Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: Grass is vital to V.I. ecology
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 Material Information
Title: Grass is vital to V.I. ecology
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: January 27, 1995
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00087
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text
18 me oaly New, Flday. Jsny7 in Environment

Grass is vital t

We all remember ibe drought we
bad a yer. Thie livestock Indmay
intheilands got hhtehdea. On
StL Co, there wer repoms some
canle died of tarvation.
Here we are to be beginning of
the new yea and it m we wll

dy periods head
Do you know that of all the
pal Ib t e plan Iindo, roass
grows more bndantly on Earth
then any etbh laet oQasff rds
protection from floods guards
wster suppg fotr o rciti casd
far i. fiase the peaM oeal
crops and supplies forle for
wuilid ad domestic aidals.
Of t d l epns families, pass is
the ooN moat aeia to or exis-
teoon oa er Ri, cm. wheat.
Ssrgeml, imr ane mllet, eO.
bley. rye and other ans are in
the arus families that form the
f fe daemofmoa mt alae.
Bambon. ich a the m ass
family, a ed as be building.
furniture making, boe building,
baskeuy, food ad other domestic

Qasses l matsoe d for medici-

ml purpose. Inh
ma is used to e
cbildrn and to m
In biblical tie
eas recogpdzed th
pM for diir bhe
was very rich in
nowL . .
oand bead and te
could not lust
dwelling together
strife between i
Abram's livestoc
men of Lot's U
STbhebook ofP
aized the value
said. "He caused
for the cattle." In
Mose promised
hael a pat of it
they obeyed the c

and mohair as well as cellulose.
which is one of the most abundant
natural renewable resources.
Presently. research in being done
where forages as biomans and crop
residues are used for a source of
fuel to produce electricity. heat and
alcohol. It is possible in our lifetime
that biomass fuel from forages may
become available as an alternate
energy to the world's diminishing
fossil fuel supply.
Orassland also provides striking-
ly beautiful scenery and forms the
basis for a number of growing busi-
nesses in recreation. For example.
how can you play on a golf course
without grass Our lawn is another
example of how grass artistically
beautifies our nature a environment.
Many of us in these islands have
taken grMases for granted for years.
Believe me, the meat that you eat
and milk tha you drink come from
grass. Thus. protecting open grasas-
land in the Virgin Islands is impor-
tant for the livestock and dairy
Onus. manufactures its own food
from leaves and not,. an many peo-
ple suppose, drawn from the roots
or the soil. In all truth, science with
all its discoveries and innovations
still remains humble and awed by

o V.I. ecology
God that "He will give pas in your
fields for your ctte . .
Oln Like I nmenioned erly. brown
O psasiari(3dnofadyperiod.
Davi The Bible lso pointed oout gl
as the symbol of desolation. "The
gass withered. the tender rass
a dkd out. thbar is no pe thing .
S Isaiah 15:6. However.
before cattle were domesticated.
S sla*ds g ntls d tn s vie to early mnm.
nrd wma from
ke a drink alled Man's first aemps to control
his fate to provide for future
needs instead of being a victim of
. livestock fa- drought or other uncontrolled cir-
eimpoanceof cmtanas e of he environment -
ds" Abam musl have been on grailands
iveaoc . where wild cattle and other animals
bo hid fldc be caught and tamed could find
. Andtheld e d .
in them while
* And there was I was also grasslands ar man
be herdsmen of dprogrssedfron food gt rin
and the rds- to food producing ha c ed man
stock." Genesis develop inm orVcill 0 vive
his toouoondin environment. Hay
making was an acieat riculual
alms s o cog. pactics rly man coveted reen
f grass when it pass ino bay, ds string i ove a
he pas to grow long period of time for future.
Psalms 104:14. Orass fiber products include
the children of m o he world' supply of woo
eir inheritanc if
oafdmeae of eSOLA4SEEe cingM p

the ability of plant leaves to capture
radiant energy from the sun and
convert it into chemical energy.
This is the beginning of the food
energy chain that nourishes all life
on earth. There is no other single
natural chemical reaction on earth
as important to our existence as
Grass and other plants draw
water from the soil through the
roots and transport it to leaf cells.
This process continues where car-
bon dioxide is pulled from the air
through tiny pores in leaves.
In the leaves. green chlorophyll
captures the sunlight. Thus. a series
of chemical reactions takes place
combining carbon, hydrogen and
oxygen into simple sugar.
Grassland in one resource in
these islands. particular on St.
Croix. that we must protect in order
to move our economy forward.
As brown grass represents a dry
economy, so does green grass rcp-
resents a strong economy.
Olasee Davis. who holds a nas-
ter ofscience degree in range man-
agement and forestry ecology. Is a
St. Croix ecologist. activist and


Grass forms the basis of

food chain and recreation

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