Why forests are important
The following passage is quoted from a 1923 textbook, The New Agriculture For High Schools. The author, Dr. Kary C. Davis, advises students that some woodlands should be preserved on farms. Here are the reasons he gives:
Forests benefit regions in a number of ways:
1, They greatly modify and improve climate.
2. They greatly equalize temperature.
3. They break the force of the wind.
4. They check evaporation.
5. They prevent floods or make them less serious. The forest itself and its floor of leaves and trash absorbing the rainfall, retard the rush of water to streams.
6. Water power for mills and factories along streams is more uniform because of a steady supply of water coming from a stream through a well-protected forest watershed.
7. Wells and springs are more continuous in their flow because more water enters the soil and gradually seeks the underground currents.
Source: From the chapter titled "Woodland Projects" (p.322) in The New Agriculture for High Schools by Kary C. Davis, Ph.D. Published in 1923 by J.P. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia.
It has been 85 years since the above points were listed.
We probably don't use as much water power today to run mills and factories (see #6 above,) but we depend on our rivers to produce electricity and to provide water for cities, agriculture, and recreation.
If we were rewriting this list today, we might also add that forests help reduce air pollution and serve as carbon sinks.