The Toomer's Oaks Tragedy and the Importance of Cultural Environmental Services

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Abstract:

We use the widespread public reaction to the recent poisoning of Auburn University's Toomer's Oaks as a poignant reminder that we sometimes, perhaps often, form deeply personal and important attachments to things such as trees. Whether derived from shared cultural experiences or unshared personal experiences, these attachments have valuable meaning in our lives. Such occasional reminders serve the useful purpose of helping us guard against inadvertently forgetting or trivializing these values as we focus on identifying the values associated with ecosystem function. The implied danger of doing so is that we also forget or trivialize these place attachment values when we make decisions that affect the trees in our world.

Keywords: Toomer's oaks; environmental values

Document Type: Technical Note

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5849/sjaf.11-021

Publication date: November 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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