[ northwest, united states. from STRIKE ]
I got alot more than I’d bargained for when i picked up the golden spruce. Tree, land, wind, sea, air and man, -above all, man- I did not realise the combustable combination they were.
Take a long draught here: imagine how a tree could have grown through centuries to become so; imagine its place and what it fought, what it strove towards; imagine its comrades in the pursuit of life.
Now imagine how man first came upon the giant; imagine how man saw how it could be used, and how he thought up clever ways to harvest it all; ruthless being conquering being-
[march 04, 1906, at rock pile creek, sonoma, california]
i’d turned myself towards rows of page-bound greenery. i was looking for an insight into the inanimate mass we both depend on and plunder. oil, water, air, fuel, crops.. then forests: stoic browns and proud plumes, quiet and relentless, all knowing, still, wilderness, i’d thought. how quaint my ideas were. but the story of a man in the middle of it all is indeed all wilderness, all madness.
from chapter 14, after the tree falls,
Al wanderer, hadwin’s former colleague from lillooeit, could have been speaking for all woodsman through history when he looked back over his own empty corner of british columbia and said, “good god. i didnt think it was possible to log this much.”“Man”, (George Perkins Marsh) wrote more than 140 years ago, “who even now finds scarce breathing room on this cast globe, cannot retire from the Old World to some yet undiscovered continent, and wait for the slow action of such causes to replace…the Eden he has wasted.” That year (1864) saw the creation of california’s yoesmite state reserve, which included the continent’s first federally protected trees.
By 1919, just as a group of wealthy californians was forming the Save the Redwoods League, the first portable chain and circular saws began appearing on the cover of Scientific American.
Einarson picked up his train of thought: “another reason i like falling,” he said, “is i like walking around in old-growth forests. it’s kind of an oxymoron i guess – to like something and then go out and kill it.”