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faith & spirituality | forest defense

life and death in the forest (a photo essay from the clark timber sale)

reflections on the nature of life and death, as inspired by old growth tree bark and fallen logs in the forest

this is a 500+ year old tree i saw in the clark timber sale in the willamette national forest near eugene

the bark of a tree is its own world

and an amazing amount of things grow on the bark of an old growth tree

an ecosystem within the ecosystem

lichens and mosses make their own forest

and when the tree falls, it is still a home to life

of all kinds! :)

at first fallen trees are clearly identifiable as such

then a trunk gradually loses its tree shape and becomes part of the springy forest floor

new life sprouts up thence

in a natural forest the sharp, oppositional distinctions of human perception are blurred. the forest is so alive as one interconnected ecosystem that the "death" of one tree is not really death at all -- a tree's trunk has merely changed position by falling and is still a full participant in the life of everything around it. in this way, the very dichotomy of life vs. death comes into question, and with it all other dichotomies. when i am in the forest i can not help but to percieve the superficiality of the scientific method, the danger of the "progress" myth, and the hubris of human ego. in the forest, the oneness of everything in the universe is clear. no amount of research, observation, and quantification can come up with language that describes the forest better than "it is". until we embrace that truth within our own souls, and learn ourselves how to just "be", there is no hope for turning back the destruction of life on earth.

Awesome, thank you 03.Jun.2003 22:17


So what is the basis for Bush's desperate need to clear the forest of "fire threats"?

The need is..... 03.Jun.2003 23:13

Greed Tree Harvester

Well it is quite simple.
Americans build lots of things out of wood. For example T.P., paper, paper, more paper, more paper because some organizations have not learned to use the .pdf format, studds for a home, roofs for a home, even a floor in a home and my favourite furniture probably what you are sitting on.
So what do these all have in common?
They cost money! If wood is worth money then, oh! My! The forest is worth a ****in' hell of alot. I know that these forest are beautiful but I love money and to destroy the environment, especially the rivers and streams. But the money is well worth it.

So to really answer your question i do not know. I trust Bush knows what he is doing as long as the green money keeps coming in my pocket.

wonderful 05.Jun.2003 08:42


Thanks for submitting these photos and your words. They really work well together, and make an evocative case for a forest-centered perspective. Quite moving.

Sustainability 06.Jun.2003 17:30


I've always wondered how long forests will continue to regrow as long as trees are removed as logs instead of allowing them to decompose and return their constituent nutirents back into the ecosystem. Does anyone know of an "accepted" answer to this? I know you can't harvest crops indefintely from the same soil before the field goes fallow, so how many generations of trees can be produced? Have we reached the number of generations yet? I would think that commercial tree farms would have figured this out since they continually harvest, but I never hear of this type of calculation being made by the Forest Service when they log.

Anybody know?