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Where things come from...

I can understand an emotional attachment to the trees here and there is a valid argument for preservation. However, to say things like the land is always flooded and never recovers after b/c of a timber harvest is grossly inaccurate. First, trees affect hydrology primarily through interception and transpiration, which returns when the trees grow back. Recovery time is usually published on the order of 4 - 10 years. Second, those trees, like almost everything in NC, except in Joyce Kilmer, are probably not pre-european. The forests you think of as 'untouched' have in all likely hood been harvested at least once in the last century - and did grow back just fine. Third, the land is always flooded b/c is below the average water table height, which is why it is a swampland in the first place. The culprit for water quality and flooding issue lies in land conversion of forest to development. So all those who live in a drained swamp in houses made of wood (pretty much all of New Hanover), ought to blame themselves. Unfortunately, the wood is the only renewable building material in your house - the rest are mined (brick, concrete, steel, etc...). Not to mention that if we don't get forest products from NC, they will come from somewhere like Brazil - then there's your carbon footprint to consider. It really puts you in a pickle to have to consider where all of things you use everyday come from. Why does no one complain when they 'clear-cut' corn every year? Those fields were once a forest too, like your Target and Starbucks parking lot. Just thought I'd throw an unrepresented opinion out there. -Hydrologist

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