Paper Birch, like a litmus test, react to their surroundings, as pollution from the coal-fired plant in Silver Bay has proven over the past forty plus years. Along the north shore of Minnesota, where paper birch and mountain ash bowed their heads in this northern region for centuries, they are now dead and dying.
Some would like you to believe that the cause for this mass dying-off of birch in the north country was drought … or, even earthworms; but anyone who has seen the cause and the effect in real time can testify to the truth.
Drought is not new and neither are earthworms, not as the coal-fired plant in Silver Bay and mining, relative newcomers to this ancient land. It would do us all well to remember as the native Americans understood:
What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. – Blackfoot
“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”