Forest Service book answers a kid’s question: Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?

Glenn Rosenholm
Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. Forest Service
May 10th, 2013 at 3:45PM

Some children are unaware that in order to reduce tree hazards, protect other trees, or to get wood, it is necessary to cut trees.

So the recently published book “Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?” is intended to raise awareness of the issue. The book, which primarily targets first to third grade students, also features tips for planting a new tree.

The 41-page, vividly illustrated picture book is a product of the U. S. Forest Service’s Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry  and discusses why trees are sometimes felled.

“While trees are valuable in many ways, there are valid reasons why trees are sometimes cut down,” said Tony Ferguson, director of the Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry. “Trees are living things that grow old and die. Cutting down sick, damaged or dangerous trees can actually be good for the environment and public safety, and it can benefit remaining trees.”

The children’s book was written by Roberta Burzynski and illustrated by Juliette Watts, two long-time Forest Service employees. This is Burzynski’s second published book; her first is the popular “Woodsy Owl’s ABCs”, which can be read online or downloaded for free.

Watts has illustrated professionally for more than 30 years, and last year the USDA Cultural Transformation Art Contest accepted two of her paintings. In 2010, the Forest Service awarded Watts an artist-in-residency tenure on the San Juan National Forest.  She also designed a nature journaling workshop and created an instructional, illustrated booklet for the course.

Printed copies of “Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?”  are available for sale through the Government Printing Office. A free digital PDF version of the book and a mini curriculum tied to core standards are also available at no cost on line.