Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tragedy in Arkansas and forest "management"

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This past Friday, a devastating flash flood took the lives of at least eighteen campers in the Albert Pike Recreation Area (flagged on the above map) of Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas. I was curious what kind of terrain could contribute to such a tragedy. A closer look reveals a threadbare landscape destroyed by over a century of clearcut logging. The once heavily-forested terrain has been stripped, severely compromising the land's ability to capture and retain water. There is a solid cause and effect line here from forest practices to the loss of innocent lives.

Amazingly, such forestry practices continue (with some moderation), across North America, and indeed around the world.

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