An Ode to Trees, Timber, and Temerity

Wilson Creek Watershed protests call for more than knee-jerk 'the economy!' reactions

Photo Haley McConnell, story by Editor/Publisher Laurie McConnell

I’m pretty pro community economic development and love the idea of our own small town community forest company sustainably logging suitable timber for value-added jobs & products in our community. But sooner or later we’re going to have to pay the piper, environmentally-speaking. At some point, the tipping one, the Almighty Economy is going to go tumbling over the MetaFiscal cliff and we’re going to be clinging above the abyss and hoping enough of our kids live to create something better than we did – sustainable, egalitarian, holistic AND with enough money to be made in it for people to live a reasonably comfortable life.

We ARE going to run out of old-growth trees to harvest, regardless of politics, world-wide. That’s what ‘finite’ means. AKA not limitless. So we’d better figure out an economic model that is realistic in how it treats harvestable resources. Those people choosing jobs over sustainability will have us think forestry will grind to a cataclysmic halt when we run out of big timber. Seriously? We’ll innovate with our growing and harvesting cycles – how about that nifty inversion? growing FIRST, harvesting second – our products and our spin-off industries.

Why, if we are capable of sending folks to the moon (oh, if we could only send a certain few permanently), can’t we imagine a future that is neither rapacious skewering of the environment or kumbayas in the forest? I refuse to be limited by either of those visions. As a species we are infinitely creative and we CAN create a sustainable world if we would only choose to.

Please DOS, leave enough of the old-growth timber (especially in our watershed!) that our kids can see what the forest CAN be – you’ll look unbelievably prescient soon enough.

Author: Laurie McConnell

Geek-loving, tie-dyed creative time artisan and general rabble rouser. Passionate conduit of Sunshine Coast stories, myths and fables. Founder of Bigpacific Creative Web Design & Digital Strategy (formerly Bad Dog Design) with 17 years of continuous operation.

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