Letter to the Editor- Forest Cover

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Dear Editor,

As the chainsaws and backhoes keep tearing out trees in North Dundas despite over a decade of warnings that our forest cover is already too low to sustain a healthy environment, these facts may be enlightening.

Global warming, contaminated water, severe droughts, bad air advisories — these have become commonplace in our world. The time is now to recognize the benefits of our natural environment and make protecting it a Number One priority.

Trees lend stability to the landscape by anchoring the soil. They moderate the effects of flooding by absorbing as much as 20% of storm runoff and storing it.

Trees filter groundwater, keeping our fresh water fresh and our well water drinkable.
An average mature tree absorbs 26 lbs of carbon dioxide from the air and releases 13 lbs of oxygen each year — enough for a family of four to breathe for an entire day!
Trees remove pollutants from the air, even the very finest particulates that penetrate deepest into our lungs and are connected with some cancers.

Having mature trees on your property can speed home sales by 6 weeks and add 14% to the home’s value. In some areas, having lots of mature trees has increased the value of the home by at least $10,000. That benefits homeowners. [Source: U.S. Department of Forestry] Trees are a natural buffer for noise pollution. A 100 foot by 45 foot patch of trees reduces noise pollution by 50%. [Source: U.S. Department of Energy]

Over 50 years, one tree provides $30,000 in oxygen, recycles $35,000 in water, and removes $60,000 of pollution.

Shade provided by trees reduces air conditioning costs in commercial and residential buildings by up to 50%. Their windbreaking abilities can reduce heating bills by 30%. That saves you money.

Because trees block winter winds, less plowing is needed for drifting snow on roadways. That reduces your tax costs.

Trees provide habitat for wildlife, many of which reduce pests and pollinate crops. A balanced ecosystem is a healthy ecosystem.

Trees add to the economic health of a community by attracting businesses and homeowners. [Source: Trees Canada]

Hospital patients recover significantly faster and with fewer complications when they have a view of trees. This reduces health care costs. Having trees in a community reduced family violence and domestic crimes by a whopping 22%. This saves money on policing and improves our society.

One acre of trees provides enough oxygen for 18 people and absorbs as much carbon dioxide as a car produces in 26,000 miles.[Source: University of Illinois study on Human Environment Research]

Please consider halting the wholesale slaughter of our tree cover and urge our Mayor, Council, and MPPs to immediately enact laws to protect our community from this ongoing escalating threat.

Janice Atkey Videto
Winchester

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