The Majestic Redwoods

The Coastal Redwoods are a sight to see.  Ranging along the fog-shrouded California coast from Big Sur to just over the border into southwestern Oregon, these giants can live up to 2,200 years.  There are 137 of these behemoths over 350 feet tall, with the tallest living redwood measuring in at a whopping 379 feet.  The largest redwood girth is a mind-boggling 26 feet across.

The battle between environmentalists looking to preserve the trees and loggers looking at profits and jobs has been going on for a century, and the fight intensified beginning in the 1960s.  It’s an emotional issue, with both sides resorting to vandalism or violence at times to protect what they believe is right.

National Geographic ran a feature article in October, 2009 about the redwoods and their future.  It was a politically-correct, safe article.  As is NatGeo’s philosophy, they strongly presented both sides while not taking a stand. 

Here is an interesting Letter to the Editor that I just read this morning in my new February issue of NatGeo, written and submitted by John Ruch of Boston, giving his views of the validity of the redwood article’s points.

“Regarding your paean to capitalist “forest management” as the solution to saving redwoods, forests already have a manager.  It’s nature itself, which has a head start of hundreds of millions of years on our wisdom.  Conservation has become hubristic meddling, capitalism still is barely tamed greed, and the unholy alliance of the two is a scam masquerading as hipster realpolitik.

“Here’s the truth:  Redwood lumber is not a vital resource.  It is a luxury item that no one has any need or right to cut.  The key to an ecological future is reducing our own population by three-quarters, not turning even more people into luxury-slurping consumers.  The key to ending global warming is paying people who don’t drive cars at all, not paying forest companies.  And anybody who kills any living thing more than a thousand years old is simply a jerk.  Your article used the word “cut” a lot.  What it meant is “kill”.”

- Mountain Man and City Girl    http://www.MountainManandCityGirl.com

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