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Photographer Documents Relationship Between People and Trees for U.N.'s IYOF
Oct 9 2011
The Columbia Daily Tribune
By Jan Wiese-Fales
Mutualism is a biological term describing a reciprocally beneficial relationship between two species, not unlike the relationship between humans and trees, though, historically, the relationship has often benefited the rootless species more than the ground-bound. But as the world becomes a smaller place, a growing awareness of how diminished our environments, lifestyles and economies would be without trees is changing the balance in the relationship.
To call attention to the role plants with trunks place in our lives, the United Nations established 2011 as International Year of the Forests. The theme “Celebrate Forests. Celebrate Life.” has been embraced by forestry agencies in the United States. They have staged several events over the year and launched this country’s official celebrateforests.com website, informing and inviting people to get involved. One intriguing project they initiated involves one man, one camera and a cast of thousands he met on a road trip through some of America’s forests.
Photography Fellow Josh Birnbaum of Athens, Ohio, was hired to hit the road for seven weeks this summer, with six destinations and a lot of subject matter in between.