News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle
January 10, 2019
Logging and rain
As an inquisitive person, I have often wondered and I have been asked, what happens to all the water that is stored in the trees after they have been cut down, especially here in Wahkiakum County. The obvious is evaporation and then precipitation; then, after several years of hearing the local stories from loggers and others who have lived in the county for decades, I started digging deeper into the reasons why we have so much rain and flooding. Locals have suggested that many areas of the county have been logged as many as four times in the last 80 plus years.
According to North Carolina State University, there are over 23,000 different species of trees in the world that help our soil remain healthy by decreasing soil erosion and by generating a suitable soil climate for microorganism to grow. An average tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year and can sequester 1 ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old and can lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and release it into the air in a day. One large tree can provide a day's supply of oxygen for up to four people while every year a person will use wood and paper products equivalent to a 100 foot tree 18 inches in diameter.
Elizabeth Pennisi with Science, an online journal, suggests that Earth today supports more than 3 trillion trees, but that number is rapidly shrinking and humans are responsible for the loss of 15 billion trees a year. About 5 billion new trees are planted or sprout annually, totaling a net loss of 10 billion. Since the beginning of human civilization, the number of trees has dropped by 46 percent and estimated loss 15 billion trees a year to toilet paper, timber, farmland expansion, and other human needs.
This would also suggest that at the time when humans decided to use trees by cutting them down the total amount of trees would have exceeded between seven and twelve trillion trees. When these trillions of trees were cut and dried, the water evaporated and then we got rain, lots of it. If each of these trillions of cut trees only had 100 gallons of water that would mean that hundreds of trillions of gallons of water filled the earth forever changing the landscape.
Keep in mind that these numbers are estimates based on average tree sizes without taking into account the disappearance of the giant redwoods, spruce, etc. According to one local retired logger, he witnessed the last giant Spruce, 14 feet in diameter, off KM Mountain in 1969. One log for one truck and it took several trucks to haul just one tree. The point is that more trees are being taken than are returned and the outcome can be avoidable. Water levels were much lower with water being less saline than now. Oxygen levels were almost double, around 32 percent, from that of today. This would partially explain why a species of extinct fossilized dragonfly with a wing span of nearly four feet would get that size. Also the large long necked dinosaurs which had nostrils the size of horse nostrils. Send me your suggestions care of The Wahkiakum County Eagle.
Do not forget that on Wednesdays the Naselle/Rosburg-Grays River Seniors Club will meet at the Rosburg Community Hall at Noon. Thursdays at noon there will be a Senior Citizen Luncheon. I have eaten there many times and the food is great for only $3. Come to the Rosburg Community Hall, 28 Rosburg Hall Rd., Rosburg. Call Denise at 360-425-3430 ext. 259 the Tuesday before the lunch so she can have the right amount of food for the patrons.
The West End Food Pantry, located in the Grays River Valley Center (GRVC) at Johnson Park is in need of volunteers to help out on Thursdays 1-5 p.m. Go in and talk to Shonda Ware or whoever is volunteering that day about how you can help the community. Drop off your donation at the Pantry on Thursdays. On Saturdays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. the Community Library & Computer Center in the GRVC at Johnson Park will be open to the public.
As of December 27, the Naselle Congregational Church at 14 Parpala Road in Naselle is now officially the Naselle Community Center. There will be a closing church service on January 13 at 2 p.m., and the public is invited to attend.
The Naselle Timberland Library is located at 4 Parpala Rd., Naselle. Their hours: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m .; Sunday, Monday, and Thursday Closed; Tuesday and Wednesday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The library has weekly movies that may be PG-13 rated and suitable for teen or adult audiences. Check with the library for each week's title. Popcorn provided courtesy of the Friends of the Naselle Timberland Library.