By Alan Cameron Page, Research Forester Green Diamond Systems
Current opportunities for sustainable living in the northeast corridor of North America – a forest perspective.
The observations and comments in this column come from a long period of searching for reasons why the good things related to rural life and forest culture have been so difficult to repeat (continue). These observations were based on experience within the northeastern corridor and scattered other areas of the North American continent, and several tropical forests as well.
There are five sections of concern that will be reviewed, Forests, Local Use, Foods, Sustainability, and The Hidden Agenda. Really there are three main areas of interest, Rural Stability, Cultural Limitations, and Economics. These very different areas will occasionally be tied together. If you are aware of some dysfunction, choosing not to understand how we got there and what is being or can be done about it will guarantee that you may not be able to be part of the change. Pray for those who are doing the research and or are on the front lines of change.
The group responsible for the experience reported on here believes that any human being has infinite worth as formed at birth. We hope each one may be able to grow to their potential with suitable food, shelter, and resources – without abuse. We also hope that humanity as a whole may regard the Earth-terrestrial- environment that cradled them as something to be cared for and passed on to future generations in as good or better condition than they found it. Such care does not guarantee that the earth surficial environment can or will survive in such a state, but it shows that at least those who did the caring hoped that others would be able to enjoy the same environments.
There exist a number of unexplained phenomena that suggest that the trend toward the absolute ruination of earth ecosystems are being directed by those who benefit the most from that course of action, and that there may be a series of measures that this same “elite” group have taken to protect themselves regardless of what occurs over time. This is a loaded area that must be unpacked carefully and communicated broadly. The future proves the past.
There appears to be a general consensus that significant expanses of forest cover may be valuable for the oceanic and earth terrestrial environments wherever it can occur.
In many cases the advance of human based “value” production requires the removal of some existing forest. Forest cover returns rapidly once humanity ceases to keep tree growth from reclaiming the land.
These photos show some of the change of human goals. The current dependence on technology and agriculture was a profound departure from the hunter gatherer stage where humanity took what nature provided and when that bounty had been harvested the whole population moved to a new location to repeat the same or another process to sustain the population. The forest shown in these photos is mined for timber value periodically and left to recover between mining episodes.
If forests are as important as some expect, then it is appropriate to look carefully at the reasons for the lack of concern (or worse) for the destabilization of local rural people who should be able to care for the forest of their area for their own long term direct benefit? This discussion will resurface throughout this document.
Forests exist on the geologic base present whenever and wherever a group of tree seedlings are able to become established. The trees that compose a forest take what is there and make the “best” they can of it, while competing among the inhabitants for survival. In the process, the trees modify the surface materials to extract what they need to exist and prosper.
Tree roots actually break down rock fragments into mineral constituents and may take up and store such products for current or later use. In the process trees make top soil from rock flour and parent material fragments. It is normal for those places that are higher than the base level of local streams to be lowered over time and that places that are low will be filled in with both erosive deposits and organic matter that collects there.
The “protection” messages that fill the environmental material offered to the public today are a form of misinformation because it is not in humanity’s power to stop this process.
What needs to be understood is that we are here to be ourselves living among these natural processes as long as a stable environment persists, but there is no guarantee that being good stewards will stop massive change.
Throughout the region past geologic events have formed and modified the rock parent material of ancient sea beds, material from other continents or intrusive flows of magma (either laterally or from below) into the hills and valleys of the region. This folding, faulting and intrusion has left very variable basement rock strata. It appears that the
passage of our solar system through the surrounding galactic region has the possibility of changing the solar characteristics without notice, and that there is a solar cycle that causes massive change in solar impact on the Earth magnetosphere. The existence of this cycle has been studied and the results of these studies have been hidden from the general public. The impact of this suppression of information regarding the processes of and timing of this catastrophic change may cause massive loss of life that may not have been necessary if appropriate preparations had been made by and for all. This area is one which will be expanded upon as time and interest permits.
Local Variability of Forest Potential
Local conditions may differ widely due to the variability of rock strength and resistance to erosion that result from being bent into different shapes. In some areas there may be many vertically dipping beds of partially metamorphosed shales and other sedimentary components. In other areas the base rock formation process could have been very different. A portion of eastern Massachusetts is underlain by an enormous batholith that formed by melting and intrusion from below. It is hard to imagine the compression and intense heating required to modify these originally flat lying deposits.
The much more recent repeated glaciations have modified the basement rock-controlled-landforms, north of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, by scouring, erosion and variable deposition of rock debris from other areas. Areas south of this region have been affected by the change in sea level that the formation, advance and retreat of these glaciers caused, and geologic events of a similar nature (plate tectonics) but that happened at a different (more ancient) time period. Further south the weathering of surface material has gone on for a much longer period – the glaciated soils are geologically very young.
These events have provided geologists with a very complicated puzzle to solve. The evolving detail about solar cycles and Earth dynamics has not been adequately incorporated into this scenario.
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