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Cutting And Growing Trees At The Same Time - What Framed Your House?

Up here in Humboldt County, logging and lumber drive the economy. The other side of the spectrum wants to ensure old growth trees are preserved, not cut down.

My daughter has been playing soccer for the Humboldt Lumberjacks, four years as a sweeper, and two years as an assistant coach. The team has done well, and Julie has enjoyed the school and especially the area.

Over the years, I've watched with some interest the ongoing battle between logging and conservation, wondering if there is any hope of resolution for the two extremes. Obviously, I'm not going to solve it in one blog post. Maybe if I had a half-hour TV show, but that's an entirely different story.

Maybe, however, there is a place to start. This past week, a San Francisco jury did just that. They awarded $1.00 for injuries suffered during a 1997 protest over logging when deputies swabbed pepper spray in the eyes of protesters who chained themselves together. The protesters claimed vindication, and the deputies claimed that they caused no damage.

Split the baby.

It's not an acceptable resolution for every situation, but perhaps here. Loggers need to cut trees to earn a living, lumber mills and yards cut and sell it for profit, and you and I live in houses made of it, the whole reason for the cycle in the first place. Likewise, the redwoods are certainly beautiful, and deserve protection.

Can we develop an acceptable plan to do both? Can we cut trees to fuel home growth and at the same time preserve old growth? Do we need to pull up the plank and stop home construction all together? Or can we make sustainable growth not amount to an impossible oxymoron?


Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, April 28, 2005

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