Chlorophyll enriched buds sprouted up from the fallen branches. The massive roots extended great distances from the trunk. The aged monster towered some three hundred feet into sky Many of its kind came before. The first may have originated some 130 million years ago. (7, pg.37) It stood when dinosaurs roamed and reptiles flew. Its vastness was nearly enough to cover the globe. These Species could be found from France and England in Europe. In Japan, America, Canada, and central Asia it thrived. The era of the devastating "Ice Age" brought extinction to many living things. (7, pg.40) But this lofty giant fought back. Although much of its grounds were destroyed, it managed to find refuge in a narrow coast land strip in California. The mighty Sequoia Sempervirens-- "the ever living," overcame with vengeance. (7, pg.43) This species, seemingly, could have tackled any situation of plight and endangerment-- it would reign for eternity. It was invincible and................ or WAS IT???
The Earth was being striped of fifty-one million acres of tropical forest each year. Only forty percent of the original moist forests remain in tropical Africa; thirty-seven left in Asia. The United states has only 737 million acres of forests. Ninety-three percent of Madagascar's trees have been devastated, while only one percent of Brazil's Atlantic coast wilderness survives. Over 140,000 acres of tropical forests are lost each day, 5,800 an hour. If current rates persist, all forests will be lost in 177 years. (1, forest facts)
Certainly those statistics are riveting and extremely frightening! There are several questions which must be posed in order to more clearly understand the significance of the numbers. Where are the locations of the most rapid deforestation? Why has the deforestation occurred? What harmful effects have risen from it? When and how did the cutting take place? And what has become of the species in the opening scenario?