The forest defender community of Cascadia is suffering from a severe tragedy that occurred this past week. During the early hours of Tuesday, March 11, 2003, our friend Sparrow, aka Carson McCann, took his own life while out in the forests that he loved and worked to defend. It happened at the beginning of a group skill-sharing campout in the Willamette National Forest.
We all knew Sparrow as a kind, gentle individual who fought hard every day to defend the ancient forests and to bring about a more responsible relationship with our ancient forests. Sparrow was especially involved in surveying for rare species like the red tree vole. He spent countless hours in the forest climbing every tree possible looking for voles trying to cancel egregious, old-growth timber sales. Even more, he spent countless hours teaching people how to climb ropes safely, so they could carry on the important work he helped pioneer.
Those of us who knew Sparrow will never forget him - the twinkle in his cool blue eyes, his calm tone and amazing spirit. He was a loyal friend, passionate and dedicated to changing the world. Sparrow was a political, emotional and spiritual revolutionary. He was the real thing.
We will always try but will never know why Sparrow took his life. Only he knows. We only know that he died in a place that he cherished and around people he loved. We know that he is now peaceful, and we must carry on with where he left off.
Sparrow had many friends that considered him family and shared great love and support for him. He will always be a part of the forest and will forever be inside each of us, affecting our thoughts and actions. We love you and miss you Sparrow. Your spirit rests peacefully out in the misty Cascade Mountains.
There will be a memorial for Sparrow at the Rose Garden in Eugene on Sunday, March 16th at 6:00 pm sharp (not on saturday as previously scheduled). The Rose Garden is located at the end of Jefferson St. where it meets the Willamette River. Bring candles and an offering to Sparrow. The memorial will be followed by a potluck and music at the Campbell Club Co-op, located at 1670 Alder St.
The following day, Monday March 17, there will be a hike and ceremony at the Straw Devil timber sale, located just above McCredie Hotsprings in the Salt Creek drainage. It is here that Sparrow helped locate over two dozen red tree vole nests in hopes of preserving this beautiful forest. This was one of his favorite places on Earth. Carpools will leave the Growers Market (454 Willamette St, Eugene) at 10:00am and return around 5:00pm.
Goodbye Sparrow...We love you!!