Thursday, November 30, 2006

Will we ever learn?



I am one of those people that cant learn enough about where they live, and when I say that I mean specifically WHERE I live. I am constantly confronted by things around here because I am outside everyday and cant ignore some of the physical history of those who went before me. So I dig and I learn and I grimace...... These pictures are both from the neigborhood that I live in now, literally. The state park actually is starting to look like the "before" picture but the rest of the forest never recovered to that point and has actually changed to mainly birch and low brush. On my mountian bike ride I routinely run into super huge old stumps that could be actual old growth cut.

We like to think that we are different than the society of industrialism but we aren't. I look at pictures of this area where I now live (Carlton County, the heart of once was one of the biggest Pineries in the world) and I see Narnia. I see endless forests of huge White Pines and minimal underbrush, I see shots of a world so beautiful that it might have been computer generated, but alas it was not and by the early 1900's it was literally gone, cut down to a tree. They thought it would give forever and yet even when they realized it would not, they just kept cutting until it was gone and even now the Forest industry laments the fact that they are losing jobs and that they are slowing down, 100 years later. Yet I need to use lumber to build my sauna, how do we lament and learn and change?

So what did we learn? I argue nothing. I am seeing development, the second plague on nature in my world, recutting and re-deforestation (is that a word?) and now not even leaving stumps but leaving pavement. Again, instead of a standing tall and looking ahead we are just keeping our heads down and plowing forward until we run into the next person and exclaim surprise that we have run out of space.......

When I look deeper I see the American Indian and I cant fathom the sorrow they have felt and must still feel, because when I lose even one mile of singletrack to a new ugly housing development I can barely stand it.

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