Friday, April 24, 2015

Let's remember New Deal trees on National Arbor Day

(Did you know that "trees prevent wind erosion, save moisture, protect crops" and "contribute to human comfort and happiness"? WPA poster, courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.)

How many trees were planted by New Deal programs? Estimates and reports of CCC tree-planting range from 2-3 billion. According to the Final Report on the WPA Program, 1935-43, WPA workers planted about 177 million trees. The Final Report of the National Youth Administration, 1936-1943 lists nearly 19 million trees and shrubs planted. And then there were other New Deal activities related to trees. For example, the Soil Conservation Service managed nurseries.

I'm not aware of any comprehensive report regarding the totality of New Deal tree-planting, but I think 3 billion+ is a safe assumption.

Anyway, today is National Arbor Day. Go out and plant a tree...and remember the 3 billion+ trees of the New Deal.

(P.S. Did you know that when President Nixon--a Republican--created National Arbor Day he said, " is not too much to ask that each American assume a large, personal responsibility for renewing and preserving our environmental heritage." You won't catch too many Republicans talking like that today. They're too busy denying climate change, pooh-poohing regulations that promote clean air & water, apologizing to BP for not being allowed to pollute without scrutiny, kissing the feet of the Koch brothers, and so on.)

No comments:

Post a Comment