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Forest For The Trees




Many thanks to the Journal and to writer Heidi Walters for the excellent cover story (“What Now Treesitter?”, Aug. 8). The photos, especially, showed the diversity of generations, including young treesitters, grandma, teacher and toddler, that make up the forest protection movement.

These are indeed new times, when Big Timber and treesitters can sit down and talk together. But it’s not just the act of reconciliation that’s so satisfying, after the long, bitter struggle with Maxxam/PL, it’s the agreement itself: that Humboldt Redwood Company will henceforth voluntarily set aside all old growth on its lands in perpetuity. Though much progress remains to be made, this is an historic moment in the lives of humans (lifespan 80-some years), spotted owls, marbled murrelets (near extinction) and trees like “Spooner,” already some 2,000 years of age.

One thing I regrettably neglected to say in the interview with Walters is that although it was indeed “normal for loggers to assault treesitters” (and protesters in general) under the former owners, there were also loggers, truck drivers and even security guards who understood our cause and saw the link between sustainable harvest rates and job protection, who treated activists well and cared for our safety, even at risk to themselves.

Hopefully, those former PL employees who always believed in sustainable forest practices will now be able to speak their minds freely, without fear of losing their jobs.

Thanks again for the in-depth story. I felt it covered a wide swath of background, history and current events and accurately conveyed the spirit of the day in the light it deserved, Humboldt County’s glorious green and gold.

— Naomi Wagner, Petrolia

Sweet Spot: Naomi Wagner wins a Bon Boniere sundae for sending our favorite letter of the week.

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