed deciduous hardwood stands covering steep slopes and some inaccessible back country canyons and mountain meadows. The area covered in aging trees includes Douglas Fir, Red Fir, Yew, Oregon Ash, Big Leaf Maple, Red Cedar, Sycamore, Sitka Spruce, Engleman Spruce, and other hardwoods. A large portion of the lands bordering the National Forest have been logged and replanted in immature lodgepole or ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. This has created a long and sinuous ecotone within the National Forest of mixed soft & hardwood conifers. The request of the citizen's advisory group would log the ecotone, an accessible swath of trees between two clusters of 500 - 1000 year old Spruce, Cedar, Yew or Fir trees, and clear an entire bank of the longest tributary stream in the National Forest.

 

[See the map on the bottom of this next page.]

Last Updated on April 28, 2012 from October 27, 2005, from April 4, 2001.

By Joseph Siry

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