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5/20/2019
Hug a tree

Trees are renewable; if only Ketchikan could have been sufficiently convincing of that back in the day.

Back in the day, Ketchikan had a pulp mill in Ward Cove that operated here for about five decades. It had numerous sawmills, one located on the downtown waterfront where The Salmon Landing is seen.

Back in the day, the timber industry thrived, and the community along with it; jobs paid well enough to support a family in the First City.

Back in the day, Ketchikan bustled all year long, not only for the duration of the spring and summer.

And like back in the day, today trees that fueled that economic fire are renewable. Trees haven’t changed.

They’re a useful resource in the creation of paper, wood, wood products and fuel itself.

Now most of the trees here serve to beautify our community and enhance our property value — not that the timber industry would even have harvested these.

Trees have all manner of benefits. They contribute to clean air, and provide wildlife habitat. They can protect the land from erosion and provide barriers to the weather.

Trees can make an outing an experience; for example, listening to the wind rustle their branches.

Perhaps one day trees will be used for all their potential purposes again in Southeast Alaska.

But, until then, it’s Arbor Day. Plant a tree. Hug a tree. It’s all about trees today.