Saturday, June 14, 2008

Headwaters Forest

I had the privilege to take a hike to the Headwaters forest yesterday.

What an amazing experience! Perhaps I will start with a little history about this forest reserve for those of you who may not know. Several years ago one of our country's finest stands of old growth virgin redwoods was destined for harvest by the Pacific Lumber company. An intense campaign began to prevent this from happening and to make a very long drawn out story short, PL was required to sell the forest to the Federal Gov't for the hefty price tag of many millions of dollars. Now the land is owned by the Feds and managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Guided hikes are offered on a regular basis to anyone wishing to trek through the somewhat rugged terrain to indulge in this magnificent natural wonder. The trees are absolutely astonishing. Sequoia sempervirens are among the tallest trees in the world with heights reaching over 350 ft. This Headwaters reserve offers a visual banquet of just this sort of delight. As you can see from the photos, such a sight is difficult to capture on camera. The trees are simply too big to get into the frame of the camera lens!

As we made our way through the forest, its beauty was captivating. The day was sunny and warm which offered ideal conditions for venturing under the tall trees. Ferns, flowers and fauna greeted us at each turn in the trail.

Trees this magnificent are worth any amount of money that we may have had to shell out to protect them. Many of the trees in this forest bear a stripe of blue paint on the outer bark across their lower trunk - the mark of a harvest never to be. With natural resources depleting at an ever-increasing rate in our world, preserving the beauty that we still have should definitely be a high priority. Don't read me wrong. I am not a raging environmentalist, but I certainly do appreciate the passions that those idealists express. For those are the voices that are calling for another look at how & what we humans do with our natural resources. I don't always agree with the tactics that are use to achieve the desired goals, but I do applaud the driving passion that is put forth. The ends do not justify the means, though the end is a good thing. Each of us has a passion deep within us to right a wrong, justify a theory of thought, preserve a way of living or fight a fight worth fighting. And each of us come equipped to pour that passion out of our lives, to be a voice when no one may be listening, to save what may need saving, to restore what may be crumbling. I am continually amazed at our creativity as human beings to transform our world into ways that benefit one another. While many of us will disagree as much as we agree on any given subject, we undoubtedly have the unique ability to be the change that we want to see.

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