... has negative impacts long after the trees grow back. Well, duh. A diligent human can make a cubic yard of soil in about 2 weeks, and a lazy one can do it in 6 months, with composting. But nature takes about 100 years to make an inch-thick layer. That means depleted nutrients in soil don't regenerate at all quickly. So look at the ancient Mayan civilization, where poor farming choices contributed to the downfall of the civilization; and compare that to modern people making similar mistakes on a much larger scale. We have scads of examples where this happened, yet people refuse to learn from the past.