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Ecosystem Services at Risk from Suburban Development

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April, Reese. "USFS Report - 'Ecosystem Services' at Risk From Suburban Development -" The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. 19 February. 2011. Web. 19 April. 2011. <>.

USFS Report: 'Ecosystem Services' at Risk From Suburban Development

A major problem has been sweeping across the nation. Especially hard hit is the east coast where lack of coverage has been this issue and even greater problem. Large private forest, which account for the majority of forested land, are being sold to developers. Compromising "ecosystem services," that these forest provide, including protecting watersheds and wildlife habitats, controlling erosion and absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Additionally, these forest are threatened by other factors of suburban development including; invasive species, heightened risk of catastrophic wildfire, air pollution, and climate change impacts.

Two main factors are leading to the decline of forests and rise in housing developments. First, the sale of significant land by timber companies for other economic endeavors, and secondly, high estate taxes had forced families to sell their land to developers rather than passing it through the generations.

As stated earlier, the eastern forestation has received little coverage. The eastern forests are just as important as the western forest, because they provide so important water supplies and recreation opportunities for the heavily populated eastern cities. The eastern forests are in a more detrimental state than the western forest.

This issue is so important because not only will the areas suffer from a loss of tress, but eventually if the forest are depleted they will have to finance for facilities to replace the services that the forests once provided. Most importantly, these forest support wildlife, and absorb CO2 emissions. 12% of Co2 emissions are offset by forests, a figure that US EPA estimates could almost double if strong incentives were put in place. Several bills have been initiated in Congress to finance incentives for private landowners to keep their forest and enhance carbon-absorbing capacity. But so far, none have made any progress. The forest and Water Conservation Fund, a legislative program, is hoping for funding to support this movement.

I think this article is very informative, and the information is very useful. If nothing is done this could become a major concern, even affecting me. The article offered many great solutions, and I think the best solution offered is giving incentives for those private forest owners who are thinking of selling due to the high estate taxes. However, as mentioned those incentives should only



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(2011, 11). Ecosystem Services at Risk from Suburban Development. Retrieved 11, 2011, from

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