23 April 2004 c.e.
I was at work yesterday and an old alterkocker came into my department. We we’re talking about the weather (it was a bright, sunny day) and he remarked, “Seems like it’s warmed up the last few years.” I couldn’t help it. I said “Do you think PALCO (Pacific Lumber) might have anything to do with that?” He got slightly pissed (must have been a retired logger) and said, “That’s just red propaganda!” “There’s no truth to that global warming bullshit at all!” “They just want to take our property away.” “Don’t believe any of that
earth first tree hugging red lies!” And with that, he walked away.
Of course we don’t really know. The first logging in Redwood country started over 150 years ago. They didn’t know about climate changes back then. They didn’t realize what the impact on the Earth of their actions would be. Back then, the great Redwood rain forest stretched from Southern Oregon to San Simeon CA; a swath maybe 450 miles by 40 miles (or about 18,000 square miles). Today, less than 4% of that forest is left, 3% on public-ally owned lands (and therefore, “allegedly” protected), and 1% in private hands. PALCO owns most of that, and they are clear cutting like drunken sailors, even as I write. All that leaves less than 720 square miles left (if you could consolidate it all into one parcel). That is spread in small patches within that same 450 x 40 mile swath (that’s probably not right, as I am unaware of any Redwoods south of Big Sur, or north of the Oregon border). The biggest patches are
contained within Redwood National Park.
What was the climate here like 150 years ago? What was it like 20 years ago? How has logging changed that? Is the Coast Redwood an endangered species? It would seem to me to be so.
An old growth Redwood goes for something like $150,000 at mill price. So one old growth Redwood
can be turned into $300,000 of profit. Here is a tree with a price on it’s head. In Capitalistic America, that’s too great a temptation for the old boys.
There’s less than 4% left, and that amount is dropping every day. Those two factors alone should be enough to prove that this species is endangered. What to do?
Write your Senators and Congressperson. Tell them what I’ve just told you. Ask them to draft legislation establishing a moratorium on the harvest of Redwood, and the sale of Redwood products, to last about 100 years. This would mean a total ban on harvesting, selling and buying Redwood (with the lone exception of cutting a tree if it’s dying and about to fall on homes or endanger peoples lives — but the wood can’t be sold, and would have to be allowed to lay where it falls (with some exceptions).
There’s a website at http://mithrilstar.org/index.php/write-your-senators-congresspeople/ which includes a sample letter, and links to your representatives to help you with this.
Good luck — and may the FOREST be with you.