Friday, July 17, 2009

The Larger Picture: Appalachian Garden

I thought you might like to see those things that are talked about in the news as far as environmental issues that sometimes seem to be distant because you don't encounter it everyday in your life. Here, in the Appalachian foothills, you don't have to drive far to see the effects of clearcutting. In the drive that we take on a daily basis to Jackson, we see many, many acres that have been clear-cut that are in different stages of regrowth.

Clear cutting takes out all the trees in an area, and then the ones that are marketable for lumber are loaded on a truck and shipped off. The trees that are not marketable are still cut down, and then just left on the land. There is usually no effort made to replant what was cut, and the area is left and dries out; becomes barren. Because the soil here is very heavy clay based, without the overhead forest canopy the earth becomes rock hard. It takes a long time to return this land to any kind of vegetation and water runs off of it very quickly. So, that compounds problems and we have a great deal of flooding.

The forests are so prevalent here and for many years there has been great exploitation of trees because they are so abundant. Living here, you begin to see the beauty of the area because of the large areas of forestry. Diversity of plants, large variety of birds, and the quality of the air is amazing.

I'd like to see the Appalachia area appreciated more by our country. I'd like to see it become a national park. We are loosing so much of this area every week...Ohio is very hard hit by recession and is experiencing high unemployment which it has for years now. People are cutting more trees to pay for their expenses. You can't blame them if they are without. They also cut to plant fields of marijuana.

We have very serious drug issues here, without the programs that are offered in the inner cities to curtail it. Poor white trash is pretty scary when it is high and has lots of places to hide and lots of freedom to use guns. We are seeing a rise in rural crime, break-ins, murders, cars broken into, prescription drugs stolen. Not much is on the news about it.

Don't have the infrastructure to deal with it. Lots of fall out when things are broken, domestic violence, neglected children, elderly without good care, no programming for developmentally disabled. It's interesting to note how all of this is interrelated. Not isolated issues;especially in the rural areas. It seems to be more about how we view what is valuable.

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