Bringing Issues to Public Attention - Understanding Deforestation in The United States, especially Urban or Near Urban With A Focus on San Antonio
The Clowvazar Academy Deforestation Research Project aims to engage students in a critical environmental issues. The end goal is for students to develop an outreach campaign that informs the community of pertinent environmental issues. Students will develop a clear definition of the issue, research, understand and organize relevant information and develop an info graphic that can be placed in a community space. The text presented here was written by the Environmental Science students at The Clowvazar Academy (Spring 2016).
Urban deforestation is the removal and clearing of tress and other shrubbery for the purpose of urban development. Urban deforestation is also the removal of the remaining trees and plants in urban areas.
Impact on San Antonio:
Over the last 30 years, San Antonio has been developed heavily. Looking that the images below, we see that trees are being removed in favor of single family homes.
Project Outline and Progress:
✓ Research the issues of urban deforestation.
✓ Research the impact on San Antonio.
✓ Research the endangered species in Texas.
✓ Debate among group the need for change in San Antonio.
✓ Research the stakeholders in urban development.
✓ Create literature to disseminate the issue to the public (this webpage)
- Create info graphic to disseminate to the public.
This means that not only are we losing trees, but we are losing habitats for certain species that are endemic to Texas and San Antonio.
Stakeholder and Reform:
When it comes to urban and sub-urban development, the demand for suburban homes need to be understood. Since the rise of sub-urban development is evidently the main driving force for urban deforestation, it is the constituents of that phenomena that need to be understood: the customer, the developers and their impact on the environment. We believe that if we change our mindset and demand for the sub-urban style home, we can get developers to focus their efforts on creating vertical dwellings such as apartments that are more than 5 levels tall.
Endangered Species Endemic to Texas:
Texas is home to many endangered species that are affected by deforestation.
The ocelot is a medium sized spotted and looks like a small cheetah. In Texas, ocelots are often found in dense thorny shrubs lands near the lower rio grande valley and plains and recently as high as San Antonio. They are found to be endangered because the lands that are most suited for the ocelots needs are closed off for growing vegetation and building homes. As of now, ocelots in Texas are in critical condition. The public and landowners are being informed about how critical the habitat needs are.
Rhadine infernalis is a beetle (invertebrate) endemic to San Antonio and can be found in Helotes, around UTSA, Stone Oak, Culebra Anticline, and Government Canyon. The beetle is considered threatened. The main threat to the rhadine is habitat loss including the loss of caves (due to being filled in), sewage leakage and toxins. (Fish and Wildlife Service, 2000)