Viewpoints: Earth’s hardworking forests are taken for granted, to their peril – Sacramento Opinion – Sacramento Editorial | Sacramento Bee

Posted by Trish Riley, February 1, 2011

This year, 2011, is the International Year of Forests. Forests are the lungs of our planet, providing clean air and stabilizing our climate. They collect, clean and store rainfall and snow, slowly releasing it for crops and drinking water. They are open space and solace, homes for wildlife and places for us to work and play.

Cool, you say, I love forests. So wha’s the problem?

Our forests are not in good shape, and we are losing many of them. Almost one-third of the Earth is forested, as is California and the rest of the United States. It seems like a lot, but it’s about 40 percent less than we used to have.

When forests are lost, we lose the water, air and other services they provide, as well as the human cultures and economies they support. Forest loss is especially critical in California where more than 75 percent of our water comes from forested watersheds.

That is the big problem, and the reason the United Nations decided to proclaim 2011 the International Year of Forests.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/01/28/3358533/earths-hardworking-forests-are.html#ixzz1CL582xf2

via Viewpoints: Earth’s hardworking forests are taken for granted, to their peril – Sacramento Opinion – Sacramento Editorial | Sacramento Bee.