Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Something nice in my in-box today


"May we use your photos?
I work for Washington Wilderness Coalition, a non-profit based in Seattle that works to push legislation through to protect more of the state's wilderness. We are hosting an annual dinner and auction later this week and will be showing a video of our history.  There is a part where we talk about the Salvage Rider bill introduced during the Clinton era and I need some images of clear cut areas. Would you mind if we used your pictures?   We're happy to give you credit.
Thank you! Amber B."

I was flattered to receive the message from Amber through Flickr Mail this morning. My concerns about clear cutting the precious and magnificent forests of the Olympic Peninsula, expressed in my choice of photographic subjects, are obviously shared by many. The Washington Wilderness Coalition looks like the kind of organization that is taking the most effective approach in counteracting the unending push for development and/or destructive extraction that looms just beyond (and sometimes even within) the borders of our "protected" lands: our national parks, national forests, and designated wilderness areas. Keep it up, WWC, I'm glad to be of help!

Which is not to say I'm not part of the problem.  I confess, I'm a willful consumer of wood and wood-based products.  My printer, copier, and my lifestyle conspire to waste massive amounts of paper (alright, much of it is unbidden; don't you hate sitting down to a meeting with handouts, printed on one side only, that you will toss - preferably in recycling, but then who knows what becomes of it - the minute no one is looking?)  Meantime, I am in the process of plotting the replacement of my unsalvageably beat-up cheap parquet floor. I'm thinking of  "engineered wood." Is that any more eco-friendly than explicitly hardwood flooring?  What about all the old, scarred, dirty, cat-puked parquet that was here when I moved in? Will it degrade in a reasonable amount of time when it goes, at last, to land fill? How many old oak trees is it worth, really?  

And speaking of clear cutting; in most places the lumber industry has the decency to leave a deep, dense swath of trees between the devastation of clear cut land and the road so most of us can pretend - except for what we can see on distant mountainsides, which is bad enough - it isn't happening. Not so on the Olympic Peninsula, where, though it is almost all national park, wilderness, and national forest,  we saw truck after truck after truckful of logs flying by. Where are they all coming from? Is anything left? 

Photos from:
1. The Hoh Rain Forest of Olympic National Park, along the magnificent Hall of Mosses trail, fungus growing on the end of a cut log . The only reason logs are cut, rather than allowed to moulder where they fall, is if they fall across a trail, or threaten to do so where they might squash a person or structure
2.. Right along route 101, which is surrounded by the Olympic National Forest; you can see two methods of extracting trees: clear cutting, and thinning. Neither is less harmful than the other.
3. The Forks Timber Museum display, tools of the trade
4. and 5. Also on route 101

1 comment:

  1. This is still a big issue in B.C and on Vancouver Island. Some things never seem to change.