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Protecting the environment may be a job for Georgia's trees

Georgia has some of the most beautiful wetland forests in the nation. Residents and tourists alike can take paddling trips through the forests, but in some areas, land owners have cut down the trees to sell for lumber. What they may not realize is that the monetary value of the trees' capability of protecting the environment may make the forests more valuable than lumber.

A study done in the southeastern region of the nation determined that Georgia's trees are worth approximately $67.3 billion. That value is derived from the environmental protection they provide to the state. They combat flooding, provide recreation and filter drinking water.

The state came in third in this study, which may not surprise environmental activists who study the benefits that the forests provide. Delicate ecosystems rely on the trees to thrive, and cutting them down may cause more damage than people realize. The wetlands themselves were not valued in this particular study, but they also provide numerous benefits to the environment that developments and other activities may disrupt. This could be part of why the state works diligently to protect them.

Anytime a company wants to develop or remove natural resources from Georgia's forests and wetlands, governmental agencies and environmental activists become involved. The issue of protecting the environment has been a hot topic here and across the nation for some time, and businesses often find themselves jumping through hoops in order to get things done. In many cases, these hoops involve complying with laws, rules and regulations meant to preserve and protect natural resources, ecosystems and environments. It may be a good idea to understand how those laws may affect a particular project before moving forward.

Source:, "How much are Georgia's trees worth? Try $67 billion", Mary Landers, Feb. 16, 2018

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