A group usually known for saving trees plans to cut them down, by the thousands, in Iowa today as part of Earth Day. Paul Zeph, executive director of “Audubon Iowa,” says the events underway in 21 locations statewide aim to make small parts of Iowa look like they did long ago. The event, “Cut a Tree for Earth Day,” will send people out by the thousands with pruning shears and bow saws to cut out saplings and brush that are taking over the native prairies. Zeph says before Iowa was settled, trees were kept under control by sweeping fires, often sparked by lightning strikes. Zeph says these days most people put out these fires, and it hasn’t helped the longevity of the prairies. At one time, prairies covered almost 80-percent of Iowa, but now 99-percent of the state’s original prairie is gone. Zeph expects today’s “Prairie Rescue” event to be huge in Iowa. For more information on a location near you, log on to the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation website at “www.inhf.org”.
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