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In Chris Anderson s essay titled Forest of Voices he talks about the forest around his house and what it means to him. However there is a much deeper meaning to his essay. Throughout the essay, one can get a hint of human interference and human interaction with forests.

Anderson once thought of the forest as a place to get away from things and go hike and explore. He, like many others, just saw the trees from his place in town as a line of timber. His thoughts were changed however when he moved up to the boundary of the forest. He started to learn about the trees and how they provide habitat for many animals and different things.

Anderson wanted us to know that he supports forests without actually saying it. He gives many clues to this. He tells us his experiences in the forests with different people and hints to what he is feeling. He talks about human interference and what he has been seeing change in the forest. Take for instance the time when Anderson was walking in the woods and came upon a wedding. Another time he came upon a dirt bike race.

Anderson came to realize that the forest near his house was a forest of voices. He began to see that the forest had a deep history and many voices to it. The forest also had a certain language to it. This showed him that the forest is a complex place, a natural place, not just something to acquire some financial gain from.

The general perception is that trees are only good for three things. The first is lumber to build houses and other buildings. The second is paper for us to write on, and finally, to keep the childhood fear of a dark scary place in the forest stuck in our minds. Anderson came to realize that the forest is a much more complicated and interesting place. He started to experience the forest. He found that satellites now map out forests. He learned that the forest he lived by wasn t there one hundred years ago, but actually it was a prairie that the Indians burned until the white men and there diseases killed them off. That is when the trees started to grow and a forest took the prairie s place.

Humans interact with forests all the time. Anderson learned of the different types of forest management. He learned that trees fall naturally, trees fall because of disease and trees fall because we cut them down. There are many types of cuts. The clear cut, the two story cut, the slash and burn, and patch cuts are a few examples that Anderson learned about and witnessed first hand. There are many reasons why forests are cut down. One is to benefit economically, with furniture and homebuilding.

Anderson talks a little bit about reforestation throughout the essay. There are many methods for planning a forest. The simplest method of replanting a forest is to not plant at all and leave it to nature. A suitable seedbed in which trees will readily take root is integral for successful regeneration. Another method is reducing competition by eliminating grass, weed or shrubs securing a new crop of trees. These will sprout to produce seedlings. Though the weeds were eliminated before, they still grow back, and because of this, poor quality trees will grow. Another method though, is to create a planned forest, where new conifers are grown from seed in a special nursery. Following this is the planting. In many cases, planting is the only means of initiating a new forest. Usually immature forests have to be tended. This means continuing protection from fires, disease and insects and routine thinning to focus the growth on selected crop trees. Yes, it does take money to do all of the methods stated above, but it is worth it to human.

In summary of the above, trees are very valuable to the human race economically and for health. Without trees, the environment could worsen to the point where we would be living on one large dessert. We must remember that forests do not grow as easily as they used to because of fires and other disasters. This is why many forests are planned, and cared for. This is also where technology comes into play. The satellites map out the forests that have been planted by us. We also have airplanes and helicopters that put out fires. America sends thousands of people to fight fires across the US all the time. Scientists have studied fires and we now know a lot about how they spread and there danger. Great amounts of money are spent on forests every year to protect it and to log it.

There are many reasons why we should have reforestation. One being mostly that we need forest to live! There are not many arguments against reforestation, but there can be some opposition for the land being used by the University. Anderson feels replanting of forests is very crucial to the human race. At the end of the story, Anderson runs back to his home in the forest. This is where he is comfortable. We as humans need a place to go. We need beauty around us. Forests provide this and much more. He states that he wants local and personal knowledge. This means he wants people in the communities that are near forests to be aware of what s in them. We live in an age of human interference, leaving behind us the past. With the past we are forgetting forests; we must make sure this doesn’t happen.


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