Nature abhors a vacuum.

These new “secondary” forests are emerging in Latin America, Asia and other tropical regions at such a fast pace that the trend has set off a serious debate about whether saving primeval rain forest — an iconic environmental cause — may be less urgent than once thought. By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that was once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster.

“There is far more forest here than there was 30 years ago,” said Ms. Ortega de Wing, 64, who remembers fields of mango trees and banana plants.

I've seen this before. I've spent some time around the battle field at Monmouth, NJ, and several years ago the park started an initiative to 'restore' parts of the battle field to its condition at the time of the battle in 1778. This pretty much involved cutting down a whole lot of vegetation that had grown up since end of intensive cultivation in central NJ. (by that I mean people who were doing tings like gathering firewood in addition to working the land) Grim knows what I mean.

It's hubris to think we really can damage nature on any long-term scale.

via American Digest

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