Threats To Forests Essay Help
Three Threats to the Sustainability of Forests Essay
1210 Words5 Pages
When speaking about the sustainability of forests, sustainability itself must first be defined. The concept of sustainability is not easily defined in a single sentence or even in several sentences. As quoted by Steve Nix (n.d.), the British Columbia Forest Service defines sustainability as the integration of 3 elements, the environment, the economy and the social system, into a single system that can be maintained in a healthy state indefinitely. To achieve and maintain this delicate balance, many different factors within those 3 elements are required to work together in unison. With so many factors working toward creating a balance there would ultimately be factors working against and threatening the balance of sustainability. The…show more content…
Building a large would cause flooding to a large forest area in order to create a reservoir. While in the case of burning fossil fuels, it would release harmful chemical fumes into the air causing acid rain. Companies may also choose to harvest large amounts of timber for production through the method of clear cutting. Although cost effective, clear cutting is not ideal for the forest ecosystem. Not only are habitats of animals disrupted but trees may not grow back to their original amount in the area, permanently damaging the ecosystem of the forest. In addition, heavy machinery used to transport logs may destroy trees during its journey. The pursuit for low production costs and high yield ultimately leads to the overuse and exploitation of natural resources.
Another threat to the sustainability of forests is pollution. In the industrialized nations populated in the mixed temperate forest, there are large amounts of human activity. Developed nations within the mixed temperate forest biome use fossil fuels to create energy for homes and businesses, gasoline for the operation of cars and other motor vehicles, and industrial burners for commercial production and waste disposal. All of these fumes and chemicals produced by the use and burning of fuels make its way into the atmosphere. As more and more fumes and toxic chemicals are added to the atmosphere, the concentrations of chemicals become very high and
The remarkable regrowth of New England’s forests after a century of agricultural expansion and timber exploitation is a unique environmental success story.
Writer Bill McKibben has called this reforestation an “explosion of green.” Although many parts of New England were only 20 percent forested in the 1800s, the region is now 80 percent forested. Today, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are three of the four most heavily forested states in the country.
There are signs that these trends may be reversing, however. Regional forest cover peaked in the late 1900s and today annual forest loss is a consistent trend across New England.
Historical changes in forest cover show that reforestation of abandoned farmland from the mid-19th century through the late 20th century has provided a second chance to determine the fate of the region’s forests.
In this densely populated region of the country, forests face an increasing number of threats including persistent sprawl and development pressure. Parcelization and fragmentation due to development create smaller forest pockets with less habitat connectivity, diminish forest health and ecological resilience, and reduce opportunities for economically viable sustainable forestry operations.
Threats to the region’s forests also include climate change impacts, such as warming temperatures, an increase in extreme weather events, and the northward movement of invasive species and pathogens. These invaders put significant ecological and economic pressures on our landscape, including high costs for removal, decimation of native species, and interruption of traditional food webs. To what extent native species will be able to adapt to changing temperatures and habitats remains an enormous ecological unknown.
Eighty-five percent of the region’s forests are privately owned, much of it in small parcels. The single most important action that we can take today is to help those landowners maintain their forested and other natural landscapes through permanent conservation on a collective scale that allows natural and human communities to flourish for many generations.