One of the most amazing places I’ve ever been, Humboldt County and its neighboring areas (Del Norte County and Trinity County) helped make me who I am today. I feel a deep connection to those jaw-dropping redwood forests and the coastal environs that tend to accompany them. I spent much time there in my crucial early days as a budding radical environmentalist, and the area’s majesty (and connected devastation) was extremely influential.
Usually I just let the pictures speak for themselves, with no introduction save for that like above. But I want to remind everybody of something. All these MARVELOUS, SPECTACULAR natural features, and the mesmerizing animals who live among them, of California that I try to convey to you–these are mere fragments of what once was. At least 96 PERCENT of the old-growth redwoods have been logged, ravaged, clearcut, moonscaped. 96%! Millions of acres, and it’s not “just” trees–think of all the animals killed and left homeless and resourceless through all that habitat destruction! These are whole ecosystems of unfathomable fecundity, being wholesale holocausted. And it’s still going on. Can you imagine what it would’ve been like here before the conquest of the “civilized” (e.g. white Europeans) and the death-march of industrial civilization? Here and in the rest of California, and the rest of the west, and the country, and the world? Just something to think about. Enjoying these places is not enough. We have to realize what we have lost, what used to be–and what could be again if we act in accordance to principles of compassion, if we fight those battles that truly need to be fought.
A few books I’d like to recommend that are spectacular and that will educate and inspire you, and help you appreciate even more these amazing forests: The Wild Trees by Richard Preston and From the Redwood Forest: Ancient Trees and the Bottom Line (which features 50 pages of breathtaking photography) by Joan Dunning and pictures by Doug Thron.
Without further delay….
Part 2 coming next week!