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Deforestation: Conservation and Sociological Effects Essay

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Deforestation: Conservation and Sociological Effects


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Forests have covered the earth for millions of years, providing habitat and food for animals and humans. These forests have stabilized different ecosystems and have continued the natural cycle that keeps plants and animals in check. The discovery of fire changed all of this. It was the beginning of deforestation, a process that has continued and increased over the last 200,000 years. Humans are the responsible party for the deforestation that has occurred. Humans discovered that animals could be driven with fire. This led to accelerated forest loss due to uncontrolled burning for hunting use (Miller & Tangley 1991: 28). Agriculture was the next problem discovery. Agriculture introduced land clearing of forested areas for crops. Suddenly forests were being destroyed at a faster rate. The 18th and 19th centuries brought about the Industrial Revolution, and soon people were moving from the rural country to the more urbanized cities for job reasons. Forests were cleared for villages that turned into small towns that became cities. As the cities grew more forest was cleared. The solution to space needs was solved by clearing more forest. This was the history of many of the more developed nations (Richard & Tucker 1988: 213). The United States has been irresponsible in the past with handling their forests. The focus was on industry, consumerism and success. There was no room for saving the forests. There are different stories in other countries.

Deforestation is also a problem in third world countries, but for different reasons. The first half of the deforestation history is similar, but development didn't go quite like that of Western Europe and the Unite...


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...urning, Alan Thein. Saving the Forests: What Will It Take? Washington, D.C.:

Worldwatch Institute, 1993.



Gradwohl, Judith, and Russell Greenberg. Saving the Tropical Forests. Washington,

D.C.: Island Press, 1988.



Miller, Kenton, and Laura Tangley. Trees of Life. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1991.



Peluso, Nancy Lee. Rich Forests, Poor People: Resource Control and Resistance in Java.

Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1992.



Richards, John F., and Richard P. Tucker. World Deforestation in the Twentieth Century.

Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1988.



Schmidt, Ralph, Joyce K. Berry, John C. Gordon. Forests to Fight Poverty. New Haven,

CT: Yale University Press, 1999.



Vandermeer, John H., and Ivette Perfecto. Breakfast of Biodiversity. Oakland, CA:

Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1995.


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