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>Date: Fri, 20 Aug 1999 08:35:10 -0400 (EDT)
>From: busko at stsci_edu (Ivo Busko)
>Subject: Re: Amazon
>It's true. By far, the really damaging activities in there come from the
>lumber and cattle industries. Tourist collecting is absolutely negligible.
>If people here really want to help, just refrain from (or even better,
>boycott) buying redwood furniture.
I don't think boycotting redwood furniture will be of much help to the
Amazon ecosystem. The range of Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant redwood) and
Sequoia sempervirens (coast redwood) is limited to the west coast of the
United States. A third genera of redwood, represented by Metasequoia
glyptostroboides (dawn redwood), is native to central China.
You are correct about the effect of the cattle industry on the forests.
After slashing and burning (but not very often harvesting) the trees and
plants of the forest, the thin layer of topsoil that remains is used to
raise cattle for a short period of time, until the nutrients in the soil are
depleted, after which the land is good for very little.
Perhaps boycotting MacDonalds et al. would be more effective. Last time
I checked, they were among the largest buyers of Brazilian beef. I'd like to
think this has changed, but....
Carefully climbing down from my soapbox....