Where does lumber come from? #3: Harvesting the Rain Forest

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Blog entry by dbkmd posted 11-01-2011 01:04 AM 6965 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: More information - and pictures - on the Amazon trip Part 3 of Where does lumber come from? series no next part

I just got an interesting post-reply to this blog:

“I’m sure that was a great trip and I would love to do something like that but I also have to think about the cutting of the rain forest. I hope something was planted in their place.”

I agree on all counts! The unfortunate fact remains, though, that these folks, the ones that are doing all the cutting, trimming, sawing, etc., are doing the only thing they know how to do in order to feed their families. They’re not really trying to destroy the environment, they just don’t understand the big picture, or maybe they have never seen it. And as long as there is a demand for this kind of lumber – yes, that’s you and me – they will continue to do their best to care for their loved ones. I would, too, if I was in their situation.

That’s one of the many reasons FOR making trips like these. We need to understand their predicament and help them find solutions (for example, re-planting) that will help mitigate the damage that inevitably accompanies their work. And if we can do something that will make it a little easier for their families, like helping them gain a source of clean water, so much the better. Clean drinking water means less illness, which in turn means less lost time, better education, etc.

Meeting us also gives all of them a whole new perspective on what it means to be a part of a community – in this case, the global community. A good portion of them might not have ever met someone from farther away than the next village or two. Now, that’s a sobering thought.

So, since we agree, how about coming with me in April, pitching in, and come home with a new sense of excitement?

-- David

1 comment so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4711 days

#1 posted 11-01-2011 02:49 AM

Hello David,

I have made many trip to Brazil and have gotten to know a well known Brazilian writer and authority on the trees and plants of Brazil. He and I have spent quite a bit of time talking about the forests and the history of them. The natives have been in the forests for many thousands of years and never had the populations large enough to destroy it. However, they have been clear cutting areas and replanting them with a huge variety of plants and trees that enabled them to have enough food to stay in one area for a long time. They would them move to another area and start the whole process all over again. So, mankind actually helped develop the large and diverse forests that have thrived for thousands of years. The clear cutting that is occurring now is because of the desire to open land for cattle grazing and corporate farming. These people do not care about the rain forests. There have been efforts to curtail this but to little avail. It will take a very large effort and movement to change things. Almost like spitting into the wind right now. Maybe this mentality will change in time. I hope so.


-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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