GEOG 1070 Chapter Notes - Chapter 17: National Wilderness Preservation System, National Wildlife Refuge, Tropical And Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests

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GEOG 1070: Contemporary Environmental Issues – Reading Notes Chapter 17
Wilderness act of 1964 authorized the U.S. government to set aside federally
owned land that lacks humans habitation as part of the national Wilderness
Preservation system
Natural regulation – park management policy that involves letting nature take its
course most of the time, with corrective actions undertaken as needed to adjust
for changes caused by pervasive human activities
National Wildlife Refuge System – most extensive network or lands and waters
committed to wildlife habitat in the world
Forests protect from erosion and mudslide by pulling water deeper into upper
soil layers to slowly release water that helps to control floods and droughts
Traditional forest management – specific varieties of commercially important
trees are planted, and threes rot as commercially desirable are threatened out
and removed
Many U.S. trees are monocultured: ecologically simplified in which one type of
plant is cultivated over a large area
Sustainable forestry maintains a mix of forest trees by age and species
Selective cutting: mature trees are cut individually in small clusters while the rest
of the forest remains in tact allowing the forest to regenerate naturally
Shelter wood cutting: the removal of all mature trees in an area over a period of
Clear-cutting: logging practice in which all the trees in a strand of forest are cut
leaving the stumps
Deforestation contributes to an increase in global temperatures, ocean
acidification, and etc by releasing CO2 originally stored in trees in the
atmosphere of CO2
Tropical rain forests: live in places clime is warm and moist
Tropical dry forests: annual precipitation is less than rainforests but enough to
support trees
Deforestation decreases soil fertility and results in uncontrolled soil erosion that
harms downstream fisheries
oTotal amount of surface water that lows increases because there is no
forest to regulate it so its alternates between flood and drought
oRainfall declines because water isn’t evaporated into the air
oCarbon in forests are released immediately if trees are burned or more
slowly removed
The forest legacy program helps private land owners protect environmentally
important forests by selling some/all ownership rights to the government that
holds a conservation easement
oConservation Easements – a legal document that protects privately
owned forests from development for x amount of years
oProtects 2.3 million acres of US private forests
Tropical rainforests used for subsistence agriculture, commercial logging, and
cattle racking
Subsistence agriculture – family produces just enough to feed itself
oAccounts for ½ of all deforestation
oUsually uses slash and burn methods
Tropical dry forests used primarily for firewood
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