But when you think about it ...
UN lauds effort to reforest Appalachia's mountainsWhy, those rotten coal companies.
By Roger Alford, Associated Press Writer
[Sam Adams] was one of about 70 people gathered in Blackey [Kentucky] last week to plant thousands of trees on the barren grasslands* left behind by mining companies that have ripped the mountaintops apart to unearth coal, decimating entire forests.
"We've got an estimated 741,000 acres in Appalachia that are barren," said Adams, the Kentucky coordinator for the conservation group Appalachian Coal Country Watershed Team. "If we put a dent in that, if we could correct that, I think it's well worth doing."
Adams and the others were volunteering for the Appalachian Regional Reforestation Initiative, a movement led by the U.S. Office of Surface Mining and several Appalachian states to replace trees uprooted in the search for coal. The campaign is being lauded by the United Nations Environment Programme, which wants to plant 7 billion trees worldwide in the next three years to combat global deforestation. [link]
Take out the pejorative phrases ("barren grasslands" "ripped the mountaintops apart" "decimating entire forests") written by this objective reporter and you find a quite hopeful story. A story about renewal:
The overall goal is to plant about 38 million trees on Appalachian mine sites.
The U.S. Office of Surface Mining, armed with university research debunking the myth that trees won't grow on the played-out mine lands, has been encouraging coal companies to restore the forests. Patrick Angel, a Kentucky-based forester for the federal agency, said native trees can grow as long as the soil and rock isn't so heavily compacted that their roots can't penetrate the reclaimed land.
University of Kentucky forester John Lhotka said research over the past 25 years shows it can work.
"In terms of the growth rate, some of them are similar to natural forests," Lhotka said.
The coal industry supports reforestation, said Luke Popovich, spokesman for the National Mining Association in Washington.
Preparing the mine land for reforestation is no more expensive than compacting the ground and turning it into grasslands, Popovich said.
So Appalachia can be mined, the citizenry therein can be fruitfully employed, and the land can then be returned to its natural state.
In reality, all of us who don't live in Manhattan or on some insular college campus know it.
"Barren grasslands ..." "Ripped the mountaintops apart ..." "Decimating entire forests ..."
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* Earth to reporter: Grasslands can't be barren. Barren means lifeless. Soil that is able to support plant life is just the opposite of barren. Perhaps you simply meant treeless. Either that or you took your cue from the morons who lead the environmental movement.