July 7, 2015
Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science | Volume 2 | SCI-NEWS 7
Local community not realizing the environmental benefits of cutting down nearby forest, says timber company
BOONE, IA – It’s the classic story of a quaint Midwestern town invaded by corporate interests that want to extract the town’s precious resources and leave it riddled with environmental damage. Only this time, the large corporation is claiming that there will be a happy ending to this story that the town’s residents haven’t realized yet.
At least that’s the story promulgated by Iowa Paper Co., Iowa’s largest timber company, after it unveiled its plan to remove all the trees from McNeil Park, a 1,000 acre forest tract outside the town of Boone, IA. In a town meeting held last night, Iowa Paper Co. emphasized some of the environmental benefits of the plan. “Yes, we’ll be essentially removing an entire forest ecosystem from Iowa,” said Marcus Fitch, a publicist for Iowa Paper Co. “But let’s not forget about all the environmental and aesthetic benefits this will bring. For example, who’s allergic to tree pollen? You’re welcome.”
Fitch said that the biggest benefit would be a recharge of the local groundwater aquifer. “Did you know that a tree prevents about 100 gallons of water a day from reaching the underground aquifer?” asked Fitch. “Just imagine how much water you’ll have for your crops once we down all the trees!”
Fitch also claimed that the removal of trees would help alleviate future climate change. “A forest is dark and scary and absorbs a lot of sunlight, which warms the Earth. After we cut all the trees down, the sunlight that was once absorbed will now get reflected and sent back to the sun!”
Other benefits that Fitch touted at the meeting included better views of sunsets, increased wildlife sightings (as the animals once living in the forest will now have to disperse to new areas), and lower risk of forest fires.
"The best part of my job is dispelling the notion that trees are the 'good guys'" said Fitch in an exclusive interview with PNIS. "For example, did you know that trees kill more people per year than sharks? It's true. And I think when people start to see trees in this perspective, as nature's silent killers, you begin to realize what an important service our timber company provides."