Preserving Forests, Wilderness and Habitats

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Ontology Tags

Classes Energy, Environmental & Natural Resources: (1) Protecting our Resources – Conservation & Resource Management (2) Environmental Dangers & Protections – Habitat Loss (3) Looking at Natural Resources – Policy & Regulation | Space Exploration: Exploring Earth From Space – Satellites Watching Earth

Goals Challenging Problems: (1) Questions – Build a Better World (2) Themes – Conservation-Focused (3) Physical World – Animals Pets, & Wildlife (4) Humans in the World – Habitation & Population | Intended Learning Outcomes: Lifestyle Respecting Environmental Resources|CTEs & Disciplines: (1) Agriculture & Agribusiness (2) Energy, Environmental & Natural Resources (3) Environmental Engineering  (4) Earth & Geo Sciences

 

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Forest Use & Logging

The most well-known use of forests is for logging, or the cutting of trees which are then processed and converted into timber and paper, among other products. Logging can be done sustainably over long time periods with silvicultural practices to guide timber harvests and forest management, to ensure future forest regeneration, and attain both ecological and economic goals.

Protected Areas

Protected areas are regions or zones of land or sea that are reserved for purposes of conserving nature and biodiversity. These areas serve a broad range of functions including scientific research, protection of wilderness, preservation of biodiversity and species protection, safeguarding environmental services such as watersheds, maintenance of specific cultural sites and natural features, education, tourism and recreation.

Forest Monitoring

The need to be able to accurately monitor forest cover and quality is crucial to understanding the costs of deforestation. In the past, foresters would use field and aerial surveys to collect forest cover data, and aerial photography was used for plot-based analysis of forest stocks. With the advent of satellite imaging technology, it is much more common to use remote sensing techniques to monitor forest data, in particular tropical deforestation.

 

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Shining Laser Light on Earth’s Forests

The International Space Station (ISS) is sporting a new ‘light fixture.’ The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) will beam down laser light on Earth from the orbiting laboratory to reveal more about our environment and how it is changing. The timing and intensity of light that bounces back to GEDI’s telescope will reveal the height and density of trees and vegetation, and the vertical arrangement of the leaves and branches within the overall canopy.

 

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The Best Way to Protect the World’s Forests? Keep People in Them

To preserve a natural landscape, kick people out. That was the guiding philosophy of American conservationists in the late 1800s, when they established the first National Parks. This conservation model is enshrined in the U.S.’s 1964 Wilderness Act.  But in many cases, this philosophy may be misguided, argue a growing chorus of experts. In countries around the world, forests have remained intact precisely because indigenous communities had long managed them effectively.

 

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Wilderness Act — Law & Policy

The Wilderness Act was passed in 1964, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. This Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System and instructed federal land management agencies, including the National Park Service (NPS), to manage wilderness areas and preserve wilderness character.

 

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The National Wildlife Federation

Habitats

To thrive, wildlife need unspoiled spaces where they can access food, water, cover, and places to raise young. But due to increasing changes to our country’s landscape, habitats are being altered, polluted, and fragmented. In order to recover wildlife populations, we must protect, restore, and connect habitats across our great country—and for some species, beyond our borders—to support wildlife for future generations.

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