management of a resource so that its use does not exceed the ability of the resource to regenerate itself
the maintenance of a species or ecosystem in order to ensure their perpetuation, with no concern of its monetary value
anything used from the Earth (biotic and abiotic) by humans that has economic value
a resource that regenerates itself as fast or faster than it is being used (plants, animals)
a resource that regenerates itself slower than it is being used by humans (fossil fuels, minerals).
slash and burn
early form of agriculture where a patch of forest is cut and then burned, releasing the nutrients into the soil from the ash.
father of the "Green Revolution", he introduced high yield varieties of crops around the world, greatly increasing food production
movement that greatly increased food production around the world by using high yield varieties of crops. Increased the reliance on pesticides and chemical fertilizers, but fed many more people.
Genetically modified organism (GMO)
animal or plant whose genes have been altered to improve a characteristic of the organism
the loss of forests around the world due to pressures for land and wood from growing populations
old growth forest
forest that has never been cut or has not been cut for several hundred years (aka virgin forest)
tree farms that are planted with one type of tree in neat straight rows for eventual harvest
when all of the trees in an area are cut, and leads to high rates of erosion on sloped land
only certain trees are removed from an area, leaving the majority of the habitat in place, minimizing the environmental damage
specific type of selective cutting, where mature trees are cut over a period of time, usually 10-20 years, leaving some mature trees for seed production
forest management tool to promote sustainable forestry practices by labeling wood and products made from sustainably managed forests as "green wood".
open or forested areas built at the outer edge of a city where development is prohibited, increasing the quality of life for people living nearby
National Park System
managed land that allows for recreational use, but no natural resource extraction. Roads and facilities are built to help access
Wilderness Preservation Areas
Open for recreation only, but roads are not built into it. No logging or mining is allowed
National Forests, National Resource Lands, National Wildlife Refuges
land areas that allow logging and mineral extraction with a permit
fires that spread through the canopy of the forest, high temperatures, and usually fatal to trees
smoldering fires that take place in bogs or swamps, and can burn underground for days or weeks
fishing practice where nets are dragged through the water, catching anything in their paths
the use of long fishing lines with baited hooks every so often, catching many non target fish
minerals that are mined for their metal components. can be extracted (in smelting) ex: zinc, copper, gold
minerals that are mined to be used in their natural state, nothing is extracted (ex; calcium carbonate, sand)
rock deposit that contains high enough concentrations of a mineral to make it economical to be mined
acid mine drainage
water that drains from mining areas (mostly coal and metal mines) that is highly acidic, damaging ecosystems
process that identifies actions to avoid, lessen, or compensate for anticipated adverse envrionmental impacts
process of returning damaged ecosystems to ones that are functional, sustainable, and more natural
values of natural ecosystems that are not easily quantified into dollars (ex: aesthetic value, spiritual value)
the cost of reducing pollution by one additional unit of pollution. Pollution is only reduced to the point where maginal cost = marginal benefit
an indirect cost in the production of a product that is not priced into the cost of the product (ex: air pollution health effects from burning trash)
process of weighing the expense of taking a particular environmental action (reducing pollution) to the positive outcomes of taking that action.
Tragedy of the Commons
when a free-access resource in over exploited because each user of the resource wants to maximize personal use without regard for other users.
Gross National Product (GNP)
the total of all the goods and services produced within a country in a given year.