The Winner — “How Forest Conservation Can Benefit My Community” By Linda McGuffey
Forest conservation is the official protection of one of our greatest natural resources, the forest. A forest is a good-sized tract of land covered with the endowments of nature, trees, plants, and wildlife.
The chief value of forestland is the production of timber, foliage and wildlife. In addition, it has an enormous value as a regulator of water flow. Water is the priceless resource on which all growing things depend. It is the lifeblood of civilization. Not only do forest soils retain moisture and store water; they also, have much to do with controlling water movements, both on and beneath the surface.
Forests give invaluable service to man through the protection of watersheds and the regulation of stream flow. Where watersheds are not protected, rain falls on bare soil, and the water rushes down the slopes with the result that streams rise quickly to flood height and as quickly dwindle away.
Adequate watershed protection insures an abundance of water for use in homes, for irrigation of cultivated lands, and for river navigation. It helps to make constant the power which turns the wheels of many a factory and furnishes electric current for numberless uses. It keeps the rains from washing away huge quantities of rich topsoil, leaving hillsides, once fertile, bare and unproductive.
Forests have still other protective uses. They help to prevent landslides and snow slides, they protect homes, fields, and orchards from cold and destructive winds. In other parts of the country they give permanent form to sand dunes, which otherwise would be constantly shifting from place to place, sometimes burying fences, roads, and railroads.
The principal forest product is wood, one of the world’s most useful raw materials. Wood provides us with shelter, useful work implements, furniture, and many other articles intimately associated with our daily lives. It gives us most of the paper that goes into newspapers and books. In millions of homes throughout the country, wood is still the sole or principal fuel used, especially in rural districts.
Nearly all of the products used by humanity, whether vegetable, animal, or mineral, use wood somewhere in the process of production and distribution. This fact alone, shows the importance of conserving forestland.
During World War II, wood was one of the most critically needed important war materials, needed in enormous quantities for barracks, for war factories and housing for war workers, for ships, aircrafts, truck bodies, gunstocks, explosives, and hundreds of other war requirements. Vast amounts were used for boxing and crating ammunition to the men at the fighting fronts. The army actually used a greater tonnage of wood than of steel. The war brought home as never before the fact that wood is an indispensable material.
As a result of our enormous demand for wood, many industries have been developed, such as the lumber industry, planning mills, the veneer industry, the cooperage industry, and many other industries that manufacture the numerous wooden articles in common use.
Large areas of forestlands in parts of the world are suitable for livestock grazing, and so contribute to the nation’s supply of meat, wool, and leather.
Besides being a source of consumer goods, the forest has recreational and aesthetic value for both young and old. It is an ideal camping place; it furnishes playground and shaded resorts for picnics and excursions; its streams and lakes are the delight of the fisherman; and its dusky recesses are the wonderlands of the naturalist. The beauty and splendor of the forest, its atmosphere of peace and quiet, and the glimpses of its wildlife have an irresistible appeal for all of us.
We have a number of tourists or sightseers, who visit our forests which brings in a lot of money. The visitors include guest, campers, picnickers, hunters, and fishermen.
All we ask of visitors is that they bring to the forest the care and thoughtfulness they give to their own homes, and not to abuse the hospitality of the woods.
Although the forest is prey to many foes, its greatest single enemy is fire. The greatest percentage of fires is caused by human carelessness or indifference, through such agencies as campers, smokers, debris burners, and railroads. Many of the fires are started maliciously.
In general, forest fires, whether large or small, mean loss not only to the owner of the land, but in some measures to everyone. This means that the percentage of production from forestland will be decreased. There will be fewer trees for the wood supply necessary to build our houses, run our railroads, make our furniture, and numerous items of luxury and comfort; that watershed protection has been impaired, and that so many more acres of forest playgrounds have been destroyed. It is, therefore, the duty of every good citizen to be careful of fire when in the woods.
Other elements are insects. They damage both the mature and young growth. Much scientific research is being done to combat this deadly enemy.
In locations where trees are shallow-rooted, or the ground is soft because it is soaked with water, or where trees have been weakened by fire or other agencies, windstorms can cause extensive damage. A bad blowdown may become a fire menace, as well as a waste of valuable timber.
The forest is a vast employer to workers which is very important to the economy of our community. Among these forest employees are protectors, specialists, lumberjacks, mill workers, manufacturers, transportation workers, and marketing personnel.
Our forest, range forage, and wildlife are renewable resources. They are related one to the other. They should be managed together, each getting its full share of attention. Our country, our state, our communities, and each one of us will benefit.
The Fleming-Neon P.T.A. met at the Fleming-Neon High School Monday night, Feb. 13, at 7:30, with approximately 50 members present. The meeting was called to order by President Margaret Craft. Devotion was by Sue Stapleton, the minutes of the last meeting read by Mrs. Ethel Kincer. There was no old business to be taken care of. The President called for new business, there being none. The High School Speech Class presented a fine program. Refreshments of delicious coffee and cake were served.
The next meeting will be Monday, March 12, with a potluck supper.
(The above articles from the Feb. 16, 1956 Mountain Eagle.)
The Fleming Pirates, paced by backs Lawrence Kurl and Tyrone Bentley, breezed by a heavier Paintsville Tiger Eleven, 6-0 Saturday night at Whitesburg.
The first half saw both teams driving inside each other’s 10-yard line with neither team scoring. After the exchange of punts, Paintsville drove to the Fleming 6-yard line only to have the Pirates take over on downs. As the half ended, Fleming had the ball on the Paintsville 5.
At the half, bands from both schools performed. Paintsville’s 60-piece band, under the baton of Director Byron Ashmore, used an Indian war dance as their theme while making a teepee and a bow and arrow. Director John Trowbridge and his Fleming band did a series of precision drills before playing and doing a routine to “When the Saints Go Marching In”. Both bands did an exceptionally good job.
Then came the third quarter in which the only tally of the game came, the TD made by Fleming Captain Lawrence Kuhl after a 70-yard run by Tyrone Bentley. The try for the extra point was no good. Harry Johnson was an outstanding lineman for the Pirates.
As the game ended, the Tigers were making a desperate attempt to tie up the game. Final score, Fleming 6; Paintsville 0.
(The above article from the Oct. 6, 1955 Mountain Eagle.)