Monday, November 24, 2014

hard/soft deforestation

From the Winnipeg Forest Watch Handbook: A Guide to Tree Health and Basic Tree Care for Homeowners by Trees Winnipeg (the former Coalition to Save the Elms). 

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This week and next I followed the thread of boulevard trees—their establishment circa 1900 and their destruction due to age, disease, and urban ills—all the way back to urban planning, eastern Canada and British ideals around green space, and the history of riverlots in Red River Settlement days.

No matter how you feel about making over land, from tall-grass prairie to a parkland version of riverbottom forest in the middle of the road to something that is neither of those things, no matter how you feel about all the stresses an urban environment, that all of us place on trees planted today, the above picture still is a punch in the gut.

At a session I attended at Under Western Skies in Calgary in September, Matthew Thomas Clement defined soft versus hard deforestation.

Soft deforestation is the lost of trees to agriculture and the forest industry. Hard is loss to the built environment.

I'm not sure what this is, given that the missing trees in the bottom of the photo were planted there a hundred years ago by people, after the tall-grass prairie had been lost to the built environment.

Hard/soft deforestation?

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