My friend Pete was bicycling down the coast last weekend and I picked him up in Eureka and toured around Northern California. It was nice to get an outsiders perspective of the area. The land was often a topic of our conversation as we identified past and present Redwood clear cuts. I was glad to hear a perspective from someone else on what has occurred and still occurs here. Often we would ask to no one in particular, "What would inspire someone to cut down 96% of the old growth Redwood forest?" Obviously, its all about the money, but still, what gives?
A few days ago I was in a park in Ft. Bragg, and was part of a conversation with a young man and his family. The man and his wife had immigrated from Mexico and were pushing their adorable little daughter in a tire swing. The man has been living in Ft. Bragg since 2002, and also happens to be a logger. I asked him if he drives the trucks, or cuts trees. "I cut the trees down," he responded. After seeing him with his beautiful wife and daughter, it struck me that this is probably ultimately what the man thinks about when he is cutting down the trees. His family.
Until we fix a system where a man must make his living consuming the land to provide for his family, there is little hope I'm afraid.