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Author Topic: Defending Wildlife  (Read 2152 times)

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AGelbert

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Can the World Really Set Aside Half of the Planet for Wildlife?

The eminent evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson has an audacious vision for saving Earth from a cataclysmic extinction event


By  Tony Hiss 

 Smithsonian Magazine  September 2014




SNIPPET:

Quote

New England would seem to be a Half Earth slam dunk, a landscape on the upswing of a yo-yoing transformation. The region was 90 percent forested when the Pilgrims arrived, but almost 200 years later farmers chopped down all but 20 percent of the trees during a “sheep fever” that can in part be blamed on Napoleon and the first stirrings of globalization.

When Napoleon overran Portugal in 1810, a Vermonter carried off a herd of merino sheep, prized for their soft, premium-priced wool, which until then had been a monopoly of the Portuguese aristocracy. The 30-year wool craze that followed has been called “a mania as powerful as any religious fanaticism.” ;D  New England’s famous stone walls, rocks piled up by hand, like the Egyptian pyramids, and with more stones than the pyramids, are a remnant of that period. 8)  Then this vast series of sheep pens was abruptly abandoned as farmers and herders moved west.


Pinus strobus, commonly known as the eastern white pine, white pine, northern white pine, Weymouth pine, and soft pine

The forests returned, though no one in the 21st century will see anything like those first forests’ practically sequoia-size Eastern white pines, trees that awed early settlers. Timbering is common in the newer woods, and even if left strictly alone, white pines need 400 years to tower over everything in sight. The “reforests,” if you can call them that, instill their own wonder, though. Self-seeded, they’ve spread again to cover 79 percent of New England, and a recent report refers to the entire six-state region as a “continental-scale habitat corridor.” If the pace of land conservation can be doubled, says this same clarion-call report, “Wildlands and Woodlands,” then 50 years from now New England can stay 70 percent forested forever. The area, it says, is something rare in the biosphere: a “second-chance landscape.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/can-world-really-set-aside-half-planet-wildlife-180952379/#BU7Xgom239truQFK.99

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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