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Forest Destruction in Trinidad, Ca.

by EF!Humboldt ~ January 27th, 2010. Filed under: Climate Justice, Earth First!, Green Diamond, Stories, Threatened Wild Places, Trinidad, clear-cutting.

On a recent expedition to a mountain top near Trinidad, Ca. we found a fresh scene of Green Diamonds forest destruction. We came across a logging sign, turned the bend and saw a new clear-cut, strewn with freshly fallen young growth Redwoods and Douglas Fir. Throughout the hike, we saw hardly a tree wider than 2 ft., lending weight to the stories that GD is rapidly running out of large trees.

The forest around Trinidad is said to have regrown on it’s own after the initial clear-cutting of the 1800’s, a forest fire that swept over the region in the 1930’s, and the subsequent ravages of salvage logging. Much of what regrew has now been cut as well. I don’t think a lot of people understand this yet, but we are losing our second growth Redwood forests. As in the McKay Tract, what is left of the second growth is a mere remnant of what was a healthy, recovering forest only twenty years ago. In the McKay, the forest had begun to resemble Old-growth. In Trinidad, it’s not even close.

[these were the largest trees we saw in the clear-cut]

We have heard that much of this low quality, fast grown Redwood lumber was being send east to be made into disposable fruit boxes. Apparently that market fell out and we are following up on rumors that some of the trees are now being made into toilet paper. For the  past several months, all of the GD logging plans visited by activists have targeted small diameter trees. Often, these groves are surrounded by fuzzy stump fields that were clear-cut within the last ten years.

Our destination, a grove slated for plunder, was no different. The trees were tiny. From our mountain top position we could see an awe inspiring landscape of mountains, miles of coastline and the brilliantly blue waters of Big Lagoon. Sadly, the mountains were pocked with numerous clear-cuts. In the distance we could see a huge crane-like “skyline yarder” that is brought in to drag trees off of the steep slopes. We knew that it wouldn’t be long until that machine, or one like it, was perched here.

The company is keeping the forest in a perpetually stunted state, robbing wildlife of their homes and bleeding massive quantities of carbon into the atmosphere. The Redwoods can grow to be thousands of years old. GD wants to cut them down every fifty years and manage them like a tree farm. While we hope to draw attention to the plight of our forests with direct action, the trees here are not tree-sit material. This is a reality check that much larger scale action must be taken if we are to avert the death of our forests from a thousand cuts. Please join the effort.

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