Effects of Land Clearing
By Lindsey Leach, eHow Contributor
Land clearing impacts the environment significantly, whether it is a small scale or large scale clearance. When land clearing is extensive the effects can be irreversible, but when the clearing is minimal the effects can be reversed. The threat to the environment lies with the irreversible clearance and can destroy an entire ecosystem causing environmental threats, such as green house gas emissions, a rise in soil salinity, the destruction of natural habitats for animals, the decrease and even extinction in indigenous flora and fauna, as well as erosion. Extensive land clearing is a problem in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania.
For the most part, land clearing has been utilized to make way for agricultural and urban development. In the past, governments and people thought that if land was left on its own that it was being "wasted" when it could be put to good use to be developed for agricultural purposes. By taking scrub land, clearing it, and turning it into fields for crop production not only was the increase in land value raised, but so was economic gain for the community. While at one time land clearing was seen as beneficial and even progressive, it is now generally viewed as destructive. Since more environmental awareness has taken hold, countries which use land clearing keep legislative regulation on its use. Despite the known negative environmental impact, farmers worldwide object to the restriction of land clearance because it effects their crop production and how much land they have available to them.
Land clearing is used to clear often untouched lands that were originally a habitat for native flora and fauna. To clear land for agricultural purposes one must not only remove native plants, trees and boulders, but also must break up the soil. Breaking the soil includes the removal of rocks, roots and stumps left