Living on the vast prairie of ancient Lake Agassiz I have a true appreciation of trees. So few of them to be found other than along the rivers, around farmsteads, in towns, or in shelter belts. Trees have a very useful purpose as they provide shade for us to sit in to rest, they offer landmarks to help us find our way, and they provide protection from the relentless winds that we experience year round in this part of the country.
I remember my Grandpa talking about the dust bowl in the thirties and how the topsoil would be piled deep along the fencelines and in the few tree lines that were in the region and how afterwords much work was done to plant shelterbelts to prevent the massive erosion from occurring.
Today it seems that these former guardians of the soil are now being removed in the name of agricultural progress. The machinery is large and needs more room to maneuver and the increased use of pesticides on crops has brought much destruction to the trees that we may once again soon be wishing that we had better tended to.
When we use paper foolishly we say that we are “killing a tree” but I think we kill far more through inappropriate management of our resources in the name of progress.
Once the trees are gone what will stand in the way of progress? Lack of oxygen?