Friday, July 27, 2012

To Have the Pines or Not

First of all you must know that I believe when natural disasters occur, they happen for a reason.  Most of the time disasters cause the need to rebuild, which I am all for, but some disasters do not.  For example, the World Trade Center Towers do not need to be rebuilt.  Instead a memorial was built to serve a purpose of reviving the lost souls of that day.  The homes in Louisiana destroyed from hurricane Katrina needed to be rebuilt because people’s whole being was in that area.  Their business and lifestyles were able to be revived.  This introduction I present to you will all make sense once you have read about the “Pines” I mentioned in my title.
About a year ago in Bastrop county wildfires burned all but 240 acres of the 6,000-acre Bastrop State Park.  Anyone who drove down Texas highways 21 and 71 saw first-hand how crippling these fires were to the community, wildlife, and landscape.  The park was known for the tall Pine trees that housed a lot of forest wildlife, mainly the endangered Houston toad.  The wildfires burned all plant life but, native post oak and the Yaupon holly.
Greg Creacy, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's regional fire and natural resources coordinator said, "If we let nature take its course and do nothing, it won't be the Lost Pines anymore. It will be a post oak and Yaupon thicket."
Let’s pause right there.  Is there a con to having a post oak and Yaupon thicket that the public is unaware of?  Another question is what does the coordinator of the regional fire and natural resources department really in charge of?  Appreciating and letting nature naturally grow, or speeding up nature’s process?  This is a big issue for two reasons.  One, as I have said before somethings happen on this planet that we cannot control and that does not mean we should fix them.  Two, the county budget for repair and maintenance has now run out so supporters of this issue are asking for government funding to help speed nature’s process.
“It took more than $2 million to remove hazardous trees and repair erosion damage, such as fixing walking trails, using money earmarked for capital improvement projects,” Creacy said.  "Without active management of the pine forest, it will disappear."
True, the pine forest may disappear, but why are we so against new vegetation if it costs Texas less and is potentially equally beneficial for the environment?

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