Importance of Kentucky's Forest

February 2, 2013
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When you look at a forest what do you see? Do you see the leaves slowly falling as they change their colors or do you see green, lush beautiful trees of the summer? Everyone has their memories especially when it comes to the trees in forest! You may remember spending hours reading books beneath its shade or possibly how you used to climb it as a child. Although these things may come to your mind, have you ever thought about what else they are important for? Have you ever looked up at a tree and seen how that animals like squirrels, for example, make them their home and find their food supply in them? When you go outside to get “fresh air” have you ever thought about where that comes from? Lastly, did you realize that forests influence the climate and the temperature? Well, they do and all of these reasons are why that we should be making a difference in our own community here in Kentucky to conserve the forests we have, after all 47% of Kentucky is covered in forest!

To begin with, can you imagine if you realized that your home and food supply was being taken away from you? For the many animals that call the forest there home, this is happening on a daily basis, that get their homes are taken away! Educating people about the conservation of forests is more important than we can imagine! Kentucky’s forests are more than just a bunch of trees together! They are an entire ecosystem providing food, shelter, and many other resources to the animals that depend on them. According to the article, “Wildlife in Kentucky,” it quotes that “Almost none of Kentucky’s forestland is managed properly for wildlife,” this shows what a growing problem this is becoming. To help conserve the forest we have we should be practicing good habits ourselves by not polluting the land that these animals live on and keeping our own forests we have clean. My father has worked in construction his whole life and when I asked him what he felt we should be doing to conserve the forest of Kentucky, he responded by saying, “When we are asked to do certain jobs we sometimes have to cut down forests and so after the job is completed I feel like the trees should be replaced so that the animals in that area still have their habitat.” Now you can see one reason why forest conservation is so important to the forests of Kentucky!

In addition to forests providing shelter and food to many animals, forests also provide oxygen to the environment! Trees in the forest “breathe in” carbon dioxide and breath out oxygen for us to breath! This is the process called photosynthesis. How cool is that? So whenever we go outside trees make sure there is not too much carbon dioxide in the air. If there were no trees, then the air would be full of carbon dioxide, so the more we get rid of trees the more carbon dioxide will be in the air! Forests are a vital part of the environment that we should be working to conserve. In order to conserve these trees that provide the oxygen, we should be working to take care of the trees we do have! Trees provide an important exchange for all the living things in the environment. Around my house are acres and acres of forests. I have grown up around forests and know how important they are to the county I live in and I feel that everyone should be working to conserve them as well! I enjoy going outside everyday and seeing the colorful trees all around me and thinking about what an important part of our environment that they are!

Lastly, did you know that ever part of a tree contributes to the climate, from the root of the tree to the very top? The leaves of the tree help to cool down the environment through evapotranspiration. This is a combination of evaporation and transpiration which release moisture into the air! According to the article “Trees and our climate” a large oak tree can release up to 40,000 gallons of water into the air each year. Yes, that is a lot of water! According to a study that was done, when trees were planted in some areas of Kentucky or when forests were conserved, the temperature was reduced by several degrees in that area compared to areas that had less trees or forests, which contributes to global warming as well. Without forests the atmosphere tends to trap heat, so trees can help cool the environment! Do some of these things make you think of ways you can help conserve your local forest?

In conclusion, as you can see, not only to me and my family but to everyone, the conservation of forests should be very important because trees provide many things. First of all, they provide food and shelter to the animals that depend of them and if we cut down trees we should be replacing them. Second, trees provide oxygen for the atmosphere and this allows all of us to go outside and enjoy our “fresh air” when we need it. It also reduces the carbon dioxide in the air. Lastly, we should be conserving trees because they contribute to cooling down the atmosphere and help reduce global warming! Forests are a bigger deal than you thought right? This is why it is important that we conserve the 12 million acres of beautiful Kentucky that is covered in lush forest.

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