Despite the fact that there are so few acres of old growth redwood forest left, only around 25% of the original redwood forest has been lost to land conversion—the remaining 1.5 million acres are young, recently logged woodland. Of this amount, nearly half is already planned for development. The other half consists of private and public lands, including national parks and forests.
The history of logging in California can be traced back to the early days of European settlement. Logs were used for building houses, making barrels, and even paper. But as settlers moved into new areas they also wanted lumber to use for construction, and since redwoods are not native to California they needed wood from elsewhere to meet their needs.
In 1776, the first log mill was built in California at New Helvetia on the north bank of the Columbia River. It was operated by French colonists who had come to what is now Washington state looking for gold. The mill used logs from nearby trees to produce gunpowder for use by the military against the British during the American Revolution. In 1810, Joseph Wilcox established California's first commercial timber operation when he bought 500 acres (200 ha) near today's San Francisco and began cutting redwood trees for market. This is how the coast redwood came to be available in quantity for sale to Europeans who wanted to build homes.
Although the pace of deforestation has reduced over the last three decades, it is estimated that 420 million hectares of forest have been lost since 1990 due to conversion to other land uses. This is equivalent to almost 2 million square kilometers or 20% of the Amazonian rainforest.
Since 1990, only Brazil has lost more forest than the Amazonian nation. Ecuador and Colombia have seen relative improvements in their forestry records but both countries still lose forest every year. Venezuela has actually gained forest and moved from being a net exporter to being a net importer of forest products.
The biggest factor behind this loss is the conversion of forest to farmland. In order to make room for more crops, farmers clear away all trees with heavy machinery such as tractors and bulldozers. Since trees provide shelter for animals and prevent soil erosion, they must be removed if farmers are going to grow crops. The growing population in South America also plays a role in the decline of the Amazonian forest. More people mean more demand for food, energy, and other products that come from forests. Many consumers in developed countries prefer to buy products that come from industrial farms where many pesticides are used instead of buying products that come from natural forests because they think that this will better protect the environment. Deforestation also helps fuel climate change by releasing stored carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Information about Coast Redwoods
|Remaining old-growth forest: 110,000 acres (5% of original)||From southern Oregon to Central California||About size of San Jose|
|Total protected redwood forest: 382,000 acres (23% of their range)||From southern Oregon to Central California||The size of Houston|
Forests still comprise around 30% of the world's geographical area as of February 2019, but they are vanishing at an alarming rate. Between 1990 and 2016, the world's forest area shrank by 1.3 million square kilometers. According to a 2015 research, humans have killed 46 percent of the trees since they began chopping them down. The largest swaths of tree cover loss have occurred in Southeast Asia and South America.
By 2050 it is predicted that if current trends continue, we will need to make space for more than 100 million people. This would almost completely eliminate all of the world's tropical forests.
The majority of the wood that comes from cutting down trees is used for heating and cooking food. If you want to keep eating what you eat now but reduce your consumption of fossil fuels, you should consider switching to solar-powered heaters and cookers.
Switching to a renewable energy source is one way to stop cutting down our forest reserves. Another way is by changing how we use cookstoves; for example by only using them when you eat out or wait until they are not needed anymore. It is important to note that even using solar-powered devices can have a negative impact on the environment if you do it too often or without caution.
Finally, you can switch off your lights! Modern light bulbs last about 25 years on average and emit much less heat than traditional lamps.
Less than 4%, or less than 40 million acres, of America's natural woods remain. Most of this old growth is found in three states: Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
In fact, more than 90% of the original tree cover has been lost across the United States. Old-growth forests are found only on high mountains, cliffs, and islands. They are the last remnants of once vast numbers of giant trees that dominated the landscape before humans arrived with their farming and logging practices.
Today, old-growth forests provide habitat for many rare species, including the American beech, white oak, and red maple. They also play a major role in regulating climate change by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the air when they die over time. Forests that have not been logged cannot do this so they hold more heat under their canopies creating a warmer planet.
Scientists believe that more than 10 million years ago during the Ice Age, all of North America was covered in tropical forests. But you wouldn't know it by looking around today because all that's left are small fragments of these forests located in isolated areas such as California's Everglades, Florida's Cape Cod National Seashore, and Washington's Olympic Peninsula.