Forests Are Essential for Life

Forests are essential to our survival upon our spaceship Earth. Without them, our lands will become desert incapable of sustaining life. Trees are the forest’s interface between the atmosphere that we breathe and the land that we stand upon. Through the work of trees, we enjoy the benefits of soil creation, an active hydrological cycle, the moderation of climate, the exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen through their respiration, the long-term sequestration of carbon, a nutrient rich landscape in which to manage and rotationally graze hogs on mast crops, a diverse forest habitat for wildlife, raw materials for the construction of our homes, and a place to retreat to in order to recharge our souls. Planted in endless rows of the same species, trees become a commodity on a plantation. While mixed species trees, together with herbs, fungi and their mycorrhizal associations, shrubs, brambles, fauna, exists as a diverse polyculture that is redundant and resilient to disturbance.

As small farmers participating in our market economy, we must show that diverse methods of maintaining a forest are just as, if not more, valuable to our income streams than the current practice of clear cutting a stand of timber every fifty to one-hundred fifty years to sell at commodity prices. To this end this article defines nine points that demonstrate why a forest, a polyculture of trees, is more valuable than the market value of their standing timber, once cut and processed into lumber. Continue reading »

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