“The redwoods of California are the tallest living things on earth, nearly the oldest, and among the most beautiful to boot. They dominated the woods of the northern be hemisphere in the time of the dinosaurs, a time when no mammal, flower, or blade of grass had yet appeared on earth. The Ice Age nearly exterminated them - of the once vast redwood forest only a remnant was spared by the immense glaciers which covered most of Europe, Asia, and North America in the not-too-distant evolutionary past.
Walking through this forest is an experience unique on earth. Here the sun’s rays are intercepted three hundred feet and more above the ground and are broken into tiny shimmering beams which descend among the towering pillars to play, at length, on the forest floor. Fern and wildflower bathe in the soft glow of a thousand muted spotlights which flicker on and off as the trees’ upper boughs sway majestically in a gentle wind.
2.000.000 acres of virgin redwood forest greeted the white man’s civilization as he completed his sweep of North America. In the last 100 years 1,800,000 acres of these have been logged, and of the remaining 200,000 only 75,000 are presently safe from devastation in state and national parks. At a time when parks campsites must be reserved months in advance, the remaining 125,000 acres are being “harvested” (as the lumber-men put it), for uses which other trees could fulfill.
At the current rate of “harvest", these remaining acres will be cleared within the next ten years.”
- Alan C. Wilson, 1970
This poem originally appeared in the fold-out version of “Future Blues”, released in 1970 on Liberty Records.