Forest Protection Information Page
Forest Protection Information
Forest Protection Links
Taken from the PYFG "Power of the Giants" movie.
My thoughts back in 2007.
I spend as much time in the forest and the outdoors as I can. I enjoy the peace, the smell of the fresh air, and it’s a time that seems to stand still for a while.
I can take in everything that the city pushes at me like the stress, the noise, and the daily routine.
When I take trips to a park, or go on a hike, or anywhere in the wilderness, more often than not, I find myself cleaning up after people. To the point that I had started taking pictures to show others how bad it really was. I used to call it "trash art".
A broken piece of glass found in 2007 "Trash art"
Well after a while it all begins to look the same. Garbage, trash, its ugly and for that reason I found myself getting really tired of looking at it.
Today, I still do what I can at the time and pick some of it up. I can't always clean up what I would like to. I also try to either recycle it or pay to relocate it at the landfill.
People throw just about everything out in the forest because they seem to think that no one will ever find it, but that is usually not the case.
Through this journey of picture taking, doing research on ecosystems, forestry practices and questioning others, I found myself discussing these issues and learning quite a lot about the forest.
I found out how valuable and how extremely important it is to preserve and maintain what we have left worldwide.
I’m willing to work hard at tuning in as many people as I can to what is not just a threat to tree lovers but is a scary reality to the whole planet.
My thoughts now in 2010.
Now its 2010 and I've moved away from the city. The thought of living in a rural area always rested in my mind and now I've done it.
In fact I've been away from the city for over a year and a half now. I don't think I would ever live there anymore, I've gotten too used to the quiet.
The sad part is, since I've moved closer to the forest and nature, I've also relocated myself to the front lines of trash dumping and littering.
We have only begun to explore some of these unique areas and very quickly we are destroying them. This doesn’t sound like the century that we live in.
I always thought we were smarter than this. Unfortunately we will only understand and realize most of this when its too late and our species die one after another.
I still love the outdoors. I still venture out on walks and hikes. I still go seek out new areas and take a lot of pictures and video.
I still believe that we should protect all of our old growth trees. I also disagree with the selling and the destruction of our rivers to create electricity.
Although at times more expensive, these days there are alternatives to producing energy.
I guess you can say that littering or poor forest management hasn't stopped me or even slowed me down.
In fact I think its given me the strength to keep cleaning and learning what I can. It also makes me strive to find or create new ideas to help inform others about protection.
So, in that case alone it is still worth it.
Pete Delorme Jan 2010
Whether its hiking for the day or spending one or two nights in the forest, taking these little trips is to me one of the best ways to relax.
As we drive up a logging road searching for a perfect spot to spend the night, we never really know where we’ll end up.
The fascination of finding that perfect little hideaway in the forest has always been one of my favorite parts of taking in the full effect of nature.
Will there be privacy? Will there be a lake or stream nearby? What kind of view will there be?
Sometimes we never know till morning as the sun rises because we arrive late and its dark, and in the forest when its dark, its pitch black.
Whether it be like this trip where we spent the night or just a single day event nothing bothers me as much as getting there and finding garbage everywhere you look.
Garbage left behind by others.
After we left the campsite.
Garbage that was left behind like nobody cared, like nothing will become of it and nothing will be affected by it.
This little spot that we chose was actually something we stumbled upon, we really didn’t expect to find litter this time.
Its not like I go looking for garbage, I always seem to find it though. I wasn't always cleaning it up either, that just kind of grew on me.
I think that the more I spent reading up on ecosystems and the effects of littering and the changing of its characteristics the more furious I got when I came upon a trashed area.
For some it’s a gathering of friends, a party in the woods, alcohol, a fire, and good times. Others it’s a place to specifically dump something because they don’t want it anymore, why not just throw it away.
Whatever the reason I don’t understand why you can’t just pick up after yourself. My friends and I had some great times camping growing up, I still do but we always left it like we were never there in the first place.
Fortunately this time around there wasn't too much trash and we were able to clean it up. Now, looking at those after pictures, they still make me feel like we accomplished something that day.
Pete Delorme 2007.
When I was learning to understand how everything works around us, how living things, like the forest and even humans, can exist, it became clear to me that the trees, that I loved so much, were as important as anything else.
Without the interaction of all living things, we, as humans, would not exist. It is that simple.
If you were like me, when growing up as a child, you enjoyed spending your time in the woods, ditches or ponds, looking for and catching frogs and snails.
You then brought them home in a jar, so you could study them up close, only to be told, by your parents, to take them back to where you found them.
Well, as a kid those were great times. I couldn’t imagine for one minute not having all these little creatures around anymore.
One thing I never realized back then, is that these little creatures were food for another type of animal, which in turn, was someone else’s meal and so on.
Of course, through different associations, it eventually leads to us as we are all interconnected.
I am hoping that you will get the same feelings as I did from this information. I hope that maybe you will look at our forests as something worth protecting, not only mentally, but physically, as well, by taking action yourself in some sort of fashion.
We need people to stand out and do something, even if it’s something small, anything would be a step forward in protecting our forest.
What do forests do for us? What do we do for them? Well just think for a second, we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen.
Just this alone should explain why trees are so important. Unfortunately, there’s more to it than that and its important to know why.
If you were in the forest and you were to reach down and grab a handful of soil from anywhere around you, you would hold a handful containing billions of organisms.
Now just imagine being in a forest where much is unknown and where we constantly find new species of insects, just think of the possibilities of research!
Forests depend on a variety of organisms, the weather and a balance to sustain it’s life and within its system we find medicines from unique organisms that create cures for disease and most of these medicines haven’t been discovered yet.
Now whether it would be from pollution, human related emissions or natural causes for global warming or cutting down our rainforests, which holds approximately 70% of all our medicines, we are quickly destroying what keeps us all alive.
People use words like sustainability and biodiversity, well, it’s for good reason as these are key parts to are survival as humans and all that is living.
Every single organism, every single living cell here in our atmosphere, is related to one another in some sort of way.
A very complex and unique form of life, we need all that is living to survive. Like a huge pyramid, we stand on top as humans, so it seems at times, but as life underneath us keeps disappearing we change its biodiversity and balance and it will in the end reflect back on to us.
Life cycles, everything living recycles itself and whatever changes within that cycle affects its fate.
Ecosystems are formed with the interacting and recycling of living organisms within the environment that they dwell in.
Ecosystems are everywhere and form the existence of life throughout our planet.
In fact our planet’s ecosystem, the Earth, the water, the atmosphere and all that is living within is called the Biosphere.
A measurement of its size or volume like a spoonful or a truck full, any type of measurement is called a Biomass.
It’s amazing and scary at the same time to know that toxins we produce in our cities, from our cars, our industries and our homes end up on the other side of the planet, it circles the planet and reacts to everything in its path.
Its damage is happening at such a fast and destructive rate that we can’t begin to know what were going to be looking at as a planet in the near future.
Like the North Pole, where these toxins are found in animals, you’d think it could never reach places where human presence is limited.
Toxins are formed from polluting our Oceans and watersheds, our land and from the air itself mixed with the wind, rain and snow of all climates within our biosphere.
Toxins are even present in women’s breast milk. Breathing in toxins daily usually produces consequences, without notice or thought.
Yet most of us think one person isn’t enough to make a change and the alternative of pure ignorance is also a reality.
Some of the scientist’s predictions are very dismal but we can, as the strongest, or, at least, the most intelligent of species, slow this process down.
We can’t fix what we’ve damaged so far but we can prevent worse damage than what we have at the present time.
In your day to day lifestyle, you may tend to forget that the simplest things in life are taken for granted. And yet they are right there in front of us, keeping it all together, so that we, us humans, and everything living around us, stays alive.
Plant cells are green organisms, this means it can change light energy into a stored chemical energy. This stored energy mixed with water and carbon dioxide will produce glucose, a sugar. This process is called photosynthesis.
Human cells, as well as other animal cells, can’t produce glucose, so we need to get them from the cells that do, therefore we eat organisms from our environment.
An organism! Just think, you can say that anything that can function entirely on its own, and is composed of one cell or more, is an individual, a living being, an entity, plant or animal, this is called an organism.
Some animals eat plants and some animals eat animals that eat plants. Somehow, in some sort of fashion, all living things produce energy from the result of its surroundings. Not one living organism can survive without another’s help.
A cell is produced, which then in turn, will form tissue. There are many forms of tissue, like muscle tissue, nerve tissue and so on that will then create an organ.
It is so amazing when you think about it; we are in some way all linked together. Our genes depict what we will eventually grow into, but all that is living, at one time, began as a single cell.
The place in which an organism lives, its natural environment is called a habitat.
A worm, a bird, and fungi can all live in the same habitat. The worm would live in the soil, the bird in the branches and the fungi in the grass, rocks or bark of a tree.
Now the niche of an organism is something different. The niche is the organism’s suitable place within the environment, its purpose in life.
A duck's niche would be in areas where insects and other smaller organisms thrive like in a pond for instance.
This is why a duck's habitat is mostly near water sources, such as ponds or ditches as oppose to a tree.
Ducks in a pond
Producers, consumers, and decomposers are organisms found in an ecosystem. Believe it or not, these organisms are the main reason were all here, in fact, we, ourselves are consumers!
The producers are mostly plants in land areas with algae being the more dominant producer within marine ecosystems.
They produce energy from the sun, just like we talked about with photosynthesis.
Using the sun, plants contain chlorophyll which stores energy from the sun, producing its own food in sugar, starch and other types of molecules.
This is why they are called producers, and this is all coming straight from our sun.
Consumers are organisms that will eat other organisms. Herbivores are a type of consumer that will feed directly on plants.
This is why they are considered the primary consumers as they take it directly from the producer.
Carnivores eat other animals or other types of consumers and, therefore, are considered secondary consumers. Omnivores (where we fit in) eat both plants and animals.
Decomposers are bacteria, fungi, and moulds that recycle nutrients from decaying organic material.
They break down or decompose and feed off dead plants, animals, and waste, turning nonliving organic matter into inorganic matter.
All of these food chains are interconnected and are called the food web, or food pyramids.
So our forests depend on a healthy ecosystem, yeah, ok, we hear this all the time: “Be careful, this might endanger the ecosystem!”, but how will this affect the ecosystem?
“Don’t dump that there, it might pollute and damage the ecosystem!” Well, how exactly does this happen and what kind of damage are we talking about?
I will explain this all so you can come to your own conclusion. You can decide on whether or not we are in a constant threat of losing valuable ecosystems throughout our forests, oceans, deserts, and planet for that matter.
An ecosystem is basically formed in two separate parts, a living part and a non- living part. The living part is called the “Biotic” part , it consists of plants, animals, fungi and certain types of bacteria.
The non-living part is called “Abiotic” and this consists of water, soil, temperature, light, and wind, no living tissue here!
This is the main basis of an ecosystem. Just think for a minute on how much the climate alone could affect an ecosystem.
Ecosystems can be either in the ocean, in the desert, forest, or in the Arctic, these are all different types of environment but still very much ecosystems.
Now an ecosystem needs more than energy to survive. Most ecosystems need over 20 elements (nutrients) including carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, calcium, potassium, iron, and more.
Carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are sometimes called the building blocks of life.
In our food chain cycle little or no energy will reach the end of a cycle, meaning the energy produced by the plant will be transferred to the rabbit, however, some of the energy will be lost through the transfer.
The wolf will eat the rabbit and whatever energy is left from the rabbit, will further be lost in the exchange; it dissipates from one organism to the next.
Nutrients, on the other hand, will complete the cycle and will be transferred from one animal to the other, and will keep recycling.
Water will evaporate from lakes, ponds and through the pores of plants. Transpiration will then occur to form rain clouds, giving us precipitation which then merges back into streams, lakes and is absorbed by plants, continuing the cycle.
Everywhere in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide cycles through an ecosystem and plants use it to make food. Carbon is in the producers and in the animals, both of which respire, converting the carbon into carbon dioxide which returns to the atmosphere again.
Decomposers break down dead plants, animals, and waste, which will also create carbon dioxide. Today we put too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as we burn fossil fuels faster than we can remove it.
Nitrogen makes proteins. Almost 78% of the atmosphere is nitrogen, but this can’t be used unless it’s formed into nitrates, which is called nitrogen fixation. Lightning is oxygen and nitrogen which, when joined, forms nitrates.
Bacteria will also form nitrates. Plants use nitrates to form plant proteins. Dying plants and animals, their urine and excrement, are all converted from bacteria to ammonia.
The odor that you get from barns, outhouses and cat litter boxes is evidence of the ammonia change process.
Phosphorous bearing compounds are found in every living cell, which is the key role in storage of energy and supply.
It’s usually found in water and soil, in inorganic compounds and will be absorbed by plants to make organic compounds.
The animals then eat it, which is then passed on. Bacteria will decompose these organic forms into inorganic forms and it cycles again.
All of the producers, consumers and decomposers will cycle, forming a balance. Should this balance change, it will affect the whole structure of the ecosystem.
In the end, this should explain to us all that ecosystems are very complex and if disturbed in any way will affect its characteristics forever or slowly fade away changing or killing all species including humans in its process.
Used oil is just one thing that is part of a category called “Special Waste”, because of its toxicity or difficult handling.
There are numerous items written in this category, but first, let’s look at used car oil. At this point, most industries will reprocess it, but usually not the average car owner, who changes the oil himself.
One single oil change (one gallon) can pollute a million gallons of water, if, by chance it was dumped near a stream or lake. Just think of the plant life or organisms in the soil if the oil were dumped near a tree.
Living things either learn to adapt or they die; those who adapt, change their characteristics and create a serious change in the ecosystem, losing its unique originality.
This term comes from appliances like fridges, stoves, washers, and dryers and believe it or not some people do dump these in the forest.
These include paint, thinners, solvents, and cleaners. Just think of what these chemicals would do to anything living, if not carefully disposed of, would you consume these chemicals?
There are so many cans and bottles of waste created daily with many getting dumped in sewers.
Campers often clean out their vehicles by dumping and burying their garbage anywhere, figuring that no one will notice.
Glass, which has been such a valued material for so many years, is so easily recyclable. What bothers me, so immensely, is that where I find garbage I will also find glass, most often broken glass.
How many times have you been swimming in a lake, wading in a stream or walking along a path and found broken glass?
I don’t remember too many incidents, as a child, where someone stepped and cut their foot on broken glass, but for the few times it did happen, they required immediate medical attention.
I love swimming, and I go where ever there is clean safe water that is not stagnant including lakes, rivers, and mountain streams, which at times are quite cold, but are so refreshing on that very hot summers’ day.
I will often find glass where the water level has dropped low. Since it is very difficult to see directly in the water, it makes it very dangerous to swim there.
I find old fire pits where people have thrown their beer bottles into the fire, often times the broken glass gets spread throughout the area when rain runoff or seasonal rising water, near streams or lakes, washes them away.
It is a serious problem and a danger to people and animals, including pets.
I understand how people can litter like this while enjoying themselves in the outdoor environment, what I have problem with, however, is trying to understand the reason why anyone would do that.
With all the available recycling facilities, constant new ways of reusing old items and available money refunds for used materials, it just doesn’t make any sense why one would not take the opportunity to better our land as oppose to making it worse.
Here are some easy tips for when your out and about or spending time at the park or forest.
When hiking or camping the most important thing you should remember is to pack it in and pack it out.
Why not use reusable mugs like you would for your coffee on your way to work. Bring dishes that you can wash rather than throw away like plastic rather than paper or use biodegradable dishes. Avoid packing glass materials if possible.
When buying food buy bulk as this will use less packing material.
When buying small items say no to a bag or bring your own, one bag saved will help and pack them in a reusable bag or product like a cooler or plastic storage container.
Don’t throw out unused mustard and ketchup packages when you go through a drive through, these can be used again.
If you see a trash can that is filled up don’t just throw your garbage right next to it, wait until you find a location where you can properly dispose of it.
Bring items that you can easily bring back with you. Have bags for each particular item like for example; a bag for used cans, a bag for used glass or don’t bring glass at all, a bag for paper such as writing paper, magazines or newspapers.
Leave no trace but your footprints, don’t disturb the plants, rocks or wildlife.
When washing dishes or yourself use green products or biodegradable soap.
Dispose of this at least 200 feet away from streams or lakes, after all this is still soap and it needs time in the soil to degrade and will certainly pollute if dumped before it has completely been transformed.
Use existing trails and campsites to avoid making new ones and disturbing pristine areas. Do not build structures or tear out small trees to fit your tent or camper.
Avoid wildlife, watching is one thing but do not feed them, this will change their habits and affect other species. Control your pets and prevent them from chasing small animals and digging holes if possible.
Don’t start fires just anywhere, use designated areas specifically chosen for this purpose or one that has already been established and be careful.
If you stick to your rules and try your best at recycling everything, these habits will come naturally, and if by any chance you have a urge to pick up someone elses trash?
Then you might in the end take pride and feel a sense of accomplishment, like me.