Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

Human nature exposed in the woods



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In a forest of second or third growth lodgepole pine and poplar, a 20 acre swath of pine had been mowed down by men wielding efficient machines. The trees still standing on all sides are no bigger around than a man’s thigh. No value as lumber, these trees must have been cut for pulp or chips – wood by-products. Yet, everywhere within sight, hundreds, thousands of trees no smaller than those that must have been taken, lay like matchsticks, helter skelter across the battlefield. Trickles of streams had started to run where none ran before. Here and there, the road was being eroded by running water. Given what was laying on the ground, I wondered if this cut was made to satisfy the company’s requirement to cut or lose their licence.

The sight reminded me eerily of old pictures of buffalo killing grounds where acres of sun bleached bones litter the ground, the meat having rotted off them or been cleaned by carrion. Obviously, the loggers responsible for this mess took little wood, left a lot, like trophy hunters who would cut the ears off the buffalo to prove their kill, leaving the rest to rot.

If I had some foil, I might start a fire to purify the dead and dying. What a waste.

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