Saturday, September 6, 2008

Crying "Timber!"

Considering my sadness at the Mount Hermon rope-platform expansion in the redwood tree canopies in nearby greater Bay Area Felton, I share the frustration of those who've protested at UC Berkeley for twenty-one months. It's easy to ridicule these heirs to Butterfly Girl who perch high to protest, but their earnest, if doomed, stand against construction of "an athletic center for its 400 student-athletes", as reported in "UC Berkeley begins felling trees" in today's Los Angeles Times, does make me sigh.

These trees are eighty-five years old, nearly as old I reckon as those around Mount Hermon. Forty-three of seventy will be felled according to UC, but this appears to contradict the report: "University officials said they expect all of the grove's trees to be chopped down by Monday [Sept. 8]" except one still occupied by four sitters. "We will give them some time to appreciate the new reality," Dan Mogulof, spokesman for the UC campus, chortles. "At a certain point in the coming days, the reason for their protest will be no longer here."

So, the coast live oaks and redwoods will be cut. Planted in 1923 when the stadium was built, now they will fall so the Golden Bears can extend their facilities and pump up even more their bloated programs for sports. The housing for athletes will cost $125 million. Couldn't they have refurbished a dorm? I admit as a UCLA Bruin fan that I understand the role teams play for alumni, but such devastation makes me unlikely to spend any money ever to contribute to my alma mater, part of this complicit UC system that places-- as at the Santa Cruz campus-- concrete above mulch.

Photo by Ben Margot: "UC Berkeley starts cutting controversial grove" by Richard C. Paddock. Caption: "A Stand in the Trees: A protester identified as 'Mongo' swings upside down from a redwood in a disputed grove in UC Berkeley."

1 comment:

M. D. Vaden of Oregon said...

Seems people view trees different based on experience.

I'm never glad to see trees cut down. But one difference about me, is that I work with a lot of them as an arborist. And in the long run, I see a lot of canopy developing, even though some get removed.

Forests is where I'd like to see the greater abundance:

Largest Redwood Trees

Residentially, my ideology is "let's get more canopy that we can control, which does not interfere with expansion of cummunity evolvement".

In other words, we need more trees in the city, and they should be planted in better places so people can afford to maintain them.

On the other hand, if a tree needs to be cut down for cultural development - try and save it. If there is no alternative at that location, once the tree is chipped up in our area, it will be made into mulch, applied around other trees, and the tree's remains get taken up into other trees and recombine with life again.

So in a way, the molecules of trees that die around here, don't remain that way indefinitely. In time, they recombine with a living organism and move on, or move up.