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In a recent letter to The News, a man from Wheatfield argued for the removal of dead trees from old-growth forests for use as lumber. He stated that "we allow millions of acres of old trees to die and rot instead of disturbing nature."

"The forest renews itself," the gentleman also wrote. What he failed to mention was how forests have been renewing themselves for millions of years all over the world (including many areas in Western New York, since the end of the Ice Age about 12,000 years ago).

If dead trees had been removed since trees first appeared, the nutrients in the soils would have been depleted long ago. There probably would be no old-growth forests left to argue about today.

Our planet has been recycling for billions of years. Organic and inorganic matter have been used over and over again. The carbon and other atoms in our bodies were more than likely once in the bodies of dinosaurs and ancient giant ferns.

In an old-growth forest, dead trees will provide future living trees and other organisms with necessary nutrients. The vitality of the forest will eventually be lost by the regular removal of the dead trees.

How many civilizations have lost forests in the past? How many of them survived afterward? Leave well enough alone.


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