Interview with Dr. Sarmiento, Part Two
A few weeks ago, I spoke with Dr. Fausto Sarmiento on urban ecology and its relation to public policy. This is the second part of the interview, which relates more to Atlanta and Georgia, and the events going on here.
When asked what he felt the most pressing issue in conservation in Atlanta was, Dr. Sarmiento replied with water. Historical drought has become very extreme, and the forests must be protected to ensure the carbon and water supply stay full.
In addition to the present, he also gave a quick overview of certain aspects of Georgia’s natural history, as well as the history of Atlanta. Decades ago, Atlanta was relatively spread out, but it’s now been combined into one city. At the University of Georgia in the late 1960’s, Dr. Eugene Odum founded the School of Ecology. He pushed for reforestation of red clay areas. Eventually, the North Georgia Mountains became the resource nexus of Georgia. Dahlonega provided gold, the North Georgia Mountains and Appalachians supplied timber, and the Chattahoochee River and various dams provided water. Georgia is now maintaining forest reserves and state parks, which has pushed people to acquire second homes in the mountains.