Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Coming out of Retirement

Well that didn't take long, lol. A few days later and I think I have a better perspective on a direction. Just to explain a little: There has been recent discussion among tree enthusiasts about photographs posted online of certain trees and the consequences of those of us who do this. A recent, exciting discovery in the redwood forest has sparked this discussion. There is a debate on whether or not particular "rockstar" trees and groves have been adversely affected as a result of too much visitation or publicity. Trees and groves that risk being "loved to death" if you will, by us. There is no doubt in my mind that certain charismatic trees have been affected in recent years, and there is plenty of evidence to see how vegetation around these trees is being trampled. Whether or not this weakens the overall health of the tree or not may still be up for debate, but we can probably assume that in no way will this have any benefit for the tree itself. If I take a close look at my own personal contribution to this problem by posting pictures of certain trees, then I have to take some responsibility.

As a result, I most likely will not be posting any more pictures of certain individual trees, or naming certain parks, groves, or trails when discoveries are made there. However, after going for a hike yesterday after work, I can't deny that I love trying to take pictures in the redwoods, despite my cheap camera. I enjoy posting those pictures and writing a few sentences about the forest that day. That I will continue to do.

Having said that, I encourage folks everywhere to get out and enjoy their redwood parks, or the trails and parks in whatever bio-region you happen to live in. Yesterday, I was amazed once again, that despite being in the height of the summer, I did not see anyone in the incredible redwood grove I was hiking in. It was the first time I had ever visited this particular spot, and that seems to be what fills me with the most joy: Entering a new grove for the first time. To be honest, the popular, charismatic individual trees and groves I have found usually feel anti-climatic and even disappointing. After all, it's true that it is all about the journey and not the destination. Seeing a new grove for the first time is what I enjoy the best. So, get out there on the trails folks. Having a rough day? Feeling down? Need to blow off a little steam? Head to the trails, they can be medicine...


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  2. I just know how hard it was to find the trees I have found. A tree, without coordinates or specific directions doesn't really help anybody. I don't get the uproar, personally. You know, as I do, how hard it is to bushwack to the trees, even with a picture. The problem is when people share locations. Pictures don't hurt in my opinion.
    I will always post pics, while being respectful of locations.
    To have no one posting pics is disappointing to the future hikers (thinking about my young son).

  3. Hi Jay,

    You may be right. I've always felt not sharing the locations of certain trees was a good compromise. It seems for the most part, sharing pictures is not a problem. I can also see how too much attention on certain trees can become a problem. After listening to both sides of the debate, I have to agree that everyone has to decide what is right for themselves. For my part, I'd like to shift the focus a little, perhaps practice a little restraint for now. I'd imagine there will still be plenty of pictures and stories of discoveries to inspire the next generation of hikers like your son!

  4. Agreed. Seems like everybody wants to talk about the degradation around Grove of Titans/Monarch, when we all know that the coordinates were shared last year (since removed), plus it's general proximity doesn't help. I had actually found it before but I could still tell there was some loss. So, other than the few that have coordinates out there, most trees are relatively clean.
    I also don't think it's bad for some to share coordinates (privately), as long the person is vetted. I know some have shared with me, and I-they, I think if someone is struggling with a tree, no prob to share. Again, only people I know well.
    At the end of the day, there aren't that many people who actually get out there and bushwhack like us so as long as coordinates stay offline, pictures are great.